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Thought Leadership ft. Zubin Sanghvi

We close the year with a special edition of our Thought Leadership Series. We speak to Zubin Sanghvi, Chief Executive Officer of Bhumi World.

Zubin Sanghvi of Bhumi World.
Zubin Sanghvi of Bhumi World

Zubin has 12 Plus years of experience with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. Skilled in Mutual Funds, Insurance, Business Development, Blogger, and Equities. A strong business development professional with a Master of Business Administration – MBA focused in Finance, General from Mumbai University Mumbai. He is active in the Education Industry by being a Guest Lecturer and Visiting Faculty in many of the esteemed Management Colleges across Mumbai.

Excerpts from our conversation with Zubin are below.

1. How does delegation of work in real-world business work when remote working. Would you consider technology as an enabler or a bottleneck?

– It’s long been anticipated that WFH (Working From Home) will be the future of
operations for many businesses worldwide over the coming years.
However, the emergence of the devastating Coronavirus appears to have accelerated the transition of employees from the office into the comfort of their own homes. While some businesses may be well prepared for a widespread shift from working environments to home environments, smaller companies may have to demonstrate an unnatural level of agility to accommodate a WFH work ethic. With many nations across the world in some form of lockdown, it’s unclear how long the WFH transition will last. It’s expected that many businesses will look to uphold some form of WFH values in the future even after the pandemic has alleviated. 

Technology is no longer just a business enabler. It is extremely core to the business model itself, no matter what industry. Today, ‘digital’ encompasses a lot of things – artificial intelligence (AI), data science, big data, mobility, IoT (the Internet of Things), analytics, additive manufacturing, blockchain and much more. Digital technologies have become so integral to business models and core processes that no enterprise can ignore them and still remain competitive.
That’s why the rate of digitization across industries and countries continues to rise. Digital now accounts for a substantial and growing percentage of new enterprise IT spending. Thus, the current business environment is defined in part by global socio-economic factors, accelerating technological changes and changing client preferences for collaboration.

2. In the post-COVID-19 times ahead, how would you gauge hygiene at work?

-While the rules of quarantining will need to be adhered to, workplaces will benefit by developing various lines of defense against infection. 

The first line of defense will start at employees’ homes, where each employee will be asked to self-quarantine for a stipulated period if they experience any symptoms or come in contact with a patient or even senses a risk. We will need everybody to be honestly sensitive and accountable towards this.

The second line of defense is at the workplace entrance, where each person is checked for key parameters and symptoms like temperature, heart rate, and oxygen levels before being allowed to enter. Test equipment for these parameters are surprisingly quick and efficient. 

The third line of defense will be the compulsory usage of protective gear – including masks, gloves, and sanitizers – to ensure that the spread is minimized even if it does cross the first two lines to enter workspaces. Having the disinfection partner continuously protect all high-touch areas like door handles, lift buttons, staircase rails, etc., will also be critical. Lastly, an isolation room will be needed in all offices to quickly quarantine anybody who feels unwell. A designated doctor-on-call is a must.

3. Warehousing has evolved in the last 5 years. Which are some
of the changes that have made an impression on you in Warehousing?

-Warehouse management systems have advanced considerably in the last couple of years. In the process, they have made many warehouse
activities faster for people to perform and generated efficiencies to reduce labour-intensiveness.
Today’s warehouses need fewer operatives and hence, fewer line managers, because certain labour-reducing technologies have either made labour more efficient or eliminated it altogether.
Technologies such as barcode scanning and RFID have taken away much of that administration effort, by allowing operatives to simply scan a pick face and enter picked quantities on a keypad.
More advanced solutions even eliminate the data entry altogether, leaving the operative to concentrate solely on the actual picking. Scanning technologies have had a similar impact in other areas of warehouse operation, such as receiving, put-away, and dispatch.
Like other solutions already mentioned, voice technology reduces labour needs in more ways than one.
In addition to helping warehouse personnel get more done in less time, it makes human error a less frequent occurrence, in turn reducing the need for labour to be expended on checking and rework. Automated solutions are pervasive, and becoming more so as the technology improves in affordability
as well as sophistication. Fast forward to the warehouse of today, and you’ll notice far less in the way of paper about the place.
Warehouse management systems, automation, barcode, and RFID technologies, and voice guidance systems all combine to make warehouses more efficient, less impactful on the environment, and less reliant on manual labour.

