INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
INTERVIEW WITH MR. RAJIV KHADE,
VP Global Information Technology
Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corporation
The term digital transformation has different connotations for different enterprises. What is your view of digital transformation? Do you believe that the term ‘digital’ itself has evolved in the past few years, and if so how?
Yes, the term digital transformation has different connotations. In my view, digital transformation is a process that an organization adopts to transform its various processes from the existing ones to a more advanced and automated way. Also, it can be defined as the adoption of digital technology to transform various existing processes, with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. The term digital has evolved in the past few years, but it has evolved at a slow pace. Before the pandemic the organisations were not looking at digitalization as a necessity and were doing it as & when required. During the pandemic it has evolved at a faster pace, as organisations realised its importance as the economy came to a standstill and every organisation wanted to get back at least to the normal pace rather than accelerated pace. Digitalization is the only way by which the processes can expedited, and value addition can be done in relatively lesser time.
What are some good practices to build an agile and effective digital strategy?
For an effective digital strategy, the organization should first of all define the roadmap w.r.t , assessing the readiness for implementation of digital roadmap, understand its objective, and the building blocks, and then plan the various digitalisation projects w.r.t timeline. Breaking up the projects into small sub projects, form the teams, fixing the roles & responsibilities, reviewing the project progress from time to time and following PDCA and FMEA so that it will help in flawless execution are all good practices in building an agile and effective digital strategy.
How have enterprises leveraged digital for business performance?
In the past year every enterprise has adopted the digital change in a more effective way to bring back the normalcy in the business. This was possible by understanding the digital technology and mapping the same to meet their respective business environment. This has helped speed up the various processes be it in any function by reducing the time to manufacture and also time to market and thus adding value to the business. Overall it has helped to get an efficient and enriched customer experience.
There are several examples of lots of digital transformation initiatives failing. Is there any ‘rule book’ or equivalent that when followed increases the chances of success.
According to me, there cannot be a specific rule book for successful digitalization. What is important as mentioned above is to plan for digitalization and accordingly walk the talk. Also, it is important that a top to bottom approach is followed in the overall process. Senior management support all along the journey is equally important. Digitalization is a continuous process and not a one-stop solution.
Could you please detail a few key digital initiatives that you led at Sigma Electric and what kind of business impact these have delivered?
There are many examples of digitalization which has helped us. Few important ones are in the areas of HR, Inventory management, Applications for predictive analysis and preventive maintenance of machines, application for viewing at a glance view of OEE of machines, applications on cell phone for hazardous intimation, various workflows to provide email-based approvals linked to ERP etc.