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Conversation with Sunny Nandwani, Founder & MD, Acuver Consulting
Sunny Nandwani is the Founder and Managing Partner of Acuver Consulting. He has been instrumental in conceptualizing and scaling Acuver to a 100 strong company today along with his two co-founders. His strong domain knowledge supported by his business acumen aided him to scale the company from the ground up. He plays the role of the CEO at Acuver and is responsible for its overall operations and growth.
Sunny is a true advocate of creating “Compelling Customer Experiences”. As a founding member, he takes charge in spearheading the vision of the company and providing his partners and customers with a seamless experience with Acuver.
Sunny an IIM Bangalore alumnus also holds an engineering degree from Bharati Vidyapeeth. An ardent family man, he spends his free time reading and staying up to date on the industry.
Q: Innovation is eternally inevitable. How important do you think it is for a business to reinvent itself over time?
Agile innovation inherently requires cross-collaboration and has never been more important than current times of changing priorities. You cannot be satisfied with your status quo. I believe, we should find ways to improve our current processes every day in the workplace. You do not have to reinvent the wheel, but you should be ready to get your hands dirty, as required.
Innovation can be about looking for improvisations. It happens when everyone works together, sharing ideas, making mistakes, and coming up with solutions. It is at this moment that the right idea comes together.
Some of the most significant innovations in the business world came by a simple question- “How can I improve the status quo?” Do you have that attitude for your business?
When Henry Ford invented the moving assembly line, the question he had in mind was, “How can I make more cars?” This simple question led him to reduce the production time for the Model T to 93 minutes. That is “Innovation”. It is not a rocket science, however not difficult either. Businesses need to have the DNA of innovation inside themselves and continuously aim for improvement.
Q: Omnichannel experiences are key to sustaining a competitive edge. How do you think enterprises can master a seamless omnichannel experience?
Customers have plenty of choices today. No matter which product or service you choose, some businesses are fighting to grab a market share. The only way you can reduce the churn rate is to offer them unparalleled levels of service. Providing your customers with an omnichannel experience is one way for you to delight them and create a competitive edge. Give your shoppers a choice to engage with your brand the way they like.
Today’s customers want you to respond to them on Twitter, emails, Facebook, in-app, chatbot- everywhere. Your customer is always connected to most of these apps. The first step towards creating a seamless omnichannel experience is to make sure your application or site is fully mobile-optimized. Personalize their experience as much as possible, for which you need to gather information about your customers’ activity from different sources. Engage with your users on all the channels they are present in—leverage customer data and insights to personalize your customers’ experience. Businesses need to concentrate only on this to provide an omnichannel experience.
Here’s how RAPID would help Omnichannel.
R - Revamp physical network
A - Agile operations
P - Prioritize safety at store
I– Innovative omnichannel.
D - Double the Digital
Q: What kinds of innovation in supply chain management do you think are instrumental for organizations looking to bounce back from this pandemic?
There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way businesses function. Restrictions on the movement of people and materials have disrupted the supply chain of most industries. It has also witnessed rapid innovation in business models. For instance, L’Oreal started producing hand sanitizers using its facilities that were intended for hair gels.
Retailers who have closed their stores during the pandemic should establish new models when they are back in the business. They should leverage technology to engage with their customers virtually, given that social distancing still matters. Companies should use every technology in the book to give their customers an incredible experience, from virtual queues to virtual tours.
Your customers’ expectations are shifting, and so should your response to them. To forge a stronger relationship with your customers, you should be nimble and respond swiftly to their needs with innovation at its core. Empower them by providing an omnichannel experience.
Automobile manufacturers are encouraging online shopping, as showrooms are witnessing low footfalls. Cost reduction cannot be the only consideration when creating a supply chain network. Whatever you build should have humanity at its core. Businesses should keep humanity in mind when building a supply chain system in the future. While I agree that Covid-19 was unprecedented on so many levels, it has given us an opportunity to rethink how we build supply chain systems for the future.
Q: What changes are you seeing in the Indian market today, and how does the future seem to you?
The Indian economy has taken a plunge; it is now unquestionable. We had the massive GDP contraction in the first quarter (April-June 2020) at -24%. Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdowns have compelled the economy to get on its knees. Start-up funding has reduced significantly, and even major companies like L&T, Tata Motors, BHEL have suspended their operations temporarily. This scenario was during the first few months of the pandemic.
We have witnessed a sea change in the later part of 2020. Apple has started producing its iPhone SE in India. Samsung has opened the world’s biggest mobile manufacturing plant in Noida. The move is expected to create 15,000 new jobs. US-based makers of electronic medical products Teledyne and Amphenol, including medical equipment makers like Johnson and Johnson, have shown interest in setting up manufacturing plants. Many multinationals are planning to de-risk their supply chain after Covid-19 and India stand to gain a lot.
The Government of India has introduced a Production-linked Incentive Scheme (PLIS) that gives companies incentives on incremental sales from products manufactured in the country. Created to reduce India’s dependence on China, the scheme benefits more than ten sectors. The reason why we have the Apples and Samsung’s of the world rushing to set up their manufacturing units is due to this scheme.
The key takeaway from the pandemic is that businesses need to be prepared for any situation. They need to evaluate every possible situation and develop ways to protect their business from future instances. Our idea is to co-create and innovate with them. I genuinely believe that the Indian market will only be more robust with this experience.
Q: What are the differences you have seen in supply chains in India versus other countries you work in?
Although the GVC (Global Value Chain) for India is lesser as compared to its counterparts in Asia, India is still the most favoured nation for trade. Because of the rising heat between the US and China, India is a viable place for companies to invest. This opens new avenues for the supply chain industry. India needs reforms in land, labour, and financial policies and infrastructure, which are friendlier in other Asian countries like Singapore, China, and Japan.
Whatever lies in the past, India has an excellent future to develop global bonds, especially with the US, on their tiff with our Asian competitor. Facebook recently invested $5.7 Billion in Reliance Jio, and Reliance is well known in the retail space. Again, what makes India a suitable supply chain partner for foreign companies is the tech-literate workforce and the inexpensive labour cost. HRB recently quoted the American Chamber of Commerce in India that India is a favourable jurisdiction for industrial activities.
Looking at the opportunities and global sentiments, the supply chain here should survive and thrive.
- How innovation is simplifying supply chain management
- How enterprises can master a seamless omnichannel experience