4. If you were given a choice between high-accuracy or high-speed when planning work, what would you choose and why?

– Accuracy is extremely important no matter what job you have … if you mislead co-workers, your boss, your client because of mistakes then there can be repercussions.  In some circumstances accuracy is CRITICAL … 99% accuracy might be great for many professions, but for an aircraft pilot or a ship’s captain it isn’t great enough!
Sometimes you need to SLOW DOWN.  Many mistakes happen because work is rushed, or because the person
doing the work has not taken time to become accurate in their process.  
in the same way that children learn to walk before they run, it is important that we learn to do our job RIGHT first and THEN get faster!
it is easy to complete a task and submit it … but if you take a little extra time to double check your work you will reduce the margin for error.

5. Last, but not the least, what’s next on the horizon for Bhumi World in the coming years.
We would love a sneak peek!

– In the coming years’ Bhumi World plans to spread across PAN India by developing more Industrial Parks with the help of the State Governments. We have our vision set in line with our Prime Minister’s vision of Make in India, Skill India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat. We plan to set up Industrial Parks across 40 Smart cities in Pan India to help SMEs/ MSMEs fulfill their dreams of becoming successful Entrepreneurs. With India being helmed as the next Superpower, we are more than sure that our Industrial Parks will be able to cater to the rising need for Warehouse and Manufacturing demand down the years. With the employment that can be generated across the 40 Parks and the subsequent upliftment of people in and around the park, we desire to be a part of the Journey of our nation becoming the 5 Trillion Economy. Thus our Tagline – PLUG n PLAY with us @Bhumiworld.!

That was Zubin Sanghvi of Bhumi World with some fantastic notes on his work style, the changes in the industry and what’s next on his work horizon!

To read other posts from our Thought Leadership Series, please head over to this link.

Warehouse Cleaning with Peppermint Robots

Warehousing: An Integral Focus Area

Warehousing is fast becoming an integral part of integrated logistics networks due to technological advancement and reform-led policy measures.


The area of total warehouse stocks across the country was estimated to be approximately 252.7 million square feet in 2020, up from around 208.6 million square feet in 2019 according to Statista.

Logistics sector in India touched US$200 billion in 2020 & India’s warehousing requirement is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 9%.

Growth: Local & Global

Warehousing industry in India is a growing industry and it’s going to continue to increase as a favourable real estate asset. The sector has witnessed massive participation from institutional investors and developers amid rising demand from across the sectors.

Globally, warehousing has moved ahead from single storey to multi-storey warehouses in densely populated cities and expensive land spaces. A multi-storey warehouse consists of more than one floor and is designed to increase the available floor space for optimum results. It results in better land utilization rate and boosts operational efficiency. Multi-storey warehouses have been successful in densely populated cities predominantly in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Hong Kong, India and Singapore, etc. due to high land and construction costs, small site areas and limited industrial land availability. 

Technology Adoption

With the increase in the warehousing and storage market, there has been a concurrent increase in technology usage. Other than the use of tracking, monitoring devices, and sensors to increase efficiency and speed up the process, cleaning and sanitization have also become smart and automated.

Warehouse cleaning can be an overwhelming task solely due to the size of modern-day warehouses. If not regularly maintained, warehouses can quickly become messy and unorganized, which can hamper the day-to-day workflow, leading to an increase in hazards and operating costs. 

A clean and organized warehouse can boost productivity, improve accuracy, and lead to higher job satisfaction.

Peppermint for Warehouse Cleaning

What makes cleaning warehouses easier? We do!

At Peppermint, we strive to provide a predictable deep cleaning experience for our customers to delight them. 

Our research enables us to provide astounding results.

Peppermint Robots clean better, cover large amounts of floor space at one go, are sustainable and being an intelligent cleaner it is accountable for its work.

Here’s a look at Peppermint working it’s way across a large 2L sq. ft warehouse in JNPT, near Mumbai.

Spot Peppermint!

Peppermint Floor Cleaning Machine is a shift from traditional Scrubbing Drying Machines. Using its smart technology, peppermint also uses dynamic pressure that allows it to work efficiently for different types of floors.

