Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guest Lecture: Mr. Manoj Soni (President-Suppy Chain, Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd)

SCM starts and ends with the customer

Supply chain is always considered an important factor of any business, more so for a manufacturing organization and future managers should have familiarity with this aspect. DoMS, IIT Roorkee got an opportunity on 23rd Jan 2013 to strengthen the knowledge and listen to Mr. Manoj Soni, President – Supply Chain at Jubilant Life sciences Ltd. Mr. Soni is an engineering graduate from NIT Jamshedpur and having two decades of experience in Supply Chain and Operations.

The session started with welcoming Mr. Manoj Soni by Dr. S. Rangnekar, HoD, DoMS. Then Mr. Soni is introduced to the department, its values and strengths. Afterwards the session began with a note that supply chain is an integral part of any business. Contrary to popular belief of being it between suppliers to buyers, it actually starts and ends with the customer. Mr. Soni mentioned Walmart as an example to explain how supply chain can do wonders for an organization. According to him, Supply Chain Management (SCM) is not only about cost effectiveness but is also related to agility and adaptability where interests are aligned with the customers.

He also emphasized that one should not only understand SCM of its own organization but also of competitors in order to provide better value. Dominos delivery deadline of 30 minutes is given as an example to describe the case. Then the speaker talked about SCOR measurement. He said that it is vital to measure the effectiveness in quantitative terms. The SCOR model has four functions of planning, sourcing, making and delivering functions. This model captures more than 100 matrices though organizations usually work on 50-75 matrices. Mr. Soni stated that planning function is the most important among all of them. The session was concluded with a stress on the need of customer profiling.

A question-answer round was followed after the question. The students had put a diverse range of questions related to ethical, operational, environmental, safety and human related aspects. These queries were aptly responded by Mr. Soni by citing Jubilant as an example. He opined that leakage in supply chain occurs mainly due to the absence of a proper control mechanism. He spoke about some of the unethical practises in pharmaceutical companies. Another main concern is lack of discipline in India to which speaker suggested greater regulations a way forward. The discussion began to end on this note.

Overall it was an enlightening and satisfying session and students got an opportunity to learn firsthand experience of supply chain management. This session proved immensely helpful their professional growth.

Guest Lecture: Mr. Kishore Chakraborti (Vice President, McCann Erickson))

Marketing has always been a favourite area for management graduates. Therefore students are always looking out for knowledge on this front. On 18th Feb 2013, DoMS IIT Roorkee saw such an opportunity. The students got a chance to listen to Mr. Kishore Chakraborti. Mr. Kishore is having more than 25 years of experience in marketing & advertising and current working as VP of McCann Erickson. He is having a vast experience in consumer insight and also created various advertisement campaigns.

Mr. Chakraborti started the session with a brief note about the world of advertisement. He emphasized on the common sense and said that advertisement actually deals with the small things of the life. He stressed on understanding the small dreams and meeting customer needs. According to him, everyone wants to see himself/herself as the projected value. He also spoke about challenges in data gathering as people are reluctant to share information.

The speaker then began the topic of “Connecting with Customers in an era of Uncertainty”. He talked about how the old marketing concepts are no longer relevant in the contemporary world. He explained the industrial age marketing principles – Marketing Warfare, which has died now. He gave example of Fortune 500 companies of then and now and showed how there is a paradigm shift from old school of thoughts to new school of thoughts. He mentioned DOS commands of IBM vs the click commands of Microsoft to depict the transition. The overall message is to understand consumer language and this is the area where marketing is changing.

Mr. Kishore then talked about the “Challenges of Change” on four parameters – technology, communication & connectivity, media and consumer. He mentioned that in today’s world it is not only communication between man to man but also between man to machine. He highlights the fact that the desire to connect is never ending. Earlier it used to be postcards, now it has been replaced by mobile phones. Now the man himself is acting as a medium of communication.

The speaker also explained how things have changed “Beyond Economic recession”. He talked about recession of time, space, patience, relationship, energy & resources. He explained with the example of Dominos which is entirely positioned on 20 minute plan. He also gave example of how LCD tv has secured its position among household as it saves lot of space. Another major change is that consumers don’t wait for a particular brand and brand loyalty is no more existing. Marketing now has become more evolutionary. With the depleting natural and energy resources, products need to be developed on novel ideas to meet the consumer needs.

Mr. Kishore then touched upon the “Inflation of Roles”. He gave an example of women Horlicks ad and how it has been transitioned. He drew a parallel between earlier generations and current one. Earlier generations used to live a routine life whereas the current generation does not want to follow the established rules. He mentioned a modern age woman who not only plays a role of mother but also others such as a manager and a diva. He connected motherhood to glamour hood which was not the case earlier, through an example of Malaika Arora Khan.

