Bringing the TRANSFORMATION through the TOOL of TECHNOLOGY | Jagdish Belwal | TBCY

Bringing the TRANSFORMATION through the TOOL of TECHNOLOGY | Jagdish Belwal | TBCY

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Welcome to another episode of The Brand Called  You. A vodcast and podcast show that brings you   leadership lessons, knowledge, experience and  wisdom from hundreds of successful individuals   from around the world. I'm your host, Ashutosh  Garg and today I'm delighted to welcome a very,   very accomplished technology entrepreneur cum  advisor, Mr. Jagdish Belwal. Jagdish, welcome to the show. Thank you, Ashutosh.  Thanks for inviting me.

Thank you. Jagdish  is the founder and CEO of Jagdish  Belwal Advisory. He's a board member,   and is a board mentor and has an organization  called critical eye and we'll talk about it.   He was earlier the CIO of Tata Motors.  And he has been awarded, recognized and   felicitated several times. So Jagdish, let's talk about your advisory first,  

tell me about the work that you do. Yeah, so Ashutosh, you know, before we go there, let me talk a little  bit about, like, you know, where I come from.   So, you know, I'm a mechanical engineer  started out as a service engineer of excavators   going around in the field  for about four or five years.   And then I shifted to service headquarters, did a  lot of service transformation programs, and then   I shifted to IT. So, you know, before I came to  IT, and did that CRM program, I was actually you know, involved in hardcore business processes,  moving them transforming them and all that   and then it just that, you know, I got another  tool in my repository, which is technology to   basically accelerate the whole thing. So, what  I really am passionate about is transformation.

Now, technology is one big tool of  transformation, which is necessary   for transformation, but what I say is that the technology is necessary but not sufficient.   So, there is so much more that it requires to  really get transformation out of technology   than just technology itself. Like for  example, there's a lot of organization   change management that you need to do. I mean, there are partners in your   transformation programs and you need to  sort of try one team kind of philosophy   with all your partners. So then let me start by  asking you how do you define transformation? Oh, transformation is you know, I think the  simplest example of transformation is like,   you know, pupa turning into a butterfly, right.  So something which is crawling, you know, starts  

flying, and then it goes through a bit of pain  in the process, there's an incubation process and   then there's like, you know, this whole process  of breaking the shell and I think, you know,   organizations, divisions, processes, they undergo  a similar process that you know, when there is   a discomfort about you know, where you are, and  then you basically go back to the drawing board,   you start looking at like, you know, what are the  root causes, you start looking out for benchmarks,   and then it starts a planning process,  which is the incubation process,   where you're in a pupa stage nothing seems to  be changing. There is a lot you know, just   looking inside and then when you start executing,  you know, then the whole thing starts flying. So,   transformation is a similar process. So, can you  give me an example without giving any names of   some transformative changes that you  have brought about in organizations? Yeah, so, let me give you an example, you know, from my past   career, and I can name the organization and  it's like a published case study. So, you know,  

Tata Motors was in a duopoly in the commercial  vehicle market, you know, Tata Motors and Leyland   Yeah. And then what happened in late 90s,  early 2000s competition started coming in and,   there was like, you know, a lot of pressure  from all around. In the duopoly customer would always take a backseat, you know, because  the product is always in short supply. So, you know, when we started the CRM, the intent  was to transform our approach to the customer. And we conceptualized, we looked around and looked  at you know, everyone who was succeeding with CRM   primarily in the services and retail industries.  And then we basically identified some of the core   principles you know, which is the centrality of the data, the real-time nature of the data,   the connectedness of the enterprise and the ecosystem and a shared ownership   of the customer. So, fast forward, we put up a  platform connected all the dealers and we started  

getting a lot of data in real-time, we put analytics  on top of it. And now here comes you know,   the transformation is always in the results. So Tata Motors used to be called leader with   the follower's mindset, that was the industry  buzzword. We will always lead the market share but you know, if you look at customer  satisfaction and all the other qualitative   measures, we would fall behind, we actually  rose to the top. So Tata Motors continues to  

be on the top of the NPS in commercial vehicles,  it is there in top three, it used to be seventh or   eighth in the JD Power, you know, rankings, it has  been consistently in the top three for the last   many years, I would call that as a transformation.  But, was it only the system? No, there was,   like, you know, the functions change  there, the way we're doing processes,   there was a lot of analytics, which was put into  place, there was a lot of customer interaction measures,   and call center that was put into place. So if  you see 20 years back how they used to operate,   and today how they operate, is completely  different. So you know, that's what I call   calling supply. Okay. And then, you know, a few  minutes back, you mentioned that technology is   only one of the factors that enable transformation. Help me understand this statement, and  maybe, you know, if there's something   that you're doing in your advisory, give me an example. Once again, no names.  