Welcoming you to the Advancement of Warehouse Cleaning!

Where can Peppermint Robots be used?

We take a deep dive into the different spaces in which Peppermint can be deployed.

At Peppermint, we understand the importance of deep cleaning and sanitization of working environments to protect your workforce and ensure that the floor is maintained to the highest standards of cleanliness and internal quality standards.

Peppermint Robots help the janitorial staff to focus their time on other surfaces including tables, chairs, light switches, door handles and other commonly used surfaces that viruses may be living on and make everyday lives easier!

Peppermint Robots are multifunctional, can be used for various purposes and in a varied number of places.

Here is the list of places we can use Peppermint Robots :

  1. Educational Institutions
  2. Hotels
  3. Large Manufacturing
  4. Warehouses
  5. Transport Hubs
  6. Offices & Business Parks

  1. Educational Institutions – The emphasis on cleaning in a time like this is paramount to educational institutions. Earlier this year, we spoke with Mrs. Rajashree Kakade, Director at Shantiniketan Schools in Kolhapur about how COVID-19 changes the way they approach school re-openings & this is what she had to say about it.

“We will have to take into account physical distancing needs and change classroom layouts wherever possible as and when schools reopen. We plan to undertake regular fumigation, sanitising of our school premises, and teach our students and staff the need for personal hygiene and cleanliness, at all times and building up immunity through exercise and healthy nutrition. Wearing masks may also be expedient while in school and while travelling by school buses.”

Mrs. Rajashree Kakade, Director, Shantiniketan Schools, Kolhapur

You can read our full Thought Leadership post with Rajashree Kakade here.

  1. Hotels & Hospitality: The number one reason to halt travel is the inherent nature of it and there on the effects of the same for viruses and bacteria. By using Peppermint Robots to clean floors, hotels becomes safer. Our Robots capture 99.99% of particles as small as 0.3 microns with various bacteria and allergens.

  1. Large Manufacturing: Peppermint Robots are well suited for Food Processing Plants, Hardware or Engineering Plants Units, Warehousing Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, etc. With so many rooms and surfaces to clean, Peppermint gives a strong and speedy response. It gives the floor a complete steam bath and fights to aim towards anti-bacteria and oil neutralizing.

  1. Warehouses: Adoption of Robotics has been the theme with Warehousing for some time now. When we approached the first few Warehouses for using Peppermint Robots, we were surprised at the different means of automation and robotics already in place at various warehouses. Peppermint became another addition to the burgeoning family of automation. One of our first client’s is a large warehouse in the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust Area where you’ll see below that our Robots take the safest route and ensure optimum cleaning is complete keeping in mind the expensive materials stored.
  1. Transport Hubs: Peppermint Robots are super easy and convenient to use in crowded places like airports. With 0 disturbance to the staff as well as the passengers, peppermint does a swift job and leaves surfaces as clean as new. Most airports are LEED rated and hence they aspire to reduce water, exclude the usage of chemicals and Peppermint’s UVC band lights add an additional layer of disinfection.

  1. Offices & Business Parks: Offices and Business Parks are in the process of re-opening with extreme caution and care. Peppermint Robots have powerful suction for cleaning the entire floor with up to 8 hours of runtime with simultaneous cleaning updates. The Peppermint Robot changes its scrubber pressure automatically for optimal cleaning for each type of flooring and therefore manages the cleaning dynamically.

Switch to Peppermint Automated Robots and make your life easier.

Peppermint Robots: From Prototype to Production

The journey of Peppermint started in early 2019.

The first few steps included in understanding the housekeeping and cleaning operations at commercial and public spaces and how it could be improved and optimized. Our findings led us to understanding cleaning workflows which could be upgraded with a robotic cleaning operation for achieving better cleaning and optimized operations.

That’s when the idea of Peppermint’s Industrial Floor Cleaning Robots was seeded. Early prototyping started in May 2019 in our fabrication unit at Pune. With a small team of 3, Proto-1 was built in June 2020 which gave us deep learnings and set tone to the subsequent prototypes in coming months.

