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Krishnan KM

CEO & Co-founder

Utthunga Technologies

9 Ratings

TECHNOLOGY FOR NEW GENERATION LEADERS The right data strategy is to start small

Jan 19, 2022

… says Krishnan KM, CEO & Co-founder, Utthunga Technologies, in this interview with Juili Eklahare. He explains why data availability has to be vetted against the problem at hand, how the new generation of younger leaders is more open to technology and the steps India needs to take before it can call itself a manufacturing superpower. Excerpts…

What are the digital transformation strategies to achieve India's 'Make in India' targets?

‘Make in India’ will be successful if Indian manufacturers can deliver global standard products, with the right quality, the right time and at the right cost. Digitalisation is a key enabler to getting all three right. Thus, manufacturers must define a holistic digital transformation strategy and incrementally implement digital solutions that are reasonably applicable to their business dynamics in a safe & secure manner.

While many businesses believe they need more data, most believe they have more data than they can handle. Do you think this calls for a new data strategy? How can that be achieved?

In general, yes, there is a lot of data, and at the same time, there is no data. Therefore, data availability must be vetted against the problem at hand. Businesses should not look at the data at hand and explore the issues that can be solved. Rather, starting with the end goal in mind enables efficient data management to create value.

The right data strategy is to start small. One should focus on the part of the process where they see the most significant gaps in terms of efficiency, should tie each data point to the end goal, evaluate what data points are missing that will impact the end goal and find ways to capture those data points. Start with basic alerts, reports, trends and then slowly scale to more advanced algorithms for deep analytics. Finally, avoid solely relying on analytics experts and data scientists to drive the activity. The internal teams with years of wisdom & extensive knowledge of processes should play an equal role in generating meaningful insights from data analytics in the long-term.

Where does India's manufacturing sector stand globally with respect to Industry 4.0 and tech adoption?

Owing to our historically huge dependence on labour instead of technology, the micro, small and medium industries continue to have a mindset barrier to adopting technology. The new generation of younger leaders are more open to technology and see it as a necessity to survive & compete. We are likely to see an increase in tech adoption, though we will likely take another decade or so to reach where some of the advanced industries already are, like Germany and the US.

Do you think automation can lead India to become an economic superpower? How?

Yes, I firmly believe that automation and digitalisation will help India achieve the five trillion GDP goal. However, we have a journey ahead. Currently, the scope for automation in India is huge before we even talk about digitalisation. The labour dependence that I mentioned earlier or our ageing, mechanical infrastructure implore us to first invest in basic automation in our plant/factory floors. There are quite a few things to take care of before we can call ourselves a manufacturing superpower, like the integration & automation of basic systems, labour upskilling, care to worker safety, working hours/conditions, etc. Innovation in our logistics and supply chain is also overdue.

Can you tell us about Utthunga's growth trajectory and expansion plans?

Utthunga has largely focused on enabling large industrial automation OEMs that deliver engineering services. In this journey, we have developed capable talent and matured processes. This motivates us to expand our business in digital transformation solutions to the industry and customer segments. This is done by either working with existing OEM customers or directly serving the industry segment that is currently not served well by existing solution providers for various reasons. This expansion will help the organisation develop industry domain knowledge and IT capabilities, thus making our organisation a one-stop shop to innovate, develop products and deploy products in end-customer applications. These are great value propositions to increase value creation for our customers. As technology-agnostic, vendor-agnostic and customer-centric consultants & solution providers, we are a catalyst for Industry 4.0 in industrial digital transformation.

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