Sure, sure. So, see, technology just provides you a  way of doing something in a different way, right.   But the real people who are involved  in the process are the users or the managers. And if you really look at how traditionally  organizations have worked, information used to be,   you know, a means of power, right? So,   and then, you know, there was   this whole mentality around, you know, this is how  it is done here. So, we are unique, okay. And then there has been, like, you know,  this whole command and control, top-down kind   of mindset. So what technology does  is, it brings a certain amount of data democracy,   you know, the same version of data available and  user, so, we cannot live with the information   silos. Now,

everyone across the organization,  top to bottom start seeing   some same version of data. Again,  there's a bit of democratization there.   And it requires changing our  processes. So collectively,   if you look at this, there's so much that needs to  be done inside an organization to transform through technology  than technology alone, right.   So again, let me give you an example here.  Okay. So this is again, from my past experience,   we implemented a technology which was supposed  to improve the warehousing operations, and successful implementation.

Everyone liked it, you know, no barriers, people started using it. And well, everything was going well, before I asked  for a review. And I said, Okay, I want to look at   are we really getting the benefits out  of it? There was no escalation,   you know, as an IT manager, I was actually  going and checking with my business folks,   that have you really got the  benefits, we started looking at   the figures and six months, everyone is happy,  but there's no change in the business KPIs.   So that was a situation. And then we started  getting into a root cause analysis of you know,  

everything is fine, you know, a technology  implementation is successful, we're all   talking about it, why is the KPIs not changing?  And what we figured out was that, to run that new   technology, on a day to day basis, we required  a new set of skills and people called planners.   So this was a planning system you're putting into  place, you require a couple of planners to execute   the entire thing and make sure that the data  is alright and stuff like that, right. And the whole planner hiring was  stuck somewhere in the HR bureaucracy.   You know, manufacturing organizations always  have this bottleneck of like, you know, your   ability to hire resources. Now, the moment we root caused it, you know, then I think, you know,   collectively, all the leaders we basically bottlenecked it along with HR and got those   people hired. In the meanwhile, while you're looking  out for those people, we got some contractors in   place, and then the processes started running. So  I generally, you know, call it a good example of,  

you know, everything's successful, but the  KPI is not being delivered. And where's the   problem, it's not technology. It's somewhere in the HR. Okay, so coming back to transformation two related questions for you. At what  stage does someone in an organization realize that  

I think it's time for me to transform and second, who decides it is time to transform? And  you give me the example of the   caterpillar or the pupa into the butterfly, who determines where I am at this stage? That   is the pupa that I may be and what do I want  to become? Yeah, so typically there are two ways about it. So, one is like, you know,  there is a pain that you're facing, right? Like,   for example, you're losing market share, or  let's say, you know, your warranty cost   is going through the roof, or let's say,  you know, the competition is, you know,   really biting into your, you know, whatever  you're doing. Now, that pain, and, you know, generally the business, everyone  would have done something about that pain,   and you're not able to, you know, really  address it. And that's where, you know, you go back to the planning board,  and you said, hey, you know, what,   running faster won't get you there faster, you  know, you got to let's say, you know, get a motorcycle or a car with the same energy to get you faster there. So,   a pain creates a need general, right. And  the second thing is just looking outside.

So when you look outside, within your industry,  and I actually prefer to look outside to other   industries, right, as to how other industries are  working, how they have evolved. And then if you're   able to, let's say, create an aspiration, right?  That, hey, you know, what? This is what we can do,   this is what somebody has done, this  is what we can do, and then you know,   creating some sort of a credible path  or plan on how we can do that. Now, 90% of the people, you know, follow the  first path, which is, unless there is a pain, you   don't act. But I would say Transformative  Leadership is where, you know, there are people   who are looking always ahead, and we're looking  at, you know, where things are done better,   and then you are able to push the organization  ahead. So the second part is what I would call   real transformation, even the first part also  leads to transformation. Interesting. But again,   I want to come back to the process. So say, I  have an organization and I'm the CEO of  

the company, or I'm the owner of the company,  and I reach out to you, and I say, you know,   you're a specialist in transformation, Jagdish. Can you come and make an appraisal and tell me do   I need to transform? And I'm giving a very  wide thing, obviously, it'd be with some   particular department of function, what is  the process that you would follow? Okay, so,   yeah, the process is not very complex. To begin  with, I think, you know, you generally start with   a diagnosis, right. So, the diagnosis will include  interviews with, you know, with the leaders,  

it will require some dipstick, you know, let's  say, a visit to a factory, visit to a warehouse and just like gathering as much absorbing a  lot of information about the current state, then starts the next part of the process, which is  like parsing this information against, let's say,   you know, what others are doing in the industry,  right. And if you go beyond the industry in terms   of process, let's say warehousing process, right,  so you can even benchmark yourself with Amazon's warehousing process. And so this  then creates that you're able to now become aware   of not only what you have, but you know, where  others are, and that creates that sort of, you know, where do we need to be? So there's an as  is to be situation that needs to be defined first.   And then comes, you know, the process of  identifying what programs will get us there?   How do we prioritize those programs, you know,  identifying the program team.

