Why business partnership is the trend to watch out for in 2020s

Sunny Taneja, Sr. Manager - Brand & Alliances at Paytm First, talks about the importance of partnerships



3 years ago | 7 min read

To maximize the opportunities presented by the digital economy, while also keeping up with customer patterns that can change seemingly overnight, will require a fundamental shift in strategy. To prepare our businesses for the next wave of transformation and opportunity and to produce innovations that can be scaled, we need to work in partnership.

Sunny Taneja, Sr. Manager - Brand & Alliances at Paytm First, talks about the importance of business partnerships in the modern era.

Find more about it in his exclusive interview with CofoundersTown

Sunny Taneja
Sunny Taneja

The tendency to form strategic alliances are dominant from the time business is known to exist? How has it become all the more relevant in the present times?

A few decades ago, alliances were more of the B2B nature whereby corporates tend to join hands together to improve their own efficiency, bring down the costs, improve raw materials, and make profits through economies of scale. That era was of industrialization and thus the benefit passed onto the customers was little or of no value at all.

In present times, alliances are primarily of two nature:

  • Public-Private Company alliances
  • Private Led Alliances.

In the first scenario, the governments and organizations of almost all countries and organizations believe that in order to become sustainable and grow, the inclusion or the participation of the whole population is required.

By this, I mean we have to raise the standard of the living through various beneficial schemes like medical benefits, housing, income source, and the food that could be provided to the people below poverty level. A huge amount of understanding is required between the public and private organisations to make such alliances successful.

b) In private-led alliances, the Foundation of alliances will be the need for middle and affluent class people, which constitutes the majority of the population. They will be the primary driver of the economy and growth of their business and the country as well.

I believe in this century the consumer convenience and value addition in day-to-day things will be the basis of partnerships. All the partners will have to be on board with the idea of resolving the key problem from the customer’s life, which will be beneficial for all stakeholders. A recent example of various alliances includes the alliances of fintech start-ups with many established organisations.

Which trends in Alliances and partnerships are most likely to dominate this decade (keeping in mind the technological developments)

As I said earlier, the focal point will be to address the problems, which will serve to masses. When it comes to such problems, the fintech, eCommerce, and companies which use SAAS to serve the customer, will be the ones who will pave the way forward for growth and development.

A recent example is Paytm, which has managed to grow and contribute in sync with the government policy of increasing digital payments. The company has brought crores of people from the rural and urban area in mainstream payments, and now extending his services to customers by doing tie-ups with other organisations by offering them services on best prices.

Specifically talking about the digital payment industry and keeping in mind the stiff competition within the major players, collaborating with brands in which sector to help an organization edge its competitors?

In my view, collaborating with different sector have to be given due importance because every company want to accept the payment digitally to provide the maximum payment options to the client.

However, the more important thing is to stay ahead of competition with product development in the fast-changing payment industry.

Earlier the wallets, P2P transfers and now the UPI is the new way of making the digital payments. Enabling and accepting multiple QR codes from one payment system to weed away the hassle of merchants and making their life simple is the recent development in the payment history.

Given the kind of impact students have in the success of any brand, what kind of strategies could help any organization in getting the student sector involved with their brand?

The strategy will be more refined and effective if the collaboration between the colleges and corporates are of the same field. Pragmatically, colleges are the supply chain to corporates and to make sure that students are in accord with the future requirements of the industry, the corporates should be more involved in designing annual curriculum.

To develop the approach and understanding of students, real-life case studies must be discussed in the classes.

The emphasis has to be there to make sure that students attain the skill sets through the curriculum, and as well as with the internships and work-based programs. The corporate can fund high-level apprenticeships for intelligent students.

Sandwich degrees courses are part of western academia and relatively harder to find in Indian or Asian universities.

With technology taking over almost everything, how has the role and relevance of direct marketing changed over the years?

The role of direct marketing has always been the same, which is to meet, understand the requirements of the client, and then help him out with the best possible solution. Having said that, technology has not only revolutionised direct marketing but selling as a whole by opening the new avenues in which sales can be done now.

Here’s a stat that would make it clearer. Telephones took approx 38 years to reach 50 million customers, TV took 13 years, Internet took 4 years, iPod took only 3 years, and Facebook took 2 years.

The technology has skimmed down the toughest part of reaching the end consumers, knowing about them, and educating them. With technology at our helms, the brands can reach the right set of consumers in mass and can share their product or service details. With their behaviour, it can be ascertained to some level whether the person on the other side can become my customer or not immediately or in the near future!

In scenarios where direct sales are of B2B nature, the importance of technology has made the job of a salesperson more effective and efficient. With the use of different data modelling, mining techniques, and use-case scenarios, the discussion becomes more relevant and help all the stakeholders involved to make an informed decision.

Considering the synergies between offline and online marketing these days, I am not shy to say that digital marketing is an extension of direct marketing, especially considering the personalised communication strategy like email, push notifications, remarketing techniques and data analysis, which are primarily behaviour driven.

With so many options to choose from, customers are looking for options that are personalised, which reflects the core of direct marketing, How could direct marketing be coupled with technology to enhance the user experience?

There is a saying that “excess of everything is bad”. Internet is a source of unlimited data and information on almost most of the topics in the world. However, it can only help in getting educated about a topic so that you can take an informed decision but in contrast, there will be situations whereby we cannot become the specialist of a field

For example, life insurance or even buying a car. Let us discuss purchase behaviour for buying a car. As a customer, I will fix my budget before shortlisting the latest cars, I will probably search on the internet and will take the advice of my trusted ones. In addition to this, I will take a test ride of different cars and would clear all my queries with the salesperson of different companies. Based on the answers and the information I could find on the Internet, I will pin down on the choice of my car.

So if you thoroughly check my touchpoints in my above buying behaviour, it will be a mix of communication with people and research on the internet before completing my tasks.

What does the future look like for digital payment industry?

By 2025, India will do online transactions worth $1 trillion. Naturally, the payment systems like e-wallets, mobile apps, UPI will all play a crucial role in increased transactions. Along with these, e-commerce companies and cab companies have designed their own currencies to transact in their ecosystem only.

With such enormous growth, the risk of cybersecurity becomes an apparent one. Phishing is the most common technique or fraudsters setting up the fake UPI payment links of the most commonly used websites.

By 2022, approximately 88 billion number of transactions are expected through digital payments, which will be close to 4 times of 2018. The government and private players has to come with a state of art security techniques, which are more evolved and secured as compared to what we have right now (in terms of OTP and UPI digital passwords).

For anyone who wants to get into the field of marketing, what is the most important thing to keep in mind this decade? What would be your advice to every such individual?

Considering the humongous growth in digital payment and online purchase behaviour, the amount involved will be quite huge. An individual must realise & understand that no matter which field of marketing he/she gets himself into, they have to keep themselves abreast of all the impact of digital payments and process.

Apart from this, big data analysis and understanding its impact on your business will be a crucial skill to have under your armour. So one must invest in himself by taking the subscription membership or read articles, which will help you learn.


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