Stamp of Success

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Stamp of Success

This is the second part of our two-part series of the coverage of Celerity Supply Chain Superstars and Super Achievers Awards, the first part was published in the September-October 2019 issue. These Awards were held at Taj Santacruz in August 2019.With Alvarez & Marsal as Knowledge Partners and six jury members who are very senior supply chain practitioners across industry verticals, these awards have become the only credible platform for recognizing the true super performers.

Taking forward from the last issue, we present to you the rest of the winners who have brought significant value for their respective organizations. As we start planning for the next year’s awards, here’s an ode to the stellar performance of this year’s winners and their perseverance in Making More Possible and leading by example…

(Part 1 of the awards can be read here)

Winning formula

The exuberance of the winners was all too evident and the positive energy that each of them radiated could have lit up the entire world. While we congratulate every one of them, here is an excerpt of what makes a winner, in their own words.

(In this part 2 of cover story, we have covered 23 of the total 43 winners in both age groups, the first part is here)


Kamal Kishore Kumawat, Co-founder, Edgistify - "During my professional stint so far, I have been successful in raising Seed Funding for Dealwithus, as well as raising 2 Rounds of funding for Edgistify. In terms of revenue, we scaled 22 times in a year’s time. I am currently working on growth hacking activities for scaling up fast as well as creating a world-class product and raising funds. Problem Solving and Adaptability are my key skill sets. 'Keeping it simple and breaking every complex problem into smaller ones and taking it head-on' is the mantra I work with."

Tushar Ghai, Assistant Manager – Supply Chain Management, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. - "We were able to analyze each SKU and understand the freight comparisons on air vs sea mode. This has helped in reducing the air tonnages substantially, thereby reducing the risks in supply chain and hence improving savings in international logistics. We also went into the packaging modeling of the various SKUs in order to optimize the loads for both air and sea dispatches. I can analyze lot of unstructured data sets and bring out meaningful insights to aid management decisions in view of international logistics. As a result of all this, we were able to implement a few projects related to load optimization and cost savings. Upon the successful implementation of these projects, we are able to reap the benefits and thereby have been quite successful to increase the product or inventory efficiency in SEA Mode by 50%, and subsequently reducing the number of containers and able to bring down the freight component by approx. 30%. This has helped us achieve savings of over 5.5 crore annually."

Ankita Kumari, AM – Procurement, ITC Limited- Foods Division - "Potato is grown in mainly northern & central part of India. However, ITC has manufacturing locations PAN India and the largest volume is manufactured in South & East, hence daily requirement is also huge with a lead time of 6-7 days. Potato, being a perishable commodity, cannot tolerate environmental changes in transit and hence wide quality deviations were observed at plants compared to loading points. To overcome this problem, we used perforated pipes at the bottom of potato bags in the vehicles for proper aeration, which could remove excess heat, CO2, thus stopping development of sugar in material, thereby maintaining quality for a longer period. Strategic mindset, leading change & leadership help me in the path of success."

Sangeeta Venkataramani, Assistant Manager, Hindalco Industries Ltd. - "At Hindalco Industries, Corporate Logistics is at a nascent stage with more focus on the operational aspects, though a cost centre. As a Business Finance manager, I have single-handedly swung the focus of logistics towards cost and conceptualized a framework to track and analyze end-to-end logistics cost for all commodities, inbound as well as outbound. This provided an in-depth analysis for the top management of logistics costs Vs Benchmarks to identify inefficiencies and plug costs. This was done in absence of systems (no ERP/analytical tool available) though encompassing all parameters such as Mode Mix, Source Mix, Market corrections, Diesel Impact, Rail freight discounts, etc.

Besides, legacy mechanism of cost tracking in Hindalco involved only publishing the volume and cost for few major commodities. This simple MIS of publishing numbers was replaced by the TLC Tally (Total Logistics Cost) project I undertook, which is an exhaustive cost analysis. The innovation introduced here was the framework to identify every Rupee spent to move per ton of material and its impact on account of Mix change as well as inefficiencies in the system. The logic skeleton was built by way of reports, setting up process for data accrual, conducting workshops with logistics teams of every plant, mapping the costs against budgeted costs and identifying gaps in cost per weight as well as value. This has resulted in a comprehensive view to understand current scheme of working and mitigate cost overruns wherever possible."

