“The crisis made us sharper, smarter and more evolved as an enterprise”- Dr. Chandran R., CIO, Bahwan CyberTek

Chennai-based Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), a global provider of digital transformation solutions is looking to strengthen its leadership as it moves into the next phase of growth.

Dr. Chandran R.
CIO and Chief Delivery Officer,
Bahwan CyberTek

CXODigitalPulse.com recently interacted with Dr. Chandran R., CIO and Chief Delivery Officer at BCT who has the responsibility for setting the technology strategy, and being the catalyst for technology change.

In the video conversation, Dr. Chandran shares his views on how he and his team have navigated through the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. He shares first-hand understanding of how the company is driving enduring change, and what may come next.

In the text interview, he reveals how as the CIO he is enabling business transition, listening to customer/employee needs and key role of BCT’s AIRIS Lab in developing new innovations. The following is a condensed and edited version of his conversation with

Ashwani Mishra, Editor, CXODigitalPulse.com.

Q1. Bahwan CyberTek (BCT) is going through a phase of growth and increasing demand for its products and services. As the CIO, how are you enabling this transition for the business?
We have been growing at a blistering pace over the past 2-3 years. COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation across continents, and our products and services are in high demand in the markets we operate in. Investors and partners across Americas and Australia are strategically interested in our IPs and enterprise and digital solutions. To meet the demand, we are also expanding our domain expertise and technology base, forging new partnerships and opening up to new geographies. Overall, the “new-normal” has only made us sharper, smarter and more evolved as an enterprise.

We are paying utmost attention on three key areas viz. digital-readiness with automation, quality and cybersecurity, and finally reusability to drive the company’s evolution into the next phase of growth.

With the shift towards a borderless workplace, digital-readiness with automation is high on our radar. We want to ensure that work happens without disruption; in a secure, stable and cloud-enabled ecosystem. Our internal automation team has been working tirelessly to ensures that our IT systems are upbeat and digitally enabled to meet the demands around accessing critical data in a secure environment and monitoring remote workforce on a daily basis.

On the quality and cybersecurity front, we ensure that our products are robust, agile and secure, and at the same time adhere to the highest standards of quality.

We look to build a composable enterprise where we build reusable software components that can be applied to cross-pollinate between products and services across domains and thereby, enable faster-time-to-market and optimization of costs. This is the reusability piece.

Q2. The reusability piece is quite interesting where you cross-pollinate between products and services across domains. BCT has always been at the leading-edge of technologies, focusing on continued innovation through collaboration. Your AIRIS Lab acts as an ‘incubator’ and helps in developing innovations – from ideas to products. What have been some of the new products developed, and what can customers expect in the pipeline?
As a company, we have always led from the front. Most of our IPs and solutions are exclusive while at the same time technology-agnostic platforms that can be leveraged to create maximized value for customers. We create opportunities and act as a catalyst to change−as opposed to react to change.

Our AIRIS Lab, located in the Silicon Valley is the brain-child of years of innovation experience. It has given birth to new ideas and helped transform those very ideas into products. It has become the epicentre of all innovation coming out of the company, and prepare us for future market trends.

For instance, FuelTrans is one such solution that came out of AIRIS Labs in the retail fuel marketing space. It has garnered a lot of attention in MENA, India and now, in the USA. Many American fuel retailers have shown interest in the solution’s capability to automate retail fuel outlets and offer end-to-end visibility over fuel marketing operations.

Another innovative solution is dtSmartWorks360, a digital suite of solutions that offers end-to-end monitoring and management of workforce and workplace in real-time. It has a Control Tower to monitor real-time safe distancing, Contact Tracing App, Crowd Management, Helpline, Feedback Management, Reporting of health parameters and alerts for sanitization of workplace in case of a positive COVID-19 case.

Q3. Speaking specifically on the pandemic outbreak, can you identify some of the key lessons that you have learnt along the way for managing this type of rapid disruption and change?
Enterprises need to be prepared for any kind of disruption, be it in technology or society or work environment. Every modern enterprise should have a resolute Business Continuity Plan for disaster-preparedness and disruption management. It is our preparedness that has helped us fare this well during the pandemic.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of a digital-ready culture. Though we were already cloud-enabled and had automation tools and mobility solutions before the pandemic, we were still on an on-premise workplace model earlier. But we quickly adapted to the change and now, we are now a full-fledged digital enterprise. From our support desks to HR functions to employee engagement, everything has gone 100% digital.

Q4. How are you prioritizing what to accelerate and where to invest, and at the same time keep up your digital momentum?
In this race to become digital, some sectors are seeing multi-fold increase in digital investments—for instance, the supply chain domain.

As businesses transition from brick-and-mortar to digital models, supply chain disruptions are resolved digitally. In this regard, our IPs CueTrans and FuelTrans are helping businesses optimize costs through digital supply chain systems. In CueTrans for instance, we have expanded its suite to support cold chain transportation, influence driver behaviours with AI cameras and Driver Management Systems and make vehicle tracking more rigorous with satellite-enabled in-vehicle monitoring systems.

Other niche areas which are seeing hike in digital investments are—remote monitoring, automation and fintech. Industries that want to remotely run their business, especially asset-intensive industries are betting big on these solutions. Our IPs retina360 and rt360 already cater to these segments.

Q5. Suddenly, examination of customer/ employee journeys and satisfaction metrics to inform what customers/employees want have given way to an acute urgency to address what they need. How are you addressing this piece?
Customer/employee opinion is paramount. In a digital world, what is lost in most of the cases is the voice of the customer. We understood this early on. Our Digital Experience solution dropthought captures customer sentiments in real-time and uses advanced NLP and ML models to offer actionable insights to businesses. This helps many businesses keep their ears to the ground about their customers’ opinions.

The same holds true for employees. In the absence of a physical work environment, employees working remotely are undergoing a tremendous amount of stress, mental and physical, adding to the paranoia associated with what is happening across the world. We leverage dropthought to capture the voice of our associates. This helps us plan out events based on their sentiments and respond swiftly to what they actually want.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this feature article are of the author. This is not meant to be an advisory to purchase or invest in products, services or solutions of a particular type or, those promoted and sold by a particular company, their legal subsidiary in India or their channel partners. No warranty or any other liability is either expressed or implied.
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