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News Breaker: Swarup Choudhury

Varsha Chidambaram | Aug. 27, 2013
Swarup Choudhury, MD, Thomson Reuters, is a strong believer in IT's ability to help the company stay ahead of competition.

CIO: You're really bullish about the power of technology. How can India benefit from investing in technology?
Swarup Choudhury: India can develop with greater investment in R&D. In fact, R&D spends of corporate India, as a percentage of the GDP, is low at about 0.5 percent, whereas in the US, it is much higher. A lot of global firms are relocating their R&D facilities in India and are trying to tap into the scientists/researchers/innovators pool to support the creation of intellectual property and patents. Our Intellectual Property and Science business provides comprehensive intellectual property and scientific information, decision support tools and services that enable scientists, R&D professionals and IP practitioners to discover, develop and deliver innovations.

CIO: How are you leveraging IT for your own business?
Swarup Choudhury: We use analytics in a big way. Analytics help us in market segmentation; it helps us know which markets are growing, what are the patterns in customer behavior, who are traders that are doing better than the others, etcetera. Analytics tells us that the real growth in India will happen in tier II cities. We've accounted for that in our five-year plans. In segments like retail and FMCG, we use it to study customer behavior and insights. Our customers use analytics to keep track of customer- loyalty and also for market expansion. Analytics helps you define unique propositions to create value. In the past, because you didn't have the architecture and design, you could end up spending months and months analyzing data. Now you can do it using technology.

CIO: What were some of the learnings that you brought to Thomson Reuters?
Swarup Choudhury:IBM is the old daddy of tech. It virtually defined the infrastructure layer from its mainframe DB2 and essentially established the technology infrastructure standards. At Thomson Reuters, the attraction is in creating value. Once you finish putting a layer of technology around your customers, the next question is 'how do unleash value?'. That can only come from information extraction, ROI, and innovation. As I mentioned earlier, Thomson Reuters has a five-tier layer which sits on top of a three-tier layer. So, having done the three-tier at IBM, I want to move to the five-tier mode, and extract and deliver more value to the customers.

CIO: What's your growth strategy in India?
Swarup Choudhury: My strategy in India is to get people to understand what we do. The communities by and large know us, but I want to penetrate more and tell them about our new initiatives because technology is driving user-friendliness. People are driving more adoption of technology from more conventional to digital. Our strategy is to increase our footprint in this market. We are going after the tier II market--mid-size. A lot of the companies that are growing today are in the mid-size market. My objective is to help our Indian customers go global, expand their businesses, and have global standards so that they can be differentiated in the market.


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