Our journey was soon validated with support from Nidhi-Prayas, a startup support program devised by “Department of Science & Technology” and managed by “SINE-IIT Bombay”.
Prayas gave us access to the rich ecosystem at SINE-IIT Bombay and resources to brings ideas to reality.

This was soon followed by pre-seed fundraise round led by Mr Naveen Kshatriya, Former MD of Castrol Asia and ANZ along with other Angel investors who mentored us into achieve the right product-market fit.

Fast forward to November 2019, when we got incubated at Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IIT Bombay. (The incubator at IIT Bombay). SINE remains our HQ and we are ever so grateful for the wonderful entrepreneurial ecosystem and support we receive at SINE.

Earlier this year in February 2020, we launched our first product, Peppermint Pro Floor Cleaning Robot at Victor Menezes Centre in IIT-Bombay.

Peppermint is designed to upgrade the cleaning at commercial and public spaces like Airports, Industries, Warehouses, Hotels and more. It delivers the best in class cleaning with the Dynamic Pressure, complete autonomous operations with docking station for seamless cleaning and best in class uptime with upto 8 hours of continuous operations per charge

Through the Covid-19 lockdown, the team started working on adding a fitment that makes Peppermint Pro the only robot in India to do a Triple Action Clean – Scrubbing, UV Bath and Drying. The benefits of UV Light have come up as a great fillip to battling the pandemic but for us it goes beyond that to bringing sanitizing functions to everyday cleaning operations.

Through this journey, in May, we were joined by Venture Catalysts, India’s first, largest and pioneering integrated incubator and accelerator platform who have invested and led the seed round along with Mr. Naveen Kshatriya and some other angels.

Coverage for the same can be read here

At Peppermint, we intend to strengthen the team and expand to new territories as we scale production and more depth to the product offering. We are highly committed to the culture we are building at the team and keeping the customer at the centre of our universe to build the best service robots!

We are thankful and grateful to all the supporters, friends , customers and well-wishers of Peppermint. Onwards to building bots!

Click here to join our mailing list where we share more updates about our bots!

Thought Leadership ft. Sunil C. Panchbhai

All eyes are on the Manufacturing Sector and a lot at Peppermint depends on the same. We’ve been actively meeting [virtually] people and asking questions and getting insights.

One of our best interactions recently was with Mr. Sunil C. Panchbhai, who had visited our factories earlier this year and we had kept in touch post that as well.

Sunil C. Panchbhai

Mr. Sunil is the founder of AscenTrack Consulting, Pune, and possesses almost 3 decades of work experience. An alumnus from VNIT (VRCE) in Mechanical engineering, he persuaded MBA later and holds Six Sigma Black Belt. Prior to founding his consulting company, he has headed Product Development(R&D)  for consumer Durable sector MNCs like LG Electronics, Electrolux and Indian companies like Voltas, after starting his career in Thermax, Pune.

Mr. Sunil’s company provides technical consulting service to 3 majors out of Top Ten Indian Companies, in addition to few local and overseas organizations. He is associated with technical bodies and shares his experience. Sunil is on the Board Of Studies (Mechanical Engineering) for VNIT, Nagpur, mentoring start-ups at SINE in IIT-B Mumbai, and been on Academic Councils for Engineering Colleges. He holds Secretary Position for Process Industries India Technical Centre, IMechE (UK).

Here are the excerpts:

  1. How does delegation of work in real-world business work when remote working. Would you consider technology as an enabler or a bottleneck?

The technology had reduced all barriers of connectivity related to business work. The new platforms for meeting are creating and getting more and more developed to a real office like environment for performing office work. The development of technology indeed is an enabler to improve the efficiency, it takes seamless connect, flexibility of working hours, sharing of documents with ease. In addition it is increasing efficiency by avoiding the NVA (Non Value Added) time of commuting, traffic jams and fatigue thereby.

2. In the post-COVID-19 times ahead, how would you gauge hygiene at home and at work?

Thanks to TV and social media information during lockdown period, especially for a creating a great level of awareness (Leaving apart the confusions in some conflicting shares) there is fairly good understanding of the hygiene and Do’s and Don’ts.

The households will follow the Indian way of Back to Basics concept; ie footwear limitation inside house, cleaning of fruits/vegetables with extra care and food preparation too. Household helps will also be strictly asked to follow the hygiene norms.

