Tech leaders from Google Cloud, Rebel Foods, and Purplle reveal strategies for successful digital transformation

Building future-ready agile businesses, cultivating a culture of innovation, connecting with customers, and more was discussed at a panel discussion at TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition.

Tech leaders from Google Cloud, Rebel Foods, and Purplle reveal strategies for successful digital transformation

Tuesday April 11, 2023,

4 min Read

“To be successful in today’s day and age, businesses need to constantly innovate, improve their customer experience, keep looking at newer alternatives, have the right set of people, and a culture that fosters innovation,” said Debasis Bhattacharya, Head - Customer Engineering (Digital Native Business) - India, Google Cloud while setting the context on the important elements of building a tech-first, future-ready, agile and successful business.

He was speaking at TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition at a panel discussion titled ‘Tech up or shut up: CXO strategies for successful digital transformations’.

Bhattacharya’s co-panellists, Vivek Parihar, Head of Engineering, Purplle, and Amit Gupta, Chief Technology Officer, Rebel Foods, also expressed similar views and added to the discussion with strategies they have designed and implemented at their respective organisations.

“Since inception, the vision at Purplle has been to make beauty accessible and affordable for all. Therefore, we have always used technology to create unique personalised digital experiences for all beauty shoppers,” Parihar said. He spoke about Purplle’s foray into augmented reality, hyper personalisation, and onboarding new products based on latest social media and pop culture trends.

Talking about the growth of Rebel Foods and opportunities and challenges of cracking the foodtech category, Gupta said the company thinks customer-first because nothing is going to work in the long term in food “if the product is not tasty, healthy, and hygienic”. “Another important core value is to keep cost effectiveness in mind, without compromising on customer experience.”

Talking about the ecosystem partnerships between enablers such as Google Cloud and startups, Bhattacharya said, “If you look at the digital native business and startups, I think we have excellent leaders in India. Startups are filled with tech people; they are impatient, they are scrappy, and they want to do things now!”

Google Cloud is powering digital natives and startups by helping them reduce overall operational costs, supporting them as they foray into Tier II and III markets by improving decision-making with leading-edge data analytics and AI solutions, enabling them to connect with their customers in vernacular languages, creating personalised experiences, and more. 

Balancing innovation, agility, and wellbeing 

“Our data team is very small, but we have a solid data platform that is helping us to stay afloat,” said Parihar, highlighting that Purplle has a strong data pipeline and data processing capabilities that help leverage real-time metrics, allow data-driven decision making, and automate key processes using decision science.

He added that the company is also investing in creating small product and technology platforms internally to “help our business and engineering teams to conduct low-cost, quick experiments, and let them fail fast and stay innovative and agile”.

Drawing attention to Google’s employee-centric culture, Bhattacharya insisted on the coexistence of the urgency of innovation and a healthy work culture.

“In today’s fast-paced, innovation-driven world, it’s important to teach employees how to prioritise better, it’s important to help them understand how to align their professional goals with larger business goals and the importance of being customer-focused.”

Gupta said autonomy and experimentation are the core DNA at Rebel foods, and keeping the customer at the heart of problem solving is key. “We have taken many bold bets and failed and learned from them. There’s no fear in failing and that’s how we keep the culture of innovation alive,” he added.

Lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs

The session concluded with the three leaders sharing advice to budding entrepreneurs and aspiring tech leaders.

Parihar spoke about the importance of understanding the job and the pros and cons attached to it. 

“Be frugal, have conviction, and a clear focus on the problem you are solving. Remember that you don’t have to be an expert in every area; you have to build a team with subject matter experts,” Gupta said. 

Bhattacharya spoke about identifying and partnering with the right partners such as Google Cloud who can help growing businesses and startups with their vast portfolio of products and services.

“For a CXO, having an open mind towards the ever-evolving technology landscape is very important. Let your team experiment and don’t penalise them for failing. It is a CXO’s responsibility to drive tech talent towards innovation and build the company’s culture,” Bhattacharya concluded. 

TechSparks Mumbai