• February 16, 2024

IMA India Session Highlights Tata Play’s Data-Driven Strategies, CFO Shares Insights

IMA India Session Highlights Tata Play’s Data-Driven Strategies, CFO Shares Insights

In conversation with Sambasivan G, Chief Financial Officer, Tata Play

Today’s business environment is characterised by 3 ‘Ds’ – data, digital and disruption. To respond to the challenges this throws up, as well as the ongoing growth expectations of investors, CFOs are expected to be deeply involved in both strategy and execution. At a recent India CFO session in Pune, Sambasivan G, Chief Financial Officer of Tata Play, explained how his organisation is leveraging data-driven insights to create outsized business outcomes.


At Tata Play, business managers were grappling with vast amounts of data, prompting questions as to how best to organise and leverage this information for actionable insights. To that end, the company rolled out several initiatives:

• Robotic Process Automation (RPA) helped streamline procedures, enabling Tata Play to bring down its month-end closing time from fifteen days to one. This allowed senior management more time for effective decision-making.
• Regular meetings, including ‘Mini-factbook’ sessions on the third and fourth of each month and a comprehensive ‘Factbook’ meeting around mid-month, were instituted, saving time by enabling early data availability and sharper analysis.
• The organisation revamped its presentation style/format to enable the dissemination of data in a simple, comprehendible manner that facilitates deep analysis.
• Data analytics helped it find a solution to the issue of rising SMS costs. It set up alerts identifying cost increases immediately, which yielded significant savings.
• Collaborating with BCG, Tata Play conducted a three-month study on ‘Customer discovery’ that analysed touchpoints and customer complaints. This project (now run annually) identified 204 pain points, allowing the creation of an internal team to address customer concerns and eliminate factors contributing to ‘silent churn.’
• AI and ML tools drove the adoption of supply-chain route optimisation. A real-time evaluation of warehouse stocks allowed it to reduce the number vehicle trips. AI was also utilised in procurement, helping the firm source vendors from a vast database via e-bidding, with AI-generated vendors securing orders without human intervention.
• Daily revenue reports, supplemented by AI-driven forecasts for the following 15 days, are helping to minimise mid-month variances.
• Partnering with EY, the company identified key areas, across domains, where RPA implementation can enhance workflows.
• A central data repository has helped ‘democratise’ data within the firm.

In addition to improving business outcomes, by freeing up employees from repetitive tasks – thus allowing them to focus on more critical responsibilities – these initiatives have helped improve Tata Play’s employee engagement scores.

The contents of this paper are based on discussions of the India CFO Forum in Pune with Sambasivan G, Chief Financial Officer, Tata Play, in January 2024. The views expressed may not be those of IMA India.

This paper is available on the Knowledge Centre of the IMA website. Additionally, a podcast version is available here and can be heard on the podcast platform of your choice.

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