Thoughtworks on creating extraordinary impact through technology and cultural excellence

Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy with more than 12,500 employees in 50 offices across 18 countries. It integrates strategy, design, and software engineering services for clients ranging from global Fortune 500 enterprises to digital natives and digital scaleups in industries like automotive, retail, financial services, healthcare, and the public sector. Founded in 1993, Thoughtworks is headquartered in Chicago.

We spoke with Sonali Chatterji, head of financial services at Thoughtworks, about digital progress for new clients, integrating AI into day-to-day operations, and the power of payments in modernising client solutions.

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What does your role as head of financial services at Thoughtworks look like?

My team is maniacally focused on driving revenue growth for our clients, but also the associated financial services and insurance (FSI) segments. Our organisation is vertically focused from automotive industries to retail to financial services. I’m responsible for growing our financial solutions and investments practice. Our work includes a holistic approach where we think through our go-to-market strategy and client servicing and how all of that drives our business.

How do you establish personalised relationships with clients and how does this help Thoughtworks succeed?

Supporting our clients means we’re driving revenue growth or creating cost efficiencies for them. We build these relationships through a variety of methods that start with active listening and empathy. We’re focused on understanding our clients’ needs, concerns, and goals.

We also create customised strategies and solutions unique to each business. For example, we have helped Mercedes-Benz, the automotive giant, build a cloud platform for sales and business transformation. On the other hand, we have also helped Ritchie Bros., a global asset management and disposition company, to accelerate its modernization and digitization journey.

Leveraging our Data Mesh expertise, we have also helped with implementation of Data Mesh at Roche, one of the world’s largest healthcare companies, while also helping ITV’s digital and data-driven goals through Data Mesh. Lastly, we invest for the long-haul with our clients by laying out a clear roadmap that prioritises long-term success over short-term gains.

What challenges do your customers face with digitization?

Our clients want to enter markets as fast as possible while conducting their businesses more cost-efficiently, have the best infrastructure to achieve strategic business outcomes, and outpace their competition. But their speed is often limited because they haven’t properly invested in the right technology or have a complex estate of legacy infrastructure, skill sets, and processes – even culture.

When Thoughtworks steps in, we utilise the power of data to unlock new insights and implement software that moves with our clients’ strategies. We also help design and build exceptional digital products and experiences for companies already operating at a significant revenue scale.

How does Thoughtworks use AI to help organisations become more efficient across industries?

Thoughtworks takes a holistic, human-centric view toward AI, framing it as a driver of business value. AI allows us to automate the curation of data insights that can generate valuable insights on behalf of businesses that are looking for ways to optimise their revenue and assets. We also support clients with modern talent strategy and change management approaches that ensure that the work environment itself is evolved in a positive and inclusive way that aligns stakeholders to common purpose.

For example, with a life sciences company, we can see how the Data Mesh paradigm is enabling them to leverage data to unlock new drug discovery opportunities thanks to new data analytics and insights using the data platform. In turn, bringing these new medicines to market can be done quicker and less expensive than ever before. It’s amazing to see how this technology can benefit both us and, especially, our clients.

How does Thoughtworks build and maintain trust among its customers?

Trust is a sacred pillar at Thoughtworks. Our core approach is that our clients should see us as a strategic partner involved throughout their day-to-day operations. They trust us to deliver disruptive thinking and innovative technology that empowers them to succeed.

From the onset of our relationships, we make it clear that we’ll stay closely connected throughout the entire engagement process. We believe in capability building and culture change for our clients rather than dependency on us.

How have Stripe products enhanced your customer experiences?

Our partnership with Stripe is a massive win for everyone. For example, one of our clients is an online, second-hand car sales platform. They wanted to reduce operational costs from bank fees. What we did was integrate the platform with Stripe – with better fees and allowing for much more automation (e.g., refunds), automation that enables the team to further improve the platform’s efficiency and thus to reduce delivery time. We facilitated cost savings of 90% per transaction. Using Stripe the client was able to offer lightning fast, secure, and hassle-free payments to their users. Additionally, Stripe also allows for much more automation to improve their internal efficiency

How integral is the payments experience to the overall Thoughtworks experience?

Digital payments adoption might be borne out of the necessity to meet rising consumer expectations, but it has also paved the way for new business models and opportunities for enterprises. In the face of incredibly high customer standards, companies that can deliver fast and convenient experiences while respecting regulation and the consumer right to privacy will be rewarded, while those who don’t, risk eroding their customer base.

By collaborating with Thoughtworks and adopting a modern digital business strategy, operational finance leaders can tackle the challenges they face, such as the inability to keep pace with business demands, lack of real-time data for decision-making, excessive complexity, and disproportionate spend-to-ROI ratios. Thoughtworks's Financial Operations Modernisation framework, powered by Stripe, directly addresses these issues to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

Leveraging Stripe's revenue and finance automation suite, Thoughtworks helps clients to deliver operational efficiency and enhance cash flow. Our clients have shared their positive experiences with Stripe, highlighting its effectiveness in simplifying payment processes, cutting down development time, bolstering security, strengthening fraud prevention, and ultimately, fostering business growth.

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