The Times of India embraces technological agility, an essential move for Indian media companies

By Amit Das

Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. (The Times Group)

Mumbai, India


In the fast-paced digital landscape, businesses face a barrage of challenges and opportunities. The global economy is becoming more digital by the day, and organisations must adapt quickly to stay competitive and relevant.

This is true especially in India, a country known for its rapid economic growth, technological advancements, and diverse business environment.

Adapting to the digital era requires more than just adopting new technologies; it demands a shift in mindset, culture, and strategy. Technological agility — an organisation’s ability to swiftly and effectively integrate new technologies, processes, and practices — has become essential. To thrive, businesses must proactively embrace change and innovation.

Media companies must be able to quickly and effectively integrate new technology processes and practices into their workflow to remain competitive.
Media companies must be able to quickly and effectively integrate new technology processes and practices into their workflow to remain competitive.

In India, the stakes are particularly high. The country’s vast market offers unique opportunities and challenges. Indian businesses must navigate this complex landscape while facing global competition, operational inefficiencies, and the need for ongoing innovation.

The ability to adapt quickly and leverage new technologies is not just an option but a necessity.

Understanding technological agility

Technological agility is necessary for staying competitive and meeting evolving market demands.

In India’s diverse and rapidly growing business environment, this agility is crucial.

Digital transformation is imperative

Digital transformation is central to technological agility. It involves leveraging digital technologies to fundamentally change how businesses operate and deliver value. For Indian businesses, this transformation is critical for several reasons:

  • Market dynamics: India’s dynamic market — with its expanding middle-class population, increasing Internet usage, and tech-savvy young population — drives demand for digital products and services, necessitating rapid adaptation.
  • Global competition: Indian companies are increasingly competing on a global scale. To remain competitive, they must adopt cutting-edge technologies and continually innovate.
  • Operational efficiency: Digital technologies streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance productivity. These efficiencies provide a significant competitive advantage in a price-sensitive market like India.

Key strategies for embracing technological agility

There are several key strategies media companies can use to stay ahead during this digital transformation.

  • Investing in the right technologies: Cloud computing enhances scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning drive innovation in product offerings and operational efficiencies. And the Internet of Things (IoT) enables smarter operations and customer interactions.
  • Fostering a culture of continuous learning: Employee training and development can be done with through the regular upskilling of employees so they keep pace with technological advancements. Additionally, create an environment where experimentation and innovation are encouraged and rewarded.
  • Agile management practices: Implement scrum and agile methodologies and frameworks that support iterative progress and continuous improvement. Additionally, promote collaboration across departments to enhance problem-solving and innovation.
  • Building strategic partnerships: Collaborate and partner with technology companies to stay at the forefront of technological advancements. Additionally, join industry consortia to share knowledge and best practices.

Our journey of digital transformations at Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL)

At BCCL, we’ve embraced digital transformation in various ways to enhance efficiency and employee experience. For example, we’ve implemented a cloud-based attendance and leave system, allowing employees to manage their schedules seamlessly from their devices. This shift not only streamlines administrative processes but also empowers our workforce with greater flexibility.

Our editorial teams use image-generative AI to revolutionise content creation. This technology enables the rapid production of high-quality visuals, enriching our storytelling capabilities and setting new standards in media innovation. By integrating AI into our editorial processes, we not only maintain a competitive edge in the digital landscape but mark our way forward for a better tomorrow with excellent uses of AI.

Additionally, our internal chatbot, TiVA, serves as a one-stop solution for all HR-related queries. TiVA enhances employee experience by providing quick and accurate responses to various questions, from benefits and policies to leave balances and payroll details.

This AI-driven assistant improves operational efficiency and ensures our employees have easy access to the information they need, fostering a more informed and engaged workforce.

The role of HR in driving technological agility

HR plays a crucial role in fostering technological agility. HR can drive this transformation by:

  • Building a digital-ready workforce: Technological agility starts with a workforce proficient in digital skills. Ongoing learning and development programmes are essential for equipping employees with the skills needed to leverage new technologies. HR must promote a culture of lifelong learning and provide opportunities for upskilling and reskilling.
  • Promoting a culture of innovation: A culture that encourages innovation and experimentation is crucial. HR can foster this culture by recognising and rewarding innovative ideas, encouraging cross-functional collaboration, and creating safe spaces for experimentation and learning from failure.
  • Agile talent management: Traditional talent management practices must evolve. This includes using agile recruitment processes to quickly bring in talent with digital skills, flexible work arrangements to support a dynamic work environment, and performance management systems that emphasise adaptability and continuous improvement.
  • Employee engagement and change management: Digital transformation can be disruptive. Effective change management is crucial to ensure smooth transitions. HR must communicate the vision and benefits of technological changes, involve employees in the transformation process, and provide support to help them adapt.

Challenges in embracing technological agility

While the benefits of technological agility are clear, the journey is not without challenges. Traditional businesses often face significant obstacles. Change can be daunting, and resistance is common. Addressing these fears through transparent communication and involving employees in the transformation process can mitigate resistance.

There is also a considerable skill gap in the Indian workforce regarding digital proficiency. This requires substantial investment in training and development. Partnering with educational institutions and leveraging online learning platforms can help bridge this gap.

Infrastructure limitations pose another challenge. Urban areas in India have access to advanced digital infrastructure, but rural and semi-urban areas often lack the necessary connectivity. This digital divide can hinder the seamless implementation of digital technologies, necessitating collaboration with the government and other stakeholders to address these issues.

Furthermore, increased reliance on digital technologies escalates cybersecurity threats. Ensuring robust cybersecurity measures and creating a culture of cyber awareness is crucial for safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining trust.

A strategic approach for the path forward

To navigate the digital era successfully, businesses must adopt a strategic approach to technological agility. These strategies include:

  • Clear vision and strong leadership: Leaders must articulate a compelling vision for digital transformation and lead by example in embracing new technologies.
  • Continuous learning and development: Investing in ongoing training programmes to keep the workforce updated with the latest digital skills is essential. Partnerships with educational institutions and online learning platforms can facilitate this.
  • Collaborative ecosystem: Building a collaborative ecosystem involving employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders can accelerate digital transformation. Open innovation, co-creation, and strategic partnerships drive growth.
  • Customer-centric approach: Understanding customer needs and leveraging digital technologies to enhance the customer experience is vital for successful digital transformation.
  • Agile processes and structures: Adopting agile processes and structures that enable quick decision-making and rapid responses to market changes is crucial. This includes flexible work arrangements, agile project management methodologies, and a flat organisational structure.

Final thoughts

Embracing technological agility is crucial for businesses to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by the digital era. Building a digital-ready workforce, fostering a culture of innovation, and driving agile talent management practices are key.

While the journey may be challenging, a strategic approach, coupled with strong leadership and a collaborative ecosystem, can pave the way for successful digital transformation. The future belongs to those who are agile, innovative, and ready to embrace the digital revolution.

As we at BCCL continue our journey of technological transformation, we remain committed to leveraging change as a catalyst for growth and innovation.

About Amit Das

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