Sanjay Maindiratta, AVP-IT, Sandhar Technologies discusses how Sandhar is using Oracle's cloud solutions to streamline its various processes.
The auto-component industry in India has witnessed a steady growth in recent years. Riding high on technology and the digital revolution, the sector accounts for 2.3 percent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs as many as 1.5 million people directly and indirectly each. One name in auto-component segment is Sandhar Technologies Limited (STL), a customer-centric component supplier primarily catering to automotive OEMs. With 40 manufacturing facilities across India and abroad, the company is aimed at strengthening domestic design and manufacturing competence. Sandhar is said to be investing significantly in technology and strategy for developing new product lines in line with market.
In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Sanjay Maindiratta, AVP-IT, Sandhar Technologies discusses how Sandhar is using Oracle’s cloud solutions to streamline its various processes and take a lead in the automotive industry. Excerpt.
CXOToday: What are the major transformative changes that the automotive industry has gone through in the last few years? What role has technology played in these changes?
Sanjay Maindiratta: We founded Sandhar Technologies in 1987 and since then the automotive industry has changed considerably. Change in customer preferences, sustainability policies and of course new technologies have revolutionized the industry. With new technologies like AI Automation on the horizon, we are looking at a future where autonomous cars, electric cars and connected cars will run on our roads.
Across industries, digital transformation is being utilized to personalize consumer expand the automotive industry is no exception. It is the second most data driven in the world. Digital Supply chain collects and uses data to serve consumers better. Digital supply chain allows more transparency, accelerates the process of designing, manufacturing and delivery of the vehicles. Indian factories are not behind their global peers in setting up “smart” factories that will use advanced algorithms and AI to manage work flows, and where robots will work with humans on assembly lines. No doubt that this “smartness” will come at a price, however the unprecedented improvements in production and performance will justify all the cost.
CXOToday: What were the challenges that Sandhar was facing before implementing Oracle’s cloud solutions- within your HR and also in your finance function that led you on this journey?
Sanjay Maindiratta: We are a leader in the two-wheeler locking systems market, and the commercial vehicle rear view market in India. With a workforce of 8000 across 35 factories, we are one of two largest manufacturers of operator cabins in India, along with being the largest player in the excavator cabins market.
Sandhar attaches great importance to the development of our key resource –our People. We offer learning and leadership opportunities at each step to our people which in turn helps them to take their personal development to the next level. Here, we give our workforce the freedom to work, express and implement their ideas. The work environment is filled with challenging, interesting, motivating assignments that add to an employee’s professional skill sets and brings in a sense of job fulfillment. To provide all our employees with equal opportunities, we needed to have real time visibility into employee data, which was becoming a challenge owing to people present in various geographies. Oracle HCM cloud gave us a single source of information for all employee information and entire Talent management which includes recruiting, goals and goal library, performance and compensation.
Seeing the success of our streamlined HR processes on cloud, we felt it was about time we developed a single source of truth for our accounts, finance and supply chain optimization as well. Given the nature of our work, the success of supply chain is mission critical for us. Oracle ERP Cloud gave us the next generation ERP Application on cloud to support the aggressive growth plans of the organization, supporting us through this digital transformation at Sandhar. We are today the ‘first ERP Cloud customer’ for Oracle, to have gone live on ERP Cloud within the manufacturing sector in India and that too within a record time of 11 weeks.
CXOToday: What made you choose Oracle cloud solutions over other solutions available in the market?
Sanjay Maindiratta: Oracle is one of the key players in the cloud space and is leading the way for the industry with its applications in the cloud. Oracle applications come pre-embedded with emerging technologies like AI and ML capabilities, making them the apt choice for leaders like us. Gartner has positioned Oracle’s ERP cloud at the highest in 2018 Magic Quadrant for its ability to execute and in critical capabilities report. TheirERP cloud provides us with the ability to do business in multiple languages, across many countries, and comply with regulations in every region. Oracle applications are updated every quarter, so we do not need to worry about regularly updating applications manually. However, what really made the difference is that they understood our concerns and business before implementing the solutions. Similarly, Oracle HCM Cloud has also been recognized as a Leader in Cloud HCM Suites for mid-market and large enterprises by Gartner.
Additionally, we were also impressed by involvement of the Oracle team in the project and how they first understood our industry and issues and then helped us arrive at the solutions.
CXOToday: You have opted for Oracle ERP and HCM solutions in the cloud at Sandhar – How do you foresee emerging technologies like AI and IoT add value to Cloud and pave the way further for the industry?
Sanjay Maindiratta: The cloud has made these emergent technologies more accessible, secure, and affordable for large enterprises as well as mid-sized companies however, smaller businesses can be slow to adopt for fear of disrupting day-to-day operations.Some of the fastest-growing organizations have embarked on their journey to innovation and are leveraging a new era of autonomous computing powered by AI and machine learning. The cloud has enabled them to migrate and modernize applications, lower costs, and improve security and speed to market.
I foresee these innovations and technologies reshaping and completely overhauling the way and manner in which manufacturing companies would do business now and into the near future.