Aishwarya Ramesh
People Spotting

Saurabh Mathur to head experience and technology team at VMLY&R India...

Mathur will be heading a 30-strong team who specialise in different aspects of customer experience across various touchpoints.

Saurabh Mathur, the head of strategy and planning at VMLY&R India will now head a team that specialises in customer experience and technology. The role is an addition to his existing job as a core strategist at VMLY&R India. He will be responsible for heading a 30-strong team from various departments who specialise in different aspects of customer experience such as design, social media, etc. Prior to his stint as a planner with VMLY&R India, Mathur worked on the client side with Mahindra Holidays and Resorts.

Saurabh Mathur
Saurabh Mathur

During a telephonic conversation, Mathur says that internationally, this is an important focus area for VMLY&R India, and that the agency wants to bring similar focus and specialisation to its India branch. “I’ve been building up on this for the last one-and-a-half years and we aim to place emphasis on customer experience and technology. It’s essentially around building and bringing in customer experiences as a practice. It’s mostly the domain of consultancy and we decided to bring it in on the agency side,” he explains.

Mathur adds that the Singapore office had seen quite a few successes with this department, which motivated the agency to bring similar capabilities to its Indian counterpart. "In the past year, the focus has been on building a team who specialise in different aspects of customer experience. We have a mixture of talent from fields like user experience, technology and design backgrounds. We ask ourselves how to apply customer experience and design-oriented thinking to solve a brand problem," he says.

When quizzed on how his new role is different from his last, Mathur mentions that traditional brand planning involves using brand models to understand the consumers better. "At the end of attempting to understand the consumer, is a manifestation of a communication, such as a TVC or a digital campaign. However, customer experience is a slightly more holistic exercise. We specialise in areas such as consumer journey mapping in which you account for the end-to-end journey of the consumer. For example, if a customer wants to buy a car, he does his research beforehand and the journey to the purchase spans for 3-4 months, during which he encounters various touchpoints. The challenge is that a brand needs to be present and active on all these touchpoints to ensure an optimal consumer experience," he explains.

"In today's world, the customer is always connected, thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and they also expect to be able to interact with brands at any given time, through any medium. That's why it's important for brands to establish a presence across different touch points," he says. Mathur adds that most brands have broken customer experiences. "They may have a great TVC, but poor digital experience, and so on," he says.