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IoT will play an important role in improving operational efficiency: Rajesh Uppal, CIO, Maruti Suzuki India


Maruti Suzuki has built competence and stayed ahead in terms of IT infrastructure. Being the largest passenger car maker in the country, IT is crucial backbone of its business operations involving dealers and vendors, states Rajesh Uppal, Executive officer (IT), CIO, Maruti Suzuki India, in an interaction with EC’s Abhishek Raval

We present below Rajesh Uppal’s view in his own words:

With the help of in-house developed systems, the nationwide network of over 2000 dealers is monitored on real time basis. Similarly the co-ordination with our domestic and international suppliers is crucial. Maruti Suzuki has over 400 Tier-I suppliers and another 2,000 plus Tier-II suppliers. On the strength of the IT systems, the ordering and uninterrupted supplies are monitored round the clock by our operational teams. Robust IT infrastructure helps to keep a close track of component supplies and finished cars while in transit on a real time basis.

As the scale of operations increase and we expand to multiple locations, strong and well integrated IT infrastructure ensures a seamless business operation.

In line with the changing business dynamics, Mobility, cloud and cybersecurity were the successful initiatives in 2016-17. Usage of mobile enabled business processes especially for the mobile workforce within and in the extended organization proved impactful in terms of business operations and inducing process efficiencies.

Sales and service network is our strength and it is continuously expanding. In under 2 years, Maruti Suzuki’s car retail channel, NEXA has added 250 premium retail outlets across the country. The business associates are mapped by IT network, which is maintained and developed by our in-house team. The upgradation of network to meet the rising scale is utmost important for Maruti Suzuki. The financial year 2017-18 will definitely see even more work in the areas of mobility, cloud and cybersecurity. At the same time the GST and GRC will be in focus. Customer engagement using analytics, mobility and single view of customer (CRM) will also be focus areas in 2017-18.

IT systems helps Maruti Suzuki to track customer trends, grievances and demands. The analytical data derived from the network is of value for our engineers, to improve existing products and design future cars.  IT spending will be increased in line with the growth in the size of our business. IT security spending will also keep pace, accordingly.

While on one hand, our cars are using best of the technologies and are more contemporary, in IT arena too we have to be aligned with the current technologies and trends to make the best for the business.

Big Data and analytics has great potential in various areas of business operations which include customer experience management, productivity enhancement, quality improvement and supply chain costs. Digitization and mobility will be impactful in the customer engagement initiatives, and workforce efficiency enhancement.

IoT will play an important role in the operational efficiency enhancement and customer engagement. There will be lot of opportunity areas on the cross-roads of various technologies, e.g. using IoT and Analytics for enhancing business productivity and customer experience. Emerging technologies like Blockchain will be evaluated w.r.t. to their utility in the business.

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