At the work, it will be less dependence on canteen food (more of home food), entry points with all sanitizing cares as we see. However, the meeting culture will change, including number of attendees and only need or requirement based. The manpower density will be reviewed for working, if adhering to new distancing norms that will make a review of WFH and Office attendance routines. E trainings and learning shall be more and also the E reviews by management.

3. What is your strategy to address automation/technology at work in the times to come?

The technology has given an excellent access to understand the environment in this time. Review of core strength, added with adapted/ gained strength to Survive first, then Stabilize, Secure market/profit and Spread (growth). Continuous review of strategies is required as the environment and psyche of the customers is changed and shall keep changing over a period of time. In addition to traditional ways, more stress on innovative ways for product or services is required to quickly adapt to changed environment.

So staying in connect continuously with market, customer, understand the changing requirements of products or services and continuously upgrading self will be helping in coming times.

4. In your journey, what makes a Manufacturing company successful in India?

Being proactive is the key, in my view. This starts with customer requirements anticipation, reaction faster and staying lean. In other words, the serving time to customer requirements to be minimum for your products or services, ease of manufacturing and total Turn Around Time to be as low as possible and at the lowest cost of manufacturing. Efficient and customer oriented designs, ease of manufacturability, increased automations will automatically lead to Quality Product or Service to make it successful in short or long run.

Off Couse, management soft skill such as leadership and teamwork are required to accomplish these initiatives on continual basis.

5. What are the Top-3 learnings for you through the lockdown period? How do you intend to inculcate the same at work?

  1. Importance of work-life balance: You are actually able to manage the work and also the family time. Staying all the time together strengthens the bonding, as we always try to do in management workshops for team building
  2. Learning is continuous: E-learning has made it easy to access many courses of your interest and profession. It not only sharpens your tool but gives good satisfaction. I could also do a few certification courses, including learning foreign language basics.
  3. Connect is life: It’s the most important point from the biz point of view. Connecting to old acquaintances, friends, families, strengthens the relationships and also brings opportunities for business. It also helps to revitalize and helps to bring up a solution to complex situations.

6. Do you think, self-driving cars, service robots, etc are closer to reality? How many years do you think before these become mainstay and would you like it to happen?

Self-driving cars are almost a reality now, we know about a food delivery trial car in the US , which is working for almost over a year now. Technology has taken it to the intelligence of the human level. However it will also be dependent on the many other aspects as a discipline, the environment in which it is working. So before it takes real commercial level.  I guess it will be a decade from now, that acceptance mode should be supported with discipline changes.

Service robots can be sooner implemented on mass scale – say 3-to 5 years from now. It will be great to see this happen. Firstly, there is less risk, cost efficiency and almost it answers drive of manpower optimization across industry or establishments. In the current situation, the concern of cleanliness and hygiene will be USPs for the service robots. At a later time, the household helps can be replaced with household robots with more capabilities developed and a good amount of AI. The way computerization has not affected clerical jobs on a large scale but opened more employments, similar will happen to the concern of job loss of helps at home.

7. What are your top 3 books that you will recommend to the readers?

In the context of industry and present situation I will suggest as below

  1. The Goal (Eliyahu Goldratt): For the struggling enterprises, look for opportunities in a weak situation, with teamwork and implementing manufacturing excellence, turn that into success. Also the book touches the point of family importance that takes attention to work-life balance.
  • Good to Great (Jim Collins) : For the established players, it’s not just the matter of existence now, but to demonstrate the thought leadership. Learn that, how others have done, and grown. It can help with few tips to overcome the current situation for sure.
  • The 5 AM Club (Robin Sharma): For aspiring individuals, I will recommend, it will speak about self-discipline and maximizing personal level efficiency with a commitment and putting that extra hour.

Thank you so much, Mr. Sunil for sharing your views and I’m sure the readers loved reading them as well.

Incase you’d like to read other articles in our Thought Leadership Series click here.

Thought Leadership ft. Krish Hanumanthu

Since the lockdown has started, I have wondered about the process of hiring at length and wondered how remote hiring works and what are the changes affecting the HR industry.

We found Krish from Acengage to answer the most pressing questions!