Aura Bhattacharjee, Planning Support – Enterprise Architecture, Mondelez International - "We worked on implementing Intelligent Control Tower based on fit-gap analysis for end to-end streamlining and visibility of supply chain functions which were otherwise being managed in-silos. This aimed at getting Business Units and IT on the same page, and various vendors (providing packaged software as well as tool-agnostic solutions) were allowed to pitch. POCs are run on selected vendors and final decision is taken based on alignment of Enterprise Architecture, Business Unit leads and IT leads. Currently I have the single-handed ownership of Enterprise Architecture (EA) Collaborative tool, leading initiatives like Automation, Integration with Portfolio process, handling crucial, exclusive and highest-level access with the Chief Architect to Digitalization, Innovation, Digitization and E-commerce projects across the organization. I believe in 'Never stop working on bettering yourself', which helps me take the challenges head on."

Akshay Khatri, Demand & Distribution Planner, Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd. - "Needle-Suture Attachment technology was manual (Human-dependent) across Asia-Pacific sites of J&J. As a result, the number of customer complaints for needle pull-offs/ detached needles were significantly high. We were exploring solutions to automate this process, but most of these were capital intensive and not suitable for a market like India. At the same time, to consolidate J&J’s manufacturing footprint, it was decided to decommission the manufacturing facility in Kirkton, Scotland. This facility had the automated attachment technology for Sutures.

I took this opportunity to lead the decommissioning of FAS machines at Kirkton manufacturing facility & re-purpose these for India. This was a challenging assignment not only involving transferring the assets to our sites, Installation & Commissioning activities, Hiring & On-boarding the right talent to maintain such high-end automation, etc., but also, the cross cultural people dynamics associated with decommissioning a manufacturing facility and laying off people.

We recently completed the first validation batches and quality control results indicate a significant improvement in process capability results. We anticipate 70% reduction in needle pull customer complaints in the Indian market. This was a significant achievement for us where we collaborated globally to deliver value for our customers."

Sahil Sahotra, Manager – Customer Account Management, Future Supply Chain Solutions - "I have designed and implemented supply chain for one of the leading consumer durables MNC. Consolidating their operations from 3 different states to a single state led to inventory reduction, visibility of stocks, reduction in storage cost, optimizing operations, etc. Along with the implementation of WMS & TMS, order processing and inventory accuracy has been improved to 96% and 100%, which earlier was 73% and 98.9% respectively. With the consolidation of 3 different warehouses not only inventory reduction has happened but also the storage area has been reduced by 30%, leading to reduction in storage cost. With the addition of value-added services like “QC” and “labelling”, stock visibility and order execution TAT has improved, with WMS in place “dock to put-away” and “picking to loading” time has drastically decreased, and as a result manpower cost has reduced by 17%.

With the help of TMS, now their dealer/ distributors have a run-time visibility of stock movement, which is a revolution in the consumer durable sector. Our comprehensive solution resulted in end-to-end visibility from order till delivery of product. With consolidation, we have been able to maintain the SLAs of “Ontime Dispatches” from warehouse of 99.2%, which was earlier 72% – 75%. SLAs for “On-time Deliveries” is at 96%, which was 68% before consolidation."


Sourabh Raghuvanshi, Vice President & Head – Supply Chain, Lava International Ltd. - "My Management mantra is to “work as if there is no Boss over you”. This mantra signifies to me an “entrepreneurial” spirit and intends to say that no one should be required to tell you or follow up with you for your current tasks or future roadmap. Don’t wait for commands, build your own path while acting within the realms of value and culture of your organization. Be a professional where you can be blindly trusted and then live up to that expectation.

