Keshav R Murugesh, a Chartered Accountant by profession, is more of a serial entrepreneur in terms of performance and achievement. The Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of NYSE-listed WNS Global Services, has been recently recognised as CNBC Asia’s ‘India Disruptor of the Year’. Keshav R Murugesh speaks to Business Today about the unique attributes that set the company apart.
From the humble beginnings of a captive centre to the big league of top tier business process management companies, WNS has taken big, bold steps to global prominence. Can you elaborate on the journey of WNS?
Somewhere along the way while WNS had led the industry, it had lost its way when I joined in 2010. It had a strong lineage, having been a captive of British Airways, and a robust roster of clients. All it needed was leadership for a new strategic and performance orientation.
One of my immediate focus areas after joining WNS was to come up with a new corporate strategy, vision and mission statement that harnessed the company’s strengths and aligned the organisation to new market realities. The most disruptive and impactful change that we brought in was introducing an end-to-end vertically aligned structure, where WNS services would be tailored to meet the specific requirements of each client’s industry. This found immediate synergy with the clients and changed the course for WNS.
The other significant change we brought about was creating a model where revenue growth and headcount were delinked. Our strategy of moving away from the traditional people-based model to a more outcome-based model has steered us towards a steep growth curve.
Another critical strategic move that has worked well for us is expanding the global footprint of the company. Today, WNS has its presence in 13 countries with 55 delivery centres, which has enabled us to offer scalability and the best of talent from every part of the world.
The company has been driving a double-digit growth year-on-year, which is greater than our peers and even industry body estimates. We have achieved a market cap of over 2.5 billion USD, a 38,000 plus employee base servicing a robust base of over 350 clients.
The story of WNS is not just one of being a consistent outlier in terms of growth numbers, but also of a spectacular comeback and sustained business performance.
WNS has moved to newer technologies like machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics to enhance the customer service for your clients’ end-consumers. Can you share some examples?
We moved away from old models to new age models involving technological aspects such as domains, social and mobile technology, cloud, artificial intelligence and robotics. There are several examples of excellence in new age technology.
Key Figures At A Glance
Net Revenue: 741 Million USD
Presence In 13 Countries With 55 Offices
Market Capitalisation Of Over 2.5 Billion USD
Employee Strength 38,000 +
For instance, in Sri Lanka itself, our centre created one of the largest FAO (Financial & Accounting office) digital transformation platforms for one of the largest insurance companies in the world. This platform created a new paradigm in Finance & Accounting outsourcing as it was powered by Robotic Process Automation (RPA) capabilities & next-gen fintech tools. We helped the client to increase the accuracy in the process by 100 per cent through automated in-built review & validations using RPA. The total productivity savings of this platform was 10.8 million USD over the contract period.
Airlines are estimated to lose around one percent of their total revenue due to leakages in their systems, including in fare auditing. Manual fare auditing is again prone to errors that affect the amount of recoveries airlines make. Using RPA-led tools, WNS has created a proprietary platform called Verifare PlusSM
Interesting Facts About WNS
Started As A Captive Centre For British Airways
The First Company To Start Vertical-Specific BPM Solutions That Set A Trend In The Industry
The First BPM Company To Start An Entrepreneurship Challenge To Spark Innovation: WiNCUBATE
The First BPM Company To Launch An MBA Programme In Business Analytics
Similarly, we have developed many proprietary tools in analytics such as RePAXSM, SocioSEER and BrandttitudeTM. These address specific gap areas in order to alleviate the key pain points faced by clients’ customers and offer them seamless services.
WNS is known to constantly innovate, be it verticalized approach of service delivery, service offerings or HR programs. Can you elaborate on such innovative HR programmes of WNS?
WNS is known for its robust HR practices as it lays immense focus on training and mentorship. The company’s talent practices, engagement channels, methodologies and leadership construct are all centered around this concept.
Last year, we introduced ‘Centurion’, a programme to proactively identify and nurture 25 chosen women employees to take up top managerial and leadership roles within the organisation.
Recognising the fact that 65 per cent of our workforce represents millennials, we developed a programme called ‘The CEO Millennial Council’ that addressed at this very significant segment, where 24 chosen millennials across the globe would work closely with the senior management contributing to the overall growth of the organisation. We also launched ‘WNS Education’, a learning academy that offers employees the opportunity to receive ‘Digital and Business Process Management’ certifications, enabling them to reskill and upskill for the digital future.
WNS has been consistently posting impressive results successively. How did you achieve this and how has the business changed?
In addition to the disruptive vertically aligned structure, we introduced outcome-based revenue models in our business, where we charge the client for the outcomes that we deliver, as opposed to the traditional model of charging on FTE-basis. In fact, we are the first ones in the industry to report non-FTE based revenue and as per FY18 results, 36 per cent of our revenue comes from non-FTE based models. WNS’s automation, AI adoption, robust HR practices and excellent service delivery have led us to a market capitalisation of over 2.5 billion USD and a share price of 52 USD and a double digit revenue growth.
How does Sri Lanka contribute to the global presence of WNS?
WNS is the first BPM company to set-up an F&A development centre in Sri Lanka. Established in 2004, with over 800 employees, WNS Sri Lanka offers services across F&A, Legal services & BFS. Sri Lanka immensely contributes to the global presence as it has the availability of English speaking, skilled, certified Finance & IT Professionals with a rich experience in various ERP systems and tools.