Now, typically, I will talk in the context  of technology. And in terms of what   works and what doesn't work, I think what works is  when there is a business leader, who has looked at   his as his end to be and he's putting his personal  weight his or her personal weight behind the   two we stayed and willing to sponsor because as I  said, technology is necessary but not sufficient,   there's so much things, so many things you have  to do on the organization side, structures,   process changes, you know, rules, policies, etc, that can only be done by a business. So you require a business leader to sponsor the program, right. The second   important thing is, you know, having somebody  from the business function itself, you know, as   a program manager, somebody, and here I  bring in a concept of exclusive accountability,   or somebody holding a particular function and also  doing this program, you know, always has an excuse   that, you know, this program didn't work just  because like I was busy with something else. So once you take away everything else  and give that exclusive accountability   that really creates a drive and that, you know  that you can say, sometimes anxiety or the   positive stress about making it happen. I think the third important thing here is like,  

you know, getting the right partner and  the technology. So I, again, have another   concept of like, you know, technology in Hotel  California, so you shouldn't jump into something,   it's very hard to get out of technology  once you've got it, right. So you have to   do your due diligence, maybe the POCs and looking around for other   people who have made success with it, and  have a rigor around selection of technology,   and I think a similar rigor you  need around the partners. Now,   once this entire setup is in place, you  have the program plans and everything,   then I think the most critical thing  which people get wrong, is the governance that governance is a, you know, a complete  system of reviews, which keeps everything aligned,   which has multiple stakeholders,  like, you know, working in tandem,   and a continuous, you know, sort of process of  resolving the issues which are faced during the   program by any of the participants. A lot  of decisions need to be taken. And so that's how we get there. I hope that answers your  question. I understand. I understand. So Jagdish, let's now move to the second part of our  conversation, which is on critical eye.

What is the peer-to-peer board community? Oh, this is interesting. In fact, you know, I also  discovered critical eye, you know, serendipitous   the connected with someone. And when I started  reading about them, it's very interesting concept   of, you know, people who have done their CXO  career, you know, who are now basically not looking at full time roles, okay.  And it's like, you know, people like   you and me who also want to give back, right. So critical eye is building this community of,   you know, ex-CXOs, if you may call them who are available as board members, as independent   directors. And as board mentors, now, board  mentors, is simply CXO, mentoring the CXOs.

So they have this entire, I would say the  community of, you know, CXO of board mentors.   And this is available as a service to any  of the corporate, they have been, I think,   more focused on Europe so far. And now they  are expanding into the APEC and one of the first ones to join them. Interesting. And, you know, does this also handle things like you  said, if a company,   if an organization wants board members, they  can reach out to critical eye? Wonderful. And are you on several boards also? Not really many. I'm on a couple of boards here.  Okay. So my question to   you, and I often ask this for many people who  are board members, non-Executive Board members,   and in India, the fiduciary responsibility  of a non-Executive Board member is the same   as that of an executive board member. As a board member, what is the level of  

transparency that you seek from a company? Oh, you know, it's a balancing deem act, you know, if you  may call it because, you know, you have to partner   with the CEO and the team,  no, you have to advise them, you have to be empathetic to them, but and also, at  the same time, you know, you have a   responsibility as a conscience people. So you  also have to ask them the hard questions. And   typically my hard questions are around, you  know, around governance, compliance, you know,   is basically doing the right things, you know,  and you have to make them aware. Now, as a board   member, I think your effectiveness is much better  when you don't really rock the boat, that means   you keep an eye in identifying the issues in  advance and alerting the CO and giving them the   necessary time and bandwidth to basically make  the coarse corrections. Now, I must say that,   you know, so far, I haven't come across a case  where there has been a willful, you know, intent and so everyone is under stress,   they are moving with the speed and there are  some over sites that may happen. And I think,  

important goal as a board member is to make sure  that you're keeping an eye on those oversights,   and you're basically like, you know, you're the  ones who are like checking all the i's are dotted and the T's are crossed, and keeping the   executive, safe and compliant.  Interesting. And my last question to you   is on again back to the board members, what  are the precautions an independent board   members should take before she or he decides  to agree to an invitation to join a board? Now, my questions  would be like, you know, why me? And then I would also   talk to like the other board members, in terms of what their experience has been,   I will do my own checking around in terms  of you know, are you looking at, you know, someone   who can add some value who can be what I said,  you know, as a conscious people or, you know,   someone you know, who's just willing to sign on  the dotted line. I would really look at the   intent, I will also talk to, I will also ask the  hard questions to the CEO or the entrepreneur,   as to you know, why are they looking at me,  and unless there is a convincing answer, I would hesitate. Jagdish on that note,  thank you so much for speaking to me. Thank you   for talking to me about the amazing work  that you have been doing at Tata Motors and   in the area of transformation. Thank you and good luck. Thank you, Ashutosh. Thanks for inviting me to  the TBCY show. Thank you.

Thank you for listening to The Brand Called You, videocast and podcast. A platform that brings you   knowledge, experience and wisdom of hundreds of  successful individuals from around the world.   Do visit our website, dot  to watch and listen to the stories of many   more individuals. You can also follow us on  YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just   search for The Brand Called You.

2022-01-29 17:52

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