#Suraj Thampi#Vistas Global

Vistas Global: delivering operational resilience and excellence

Suraj Thampi, CEO at Vistas Global, discusses the company’s unique value proposition and how crises can become opportunities

Marcus Lawrence
|Sep 2|magazine23 min read

 In 2005, Momenta Global was founded as a specialist in business process management (BPM), restructured under Vistas Global in 2013 to reflect its development into one of the Middle East’s most unique and cohesive business services providers. Spearheaded by Suraj Thampi, an entrepreneur credited as having helped to pioneer business process outsourcing in the Middle East during the late ‘90s, the company now serves many Banking & Financial Institutions in the region. Alongside this strong portfolio of clients in financial services are a selection of telcos, academic institutions, automotive manufacturers, and sporting corporations operating in the region which have each benefitted from Vistas’s bespoke, region-specific service delivery, customer-centricity, growth mindset and key partnerships,

Rapidly gaining the regional footprint and clout to compete with Global Services players both from both sides of the world, has been enabled by a series of core focuses that have specialized the company’s capacity to boost the operational capabilities and efficiencies of its clients. At all levels, a customer-first & Innovation – driven culture is combined with feedback across internal and external channels, and a democratic approach to leadership drives creative inclusion and agility. Meanwhile, the firm is focused on developing and acquiring intellectual property (IP) under its Vistas Innovation labs. Some of those IP’s includes 

OmniHub, a Omnichannel Platform that can deliver omnichannel, single-view services that are integrable, resilient, and capable of closing framework gaps delivered by global industry leaders. 

Trustnow, a Cybersecurity Product that can deliver Access Management to Critical and Sensitive data environment. Adler, a business Process application product offering Human Capital Management.

Salus, a HSSE (Health Safety Security & Environment) application that comes integrated with integrated & IoT enabled Surveillance solutions. 

“Global best practices are always considered frameworks for digital operations, and we usually end up adapting those frameworks to customize it to local sentiments and ideologies, whether cultural or operational, that makes it a success compared to others who try western factory models which falls through in the region” Thampi explains. “Most global companies and leaders in the field end up failing or being less effective when it comes to catering to these region-specific qualities. That’s where we’ve been able to carve out a niche for ourselves; we’re able to take the global frameworks and create new ones from them that are locally suited whilst keeping those best practices in mind. In doing this, we are able to plug-in our Innovation labs IP’s to existing technology of the customers, drive efficient cost models and profit models, and focus on the outcome for the client.”

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Quotables

Most global companies and leaders in the field end up failing or being less effective when it comes to catering to these region-specific qualities.

Suraj Thampi | CEO, Vistas Global

Concentrating on regional business needs, particularly in the development of its own capabilities to bridge framework gaps for best practice, has bred innate flexibility into Vistas’s offering. The pandemic has provided new opportunities in the challenges, namely in the movement of people and goods, that has actually been a great enabler of Vistas’ existing market propositions that comes with ability to deliver cutting-edge and reliable solutions to its clients during this period of uncertainty on outcome based models. However, the company’s in-house technological assets has ensured that it could react dynamically and make best value to emerging needs of its customers . 

“We ended up creating platforms and capabilities for our companies locally,” Thampi continues. “We’ve been moving our HR systems towards self-service and distributed architecture for our contact centres, back office CoE’s adapting to Covid and its effects on business over the last six months. We’ve had engagements where we have taken our telemarketing units servicing telco companies and redistributed what used to be the specialized contact centre to enable people to work from home. All of this is from a platform that we’ve built. It took us 30-35 days to be able to design, build and roll this out, and this is an example of where we have been able to adapt very quickly. Everything we do is based a lot on the technology we have in-house.”

This is where the roots of Vistas’s strong operations, and the clarity of its growth strategy, are found. “Every specialization is different, and the contextual use of a technology platform is the biggest challenge a company has when adopting new solutions into their operations,” Thampi explains. “When we develop IP, these products are usually standalone, independent platforms that bridge a gap for this market. The need for this is owed to unique needs or requirements that global majors may not be able to address, or it may be too expensive to be able to adapt them, so we end up doing that while the rest of it is about bridging that gap in offering that product suites don’t have available. Our IP’ss are very niche and, being a tech company ourselves, we have the strength to develop these internally and usually don’t have to outsource ourselves. We learn from the management of our clients about where those gaps are, and we deliver the solutions.”

