Eureka Forbes delivers pure drops of water with Cloud and AI
“For us, even utilizing technology needs to stand true to our purpose—of making a positive difference to the lives of our customers and employees,” decrees Khushru Mistry, Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, Eureka Forbes, at the start of our conversation.
My first brush with Eureka Forbes was more than two decades ago when as a 10-year-old, I saw a Eureka Forbes salesman demonstrate a vacuum cleaner and water purifier at home. Even today, in the age of single-click shopping and same-day home delivery, Eureka Forbes relies on its door-to-door direct sales model, employing more than 6,000 salespeople—one of the largest direct salesforces in Asia.
This is the story of how Eureka Forbes is reinventing itself with cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to stay ahead of the curve.
Direct sales choreographed in the cloud
“Ours is a cloud-oriented journey. That is one big decision we made. We realized, the strategy, from where we are right now to where we wish to be as a forward-looking brand, will only bear fruit if we adopt a cloud-first strategy,” Mistry says matter-of-factly.
Part of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Eureka Forbes is a multi-product, multi-channel organization, serving over 20 million customers across 1,500 cities in India and 35 countries worldwide. Its product portfolio encompasses water purification, vacuum cleaning, air purification, and home security solutions.
“Whether people are buying a water purifier or any other consumer durable, they want the same experience as buying a pizza—it needs to be delivered to them quickly and in a transparent manner,” says Mistry. “However, when it comes to health and hygiene, and especially water, people want to know if they are drinking the right water. While many consumers are checking the prices online, we see a lot of them reaching out to our salespeople to understand which model suits them the best.”
To make their sales staff more productive, Eureka Forbes chose a cloud-based SaaS model for front-end apps that their salespeople can access directly on their smartphones. They wanted them to have access to granular insights like water quality and the right product to sell in real-time. The company has mapped over 10,400 PIN codes in the country for its water quality and made it available to its sales force.
“In many cases, we know the quality of water at a building level in which customers use our products. We provide this information to our salespeople, so they can suggest the right product to customers,” adds Mistry.
With cold door-to-door visits becoming restricted in gated communities, the company implemented Dynamics 365 on the back-end to provide digital leads and customer insights to drive sales effectiveness.
“Before getting to the design table, we went to the grass roots. The Microsoft team accompanied Euro Champs in door-to-door sales to observe and understand the challenges they were facing,” says Samik Roy, Country Head, Microsoft Modern Workplace, Microsoft India.
“We consolidated the seven different CRM systems we had into one and it runs on Dynamics 365. We had a significant amount of data both from India and abroad, and we are already seeing a positive return on investment,” reveals Mistry. “Going forward, we’ll be able to gain deeper insights, utilizing advanced analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to help us understand our customers better.”
“As a 100% SaaS solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365’s USP is its seamless integration with Azure cloud services, Office 365 and LinkedIn. This helps Eureka Forbes accelerate their digital transformation journey. AI, Rich Analytics and ML fuels the CRM application natively, thus enabling the end user to have a personalized conversation with the company. All of these (Dynamics 365, Office 365, Azure, AI, Analytics, and ML) solutions jointly enhance the efficiency and productivity of every person in the value chain,” Roy adds.
While the salespeople were getting good leads and customer insights to make a convincing sales pitch, there was one more hurdle. The company’s back-end SAP system that supported planning, procurement, production, sales, and payroll management, was still hosted on-premise and couldn’t handle peak workloads. As a sales-oriented organization, the agility of the sales systems is an essential determinant of its business efficiency.
With SAP on Azure, Eureka Forbes’ tech backbone can now flex on demand. It has also given the leadership visibility on month-on-month trends that helps them plan their sales cycle better.
Delivering personalized water
With the front-end and back-end systems for the sales function migrated on to Microsoft Azure, Eureka Forbes is also planning to launch a slew of services to improve its customer experience.
But this is just the beginning. Eureka Forbes now has its eyes set on what can be considered the holy grail of water purification systems—customizing the taste of water depending on the user’s preference.
“Whether you realize it or not, water has a taste, and people don’t drink water if they don’t like its taste. At the end of the day, these features are all about interfacing with our customers and improving their lives. We want to ensure people drink pure water and they drink enough water,” Mistry says.