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“A CIO shouldn’t be satisfied being a CIO!”

Jagdish Lomte, Vice President (IT) and CIO, Business Technology Group at Thermax Limited, gives us his views on the IT landscape. By Shweta Gandhi

With 29 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Jagdish Lomte is responsible for developing and implementing IT strategy and heads the Business Technology Group at Thermax Limited. Prior to this, Jagdish worked with Bajaj Auto Ltd, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, KEC International Ltd, and Walchandnagar Industries Ltd in the engineering and IT functions. Jagdish was recently awarded as an influential Engineering Icon at CIO Power List 2016. He believes in team building, cross functional team approach, change management, and implementing cutting edge technologies to make IT a business enabler at Thermax Ltd.

What area do you think IT as an industry needs to focus on?
“IT is the backbone of the industry, and it handles everything that we do—be it giving exposure to applications or implementing technological aspects. We need to develop tools and modernise IT and its businesses to ensure challenges can be easily stepped over.”

What is one thing you would advise IT departments to do better?
“It is vital to address the needs of the customers. IT should put itself in the shoes of the customer first and then come up with technology solutions. Providing customer satisfaction is absolutely essential.”

Where do you see the role of the CIO in the future?
“A CIO should not be satisfied being a CIO. He should get exposure in various technical and technological practices and then proceed to being a CTO. He should then evolve with the company’s business operations and become a COO.”

What are some of the traits of a successful CIO?
“A CIO has to be a good listener. He has to keep himself updated and get along with people.”

One skill every CIO must have?
“Every CIO must have the skill of being agile and smoothly going along with the business functions of the company.”

What’s the most important thing CIOs should learn from business?
“An innate understanding of financial knowledge is key! If a CIO is able to read a balance sheet and calculate returns on investment, it will prove beneficial to him/her in the long run.”

Why do you like being a CIO?
“A CIO is part of the business solutions for various needs identified by the business. He gets exposure to various technologies/challenges. Also he is one of the decision makers for selecting the proper systems. He needs to keep himself up to date with current trends in new businesses as well as technologies. He needs to have contact with various stakeholders within the organisation as well as outside.”

What advice do you have for aspiring CIOs?
“Being a part of the solution and having a customer centric approach.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?
“Team work is the most important factor for success for almost all challenges faced in a professional career.”

A technology or concept that you think is overhyped, and why?
“According to me, the ‘autonomous vehicles’ concept is overhyped as the infrastructure needs to be improved a lot. Also, the readiness of citizens to use a driverless car is a big question mark today.”

Any tech legend that you look up to?
“Steve Jobs!”

What excites you apart from technology?
“Travelling all over the globe.”

What are you currently reading?
“The book I am reading right now is The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross.”

What are your hobbies?
“I enjoy playing badminton. I try to play every other weekend because the sport really helps in kicking the blues and beating work stress.”

What’s your favourite music?
“I like listening to old Hindi film music. Mohammad Rafi is my favourite singer. I try my hand at singing too, but I’m not professionally trained.” 

Categories:   People, Interviews

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