14th Convergence:
Winning through Service Excellence: Theory & Practice
18-19 December 2020
IFIM Business School, Bangalore

Deadline: 15 October 2020

Globally, the services sector dominates the economies of most nations, accounting for more than 60% of the world’s GDP. India too has been evolving from an agrarian economy to a service economy since the country’s independence in 1947. The country’s service sector has been growing rapidly post the economic liberalization of 1991, contributing about 55% of total GDP in the year 2018. The most recent data indicate that the sector grew by almost 13% during 2018-19. This growth is expected to accelerate in the coming years owing to measures introduced by the Government of India to enhance service businesses and increase service exports. For instance, in its Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-2020), the Government of India increased the service-export incentive 3-5% under the Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS) to all service providers. As another example of measures to enhance the Indian service sector, the Government has also submitted a draft legal text on services to the WTO in 2017 aiming to remove trade barriers for the services business.

Against this backdrop of a rapidly growing and increasingly important Indian services sector, the core aims of Convergence 2020 and the conference on Winning Through Service Excellence are to (a) examine extant knowledge about best practices and theories pertaining to service excellence; (b) discuss new concepts and avenues for enhancing service excellence, particularly in the Indian context; and (c) generate issues worthy of further investigation so as to augment and extend our knowledge about service excellence.

Considerable knowledge already exists about key drivers of service excellence. For instance, it is well-known that service quality is a key driver of customer satisfaction. Furthermore, research reveals that high levels of satisfaction lead to increased customer loyalty and that increased customer loyalty is a crucial determinant of firms’ long-term financial health. Nevertheless, there is more to be learned about service excellence in a rapidly-growing emerging economy such as India, with its unique market characteristics, constraints and opportunities, especially in light of technological advances in the nature and modes of service delivery. For instance, while the service sector contributes about 55 % of the GDP in India, it only employs about 30% of the total workforce. Why is this the case? What role does technology play in this regard? What are the pros and cons of the discrepancy between GDP share and workforce share of the Indian service sector, particularly in terms of enhancing service excellence? These are merely examples of the many questions that are worthy of discussion.

The conference on Winning through Service Excellence: Theory and Practice hopes to shed light on such questions through case studies, research paper presentations, keynote addresses, panel discussions, etc., by academicians, researchers, and practitioners. IFIM Business School is committed to showcasing and supporting this conference as a forum for sharing knowledge as well as stimulating fresh ideas and research vis-à-vis service excellence in this new era of growing service-technology convergence, especially in an emerging economy such as India.

Conference Topics
The general topics to be covered in the conference, and for which submissions are being invited, include (but are not limited to) the following
– Service design and innovation 
– Co-creating services with customers 
– Service quality and productivity 
– Internal service quality and employee satisfaction 
– Access-based services in a sharing economy 
– Role of AI and technology platforms in delivering services. 
– Service excellence in online vs. offline delivery 
– Service-Dominant Logic (SDL) and value co-creation 
– Effective service recovery 
– Innovative service business models 
– Role of service excellence in societal wellbeing 
– Service excellence in public-sector/governmental agencies

Conference chairs:
– Mr. Sanjay Padode
– Dr. Atish Chattopadhyay
– Dr A Parasuraman

Submission guidelines
Participants who wish to present their research at the Conference are welcome to send an extended abstract in .pdf, .doc or .docx formats of no more than 1000 words (excluding References). While the overall conference theme is “winning through service excellence,” the conference would welcome submissions of conceptual and empirical papers, case studies, etc., on a broad variety of issues that might relate directly or indirectly to service excellence.
The extended abstract should cover the following aspects:
– The Objective of the Study
– 3-4 Keywords
– Research Gap
– Research Methodology
– Findings of the Study
– Implications of the Study

Important dates
Submission of extended abstract: 15 October 2020
– Notification of acceptance: 31 October 2020
– Early Bird Registration: 15 November 2020
– Conference Dates: 18-19 December 2020

Selected high-quality papers presented at the conference will be published in the Journal of Service Management as a special issue or in a regular issue with a fast track review.

More info here.