Friday, July 25, 2014

Technology Continuum 2014 - Report

Technology Management Continuum 2014 was organized on 22nd March 2014 with a theme reflecting the role of technology in sustaining the businesses in a dynamic world. The Continuum saw a series of lectures centered on the theme: Business Sustainability through Technology: How companies are surviving and thriving in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world

Technology has undergone a dramatic revolution and has deeply impacted our lives in ways we could not have anticipated even 10 years ago. Smart phones, tablets, GPS navigation tools are just some of the technologies that are changing our lives. The challenge is for us to make sense of the implications for our business.

Our first speaker Mr. Girish, Head - IT, Marico Limited, started his session by explaining about one of the important challenges of business – advertising and sales promotion management which accounts for 15% of expenditure. The processes have to be re-engineered totally so that firm can go 100% paperless and integration with advertising agencies is possible. Seamless ability to share should exist yet control needs to be maintained. Enabling analytics and plug and play for international markets are some of the other expectations. The information challenges here are the information black hole, IT integration with partners and integration with SAP.

Our second speaker Mr. Ashish Varerkar, Head - Microsoft Practice, L&T InfoTech, started his session by saying that customers are collaborating with each other, sharing information and influencing decision-making. When social information becomes embedded in your tools and processes, you become a fully connected and engaged enterprise. Gamification employs game design techniques that provide a real time feedback environment. Big data is another emerging field that the company focuses on. Big data helps in analyzing the voice of the customer. It also helps in targeted marketing campaigns that are much more effective and cheaper than normal campaigns. Better voice of the customer in real time helps in better product improvement that is mostly proactive rather than reactive. This helps companies to stay ahead of its competitors.

Our third speaker Mr. Datta Kuvalekar - Head R&D- Forbes Marshall said that values of Forbes Marshall like family spirit in the organization, integrity, innovation & entrepreneurship and value delivery to customers, members & society help it in constantly moving towards its goal of becoming a developed company. He also said that these vision and values help the company to be a fantastic place to work. Innovation helps the company in providing smart solutions which are more eco-friendly to the customers. Collaboration helps in the benefit of all the stakeholders.

Our forth speaker Dr. Tapan Sahoo, VP Engg. Research, Design & Development, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, started the session by explaining how Maruti Suzuki is tracking the VUCA. Maruti Suzuki has a Triple bottom line where profit represent economic, planet represent environment and people represent social. About 90% of carbon emission in the life cycle of the vehicle happens at the stage of usage. Though the rest 10% carbon emissions are small on the overall scale, it’s a significant number in absolute terms. Of this 10% emission, majority of it takes place at the tier-I and tier-II suppliers’ end. Therefore the sustainability initiatives cannot complete without active involvement of these suppliers.

Our fifth speaker Mr. Praveen Chaudhary, Lead - Supply Chain Analytics, HP Global Analytics stated that the business challenges currently HP is facing are dynamic and accelerating market trends such as decline of PC market, growth of multi-architecture devices running competing operating systems, competitive landscape, business model and go-to-market execution and significant macroeconomic challenges. These risk factors are prevalent across the Hi-Tech industry. Competitive pressures, economic weakness and uncertainty and business and disruption could seriously affect revenue, gross margin and expenses. If execution of strategy, product and service transition and distribution of products and services are not managed effectively it will lead to decrease in profitability and gross margin.

Our sixth speaker Mr. Sandeep Sethi - Head - Service Improvement & Innovation Group at ICICI Bank, stated that the innovation framework is “innovation = idea + implementation”, Idea can be brought in by any methods, they could even be inspired, the only criteria for an idea is the value and novelty, but value to the customer is most important. How does ICICI facilitate innovation? i) Nurture and facilitate innovation culture at ICICI bank. ii) Guidance on project prioritization. iii) Facilitate removal of resource roadblocks. iv) Getting all stakeholders together, makes the process faster.

Our last speaker Dr. B Ravi, Institute Chair Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT Bombay, stated that the medical devices and equipment market in India is estimated to be around US $ 4 billion, of which 75% is imported. This market is expected to be around US $ 5.8 billion by the end of next year. The Medical Device Innovation Training, conducted at IIT Bombay, consists of three stages: define, develop and deliver. The define stage consists of identifying the problem, forming a team and listing the requirements. The develop stage consists of evolving the design concepts and selecting the material. The deliver stage is where the students deliver the device they manufacture. He pointed out that there is a valley between the surgeons and the engineers, a ravine between the engineers and entrepreneurs but a deep canyon between the latter and the patients. It is this canyon which needs to be crossed.

The continuum ended with a vote of thanks by the student co-ordinator for the Technology continuum 2014. Technology continuum 2014, which saw a perfect blend of stalwarts from industry and academia, was a great learning experience for all the students of Shailesh J. Mehta school of Management, IIT Bombay.

written by,
Technology Continuum Team 


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