Convergence 2020

by Charles Hofacker


International Conference on Winning through Service Excellence, 29-30 May 2020; Deadline 15 Mar


Author: A. “Parsu” Parasuraman


14th International Conference on Winning through Service Excellence: Theory and Practice
29th and 30th May, 2020

About Convergence 2020

The steady growth of the service sector globally and increasing convergence of technology and services have brought to the fore opportunities never before witnessed in the services domain. The increasing maturity of online services along with the advent of new-age companies and business models has transformed the service delivery ecosystem to cater to the needs of a new breed of emerging consumers. Convergence 2020, organized by IFIM Business School, aims to bring researchers and practitioners together to build consensus on what it takes to win in this new, still-evolving era of services. The centrepiece of Convergence 2020 is an international conference focused on service excellence in this exciting new era.

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 liberalisation 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 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 % to the GDP in India, it only employs about 30% of 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. AIM (Association of Indian Marketing)-Parasuraman Centre for Service Excellence will confer two best paper awards.

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:

(1) Service design and innovation
(2) Co-creating services with customers
(3) Service quality and productivity
(4) Internal service quality and employee satisfaction
(5) Access-based services in a sharing economy
(6) Role of AI and technology platforms in delivering services.
(7) Service excellence in online vs. offline delivery
(8) Service Dominant Logic (SDL) and value co-creation
(9) Effective service recovery
(10) Innovative service business models
(11) Role of service excellence in societal wellbeing
(12) Service excellence in public-sector/governmental agencies

Key Dates

Submission of extended abstract: 15 Mar 2020
Notification of acceptance: 15 Apr 2020
Early Bird Registration: 30 Apr 2020
Conference Dates: 29-30 May 2020

International Advisory Board

Prof. Andrea Ordanini
Bocconi University, Italy

Prof. Michael Brady
Florida State University

Prof. Jochen Wirtz
National University of Singapore

Prof. K. Sivakumar
Lehigh University, U.S.A

Prof G Shainesh
IIM, Bangalore

Prof. Varsha Jain
MICA, Ahmedabad

Full information is available at