One of the major accomplishments comes on secondary logistics front, which is generally part load shipment and hence goods are shipped through courier to distributors. Cost of courier shipments is obviously high. We came up with a solution to deploy small vehicles in cities where we have fulfilment centers as well as a chunk of 5 to 10 distributors to serve. Such “milk route optimization” is possible for us in areas such as Delhi-NCR, Lucknow, Chennai and few others. This helped us reduce delivery costs to the tune of 50%. Also, while earlier delivery turnaround time was 2 days, now we can deliver on the same day. As a top up, we are also planning to get these vehicles painted with company branding to provide additional brand/marketing leverage.

Additionally, on primary logistics front, there has been significant increase in service levels as well as cost optimization owing to use of different models of transport (air, road, rail). Besides, transitioning from partial truck loads to full truck loads, we also enhanced our express delivery service as well as introduced “consolidation runs”. We are continuously evolving our logistics platforms. With these change innovations and route optimizations, we are now serving our customers with far more agility and with enhanced effectiveness."

Umesh Madhyan, Associate Vice President Logistics, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd. - "We have designed the country’s best warehouse in Ahmedabad, which is an automatic storage and retrieval system that delivers 406 pallets per hour. It not only manages high throughput for a bulk supply chain but also helps supply chain to be nimble by having a design to make mixed pallets for direct customer deliveries. And above all, it can load any market truck in less than 3 minutes with one button (as against 90 minutes and 4 people industry average). Besides, I have designed a strategy that works to achieve significant reduction in logistics costs as a percentage of net revenue. I have transformed the face of the industry through innovative solutions as well as transformed customer service with more collaboration with key customers. We are probably the only ones using transformational technology like IoT and AI in Logistics in this country."

Pritam Shimpi, Deputy General Manager – Supply Chain, Schindler India Pvt. Ltd.- "Over the last 16 years, I have had the privilege of working on different assignments covering various aspects of supply chain like manufacturing, production planning, material planning, purchasing, distribution, domestic logistics, EXIM & warehouse management. I played crucial role in greenfield project, SAP, & quality process implementation when the new manufacturing facility at Chakan, Pune was being set up. I spearheaded a warehouse and transportation network designing projects, which has helped to establish effective supply chain network.

Along with my team, I have taken various initiatives like, replacement of heavy wooden packaging usage to corrugated and returnable packing. This has supported our dream to be an environmentally friendly organization.

We achieved reduction of 125% delivery lead time, which has become a business enabler initiative. Our inventory turnover ratio has significantly improved by 161%. This has been achieved by forecasting process improvement, reduction of safety stock and increase of ordering frequency and processes improvement at supplier’s end. “People development, supplier and customer management” are the key skill sets contributing to my achievement."

Neha M Parekh, General Manager – Planning, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. - "The challenge for us was to develop a leaner and agile supply chain system wherein planning played a key role in driving improvement in service level, inventory and cost KPIs. Secondly, GCPL works on unique replenishment strategy, which is pull-based rather than traditional push-based system. To leverage the benefits, we had designed a centralized planning and procurement cell. We got benefits of this phase one wherein we had received drastic reduction of 28% in stock-out, however our inventory kept on oscillating and the challenge given to us was to have a leaner supply chain and gain significant reduction in inventory as well. The team came up with innovative integrated approach in system design which helped us achieve this goal. The Planning team played a key role as most of the ready solutions come with forecast based approach wherein, we had to tailor make them to suit our replenishment philosophy. We modified the system to penalize on service miss over cost and thus made them service optimizer over cost optimization. As a result, our net inventory reduced by 22% from 44.80 days to 35 days in two years 2018-19 and stock-out was reduced by 51% to touch a record low of 1.40% in 2018-19.

My management mantra has been three steps process: Kaizen, Karma and Kudos. Kaizen – continuously improve self; Karma – be part of larger goal and do good; Kudos – always give recognition where due. These three-steps make me strive for improvements year-on-year and push me to excel further."

