“Analytics and IoT are our top priorities”

“Analytics and IoT are our top priorities”

Ravi Razdan, Head - IT and HR, Jyothy Laboratories Ltd, shares his opinions on the IT trends shaping the FMCG segment.

Analytics will define the way the FMCG segment does business in the days to come. While the industry is still far away from moving to prescriptive analytics, it is on the verge of deploying predictive analytics, says Ravi Razdan, Head - IT and HR, Jyothy Laboratories Ltd.

 What defines competitive edge in the FMCG sector in a digitally transformed environment?
FMCG is a fast paced sector, with good competition from both Indian companies and multinationals. While the core business principles remain the same, it is about how companies adopt new age technologies like big data analytics, IoT, cloud computing, etc to drive the business decisions.

What is the future of IT consumption? Do you see it as a mix of cloud and on-premise or do you see companies totally transitioning to a cloud environment?
Most companies are now open to adopting cloud, includes the BFSI segment. The cloud forms an important part of the current IT strategy as well as that of the future. A major global advisory firm predicts a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.2 per cent for SaaS, while IT spending will rise only 3 per cent, which in itself points to the fact that the cloud mix is going up.

The applications that are highly data intensive, but non-repetitive entail considerable operational risks to maintain complex infrastructure and it is hard to find highly trained professionals to maintain these applications, hence they become an ideal candidate for cloud solutions.

Companies may still want or prefer some applications on-premise for the sake of security or control or past investments, hence it will be a mix of cloud and on-prem.

Do you see FMCG companies transitioning to prescriptive analytics or are they mostly doing descriptive analytics today? What are the barriers to moving up the chain to real-time prescriptive analytics?
Analytics has become an integral part for better decision-making in business today. The adoption level would vary from company to company, but it would surely exist at some scale in all successful companies. The most important element for success in analytics is the quality of data and, with most companies now using good ERP solutions, we have already moved up that ladder to a good extent. Though mostly descriptive in nature today, predictive is what we would be moving on to soon. In my view, prescriptive analytics is still a long way to go, at least for FMCG. The most critical barriers being expertise, cost and data.

 How do you manage and retain talent? How are you coping with the supply situation in areas that need new skills, like cloud, digital and AI?
Most employees look for challenges. At Jyothy labs we try and automate most of the business processes, which in itself is challenging and rewarding. Also, we inculcate the culture of freedom in the team. While we define the goal, the team decides on the path to reach that goal. The team is also given the opportunity to learn and explore new areas basis their interest.

What are the top priorities of your organisation from an IT perspective?
Analytics is surely the topmost priority; this is followed by IoT.