The Bright Sparks - 30 Under 30 Superstars 2020

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The Bright Sparks - 30 Under 30 Superstars 2020

The nominations we received for the Celerity 40-Under-40 and 30-Under-30 this year were high on innovative quotient. Showcasing their talent in their extensive submission forms, affirmed jury members’ confidence that the next generation of supply chain in the country is truly BEST IN CLASS. In this part, we reveal the innovative might of the 30-under-30 Celerity Supply Chain Award Winners. These winners are in no particular order.


The responses of each nominee were graded based on their career growth, innovations implemented, projects done and their impact on their organization. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our Grand Jury members who painstakingly evaluated each entry and then deliberated on their decisions.


Spandan Rout, Analyst, Ford Motors – Global Data Insights & Analytics

As part of the New model parts identification & forecasting project, we had to identify the critical to stock parts during a new vehicle launch in the market, which will enable us to reduce back-orders as well as the cost of shock transportation and thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.

To begin with, we start characterizing or building parameters of various indicators in regions where the new model is to be launched, parameters such as geographical region, climatic trends, population behavior & demography. Experience with previous model launches is indispensable, thus making it the key parameter. The new model to-be launched is compared to the previous models based on various parameters mentioned above and finally top 3 matches are chosen for analysis. The top 3 models chosen are then analyzed for their parts sales pattern, driving pattern and historical vehicle sales pattern. Cumulative insights from the data are taken together to shape a forecast for the next 12 months involving various parts using various machine learning models.

Basis the ideation process, we developed an all-inclusive model, which only needs the input as New-Model-Parts list and would give the result of those CTS (Critical-to-stock) parts list and corresponding quantity. This is the first of its kind package, which forecasts the requirements for the next 12 months even before a model is launched owing to which it helped garner savings up to 54% of the cost and at the same time reap customer satisfaction by facilitating on time delivery of service parts.

Nitin Davessar, Manager - Supply Chain, Zed LifeStyle (Beardo)

Traditionally, majority of the New Product Development in Marico is done in-house, with R&D teams working on the formulations and packaging. The ambitious ask in front of us, however, was to significantly crunch the time to market while catering to multiple categories. Hence, a new model of innovation was required.

I took this opportunity to implement the "Connect & Develop" model of innovation, wherein we were able to match NPD requirements with the developed product & packaging formats available in both domestic and international markets. With this, the company was able to strengthen its male grooming & skincare portfolios with multiple product launches. Within a year, we successfully launched 25 new products, yielding INR 3Cr+ in sales.

This time to market is being pushed even further with my current stint at Beardo where we constantly challenge industry norms to ensure that the brand is always relevant in solving ever-changing consumer needs.

Radharaman Jha, Head – Supply Chain, Chalhoub Group

“Amount of “Data” we captured in supply chain has grown exponentially in last decade, however retailers have not been able to leverage the same for true omnichannel supply chain transformation in line with the customer expectation. We have setup supply chain analytics functions to drive SC transformation journey across – Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Inventory Optimization & Segmentation, Markdown Optimization, Sell thru & OTIF Improvement, etc. Also, we are using this to bring innovation in fulfillment & last mile through automation to become globally competitive retailer.

Anjana Singh, Category Specialist, Beroe-Inc

Over the past few years, series of unfortunate macroeconomic events led to severe supply disruptions of refractory raw materials and related finished products. This imbalance in the market led to unforeseen price volatility and a reduced negotiation potential for prospective large scale buyers. Globally, buyers are looking out for is a checklist of mitigation measures for a similar scenario. As I track the category on a periodic basis, I understand the commodity, concern supply chain and the pricing mechanism. This helped me develop a white paper, ‘Supply and Pricing of Refractories: A Checklist’, enlisting certain proactive measures a buyer can consider before placing orders. The so developed whitepaper is made available, free of cost through #thinkfree campaign.

Saket Srivastava, Supply Planning Manager, Roquette India Pvt Ltd

We innovatized SKUs by harmonizing the portfolio basis product specifications & monthly demand pattern, which resulted in the improvement in plant efficiency by less changeovers & Warehouse space utilization inventory optimization by setting safety stock norms for better customer service. We have developed detailed scheduling basis schedules (orders) & future plan as per forecast to follow the plan with factories. We did MPS process implementation for weekly checks on production and rough cut capacity planning for short term basis rolling demand/forecast. For Exports, we developed the MTO model to optimize warehouse space & better inventory turns. It helped in maximizing plant efficiency with limited and longer runs with defined lead time to follow & setting right expectations with customers basis destination. For Imports, we initiated in-depth SKU wise PSI (Production, Sales & Inventory) analysis for in-transit & volume to order visibility basis reorder level.