Vickram Srivastava, GM (Global Demand and Supply Organization), Zydus Cadila Health Care Ltd - "An SCM innovation we drove at Zydus was digitization and digital transformation of the entire S&OP process – PACE (Planning and Collaboration Excellence), which was executed with the help of one of the Big4 consulting firms. I was at forefront of this SCM transformation journey as PACE champion ensuring change adaptation with respect to both tools/technology and behavioral change. Digitization helped automate and speed up the process and improved traceability and visibility across the entire S&OP process. The digital transformation further helped us redefine the process, cut non-value add activities and make the process lean. Besides, I have managed inventory of Rs600+ crore and helped reduce inventory to consumption ratio from 5.3 at start of 2017 to 4.4 (current) using levers like better consensus planning for demand generation, return-to-vendor/sell-off non-moving inventory and campaign planning to improve consumption of material. We have also been able to achieve 99%+ availability in key markets at Zydus for last 8 quarters, driving top line sales of $1.2 billion+ and bottom line of $250 million+."

Sandeep Chatterjee, Senior Manager, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services, Inc. - "A Supply Chain Network Design done for an FMCG Major resulted in total cost savings of Rs10 crores in 2 years. The company had 15 factories, 55 warehouses and was losing money. This was the first of its kind in the world where we did a strategic network optimization with integrated data from ERP into Oracle SNO. The exercise involved a Business Process Reengineering and Linear Programming Modelling to arrive at the optimized network. I am a Certified Demand Driven Planner and work closely with Demand Driven Institute (DDI) namely Carol Ptak and Chad Smith in developing the next generation Demand Driven MRP algorithms. Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP) is a formal multi-echelon planning and execution method to protect and promote the flow of relevant information through the establishment and management of strategically placed decoupling point stock buffers. DDMRP combines some of the still relevant aspects of Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP) with the pull and visibility emphases found in Lean and the Theory of Constraints and the variability reduction emphasis of Six Sigma. These elements are successfully blended through key points of innovation in the DDMRP method."

Mohit Agarwal, General Manager – Demand, Distribution and Channel Management, Johnson and Johnson - "I have led Regional Plan Transformation Initiative to drive Planning Maturity Improvement from the Stage of “Integrated” to “Collaboration” within 2019 and propose a pathway to reach “Orchestrated” Stage. As one of the most innovative projects, we conceptualized and implemented Direct Ship in 2017 with the aim of bringing in agility to react to customer requirements faster and reduce inventory cost for the company. Direct Ship Initiative was thought and conceptualized keeping J&J Credo in mind where our First Responsibility is towards Patients and how we can be more responsive towards their needs. Cutting lead times to serve them ensures we can be more agile to their needs when required. Owing to this initiative, we were able to achieve inventory reduction of 3M USD/year, Lead Time reduction of 14 days and IFU cost removal of 180K USD. This ensures that the products are shipped from factory to Key AP markets direct and bypass key distribution centre."

Hiren Ladva, National Head, Business Development – Contract Logistics, Future Supply Chain Solutions - "I believe my responses and my work demonstrate the consultative approach adopted by me and my team at FSC. Case in point is an assignment where we were able to help a leading consumer foods MNC to simplify its supply chain operations outside their plant. Even with multiple warehouses around the plant for raw materials as well as finished goods, they were running short of storage space every few months due to rapid business growth. When they approached us, my team and I came up with a customized solution with a single warehouse that provided an efficient and de-bottlenecked process to enable speedy movement of goods from the plant to the warehouse, thereby freeing up buffer storage area at the plant. As a leader, I had to channelize all possible resources and align them to the strategic objectives of the customer. We successfully designed a process leveraging cross-functional and collaborative approach with the customer using new ideas and initiatives across multiple areas like layout planning, storage design, material handling, transportation, packaging, documentation and even security checks processes.

I have been deeply inspired by Simon Sinek’s quote - “It’s better to feel uncomfortable pushing for the better than feel uncomfortable settling for less”. It is only because my team and I believed in this philosophy that we were able to solve this challenge for the customer and become a trusted partner for them!"