The speaker also talked about the “Problem of Attention”. He said that there are too many touch points as well as one plays too many roles in the life, with too little time. Mind is experiencing multiple things and it is constantly looking for new form of excitements.

Next topic discussed was “Context of Attention”. In current times, consumers have very little time therefore it is not easy to connect with them. Consumer is a moving target and most of the connectivity happens on the streets. The speaker showed several innovative advertisements to substantiate the concepts.

The speaker then spoke about “Preempting the Reality”. An example of Aircel was given as how it generated huge visibility and reach. Mr. Kishore said that connecting with customer is the main issue and marketers have to apply innovative methods for it. He reiterated that there is no rule in marketing. Even a proven path can result as a disaster.

The speaker also elucidated the “Innovation in Conventional TVC”. He said that creativity plays a big role in this regard. Happydent was taken as an example to show how Mr. Prasoon has come up up the brilliant idea. The entire ad was about 90 seconds so it would not be wise to air this ad due to cost constraint. Therefore ad was applied on cricket matches. It not only gave desired result but with a lesser cost.

The speaker then talked on “Death of Traditional Media”. He put the fact that there are only 7% of the internet population as compared to tv. Mobile on the other hand, has certainly larger reach but it has limitations attached to it, such as TRAI embargo on spam messages. The speaker also stressed that viral marketing such as “Kolavari Di” is not happening every day. As for flash mob, the speaker termed it as a flash in pan which lost its momentum after the initial success. He showed us an ad of Japanese pharma company SSP to explain the use of internet in advertising world.

Next in line was “Emerging Web and Tech World”. The advances in technology have revolutionized the entire marketing. The internet is a potential tool for transition from information to idea to things. Things such as sixth sense are even making the difference between virtual and real blur. The technology has put us under constant surveillance.

Last topic was the “Power and its Price”. In today’s time there is a greater amount of knowledge and more personalization. The change is actually triggered by the technology. The definition of copy has also changed. Now original is only those things which can’t be copied. Emotion is one of them. Hence marketing in current scenario is emotion driven.

The speaker the summed up the entire conversation by suggesting on adopting green marketing, being socially responsible, continuous improvement and change. He talked how Sirf Excel has travelled from cleanliness to conservatism. This was the concluding point of the discussion. Overall it was an extremely insightful discussion encompassing various aspects of marketing. A vote of thanks was delivered to guest by Dr. S. Rangnekar, HoD, DoMS IITR. The students thoroughly enjoyed the learnings gathered from the session.

Guest Lecture: Mr. D. J. Syam (Retd. AGM, BHEL)

Investment in R&D is the need of the hour

DoMS is never short of interaction with industry leaders. And we again had such an opportunity on 22nd Jan 2013 to meet Mr. D. J. Syam, retired AGM, BHEL. Mr. Syam has over 39 years of vast industry experience with around 32 years in BHEL. He has authored three books and fourth is in the press, on various business topics. 

The session started with welcoming Mr. D. J. Syam by Dr. Rangnekar, HoD, DoMS and Prof. J. L. Gaindhar, president of alumni association, IIT Roorkee. Then a brief profile was introduced to him. Mr. Syam was particularly interested in department magazine and also exhibited enthusiasm for contributing to it. The speaker began the conversation with a note that it is better to have pre-exposure to industry. Fresh starters would need more mentoring and in the current environment where people and organizations have less time for providing training, it would be a difficult situation for the beginners.

He then went on to discuss various aspects of business such as salient issues in industrial administration, management processes and basic operational system in an industrial organization and globalized competitive business environment. He gave some real life examples related to operational challenges and suggested ways to avoid them. He also talked about the challenges India faced in 1970s its pursuit of technological advancement. He describes what issues India faced, how Siemens lent a helping hand and then GE followed the suit. Additionally he cautioned that no technology is evergreen. Like a product, a technology too has a life cycle and hence focus should be on optimization.

Mr. Syam also touched upon the corporate governance. He explained deviation from ethics is one of the main reasons behind the failures. The cases of Satyam and Adidas were referred to substantiate the point. Mr. Syam also spoke about lack of R&D and particularly the less participation of the private sector. He appreciated the positive role of public sector companies in this regard. He however agreed that there is a need for more investment in R&D area. He compared the R&D expenditure between Indian and global companies as well as research and innovations outputs. According to him, R&D is directly related to the investment.

He then explained the various support functions such as material management, quality management & control, marketing and sales or commercial coordination, finance and accounts, IT and lot more. He discussed the roles and importance of these areas. Lastly he concluded with a discussion on industrial organization structure.

Towards the end of the session, a note of thanks was delivered by Prof. J. L. Gaindhar to the speaker. Overall it was an insightful session and covered several topics. The real life example and views would definitely be helpful for the future leaders.