Jobin Joseph Zachariah, Logistics Analyst – API Division, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, Hyderabad

I, along with my team,

1.Implemented OTM Platform: Customs Brokerage in line with E-Sanchit Program. As conventional process begins to shift towards the demands of internet age, companies/supply chain professionals alike should perceive the ways in which these technologies are beginning to transform the logistics ecosystem. In view of this objective, we have implemented our cloud based solution, which helps in automating most processes by reducing manual interference and improves comprehensive efficiency in the total process flow while ensuring transparency into the system. The New Techo-Enabled Model has helped in identifying the horizons of smart working culture by keeping old conventional model into redundancy. Highlights include:

  • System based LSP Selection
  • System based data Repository
  • System enabled 3 Hierarchy Level Rate Approval: Once Rate got approved, it will be directly sent to EBS for accounting purpose
  • Audit department to spend less time on reviewing and documenting
  • High Level of Transaction visibility till GRN (Good Received Note)

2. CFS Consolidation activity: In terms of imports, Vishakhapatnam is where we get most of our cargos. In scope of that, we have developed a special contract with CFS/Terminal, which enabled savings of closely 30 Lakhs Annually. Earlier, this sum was given by CFSs to CHAs as an incentive in return for nominating respective CFSs. Although, we can’t use DPD Mode (Direct Port Delivery) all the time as our business strategy requires CFS support. But during this micro-project, we have identified the scopes of savings, which ultimately benefits our company.

Nivedita Jha, Sr. Executive, Johnson and Johnson

In 2019, I got the opportunity to lead the Supply Chain Innovation Project “INSPIRE (Indenting and Stamping Process Improvement for Government Reimbursed Business)”. This was very exciting project with high business impact. We could bring out-of-box solution by conducting hackathon within cross-functional team.

Business Challenges: Government Reimbursed Business is growing well and due to unique customization needs for each order, complexity index for supply chain is very high. There was a need to optimize the supply chain to reduce lead time, reduce cost of customization and improving compliance by making product tamper-proof.

Innovative solutions we delivered:

  • Implemented Innovative Tamper-proof packaging solution at minimal extra-cost & convenience of implementation on shop floor.
  • Used Tamper proof stickers on the product (Industry benchmarking)
  • Smart-Artwork change (combination artworks / Printing Technology)
  • Implemented serialization with no extra cost
  • Implemented Image Master – Online Image Master implementation helped in empowering Site Quality and hence reduced approval lead time by 1 day.
  • Control Tower Implementation – To monitor the end to end re-packaging process, our supply chain implemented control tower (excel based on-line tool). This helped us in identifying the process gaps / constraints and reduced the lead time significantly.

In another project, we also implemented Quality Management Module to further strengthen quality standards and compliance. We used latest technology like Winshuttle in this project. These simpler innovations are helping to add more value to business and at the same time, inspiring us to keep improving our skill sets.

Akhil MV, Assistant Manager, ITC Ltd.

ITC Ltd had an organizational initiative of merging two of its businesses to cross-leverage upon lean operational efficiency and capitalize on capabilities available inhouse. This project involved extensive coordination between all the functions, including  sourcing, procurement, inventory management, logistics, and HR team as internal stakeholders. There was a requirement of restructuring the organizational design, as there was a significant difference in internal grade structure. This called for extensive primary and secondary research and then an industry-wide benchmarking exercise in understanding and defining KPIs and performance metrics for employees of both SBUs so that the definitions of different levels of performance for the SBUs can be on the same page. The project was completed successfully, and the success can be measured by the fact that there was minimal attrition and a significant boost in the employee satisfaction survey conducted. The resultant conglomerate formed resulted in a lean manufacturing process with increased capacity utilization and industry best sourcing, procurement, and logistics practices.

Abhishek Bansal, Co-founder & CEO, Shadowfax Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

We founded Shadowfax to democratize logistics and bring convenience to our customers and today we are pioneering 3PL logistics solutions through our unique operating model, innovative platform and our inimitable network on-ground. In the last 5 years, we have leveraged technology to build the best-in-class logistics solutions that are efficient, cost-effective and agile.

As we know, supply chain management has always been an asset-heavy industry; most companies either buy commercial vehicles or get into long term leases with fleet owners to manage the logistics involved in the gamut of supply chain management. At Shadowfax, the prime differentiator from traditional logistics companies is our crowdsourced asset-light model that changes the conventional way of operating supply chain management. Our model is designed to bridge the gap between supply and demand and reduce supply chain inefficiencies. With Shadowfax’s crowdsourced model, vehicle owners can optimize their earnings by working with us on a variable cost-based contract that can be adjusted keeping in view the market fluctuations.

Operating on an asset-light model, currently, we have more than 150 K+ delivery network on the platform and fulfill 500K+ orders a day in food, grocery, fashion, pharmacy, e-commerce, and traditional business sectors. Also, we are on a mission to create one million micro-entrepreneurs in the next five years.

Krishna Pratap Ramesh, Divisional Supply Chain Manager, Marico Ltd.

The goal was to strive towards sustainable procurement for our biggest brand Parachute. Coconut production is itself a sustainable commodity where every part of the coconut tree is used for various products giving the tree and our program the name Kalpavriksha. With an objective of taking coconut farmers beyond the traditional agricultural practices, we took it upon ourselves to train them in a gamut of agricultural management. We successfully spearheaded several training sessions in the coconut growing states of south India and educating farmers on scientific and modern practices that have boosted the agrarian tradition with technological innovation.

