Scaling with soul: How technology, privacy and human experiences can propel digital business growth
Putting human-centric values at the core emerges as the compass, leading to sustainable growth and transformative success for businesses today
In the ever-evolving realm of business, customer needs remain the North Star. What has transformed is the method by which enterprises adapt to these evolving demands to retain their competitive edge. With technological advancements reshaping consumer behaviour and choices, businesses find themselves engrossed in a dynamic discourse concerning effective communication, data privacy, and the delicate equilibrium between growth and quality.
Amidst this backdrop, it is important for businesses to curate distinct and meaningful experiences that set them apart in the eyes of their customers. Without a doubt, human-centricity remains the guiding principle for making strategic decisions. Strategic investments in emerging technologies that are people-focussed are the best approach for businesses to gain loyalty and steer growth.
Human Experience & Technology must go hand-in-hand
Airtel Business, India’s largest and most trusted ICT services provider, and YourStory have embarked on a mission to honour the role of human experience for businesses through TechBlaze. This pioneering initiative serves as a meeting ground for entrepreneurs, tech visionaries, marketing leaders, and decision-makers to exchange insights on the latest business trends, learn from experiences, leverage innovative solutions, and foster collective growth.
In the inaugural roundtable, 'Revolutionizing the Human Experience,' which was held in Bengaluru in June 2023, a diverse set of perspectives unveiled like methods for nurturing trust, fostering innovation, and establishing lasting customer relationships. You can access the insights from the session here.
The second roundtable, held in August 2023, focused on technology's transformative role in shaping customer experiences. These conversations uncovered profound insights into customer expectations and the potential of technology. Moderated by Avinash Deepak, Senior VP and Business Head, Airtel Business, and Madanmohan Rao, Research Director, YourStory, it hosted a diverse group of entrepreneurs, and technology and growth leaders who shared insights on evolving customer needs, technology as an enabler to create exceptional customer experiences, and scaling up while maintaining quality.
Avinash opened the floor by discussing the nuances of ‘consumer delight’ across industries. According to him, the market is consolidating and redefining the way customers interact with companies today. “Today, the relevance of customer engagement is critical for businesses to be successful. At Airtel Business, we are constantly working on innovation and technology that is powered by data analytics to understand what the customer wants," he added.
Evolving to meet Customer Expectations
Today's customers are no longer content with just products or services; they yearn for immersive, personalised experiences tailored to their unique preferences. The digital ecosystem has empowered customers to demand seamless interactions across a spectrum of touchpoints. This experience encompasses intuitive interfaces, swift issue resolution, and effortless navigation.
Sidharth Gupta, Founder and CEO of, succinctly captured this sentiment, "Customer expectations are escalating across the board. For digital enterprises, predicting and resolving customer pain points before they arise is crucial.” Similarly, Anand Narayanan, Chief Product Officer at Simplilearn, noted the shift in the edtech segment towards personalised content and engaging learning experiences.
Subodh Jain, SVP-Growth and Category,, added that in their segment, there is a high chance of unpredictable experiences for timelines, and that cutting down on variables by offering a set catalogue of products enables better control over quality and timelines.
“In the fintech sector, customer expectations have changed drastically in the last few years,” said Sricheta Das, Head of Partnerships and Strategic Alliances,. “Earlier customers engaged with banks in a physical format, but today it’s no longer the case. They look forward to ease, convenience, and zero time for their transactions, making it imperative for our sector to offer integrated indoor solutions to meet this demand,” she said.
The health, fitness, and wellness sector has also witnessed a similar transition, with customers being more vocal about their well-being. Porko Elango, Head of Business Operations,, said, “Our users are looking for credible and deeper conversations regarding their mental well-being and we strive to give them the right balance of phygital engagement, without being intrusive.”
Ensuring Consumer Data Security and Privacy
As the spotlight on data privacy intensifies, businesses are adopting stringent measures to safeguard customer data. Sarvesh Kumar, Head of User Growth at, explained their approach, "We ensure student data remains confidential while channeling all transactions and interactions through our platform."
In sectors like crypto and Web3, educating customers on the sector and privacy remains an important aspect of curbing any data leaks. Mohit Gupta, VP Growth,, said, “We collect only essential user data, encrypting it to prevent misuse. Access to this data is also limited to internal stakeholders, and we’re very particular about this.”
Avinash went on to share his experience of how third-party communication channels are potential sources for consumer data leaks, enabling untended parties including competitors to exploit valuable insights.
This emphasises the urgency for businesses to fortify their communication infrastructure against unauthorised data breaches and leaks through third-party operators and maintain consumer trust in an intense data security landscape.
Creating Personalised Connections
Personalisation and customisation are emerging as the cornerstones of success in the digital age. Businesses are embracing tailored offerings to cater to individual preferences, both in the digital and physical realms.
Ankur Saigal, Co-founder of BambooBox, highlighted the shift, "Customers expect targetted engagement in a world where personal and professional lives converge digitally."
This trend extends to physical spaces, as Deepak Kumar Pareek, AGM, Customer Experience at, explained how they strive to provide holistic experiences in the hybrid work model by offering a balance between personal and common spaces at workplaces. This makes ‘back-to-work’ effortless with technology and serves personalised services like access to meeting rooms, finding cab pickup points, or the company shuttle services on an app. “Our aim is to make the customer feel like their every need is being taken care of,” he concluded.
In the electric vehicle sector, which has seen a lot of technological evolution in the recent past, listening to customer feedback and leveraging data science have been crucial in developing products. Gurinder Sukhija, Head of Ownership Management atadded, “We developed one of our features (autocode) by listening to our customers. It conveyed to us what features we needed to include in our electric scooters. We also work towards predictive diagnostics, so that we can address a glitch beforehand.”
Striking a Balance between Growth and Quality
Maintaining quality while scaling presents a dual challenge. Prabhu Jaganathan, SVP, Growth and Customer Experience at, underscored the significance of technology optimisation to maintain synchronisation in the supply chain.
Sudhakar Pandey, Founding Member at Mensa Brands, emphasised listening to user feedback and empowering the workforce.
Samit Khanna, Business Head and VP at, highlighted the ripple effect of happy employees on customer satisfaction, "Our coaches and front-end managers are crucial in shaping customer experiences. We build micro-moments to understand our customers better."
In Conclusion: A Harmonious Symphony of Human Experience and Innovation
In the labyrinth of the digital landscape, businesses are navigating a tapestry woven with technology, data privacy, customer experience and human connection. Guided by data-driven insights and propelled by cutting-edge technology, businesses are striving to provide seamless experiences at every step. Amidst this digital dance, the resonance of genuine human interaction is a constant reminder that each connection, no matter how digital, carries the potential for personal engagement.
As businesses embark on this journey, putting human-centric values at the core emerges as the compass leading to sustainable growth and transformative success.