Microsoft’s Future Ready series witness CXO keynotes and dialogues from Manufacturing


Microsoft’s Future Ready Industry week, Manufacturing edition witnessed a confluence of diverse perspectives as industry leaders from leading conglomerates like L&T, Ashok Leyland, Vedanta, Adani Group, Asian Paints and Aditya Birla Group and others shared insights on themes ranging from creation of resilient supply chains, operating safe and agile factories as well as unlocking innovation and new services. The event builds on the Future Ready flagship series through CXO keynotes and dialogues with Microsoft’s focus on empowering people and organizations to prepare for growth in the next decade.

In terms of business priorities for the manufacturing industry, identifying new revenue streams along with digital offerings is at the forefront and highlights the changing scheme of strategies which are increasingly customer centric, and data driven. Strategies also rely on a seamless ecosystem collaboration and partnership. Industry research also reveals that 40% of Asian manufacturers will adopt an API led integration strategy to link applications on a single platform to improve agility and visibility across organizations by 2023. The above estimates substantiate the importance of application and data sharing with their ecosystem, which results in increased operational productivity. (Source: IDC*)

Speaking on the occasion, Sashi Sreedharan Managing Director, Microsoft India said, “Microsoft aims to fulfill its mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, by helping customers and partners manufacture a more resilient and sustainable future. We are fueling the manufacturing industry’s digital transformation with technology and digital capabilities to unlock new efficiencies and future-proof business.” He further added, “Given the accelerated penetration of Industry 4.0 across the Indian manufacturing landscape, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support our customers in their growth journey by connecting the intelligent, integrated cloud, and edge capabilities of the Microsoft platforms to deliver the highest value.”

S.N Subrahmanyam, Chief Executive officer & Managing Director Larsen &Toubro in a fireside chat session with Anant Maheswari, President Microsoft India spoke about how the industry giant has been at the forefront of digital innovation and transformation. He said, “One of the decisions that we took was to be a very high-end technology solutions provider where we could utilize technologies like IoT, Industry 4.0, AI, ML and various other tools and applications as well as platforms to envisage how we could get accurate data, to be objective about decision making. This data has helped us benchmark ourselves against the best in the world while analyzing the outcome of all this digital activity. He further added “Microsoft has played a very important role and much of IoT and Microsoft Azure is being used extensively at L&T project sites.”

Talking about a roadmap for a digitally ready Future enterprise, Sampath Kumar Venkataswamy, Senior Research Manager, Manufacturing insights, IDC Asia in the session, “The Future of Make in India” stressed the importance of process transformation in enhancing the digital readiness of Indian manufacturers. He stated, “Organizations need to assess their baselines, and if needed, re-engineer their business and operational processes. While investing in technologies that enable data visibility across their value chain. Training their workforce in terms of skilling and re-skilling is imperative for them to be agile.”

Sharing his views on the impact of technology in facilitating a more sustainable future, Vineet Jaiswal- Deputy CEO, Vedanta said, “It is always better to move to cloud because you are reducing the carbon footprint rather than having your own data center. Moreover, what we are ensuring is that whatever we do from a supply chain perspective, we have the entire end-to-end visibility. This shortens the turnaround time which in turn reduces emissions.”

Speaking about the disruptive potential of technology impacting the commercial vehicle industry in India, Dr N Saravanan, President, and Chief Technology officer of Ashok Leyland, in the session “Front Office Transformation” said, “We are moving away from selling a product to selling a service with data being a key component to enhance the customer experience We can use the data to enhance the customer experience as the data itself is much more critical in commercial vehicle segment since the category is driven by TCO. Collaboration with ecosystem partners is also important and Microsoft can be a key enabler for companies to operate in the ecosystem seamlessly by supporting their end-to-end requirements from cloud computing to data security.”

Reiterating the significance of data, Venkatesh Natarajan, President and CDO Ashok Leyland spoke about using data very extensively both for direct monetization and for indirect monetization, providing huge amount of value to customers. Looking ahead, as the industry transitions from a product centric to a solution centric kind of an organization, he spoke about how connective vehicle data, AI, analytics is going to play a very dominant role.

Sharing their insights into various approaches in building the factories of the future, Manish Gupta, Group CIO, Aditya Birla Group highlighted the evolution of technologies and stressed that the future will be personalization at scale through smart factories. Earlier, factories were very fixated in terms of what products they are going to supply, but with changing demand factories can now rely on additive manufacturing or 3D printing to rapidly respond.

Taking about smart factories, Aashish Kshetry, VP IT and HR at Asian Paints commented, “The interface of man and machine will never go away. Automation systems will have mechanisms to monitor safety protocols and reduce wastage by providing insights through sensors, measurement mechanisms and the ability to sift through large volumes of data. This could be something as simple as energy consumption. Safety and sustainability would be top priorities that any smart factory can really enhance from an overall perspective.”


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