Reported by: banking|Updated: November 5, 2020
Where technology is the first solution
Samco Group relies on technology to drive its 4-pronged business strategy:
Investors and traders from over 2000+ cities trade with Samco Securities, one of India’s fastest growing discount brokers as the firm offers trading accounts for the exchanges and demat accounts as a depository participant. Broking houses are facing positive pressure post covid as there has been an unexpected increase in volume and interest in equity markets. While the industry was capable but probably it was not prepared for an overnight volume spike. According to Chiraj Joshi, Chief Marketing Officer, Samco Group, this a speed bump, and things are under control now. “Usage and time spent on apps have almost doubled since March 2020,” he says.
Samco has been focusing on 4 fronts – capturing more leads, smooth onboarding, efficient and satisfactory customer support, and re-activating old customers. Joshi explains: “We have invested heavily in marketing automation, especially facilitating sending communications to our customers using emails, voice calls, SMS and notifications that consist of video tutorials, DIY articles, etc, to fill in the gap of limited manpower. These efforts became the focus area in March as soon as we realized the rising demand.”
The firm’s support team had great challenges in a WFH scenario, basically on the communications front as there is a lack of telecom infrastructure and it could rely only on technology. It set up a dedicated desk for its old and loyal customers to address their queries and get them back to the platform. “Using an automated appointment booking system, we have been able to speak with these customers and give them the time and attention they wanted, ultimately reactivating them,” says Joshi.
SCALING UP DIGITALLY
Samco Group has always been a digital-first company. Much of its business is garnered online thereby eliminating the need to bring in drastic changes to its existing strategy. Joshi says fortunately the major source of business has always been digital but definitely, it had to account for scaling up with numbers doubling that nobody expected before covid.
The group has a strong presence on social media. According to Joshi social media is used mainly for making critical announcements, taking customer feedback, and extending customer support. “I believe social media offers the fastest way to talk to customers,” he adds.
Samco believes that any investment in its technology infrastructure should be more Capex and less opex. Pratik Adani, Chief Technology Officer, explains this: “Such a strategy helps us build assets on a longer-term, which will be useful in the future. We also believe in open source and most of our technologies are built on that. We are building our own private cloud infra so as to give us flexibility with customizations while keeping our costs in check. We used to plan 6 months in advance but due to the lockdown this has to change.”
It has now planned for a year ahead and it does not forget that it has to scale up quickly. Adani also says procuring hardware during lockdown was a challenge.
All the departmental heads of the group are specially trained to explore technology first as a solution to their problems. Post covid the group has initiated a number of internal projects that will help it to scale up on all fronts. Adani mentions digital onboarding and training. “Training has been at the center of our work culture and post-lockdown physical training and mentoring was not possible, So, we undertook a project to create an online learning platform for our employees. Technology is the only savior. Irrespective of departments, technology can help in all areas like marketing, HR, and customer support,” he says.
AUTOMATION TO GUIDE
The group has deployed a customized CRM, aiming to reduce the time taken to answer a customer query. Joshi gives example: “Once the customer is on-boarded, we use marketing automation to guide them through the next steps of getting started from login for the first time to transferring funds to placing their first trade.”
He adds that covid has taught the group a lot of things and it is now operationally more evolved than before. Several time-consuming processes have been automated and it has found avenues to explore the use of technology to enhance the customer experience. “Fast onboarding, easy access to support, and digitization of most of the offline physical processes will be primary on our list for the next 12 months. Besides this, we will be releasing a faster and a revamped version of the StockNote app,” he says.