Manoj V. Bhatia, Deputy General Manager, Commercial, Raymond Ltd. - "I played a pivotal role by spearheading the successful launch of Indirect Procurement Team at Raymond (for its PAN India locations) with the aid of following three building blocks:

  • People: Setting-up a centralized Indirect Procurement SSC for Sourcing & Procurement to cater to all the BU’s across locations. Along with this, a Center of Excellence team was formed to support on Market Intelligence, Spend Management, Contract Management, Vendor Management, CSAT, MIS & Cost initiative projects.
  • Process: Implementation of Standard Procurement Processes & Guidelines (SOP, SLA, RACI, etc.) across Bus, which led to transformation from a traditional to a process-centric organization.
  • Technology: Implementation of an eProcurement tool that facilitated standalone solution for P2P process. It enabled greater visibility, transparency, enhanced accountability, control, improved process uniformity & cost efficiencies.

The new centralized team structure proved to be more agile, productive & flexible to support the business growth. Overall, this procurement transformation has helped to create immense value by managing change without business disruption; signing-up for stretched targets & cost optimization; embedding of processes in technology; leveraging intelligence & reducing overall procurement lead time."

Nanda Kumar A G, Performance & Transformation Manager, India Supply Chain, Alstom Transport - "According to me, it is the success that I demonstrated moving through the diverged and challenging work environment. “Every Challenge is an Opportunity” is my management mantra to explore endless possibilities and to be a successful professional. My willingness to take diverged / cross-functional assignments was a real challenge, which not only helped to enhance my knowledge & competency but to win recognitions both internal & external. Aiming at business ramp-up, my current role is to build strong Supply Chain Culture by establishing the process maturity, enhancing people skills & competency."

Rijin Malayattil, Sr Manager, Novateur Electrical and Digital Systems Pvt Ltd. - "I implemented a forecasting dashboard, which provided clear business insights at three levels – total business outlook, evolution of estimates in comparison with previous months and product family level performance. Decision making by top management during forecast validation meeting was made easier with the enhanced analysis and highlights on key statistics: Sale vs Forecast (quantity, %); Forecast error (%); Year till Date vs Year to Go; Quarterly growth-weightage; Current month progress; and Sales plan vs estimate. This has been appreciated by the Legrand group VP - SCM and has taken this as an input for consideration while development of new tools by central forecasting team in France. Currently I am responsible for forecasting of four group entities: Legrand, IndoAsian, Numeric and Valrack, ensuring forecast accuracy and development/ training of team. I am also responsible for traded finished goods management, ensuring service level and inventory optimization. I firmly believe that improving processes and optimization is the key to enhance customer experience."

Poorvi Kumar, Manager – Operations, Future Supply Chain Solutions - "I managed 1 lac sqft apparel distribution center, which delivered a 2x increase in DC throughput within 2 years in conjunction with a GRN completion rate of 98% within same/ next day and Order fulfilment of 99.9%. I set a precedent as a DC in-charge by inducting women in the warehouse operator workforce in a high throughput operation, increasing operational stability and man-hr output. We inducted a large number of women specifically for inward and picking operation, that involves tasks to be completed on a piece level and found them to be more efficient and accurate in their work. In addition to operating staff, women have also been inducted as data entry operators and supervisors, some of them being promoted from the operator level owing to their capability and interest levels. The percentage of errors, process deviations as well as attrition has reduced over time, with some of the women being with the operation over 2 years. We have also developed a cross functional implementation and operational stabilization team consisting of FTE as well as contract staff, starting with apparel expertise and extending it to food/ FMCG and furniture. I like to “Start with a slog, end with a flourish!”

