The National Operations Summit at IIFT, under the aegis of Trade Winds, the annual business summit took place on 22nd August 2014. Both the student community and the faculty at the institute were looking forward to hear from some of the biggest names from the Industry in the Operations domain. The theme chosen by SCOPE- the supply chain, Operations and Energy Club at IIFT for the inaugural session was- “Building a sustainable supply chain- The transition from Reactive to Proactive”. The theme was chosen considering the rapid changes happening in the supply chain dynamics in the world today.
The Inaugural Session:
The first session in the afternoon saw the attendance of Mr. Adhiraj Sarin, CEO, Louis Dreyfus Commodities India, Mr. Snehil Gambhir, COO, Aviva India and Mr. Prasad Deshpande, VP, Head of Global Procurement and Supply Chain, Biocon India, stalwarts in their respective fields. Mr. Sarin, the Chief Guest for the event, began speaking by emphasising the long running relationship of Louis Dreyfus with the institute. IIFT has been traditionally known for its strengths in trade. He also told the gathering that a large chunk of revenue of Louis Dreyfus comes today by businesses run by IIFTians. That was a moment of pride for all of us and the auditorium burst into cheerful hand clapping. He then spoke about the theme of building sustainable supply chains. The commodities sector does not work only on the flow of goods, but on the flow of knowledge as well. In today’s inter-connected world, knowledge of the consolidated geography helps organizations in taking important decisions such as deciding which market to enter and which to exit. He gave us an example of the company’s investment in sugar mills in Brazil and how the Brazilian market dynamics has changed now. He emphasised that real value comes not just from asset generation but from trading and branding. The next speaker was Mr. Gambhir, the Principal Speaker for the event, spoke about the importance of customer experience to build a valuable supply chain network in industry sectors like insurance. . While a simple survey was used to measure customer satisfaction in the older times, today, metrics like Loyalty tests and Net Promoter scores are used to measure an organization’s value from the consumer perspective. He then spoke about a three pronged approach to success in the industry, which was:
The firsthand account of how Aviva fought through the barriers in reaching the customer both online and offline was something that left the audience enriched. The final speaker for the inaugural session was Mr. Prasad Deshpande, the Guest of Honour, spoke about the advanced strengths of supply chain in the pharmaceutical sector. He emphasised- “Having a robust supply chain in the Pharmaceutical sector is a necessity. Somebody’s life is always at stake if the right medicine is not available at the right time.” For companies like Biocon, which manufacture various life saving drugs, he explained how they have built a best in class supply chain and also spoke about the emergence of new technologies and the changing landscape of cold supply chain in India.
Session 1: Integrating Supply Chain and Sustainability for Value Creation and Profitability
The speakers for the session were Mr. Anup Mam, Director, Global Procurement, Texas Instruments, Mr. Dilip Sangle, Director and COO Forbes & Co Ltd and Mr. Samir Chaturvedi, CEO Jaipur Rugs. Mr. Mam spoke about how global extension of the supply chain adds value to the company but also makes it very brittle. He spoke about supply chain risk mitigation in detail and covered a variety of risks in his talk- Sourcing risk, financing risk, Quality risk, EICC risk and Geography risk. Lastly, he focused on identifying the critical part at all levels, starting from the factory level, the supplier and throughout the supply chain. Only if an organisation starts working from the fundamental level, it will be possible to have a strong supply chain risk management.
Mr. Sangle spoke about how a sustainability manager can replace a supply chain manager in the near future as the priorities of companies globally change. He spoke about green supply chains, the hybrid car, the usage of technology in making supply chains efficient. He then laid emphasis on the unorganized retail sector in India. 90% of the Indian market is still unorganized. There is a lack of proper storage facility which leads to food spoilage. There is a need for value creation right from the stage of concept design and a global optimization is required.
Mr. Chaturvedi spoke about how a small organisation like Jaipur Rugs turned profitable by empowering the artisans and weavers at the lowest levels in the supply chain. How his company laid the foundation which included Skill Development, Social development in rural arena so that value creators become a part of the Supply Chain.
Session 2: The shift of Supply Chain to Demand Chain- Push towards Pull
Mr. Amit Saharia, Principal, A.T. Kearney and Mr. Kalyanakrishnan Hariharan, Head Global Supply Chain at Ranbaxy Laboratories were the dignitaries who spoke in the final session. Mr. Saharia provided in depth analysis of creating competitive advantage through building supply chain from a consulting point of view. It gave a different perspective to the audience to look at supply chain from as an outsider and think. He spoke about the emergence of 6 major trends which organisations should prepare for:
Mr. Hariharan then spoke about the push v/s pull debate in the present context is not very useful. Successful organisations have been able to deploy the right mix of both the strategies to remain profitable. So taking sides in this debate is not of utmost importance. Both these strategies have their own advantages and disadvantages.
The session came to end at 7 p.m. in the evening and the time had flown by. The students came out of the summit with some key learnings which will stay with us for a long time and help us succeed professionally.
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