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‘Industry 4.0 will reshape automotive manufacturing processes’

Rajeev Mittal, CIO, Endurance Technologies Ltd, shares his thoughts on the changing IT landscape. By Shweta Gandhi

Rajeev Mittal has worked with various manufacturing business verticals like plastic packaging, metals, and automotive, and manages the information technology function. He has 23 years of experience and has been instrumental in making businesses IT enabled throughout his career. He has played a strategic role in the IT area for many years and has managed several projects of medium to large size covering IT infrastructure, business applications, business intelligence and IT security. Rajeev has received several IT leadership awards in past, and he was recently recognised as an Automobiles and Auto Ancillaries Icon at CIO Power List 2016. He is presently working as CIO of Endurance Technologies Ltd, a large auto component manufacturing company, and has previously worked in Piaggio, TATA, Vedanta (Sterlite) and Supreme Groups.

How do you see the CIO’s role today?
“I have been associated with the CIO fraternity for many years. A CIO’s role is very challenging, with technology changes happening rapidly on a regular basis. Business challenges are also continuously increasing where competition is stiff and expectations from CIOs are high. CIOs need to think differently, have an out-of-the-box approach, an innovative way of doing things and bring value to the organisation using technology. After all, IT is the backbone of any organisation, no matter which sector or industry vertical.”

Every CIO comes with a different skill set, but what’s the one skill every CIO should have?
“Having skills is imperative, and it is true that everyone has different skill sets. However, the most crucial skill is the ability to collaborate with business owners and teams and to have a habit of continuous learning.”

In all your years in IT, what’s the one big lesson you’ve learnt?
“The most important lesson I’ve learnt is to never give up and always have a positive attitude towards whatever you do in life.”

How can a CIO achieve that?
“Always keep an open channel of communication with the board, team and line of business function. Having a collaborative approach is vital today. Define your goal and vision and keep up your efforts till you achieve it. Gone are the days when only IT people were taking the lead and initiating. Now things are different and, many times, business people are the ones giving suggestions and initiating on IT adoption. Today people are well aware about technology. IT consumerisation, with the help of social media and smartphones, has made technology adoption easy and at the same time expectations have become high.”

What IT strategies are you incorporating at Endurance Technologies?
“We are leveraging information technology for business operation integration and enhancing digitisation. We have implemented ERP, shop floor control system, supplier and customer integration systems, etc. We have also adopted state of the art machineries along with many robots to support the manufacture of high quality products. We have CAD, CAE and PLM system supporting business growth. We are continuously enhancing the usage of these systems. We also have a multi-location presence and setup, with a centralised IT setup with centralised data center as well as DR site. Our strategy is to continuously enhance IT enablement in the business with a continuous upgrading using the latest applicable technologies.”

What plans do you have for the future?
“Going forward, we will be making further enhancements in digitisation by adopting MES, IOT, Industry 4.0 and Cloud concepts. We are also looking at more enhancement towards collaboration and integration for internal operations, customers, suppliers and workforce with the help of the latest IT tools. The focus is also on business analytics using BI tools.”

The one strategy companies can adopt today to stay ahead in the game?
“Always focus on investing in PPT (people, process and technology) with business health monitoring and an attitude of accepting changes and challenges quickly along with analysing customer needs proactively.” 

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