Automation the key for Indian corporates

Indian corporations are seeking more automation in their business travel booking and buying processes, a new study has revealed.

Technology firm Concur recently commissioned the ‘CFO Innovation Asia’ study to learn more about the state of travel and expense processing within large Indian organisations. And the report uncovered a high degree of dissatisfaction regarding existing IT systems, as well as a desire for greater automation.

The majority of respondents (61%) said their current system does not allow the company to extract better rates from suppliers, while nearly a third (31%) said they are dissatisfied with the system’s ability to request and approve travel and expenses, and track spending (27%).

Eighty percent of the executives said their employees travelled for business at least once a month
Eighty percent of executives said their employees travelled for business at least once a month

More than half (54%) the respondents revealed that their company does not receive updated information about the most frequented destinations, nights spent in particular hotels and seats booked in particular airlines.

And there is still a lot of manual labour involved in the corporate travel process, according to the report, with 37% of the companies saying they still solely use paper forms, and 23% saying their processes are a mix of manual and automated.

This amounts to a lot of paperwork, given that the study found that 74% of companies have 21 or more people travelling for business, and 51% had at least 50 people engaged in corporate travel.

Eighty percent of the executives surveyed said their people travel once a week (24%), once a fortnight (32%) or once a month (24%).

“Today, Indian enterprises are at a tipping point as companies look to embrace the adoption of modern technologies and bring more efficiency in their business processes,” said Ramesh Iyer, Concur’s managing director for India. “As enterprises look to enhance business opportunities, there is a significant opportunity to automate their T&E expense process where in cloud-based solutions are becoming vital. Indian Enterprises want the basics first, and the ‘bells and whistles’ second.”

A recent study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that India is now the world’s 10th largest travel business travel market.

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