Krish Hanumanthu

Krish Hanumanthu is the Co-founder of AceNgage, an award-winning HR intelligence company specializing in decision support services for employee engagement & retention.
AceNgage provides the necessary power tools of information to Line Managers and HR leaders to uncover and understand latent employee-related challenges and assist in making evidence-based decisions to improve talent acquisition, employee engagement, and retention. AceNgage assists client organizations in providing high-quality feedback for improving the quality and implementation of decisions taken and assist in monitoring the implementation of these decisions.

Krish enjoys playing squash, trips on Calvin & Hobbes and counts running a full marathon among his recent achievements

Here are the excerpts from our conversation with Krish.

1.       How does delegation of work in real-world business work when remote working. Would you consider technology as an enabler or a bottleneck?

Before I speak about delegation let me touch upon something that will increasingly become very important in remote working and that’s trust. Earlier if an employee wouldn’t answer his phone, you’d assume that he is busy. Today you are suspicious that he’s s probably whiling away his time watching Netflix or involved in some personal chores. I’ve heard employees tell us that sometimes Managers call multiple times which wouldn’t happen earlier. Low trust will make the relationship toxic. So, before we start delegating we should be conscious that things are different. Setting clear expectations with realistic timelines is a good start.

As far as technology is concerned, there are several delegation tools that can help Managers watch what their teams progress, on an ongoing basis. This can help them understand how they are coping and can pitch in at the right time if required. Technology will always be an enabler but depending on it entirely will be foolhardy. Healthy communication will always be critical to success. Even the best technology can’t over rule the need for trust and effective communication from both sides

2.       In the post-COVID-19 times ahead, how would you gauge hygiene at home and at work?

Until the vaccine comes out we’d rather be safe than sorry. At home, many of us already following some strict rules. Masks and sanitizers have become the new norm. At work, companies will have to take a few additional precautions. Social distancing and providing a hygiene environment will become extremely important and they will need to invest more in keeping floors, workstations, table tops metal surfaces, desks and toilets clean. Temperature checking could become mandatory.In my opinion, the general care& concern towards cleanliness will only increase going forward and rightly so.

3.       HR Tech has evolved in the last 5 years. Which are some of the companies that have made an impression on you in automating HR? 

If I were to answer this question 3 months later, I’d have slipped AceNgage into the list as our first product (A location-agnostic – Onboarding solution) would be out by then.  Considering that we are in the feedback space my favorites are Office vibe and Cultureamp. Xoxoday a cloud-based SaaS rewards platform that have recently entered the ‘pulse surveys’ space is doing a fab job too.  Among the HR automation companies, I’ve heard some good things about Zoho.

4.       If you were given a choice between high-accuracy or high-speed when planning work, what would you choose and why?

For me speed is fine but accuracy is everything. Having said that both are important and in the world we live in, everyone wants things as of yesterday. While the speed of delivery can be managed by setting the right expectations, accuracy is about ensuring that there is a ‘0’ error. I’d rather buy more time than deliver something that’s inaccurate. Inaccuracy also leads to lower trust and that is not helpful in any relationship. It would be tough to pick one over the other as it all depends on the circumstances but if I had to, it would be accuracy

5.       What are the Top learnings for you through the lockdown period? How do you intend to inculcate the same at work?

AceNgage has been built as a 100% work from home company and to that extent, we are used to working from home. The 3 things I have learned from the lockdown are:

There’s no point worrying, for things to change you must do something about it

When the realization of the impact that the lockdown would have on the work front, dawned upon us, the first reaction was worry and I remembered my ex-boss and an amazing mentor telling me once, that, by me worrying about something, the problem won’t go away. It was important for us to relook at what we were doing and reinvent ourselves. It was important to embrace the change. Change is the only constant!

Some other key learnings were:

1.       To take a hard look at all the things we do and how we spend our time – Prioritise on what’s important and what’s not

2.       Focus on softer elements – Be compassionate and considerate to everyone and everything that’s happening around us and be grateful for the things that we fortunately have

3.       There is always a way – We just need to find it

Lastly, in the end, everything will be fine if it’s not fine it’s not the end 🙂

6.       Jobs in Automation have seen an uptick in the last few years. With a 5-year horizon in mind, what are your recommendations to young students studying in this field?

