Krutika Mathihalli
By: Krutika Mathihalli
Published on: November 2, 2018

A case by Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd.

In the business world, every entity- small or large- has established processes which remained unchanged over the years. While these traditional methods were the genesis of organisational ethics & work culture, newer process focus on improving efficiency and reducing process time over departments.

About 70% of the barriers to organizational changes are the efforts failing to achieve the target impact. When optimizing a new business process, it requires more effort than simply modifying an existing software or purchasing a new one. In this blog, we look at when the time’s right for organizations to introduce this change, with an account from Emkay Global Financial Services.

About Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd:

Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd. is a leader in the financial services sector for nearly two decades. Founded in 1995 with a clear goal of offering sound, research-backed financial advice, Emkay Global has successfully served a wide variety of highly distinguished clientele around the world; including foreign institutional investors (FIIs), domestic mutual funds, hedge funds, banks, insurance companies, private equity firms, corporate houses, small and medium-sized enterprises and high net worth individuals (HNIs).

With a portfolio as vast as Emkay’s, it is certain that the employees travel frequently- nationally & internationally. Therefore, there are also huge amounts of funds that are to be processed by the management. A popular track that companies take to request for these funds are through a TRF- commonly known as Travel Request Forms. Travel request forms sequentially need to be approved based on hierarchy for the employees to initiate travel. Approvers may include heads of department, confirmation from higher management personnel, and verifications from the finance team. Having a smooth travel request workflow is one of the most essential processes for companies whose employees often need to travel for business.

At this point in time, it is ideal to dwell into the case of Emkay Global and look at how they were fruitful in implementing a solution change!

How to identify and implement change in your organization:

The first step would be to list out all the key components of the process. The method of identifying the need for change and then introducing it to the organization can be comprised in 3 stages. Let’s take a look at Emkay Global’s expense management journey through the change.

Stage 1: Analyse points of disparity

In the first step towards implementing a transition, it is crucial for the management to identify the voids that the current process is facing. Having recognized the loophole and being aware of a solution/process that may help automate it reduces any other barriers and potential resistance that may spring up.

    Some of the challenges that Emkay Global faced with its previous expense management provider were:

  • Limited attachment or receipts/bills- The system allowed only a certain number of bills or receipts that could be attached per expense made
  • Unable to document multiple currencies on a single voucher- Employees had to issue new vouchers for every currency specifically
  • With employees traveling constantly, having a mobile app which is instantaneous in providing support is essential. This was one of the most important features that the management of Emkay Global were looking in a new expense management provider
  • Having a disorganized TRF workflow- Workflow was not comprehensive and did not support various fields or categories for analysis

There were several features that were overlooked while finalising on an expense management provider. After 7 years of experiencing automation, the usage and requirements were clearly known to the leadership team. They knew what the path to transformation was, to bring in change. These aspects were make or break for the organization, as delivery of faulty or incompetent data could result in cash leakage and substantial losses for the organization. Furthermore, the loss of intangible aspects like time and trust of the management & employees were a key benefactor for laying off the vendor and moving on.

Stage 2: Implement Change

In this step, management ought to execute the change and motivate all heads of department to inculcate this transformation among all members of the team. It is also essential that the leadership team at this stage is promoting this shift of solution by firmly training and motivating the employees towards it.

While floating on the decision to substitute the earlier solution provider at Emkay Global, 3 other vendors were evaluated for the responsibility. Ultimately, the company considered Happay as an appropriate solution provider to manage their travel & corporate expenses.

Mr. Saket Agarwal, CFO, states in our interview with him that the company’s growth is exponentially dependant on their employees’ excellence. The organization has about 200 employees who travel -nationally and internationally. This change in the partner was undertaken to ensure the capability of the employees is not hindered due to process ineffectiveness.

It was also critical to the management of Emkay Global that the functioning and features of the Mobile App are on-the-go and easy-to-use by the employees. The goal of having Happay in place was to also help cut down on time and increase productivity of the workforce.

Stage 3: Sustaining the Process

Once change is introduced, it becomes essential to regularly analyse and gather feedback regarding the new system. At this point of time, it also helps to identify newer opportunities for further development.

“We had another solution provider for the last 6-7 years. It was not a smooth journey since there were a lot of problems in the process. Happay helps us not only in accommodating multiple currencies into a single travel voucher, but the cards additionally help track all expenses carried out.” – Mr. Saket Agarwal, Chief Financial Officer

    Happay’s travel requisition module is helping Emkay Global not only control the company’s travel spending, but also:

  • Ensuring the travel itineraries are approved before the bookings are done
  • Improving policy compliance
  • Easing travel planning
  • Simplifying travel expense reporting for employees & finance teams

Although introducing change in process automation has been viewed with reliability across management teams, there are organizations that still struggle to take a plunge and inculcate it. This however, can be tackled if companies have believers in a culture of change, where the top leadership is ready to shed legacy systems and have a sound understanding of its own challenges.

Emkay Global’s employees have steadily adopted the Happay system and are capturing expenses consistently, since its implementation. There was a significant increase with the reporting efficiency as well. The approval cycle time per report has also come down by more than 2X.

Post Happay, the process time has been reduced to 7 days as compared to the previous time of 17 days!


Krutika Mathihalli
Community manager at Happay
Krutika Mathihalli is the community Manager at Happay. She helps build & interact with the community, by curating & distributing content that help key stakeholders derive maximum value. Outside of work, apart from being a chief consumer of TV shows, books and succulent vegetarian dishes, she also takes a hard run to be adequate at playing Scrabble. (Probably the only running she’ll do, to be really honest)

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