With massive transformation initiatives like Deal Management, Connected Car, Industry 4.0 and Analytics platform, Maruti Suzuki CIO Rajesh Uppal is enabling the influence of technology across the spectrum from customers to experience to the empowerment of their large workforce as the Indian auto giant readies itself to spearhead the future of the Automotive Industry.
Can you shed some light on your transformation journey and key focus areas within it?
We started our transformation journey about 10 years back with the implementation of Dealer Management System which enabled us to understand the customer needs 360 degrees and to make sure that all requirements of the customer are met by our dealerships. Enhancing customer experience has been a big focus area for us. Another important focal area for us has been the shop floor and its automation where Industry 4.0 helped us create a connected shop floor. This has been important area for us in ensuring that we produce right product at the right time, and for the right customer. The third core area has been our employees. We want to make sure that our employees are enabled with the right products and accurate information to deliver the requirements of customers. This entails collaboration platforms with AI integration in all our dash boards to ensure that our employees are empowered handle the customers.
With a large workforce, how do you look after the mobility aspect at Maruti?
Mobility has been a very important part of our IT strategy. We have different kinds of work forces and there are different applications to manage them. We have an app for our dealer sales executive where they have all the information that they need to service the customer. Similarly, we have a mobile app for our territory sales managers who manage the dealerships. Then there’s an app for our regional managers and sales team. These are three areas where mobile apps are supporting us. In addition to this we have created a new digital platform for NEXA. Each one of our NEXA sales personnel has an iPad to work with the customers. This ensures that they can demonstrate the product’s USPs in their conversations with the customers. All the customer interaction today is digital. We make sure to enable NEXA sales personnel with all the information they need to service customers. This was a big initiative to ensure that we have a digitally enabled workforce.
Please tell us about your experience in developing this Digital Culture?
NEXA was a planned strategy to embrace digitization. All our showrooms are digital per se and all the interactions are on a digital platform. As part of the strategy, we wanted NEXA to be an evolved and experiential platform. For this, we hired a separate set of managers for NEXA who were trained with a different approach for improved customer experience. We had a partner to help us develop the platform to manage interaction with the customers. All our dealership screens are connected to back-end systems. Whatever is being displayed at the dealership is being controlled by a central control room. At any given time each screen runs like an individual TV. This way we ensure the right kind message is conveyed to the customers
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