Abhishek Agarwal, SVP & CIO at Balmer Lawrie & Co. has 24 years of leadership experience in IT strategy, IT policy, program governance, digital strategy, ERP implementation, operations management, and change management. He spearheaded large scale transformations programs across different verticals like automobile, telecom, travel, logistics, oil & gas and defence sectors. Before joining Balmer Lawrie & Co in 2015, Agarwal had previously worked with Vodafone India, Wipro, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, Ministry of Defence, and Ashok Leyland.
Balmer Lawrie decided to move towards digitization and digitization. In view of this, a strategy is formulated, and different areas have been identified for implementation of the same. In the area of process improvement and customer centric program it was proposed to rebrand the Travel portal. Balmer Lawrie & Co. revamped its online travel portal and rebranded it as FlyLikeKing.com. The travel portal used earlier wasn’t visually appealing and facilities for the backend team were not up to the mark. As a Government of India authorized travel partner, government employees book tickets through Balmer Lawrie. In the absence of an efficient portal, employees had to visit the office to book tickets. In the absence of a Global Distribution System (GDS) for low cost carriers as well as for payment gateways, integration with the portal is a time consuming and technically complex activity. The company observes that launching of online tickets has increased operational efficiency. It now plans to introduce bus and cab booking services. Balmer Lawrie now aims to add more Indian languages in addition to English and Hindi, making it a multi-lingual portal. The portal, with its analytics capability, can be used by the backend team and the management. Following the deployment, Balmer Lawrie & Co. is recording increased profits and baseline, enhanced customer experience, and the management now has a tool enabling them to take decisions faster. The analytics functionality also helps the organization get information regarding the device, interests and habits, and demographics, which would help for digital marketing.