Farmer does not invest much in his farm. Because of this attitude of minimal investment and care, the production of a coconut tree which should be in the range of 120 - 150 nuts/tree is in the range of 60 - 80 currently. Also, a farmer loses about 1-3% of his fully grown trees on a yearly basis to diseases and pest attacks. The seedling cost is not that high as he uses his own nuts to regrow, but it takes about 7 years for the tree to start giving nuts.

Considering the need of farmers and having established the effectiveness in a pilot project with 100 farmers, in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, it was important to expand the program across all 4 coconut growing states (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh) under the brand name of Parachute Kalpavriksha so that many coconut farmers can benefit from this program.

As I had mentioned earlier, Kalpavriksha was more like a start-up and there were various key initiatives that were propagated as part of Kalpavriksha. We ran an Agronomist Program. We deployed Farm Care Personnel, on the ground to interact with farmers in helping them to understand the program, enroll farmers and visit their fields for providing on-field support. A Kalpavriksha Care Centre was also set up where farmers could call up on our toll-free number and seek support on any farm issues they are facing from agricultural experts. This support is available in multiple local languages namely Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. So far over 50000+ unique farmers have been reached and benefitted through the toll-free line. A Digital Library has also been set up to educate farmers on best farm practices, pest & disease management, water management, etc. As of now, 35 digital library videos have been developed and uploaded on YouTube across 5 Languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada & English) which have garnered over a million views overall. 

As suggested in the beginning, Coconut cultivation is not a heavy investment crop where the farmer invests on equipment. We developed over 3 Agri Business Centres in a year where the farmer could get the equipment on rental basis plus various other labor services were provided at a lower cost. Several farmers were able to reap the benefits of this project. Additionally, we were able to create employment opportunities bringing the program into a self-sustainable mode.

Water Conservation: There was a time when coconut farmers had to buy water from outside just to make sure that they could keep their trees alive due to consecutive droughts. Majority of the coconut farmers are highly dependent on ground water making us to focus on increasing the ground water table through various water harvesting techniques. We were able to build over 150+ farm ponds in a period of 2 years contributing over 10+ crore L of water. And this in fact helped Marico’s Aim to achieve water stewardship by offsetting 100% of water consumption in operations.

Sustainable Procurement: The goal was never to buy directly from farmers. It was always aimed towards their welfare and making them sustainable & independent and a derivative of this program was getting coconuts from these sustainable farmers. The farmers wanted to sell their product to Marico to get the best market prices and we were able to buy through various initiatives like Coconut Collection Centres, Coconut Producing Companies and Direct Farm Buying.

The impact was in making PARACHUTE KALPAVRIKSHA a renowned brand among this community and we were quite successful to do the same in a period of 2.5 years. 

Alka Kamble, Procurement Manager, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electrical Ltd.

INDIRECT sourcing is one of the important processes for a business to enable it to maintain and develop its operations. This process was decentralized, which involved branches sending their requisitions at HO just for approval. This approvers at HO then had to perform the reconciliation exercise, thereby leading to high process time and tracking inefficiencies because all the transactions were carried via email. Being a part of business excellence team, I handled the project for automating pan-India indirect procurement at all the branches. Being a non-critical items in terms of profit impact and risk, the process would have been made efficient through standardization and centralization. For that I first did high level process mapping of the existing process and identified the high lead time and non-value added activities. Next step was to incorporate the process on an e-procurement portal. For that I was involved in drafting business requirement document with all the necessary stakeholders, listed the test cases and performed user acceptance testing and launched the pilot portal in one region before release. The portal has made tracking and approval mechanism for Admin team easy and process centralization has helped in cost savings because of requirement consolidation creating desired MOQ and regular e-auction. Major challenge was to inculcate the regular portal usage among the users because of the resistance to change. However, high level communication, constant training to the users and hand holding to branch representative have helped in transitioning the process. 

The project is a great learning for me and helped me understand how to eliminate the elements of inefficiencies from a process and make it more user-friendly and compliant.

Praharsh Chandra, Co-founder & COO, Shadowfax Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

One SCM innovation from the Shadowfax Ops team was cross-utilization of resources across facilities, last mile, and middle miles of the supply chain. The team analyzed cost structure, peak time patterns, efficiency and utilization and other parameters of different delivery verticals.

We soon understood how variabilizing cost headers across the supply chain could increase an individual partner’s utilization and at the same time open an avenue for them to earn more than what they were earning by delivering for just one vertical. Utilization in cross-category was exceptionally low across the industry. So, Shadowfax created a culture to combine and cross-utilize our massive ground force to drive a better deal for both our clients with increased efficiencies and for our delivery partners so they could switch from one vertical to another based on requirements and peaks. For example, an FMCG vehicle delivering grocery in the morning slots, could be utilized to move furniture in the later part of the day when grocery requirements were not high.

We developed an intensive training infrastructure to help partners understand the potential of this cross-utilization and how they could maximize their earnings. Every partner underwent a process training and related sessions so they could seamlessly deliver for different verticals without impacting customer delight in any way.

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