Satyam Tiwari, Founding Member, Head Logistics Practice, Thoucentric - "We consulted on Program Management and System & Process design for warehousing automation at the greenfield plants for the largest paint manufacturer in India aimed at doubling the production capacity. We also established Thoucentric (being a start-up) as dependable consulting partner for strategic supply chain initiative for several Fortune 500 clients along with exceptional delivery (in a scenario where experts had doubts on the feasibility of expected delivery with the new team and in an aggressive timeline) on the assignment. The key outcome of the project was successful delivery in sacrosanct & stringent timeline of 16 months from Business Blueprint to Stabilization for:

  • eWM Implementation along with integration with 10 different OEM for Storage (Multi-deep, Single Deep) Movement (Conveyor, EMS, STV) and automated loading (Gantry, Robots) & Unloading (Stakes).
  • Reduction in the Manpower requirement by almost 75% compared to same capacity semiautomated facilities.

We have designed and implemented the process of servicing Gourmet and Precious goods for the largest e-commerce platform in India. In the initiative, I worked very closely with 3PL service providers to develop the capability and with the internal stakeholders in understanding that nuances of handling the products from these categories and ensuring that the products are delivered to the customers in committed time and in perfect condition. The initiative enabled the platform to start servicing new categories and add 3% - 4% to the GMV."

Danish Taneja, Manager, Bestseller India Pvt Ltd. - "We have successfully delivered two big projects in 2 years, which added positively to company’s bottom-line. We created complete visibility through reports and dashboards (Order to pick, pick to ship, ship to deliver) giving visibility at every supply chain stage. I am working on marketplace model with business team, which is getting implemented very soon. It would overall improve the sale of online business and so effectively improve the % sale from online business for the company. I have also successfully handled setting up supply chain processes and tech platform for various online partners like Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, etc., and also helped warehouse set up processes for our own captive websites and omnichannel initiatives. We ensured effective liquidation of old season merchandizes with online partners almost 7 lac pieces in 3 months’ time. Besides, we improved inventory utilization by integrating with order management system as well as developed and implemented quality check parameters and inventory accuracy to improve the fill rate to 99.95%."

Poonam Bareja, General Manager – Strategy & Deployment (Supply Chain), Johnson & Johnson (Pharma division) - "Being a supply chain professional, I have always believed in power of Digitization & Analytics in transforming the way operations are run. This has enabled continuous process improvement to deliver operational excellence in terms of Best in Class KPIs.

In my J&J Pharma stint, I have led multiple initiatives where we used Digital & Analytics to transform our day to day operations and made it more scalable, sustainable and user-friendly. One such initiative is related to our distributors where we have used digitization to smoothen the claim management process. This process had emerged as significant pain area during our Voice of Customer survey. The initiative involved mapping of As-Is and designing To-Be process along with digitization to bring more efficiencies and visibility in the overall Order to Cash cycle process for distributors. This and other initiatives led under this program have resulted in significant improvement in feedback received during customer survey results last year vs this year.

I have also been using digital and analytics to create impact beyond supply chain as well. In my earlier role in Marico prior to J&J, I was responsible for setting up of Analytics Centre of Excellence as the first Head – Analytics. I have built processes, recruited and mentored the Analytics team from scratch and delivered many revenue generating predictive analytics initiatives in Sales, Marketing, Finance and Supply Chain apart from Revamping the Dashboards for all functions. In J&J Pharma also, I have continued the Analytics journey and set the trend by engaging in sales related Digital and Analytics Initiatives for pharma operations."

Sudhakar. P, Senior Manager, Hyundai Motor India Limited - "I was involved in Auto Sequence Feeding improvement through Supply Logistics Vehicle Flow Optimization, which resulted in Logistics Idle Time minimization of 2.26 Hrs/Day; Truck Travelling Distance Reduction of 61.48 Km/Day (Truck Requirement Reduction) and Logistics Cost Saving of over 16 Lakhs/Year. As part of my KRA, I have to ensure Vehicle Assembly Line Stop with a target of 30 Minutes/Year. I achieved 100% result with Zero Line Stop. Production Line Efficiency Through Model Change Frequency Reduction is 2% and lastly, logistics improvement, which resulted in Movement/Distance Reduction & Cost Saving of 65 Km/Day and 32 Lakhs/Year respectively."

A much larger platform