C-Suite Marketing: TCS CMO Abhinav Kumar on Engaging Executives on a Global Stage

Momentum ITSMA Staff

May 11, 2021

Learn how TCS’s investment in the World Economic Forum (WEF) provides an essential platform for engaging with C-suite leaders globally.

C-Suite Marketing: TCS CMO Abhinav Kumar on Engaging Executives on a Global Stage

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In a recent episode of the C-Suite Marketing podcast, I talked with Abhinav Kumar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for Global Markets at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), about brand building, storytelling, and, of course, executive engagement.

We spent a good bit of time discussing TCS’s investment in the World Economic Forum (WEF) as an essential platform for engaging with C-suite leaders which, according to Abhinav, “is one of the most vital pieces for us in terms of our marketing strategy.”

TCS has participated in the WEF since 2009 and Abhinav assured me it’s not all champagne and sightseeing! TCS’s senior leadership team—the Chair, CEO, and COO—represent TCS at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland each year. The schedule can be grueling, with more than 40 meetings over four and half days with key customers.

The intense schedule is worth the exhaustion, though, as Abhinav estimates that it would take six months and countless flights to make those connections any other way.

Consider the math: TCS has roughly 1,000 customers worldwide, comprised primarily of large, Fortune 1000 companies. Inside these organizations, TCS typically needs to work closely with at least six people at the senior-most level to support the strategic buying decisions the enterprise-wide solutions and services TCS delivers. If you multiply 1,000 x 6, there are 6,000 or so senior executives who may have a final say in TCS’s large-scale “megadeals”—not to mention the many other influencers TCS works with along the way.

Building trusted relationships with those 6,000 people is vital to TCS’s growth, and “trust is built through familiarity, and familiarity is built through engagement.”

The timing of the WEF, too, is fortunate, as meeting in January helps TCS start each year by focusing on business and priorities with the customer.

For TCS, the benefits of the WEF go beyond personal relationship building, too. It’s also a great opportunity for brand building with global and corporate leaders. Every year, nearly 3,000 delegates attend, most of whom are senior decision makers from the world’s largest companies as well as government officials and other world leaders. Holding events and partnering with other organizations to discuss world issues is a direct and impactful way to raise the awareness of TCS’s brand.

And when these businesses, governments, academia, media, and more come together and rally around a cause or an issue that doesn’t have boundaries, such as climate change or poverty or equality and inclusion, they can solve real issues for the world, which has always been part of TCS’s mandate.

Listen to the full podcast to hear how TCS leverages the WEF to partner with MIT and other organizations to focus on closing the technology skills gap and address the global need for technology talent.

You’ll also hear more about:

  • How TCS built its brand
  • The role of the technology industry now and in the future
  • The enduring power of storytelling

Check out previous episodes of C-Suite Marketing, too, and please subscribe!