Pure Play Manager Vs Techno Manager

Posted by: Dr. Senthil Ganesh Kuppuswamy | Digital Future

Who is a Techno Manager ?

“A professional who uses technology-enabled processes to understand business problems & provide data-based scientific business solutions”

In today’s hypercompetitive market, traditional business tools and analyses have become outdayed and unsuitable to deal with current business challenges

Pure Play Manager

A pure play manager has a wide knowledge about all the functions in a business namely Marketing, Finance, Strategy, Operations and Human Resources. If he is responsible for a particular function of a business, he not only has in-depth knowledge of all the processes in that area, he also understands how his people and processes interface with the rest of the business so that all the activities are aligned in a such way that they collectively contribute to the strategy and its execution. He is also responsible for crafting and implementing functional level strategies and set goals so that his department is aligned with the corporate goal.

Pure Play manager typically starts her career as an Finance Analyst, business development manager, Area Sales Manager, Category Manager etc. A Finance Analyst analyses financial data and may work with Techno Managers in creating financial models which would be used by Senior Managers and Chief Executive Officers. Category Manager for instance in a e-commerce company like Flipkart is responsible for merchandising, demand planning and pricing. After gaining some experience in an entry level position, she might be given a bigger responsibility spanning multiple teams, categories or even she might head whole marketing, production or Sales function in an organisation.

In depth business knowledge, people, analytical and problem solving skills are extremely important to be successful in this role. Top management institutes like the IIMs, ISB, XLRI etc have successfully established themselves in producing well rounded management graduates who excel in these roles

Techno Manager

A Techno Manager’s business knowledge is much more narrower but has an in-depth knowledge in a particular technology which affects either a business function or the whole company. His technical knowledge blended with sufficient business knowledge helps him contribute to his team goals. Technology plays a vital role in enabling the business achieve a competitive advantage in the 21st century. It has not only pervaded every aspect of our personal lives through Facebook, SMS, WhatsApp, LinkedIn et al, but plays a bigger role in the success of the business enterprise. Therefore Managers are required to become tech savvy because in order for the businesses to compete in the 21 st century, they have to integrate technology in most of their processes. Hence the need for Techno Managers has risen. Techno Managers work closely with and for pure play mangers and helps the business develop deep insights. By blending their unique skills in technology and business they integrate the digital with the mainstream world. It’s important to note that this role is not purely technical like a Programr's or a technical architect’s role. Instead they will understand the underlying technology built by technologists and use that infrastructure and create/infer analytical models using IT tools like Excel R, SAS etc. For e.g, in Business Analytics discipline at RVS CAS MBA, students are taught to develop insights into the data using descriptive and predictive analytics algorithms, use business intelligence tools, and finally create compelling presentations using visualisation software like Tableu, ClikView etc.

They learn all this in the context of business use cases. Marketing Analytics for instance is a widely used science by marketers to optimise their marketing spend. Increasing consumerism has made it difficult for brands to communicate their message to their prospective customers because they are getting crowded out among various advertisements. They also risk irritating the consumers because they are already bombarded with ads.

A typical use case in this scenario would be to create an efficient response model for the brand so that only the most likely customers who would respond are targeted for the direct marketing campaign. The model also has to ensure that the campaign does not target customers who would buy the product irrespective of the marketing campaign since reaching every customer has a cost attached to it and it does not make sense to bombard the customer who has already decided to buy.

Another business use case is called attrition modelling. This is to ensure that customers don't defect to their competitors and thereby helps to improve the customer service. The model identifies existing customers who are disgruntled and not satisfied and lists in order of importance so that customer service team can proactively talk to them and set right any problems the customer might have. This saves huge money to companies because loosing existing customers is very expensive.

pSimilar use cases are used in Digital Marketing and Financial Modelling to solve business problems. Some of the tools that are used are Excel, Google Analytics etc.

RVS CAS MBA students learn to solve use cases like mentioned above in their specialisations in Business Analytics, Digital Marketing and Applied Finance courses. The core courses and other specialisations ensure they are exposed to all the business functions thus laying a strong foundation for becoming a successful Techno Manager.

The specialisation courses are designed by industry veterans like IBM, Finshiksha, Trainedge and CII Institute of Logistics and delivered by a team of 4 IIM/ISB alumnus, 3 industry veterans and 12 management scholars. Another advantage of an MBA for prospective techno managers is they learn the business courses alongside modelling algorithms and software tools. Since this is a new and upcoming area very few institutes have a full fledged curriculum to produce Techno Mangers. RVS CAS MBA has strategically positioned itself by partnering with industry veterans like IBM/CII Institute of Logistics and training partners like Finshiksha, Trainedge and K2 Analytics and is well prepared to develop Techno Managers for 21st century businesses.

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