The future will be about automation and robotics and we will definitely see many more people shaping their careers in this space. Broadly speaking, as the country progresses there will be many opportunities in various fields. What’s important is to be passionate about what one is doing, that’s what will set the winners apart.

7.       Finally, your Top 3 Productivity Applications for Work.

Mostly its Gsuite & MS Office for us

Thank you so much, Krish for sharing your views and I’m sure the readers loved reading them as well.

Incase you’d like to read other articles in our Thought Leadership Series click here.

Thought Leadership ft. Kartik Johari

We have had the privilege of speaking with a diverse set of Thought Leaders for our series and this week is no different. This time we caught up with Kartik Johari from Nobel Hygiene, the undisputed leader in the adult diaper category and the only Indian manufacturer of both adult and baby diapers.

Kartik Johari of Nobel Hygiene

Kartik completed his MBA in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business. After five years of experience in the Marketing, Sales and Product development in various companies, he joined Nobel Hygiene as the Vice President -Marketing & Commerce, in 2014 with the aim of learning scaling, while increasing awareness for adult diapers. He credits all his learnings about Indian business to the company; and learns more from each market visit. His first formative experiences in sales left him with a deep appreciation of the scale in India, and how “dhanda” is done on the ground.

Excerpts from our conversation with Kartik.

1. How does delegation of work in real-world business work when remote working. Would you consider technology as an enabler or a bottleneck?

A: Technology is definitely an enabler for effective delegation. Actual practices may not have changed much, however effective quantification of tasks is now a must. Minor points that are usually quickly resolved in an in-person meeting, now have to be spelled out. Technology helps keep track of all such variables, and also helps in assimilating/disseminating information quickly.

Another psychological change is an explicit feeling of trust. As things are not in eye-range now, you must have faith in your employees to effectively deliver on their KPIs. For an empowered autonomous team, there are no major changes in working. Unfortunately, not many teams can claim to function so effectively 🙂

2. In the post-Covid-19 times ahead, how would you gauge hygiene at home and at work?

A: By being obsessive about it, and by learning constantly. One needs to objectively identify ALL external contact points, and understand the basics of virology. Effective hygiene is impossible until you understand how even a glancing smidge can transfer upwards of 2L viruses. There are dozens of contact points that people don’t acknowledge, like their phone surfaces, car keys, tap handles, surfaces of bags, and even masks.

Additionally, there comes the realization that 100% constant disinfection of your external locus is impossible. Thus, even more, stringent control of personal hygiene is required, with mandatory hand washes, temperature checks, and social distancing measures being implemented at work. Similarly, all processes carry over at home, apart from social distancing. 

3. What is your strategy to address automation/technology at work in the times to come?

A: Thankfully, we are fairly comfortable with technology at work. We deployed SAP last year, and everyone has proactively mastered WFH’s best practices. We share the responsibility of our sales staff, who are true #CoronaWarriors, and are spending their days in the market, fulfilling the demand for our essential products. Their work is also enabled on their SFA app and we are getting a positive response in terms of cleanliness of data & transparency. 

4. If you were given a choice between high-accuracy or high-speed when planning work, what would you choose and why?

A: Every meat deserves it’s own bread :). If the task is payroll management, I would choose accuracy. If the task is bank liasoning, I will choose speed. There have been marketing campaigns we’ve turned around in 4 hours, and there have been logistical challenges where we have utilized 2 days to just cross-check the data. It all depends.

5. What are the Top-3 learnings for you through the lockdown period? How do you intend to inculcate the same at work?

A: Your mind is dependent on your body – I am sure the time to introspect has driven a majority of people straight towards improving their physical fitness. And the realisation is stark, that your brain can’t truly function without a healthy, rested body. We will do our best to support the fitness efforts of our employees in a post COVID world.

B: The Importance of a Safety Net – As a company in healthcare/disposable hygiene, we are in the 1% of the market that should pass through relatively unscathed. For large swathes of the country, this is going to be a devastating year. People and companies are going to be deracinated. Thus, everyone reading this should aspire to always have a 6-9 month, liquid (not alcohol ;)) safety buffer. This is the base amount required to weather many of life’s unforeseen impacts.

