Humanising Technology

By Mel Sim

In its rebranding exercise in 2019, TDCX emphasised on providing innovative customer experience in the growing digital economy, making technology more engaging and inspiring. We checked in Zaeem Chan, Human Resources Director, on how much they’ve achieved since.

Founded in 1995 as a provider of outsourced services to a diverse clientele, TDCX – then Teledirect Telecommerce – has evolved over the years to become the award-winning digital economy enabler it is known today, creating innovative and high-performance solutions. With it quickly expanding and growing to cater to more industries, the company saw the need to rebrand, setting itself apart as a trusted partner in the digital economy that is growing in phenomenal rates.
It isn’t just about changing its name to TDCX (which by the way, says the company’s Human Resources Director Zaeem Chan, “is a portmanteau of TD, Teledirect’s famous shorthand, and CX, to highlight innovative customer experience”) but also changing the mindset of the over 10,000 talent in 10 locations around the world to focus on providing positivity in terms of customer engagement and their own experience being part of the TDCX team.

Zaeem explains it best when he says, “Our mission is to help people engage better through humanising technology. We are curious and we believe in constantly evolving to innovate, to inspire, and to spread positivity through our customer experience.”

Its new tagline #BeHappier encapsulates it all, further explains Zaeem. “It rallies towards building a culture of positive reinforcement and accountability in the workplace, which the company believes can radiate towards interaction with our clients.”

The rebranding worked out in the end; TDCX picked up the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Outsourcing Customer Service Experience Management Service Provider of the Year award in 2020, which they won even in the midst of a pandemic! “This accolade is a huge testimony to the CX efforts that is being practised at TDCX,” says Chan. “It comes to pay tribute to Malaysia to have fast emerged as the CX transformation bed for business process outsourcing in Asia Pacific. Being recognised by a well-researched programme surely validates our work to be the best across the region.”

It’s interesting to note that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, TDCX managed to grow faster than ever with its revenue higher than the previous year’s. With its focal point being customer experience, the rebranding has helped TDCX weather through the bumpy ride that was 2020. Current demand in digitisation and transforming needs of its existing and new clients contributed to this as well. “We managed to onboard a few new clients during the last six months virtually,” says Zaeem.

Nevertheless, like many other companies out there, there was also the need to change the working style at TDCX to survive the economic repercussions of COVID-19 as well as take its employees’ health and safety into consideration. To quickly adapt to the changes, TDCX transformed the way it delivers customer experience and digital transformation by going fully digital in all parts of its processes. “We deployed 100 percent of our staff overnight to work from home during the first lockdown in March. We innovated the way we work using the latest online working tools and arranged for constant digital engagements with our employees for business continuity planning. During this period, we also expanded our digital innovation team to continuously leverage on Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Chatbots and more,” says Zaeem.

There are naturally pros and cons to this, says Zaeem, “The pros are we have become more agile and now have gone through a rapid digital transformation more than ever. We have to empower our employees with more trust and focus on KPIs and productivity. The cons are we have less human touch with our employees and therefore have to ensure that their mental health is not affected. Therefore, we must leverage on digital tools to connect with our employees. All our events have transformed into virtual live events and we actually do more communication than ever.”

How will the rebranding affect hiring at TDCX? Mainly, says Zaeem, talent can look forward to joining a company that focuses on its people and happiness. “We now have a Global Brand and Clear Employee Value Proposition with clear top reasons to join TDCX. We provide an attractive total compensation philosophy that is aligned with the brand. Talent can look into a #BeHappier and #AccelerateYourCareer with TDCX. We have a good career path and opportunities for those who join us as a CX agent and grow their career up to senior leadership within Malaysia and across all our other locations.”

With changing sentiments in terms of what TDCX looks out for in its hire due to the rebranding and overall new normal at work, we asked Zaeem for his advice on the skills that will take one far: “Be digital savvy, be more independent, focus on KPIs. Flexibility and agility are key for success post pandemic. You need to innovate and be hungry for knowledge and skills as well as build your competence if you want to accelerate your career,” he says.

Zaeem also emphasizes on the importance of upgrading yourself, which is something you can do on your own thanks to the online tools that are currently available. “Learn independently through digital media. The days are gone when you wait for your company to organise F2F learning programmes. You need to take charge of your learning and career and start driving that proactively.”

As for the types of careers that will provide the most job security today, Zaeem offers this tip: “Think digital customer experience and digital sales. These are parts of a career that will flourish during this era.”

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