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Looking forward, Thampi says the COVID-19 pandemic is yielding fresh opportunities for both the company and the Middle East’s technological adoption. “Generally speaking, the region is lagging behind more mature markets. Reason being: this region is very young. Leveraging convertible frameworks for machine learning, AI and automation is a challenge when the process hasn’t been completely figured out,” he says, referring to local sentiments and requirements that necessitate a tailored approach and how this has impeded transformational uptake. “Over the next few years, spurred by the pandemic-inspired frenzy to adopt more technology, I think there will be a steep adoption curve and that challenges will be addressed more quickly than before.”

Considering the Research data across Customer Experience that Vistas has leveraged with its key partner partners like AppDynamics, the application intelligence company & other leading market analysts. The research data states 95% of organizations surveyed during the pandemic, and 88% of technologists report that digital customer experience is now the priority. For example, according to one of AppDynamics survey recent 81% of technologists state that COVID-19 has created the biggest technology pressure for their organization that they have ever experienced

This view of the region’s burgeoning digital prospects for growth combines with Vistas’ resilience, and the criticality of its offering for clients, to create a potent case for expansion. “We’re in a unique situation where, each time there’s a crisis, we see an uptick in our business,” Thampi elaborates. “The current situation is the same. For us, we see a lot more advantage for our clients in terms of being able to support them through this, so we’ve had to look at how we can scale up our bandwidth to service all of our clients’ requirements. The biggest challenge is getting the right people to scale up operations and adapt with those needs. Our strategy is growth, and the route to that is apparent and clear, we just need to be able to cater to that and scale up quickly.”

Vistas’s firm cultural foundations are set to serve as the springboard for this desire to scale at pace, with Thampi having taken huge interest in talent acquisition throughout his career. He takes pride in the longevity of employees’ careers at Vistas, and the benefits that this continuity of workers provides. “We take a long-term view to foster employment within the organisation,” he says. “The average person at the company has been working here for more than five years, and they have a clear succession plan for their careers within the organisation. We like promoting internally and fostering a culture of growth, but we recruit at the grassroots level and are a big champion of recruiting fresh graduates and putting them through different aspects of the business to see where they excel. We allow mistakes and learning to discover what our employees are really good at, and we’re also big believers in people having multifaceted skill sets. Additionally, we don’t like to have operational silos, so we don’t want our employees to become super specialised in one area - they can be good at multiple things, and we’re able to provide that training, the technological and operational understanding, that will enable them to deliver value to our customers.”

People and customer-centricity are at the heart of everything Vistas Global has accomplished in its rise to the top of the Middle East’s business services delivery industry, and its strong performance and ability to continue serving customers with new products during the COVID-19 pandemic are emblematic of the progressive management style and forward-thinking approach to technology that drive its operations. When it comes to the pandemic and its impacts on business, Thampi closes with this: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so we just need to hunker down and work through this, and become better. That’s what we’re doing and what we’re advocating for our customers, and together we’ll come through this and be better.”

Key Partnerships for Vistas

Vistas has partnered with many companies that includes Technology Products companies and niche partners who form a sub component of our larger strategic initiatives.

The top 3 partnerships for the year 2020 for Vistas includes AppDynamics, Oracle Netsuite & Perpetuuiti.

As Digital grips the world with more and more committed business outcomes. AppDynamics platform happens to be a great choice for us to integrate some of our Innovation lab IP’s to be able to make the client business processes more effective with confirmed application performance, management & ability to seamlessly ensure service availability. AppDynamics suite of Application Intelligence products provides real-time visibility into our clients’ IT environment so you can connect performance to business outcome

Perpetuuiti happens to be a core part of Vitas Innovation labs enabling process automation abilities to OmniHub platform. This has helped Vistas to launch its Digital iVR (Intelligent Virtual Response) across its Contact Centers & Helpdesk Process offerings.

Oracle Netsuite is the ERP platform that Vistas is adding to its Process Management Capabilities, to ensure a strong offering for its customers’ Process Transformation. Netsuite Platform integrated with Vistas’ Functional Services and the associated Innovation labs IP’s, it would be fuelling larger options of transformation across processes, platforms and people.

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