C: Humans can adapt – A majority of our urban population has rapidly adjusted to this new life. WFH, no alcohol, no restaurants, no maids, and home-helps. Never forget humanity’s strongest superpower, our drive to persevere. 

Consequently, push yourself outside your bubbles. You will adapt. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

6. Do you think, self-driving cars, service robots, etc are closer to reality? How many years do you think before these become mainstay and would you like it to happen?

A: I think scaling such world-changing technologies will come faster than any of us can imagine. As I said, we will adapt. Also, the delta of change has only increased. I concur with the hypothesis, that we’ll be in a very different world in 20 years. Our kids will complain of us not sending them to Mars for the weekend with their other friends, who have been there twice already 🙂

Thank you so much, Kartik for sharing your views and I’m sure the readers loved reading them as well.

Incase you’d like to read other articles in our Thought Leadership Series click here.

Thought Leadership ft. Rajashree Kakade

We are really excited to showcase today’s post as it concerns Education. Our Thought Leader for the day is Mrs. Rajashree Kakade.

Mrs. Rajashree Kakade

Mrs. Rajashree Kakade is a Director at Shantiniketan School in Kolhapur. She is of the belief that true education consists of the all-round development of a child’s personality and character in terms of body, mind and spirit. The success of Shantiniketan has given her power to dream of developing every child globally, who will be a winner in this competitive age. She places a high value on theory of ‘ Pursuit of Excellence’ & the school culture focuses on values, achievement & teamwork.

Here are the excerpts.

1. What are the top 3 things you see changing in the education sector in 2020?

  • There is no doubt that technology will have a huge impact on how education will be delivered and received. There will be a paradigm shift in a way students in India will learn henceforth.
  • Teachers will have to scale up their skills and move away from the traditional chalk and duster method of teaching to digital platforms.
  • All stakeholders, especially parents, will have to accept the changed learning scenario and adapt quickly to the new normal.

2. What additional measures safety and hygiene measures would Educational Institutions be taking in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19

We will have to take into account physical distancing needs and change classroom layouts wherever possible as and when schools reopen. We plan to undertake regular fumigation, sanitising of our school premises, and teach our students and staff the need for personal hygiene and cleanliness, at all times and building up immunity through exercise and healthy nutrition. Wearing masks may also be expedient while in school and while travelling by school buses.

3. Which industries in India do you see making the journey back to normalcy fast post the lockdown.

Agriculture, technology, medical industries will be the first to gear up. Hopefully, the rest of the industries will soon follow so as to avert a financial crisis and large-scale unemployment. We, in India, need to get back on our feet and become self-reliant in our industrial processes and each of us should promote ‘swadeshi’ as against ‘videshi’ consumerism and travel. We have immense and abundant resources and we need to use these prudently and effectively. With the second-largest population in the world there can be no dearth of talent or manpower and if we harness our energies collectively we can leverage this opportunity to offer our products competitively in the global market and become strong economically.

4. What are the Top-3 learnings for you through this lockdown period. What and how will you inculcate these at work, once back in action?

  • What my take away is that the virus is a great leveller. It knows no national boundaries, nor religion, colour, caste, economic or social status. It has brought the world to its knees in a matter of weeks. This has been singularly humbling.
  • We have been misusing and abusing the environment for so long that it is now payback time for humans. We need to sit up and proactively correct our wrongdoings. Furthermore, create awareness amongst the school community.
  • Human memory is notoriously short but the lessons that the virus has taught us should remain with us for a long time. It has forced us to take a reality check and we will all have to reset our lives and rejig our value systems at the earliest.

5. Finally both in terms of Education and its applications how do you see Robotics in the long term?

Machines /technology are a vital part of our lives. Machine learning is a huge part of education and will keep improving with time, the sooner we learn to incorporate them in our institutions the better our education will be. We need the cutting-edge technology that Robotics provides us. Robots will be working in close collaborations with humans in the near future and India needs to be in the creative mind space to make valuable contributions in the fields of Robotics.

Teaching Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in school will propel our students into a fast trajectory to innovate and stay ahead in the learning curve.

Thank you Mrs. Kakade for sharing your thoughts. We are sure people across sectors will closely follow these trends.

You can see all the posts from our Thought Leadership Series here.