Anil Lingayat has a mantra: people, processes and products. “It’s essential to start with the right set of people, who align with the right set of future beliefs,” he says. The Executive Vice President of Godrej Material Handling explains that this is something he says to all newcomers and existing employees. “For an organisation to be successful, people need to be ready to change, adapt and transform,” he says.
“It also has to implement policies and infrastructure, and create an ecosystem of partnerships with suppliers, dealers and customers. Organisations cannot win alone today. That is where the partnership role comes into the picture. We firmly believe it is the ecosystems that win and not individual organisations. This area is significant and dear to us.”
The other element for business success is for employees to feel supported by the organisation’s policies and frameworks, which allow space for independence, growth, creativity and innovation.
“It’s also about maintaining our core values, which have helped this organisation to sustain itself, and will continue to help us sustain ourselves through the next century. Under no circumstances will we dilute the core values,” Anil says.
Looking and attending to customer needs is another aspect significant to the company. “While the product is important, and while technologies are important, we believe customer interfaces and customer proximity is our differentiation,” he says. “We stand behind our products. Customers look at Godrej with trust. They know that this company will back and service their products that might be several years old.”
Anil joined Godrej Material Handling in 1985. He gradually climbed the ranks, from handling Sales and Service in Central India, to Head of Supply Chain of the furniture business. In that role, he expanded the operation and manufacturing footprint in different parts of India, before he took charge as Business Head of Material Handling.
“I feel the material handling industry in India offers an incredible opportunity because it is at a very nascent stage. We are among the top five of the world’s fastest growing economies, expected to go to the third-largest economy. All indicators signify that the sector has tremendous growth potential.”
India is a unique and young country, which is going through a huge transition in terms of technology, in particular connectivity. “While we may not have proper infrastructure on roads, we are still building,” Anil says.
“We may not have the right schools and hospitals, but they are developing. Yet, we are among the most penetrated countries as far as mobile phones are concerned and as far as internet connectivity is concerned. We have young people who have mobile connections in their hands, who see the world through their mobile connections and have high aspirations. While their skill may be lower, their aspirations are high. In that process, their consumptions are growing because they are high-aspiring youth. They believe in the future and they are working towards that future.”
“For an organisation to be successful, people need to be ready to change, adapt and transform.”
For Anil, the company’s future presence is consistently in the backdrop. He says Godrej Material Handling has been aligning itself to the needs of the market, which means increasing its focus on electric trucks and developing technology at a faster rate.
“Electrification or creating better options on the electric side is one of our core focus areas,” he explains. “The second area, which we see as a future trend, is the connected vehicles. I think more people want to have a proactive solution to the situation rather than a reactive solution. We are working towards creating a solution of IoT’s on our equipment, so that we can remotely monitor and create a valuable proposition for our full range of stakeholders.”
The third area of growth is digitalisation. Anil says as the world becomes more digitised, the younger generation is thinking, ‘Why should I remember things? Why can’t I search on a digital platform, what I need, when I need it?’ Therefore, the company is working towards building digital platforms across the chain.
“We firmly believe it is the ecosystems that win and not individual organisations.”
“We already have digital manuals so stakeholders can go online and cart a part requirement. But we also want digital platforms to train people at different locations, based on what they need at that time; not training them completely and then expecting them to remember.”
Lastly, Anil adds, the company wants to build a platform for customers and dealers who want to reach out and connect with Godrej Material Handling for any problem-solving.
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