Resilient supply chain through digital transformation

Firstly, the hosts welcomed all the speakers, participants and our professor to the session. After that our director Dr. Lakshmi Mohan spoke a few words to setup the stage for the panel discussion.


Prof. RSS Mani (President, BMA) welcomed all the panel members, staff and the participants and spoke a few words about BMA and its collaboration with various colleges and then moved on to the topic for the panel discussion.


Shortly after the speech of Prof. RSS Mani we inaugurated the newsletter ‘DISHA’ for the operations department. Our HOD, Prof. BVR Murty introduced the keynote speaker Dr. Bijaya K Mishra (CEO, Omni Impex Pvt. Ltd)

The discussion began with Mr Chintan Oza (moderator) welcoming all the panel members and the participants. He gave a brief about the issues and the need for resilience. He said, resilience is all about being prepared for unexpected events; being able to respond to disruption; and being able to rapidly recover.

Our panellist Mr. Arloph A. Johnvieira (Director- Swayam Siddhi Inst of Mgmt.& Research) outlined the need for this kind of resilience. He said - whilst supply chain management used to be primarily about ensuring a focus on predictability, efficiency and cost reduction, he explained that we have now entered the world of the “resilient supply chain”, where alongside this traditional focus, organisations need to take an iterative and adaptive approach that enables them to deal with the unexpected. The impact of the current pandemic has, he said, accelerated this thinking. Post COVID-19 the focus will shift towards resilience rather than cost. There are a number of elements that play a key role in delivering on the strategies, he explained. Businesses must – for instance – embrace a culture where people actively think about the supply chain, and pursue a relentless focus on agility. 

For manufacturers, it is very important that the product design and supply chain management are aligned. We involve a lot of the risk into the supply chain at the design phase…. having the design of the product and the design of the supply chain running concurrently can help mitigate an awful lot of the risk,” he said.

Our next panellist Mr. J.A Bhavsar (Ex. CIO- ITM Group) discussed about the trends which will be seen in the future in the supply chain domain and also explained the importance of resilience – why it is necessary to adapt a resilient way to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and also to cope up with the future pandemics. “COVID-19 has taught us a lot and we still have to improve a lot in all aspects to cope up with the future pandemics” – he said.

Drawing on his past experience Mr. J.A Bhavsar commented on the way in which supply chain priorities are shifting. “Once in a lifetime events are happening with increasing frequency and understanding the real risk assessment of your supply chain – and where the vulnerability is – is something that’s going to have to become more and more important to people’s procurement decisions,” he said.

After discussing all the problems and the challenges faced in the supply chain domain, the discussion turned to the characteristics of a resilient supply chain. Mr. Arloph A Johnvieira highlighted some of the characteristics and the advantages of the resilient supply chain and how it will prove to be very useful in the long run. 

“Supply chain plays a very important role in the economy and if anything disrupts the functioning of the supply chain then it will stop the progress of the whole country so it is very important for supply chain scholars to develop and implement a feasible supply chain strategy which of one is being resilient.” – he said.

Automation in supply chain

Our next panel member Mr. Amit Sidhaye who is a Sr. Manager (Analytics) in a MNC Caterpillar, discussed the future plans in supply chain. It is an era of industry 4.0, so industry automation is the new trend. Supply chain industry is just recovering from the effect of the pandemic and this is the best time to turn towards automation as this will be more efficient and will also be capable of surviving the future pandemics to come. Automation will directly boost in the resilience of the supply chain as its transformation is done through digital means. 

One key point discussed was that “Will robots surpass humans in the long run” to which Mr. Bijaya K Mishra said that there is very less probability of this to happen. As the robots will need someone to monitor them and to monitor them humans will be required. So, it is impossible for robots to take over humans. Agreeing to this answer Mr. Arloph said that it is impossible for machines/ robots to take over as they do not have emotional sense and are programmed in such a way that they will follow the instructions given by the humans.

Mr. Sidhaye explained how innovation in supply chain management has been key to enabling the company to meet increasingly varied customer requirements

To end the discussion Mr. Arloph and Mr. Bhavsar touched upon the digital aspects of the supply chain – how digitalization can help in enhancing the resilience of supply chain and how it would be a feasible option in the supply chain industry. Mr. Bhavsar explained how digitalisation has been the key to enabling the facility to react to (and plan for) disruptive situations in the supply chain



At last, Mr. Oza discussed about the skills you should have for a successful career in the supply chain industry and concluded the discussion by saying that “Developing this kind of reactive, agile capability in supply chain industry, will be the key to growing a competitive edge in the years ahead.

At the end of the panel discussion, a Q&A round was initiated where many students asked their queries regarding the topic and thus the session was ended.

We thank the Operations department for organizing this panel discussion and all the panel members and the participants to make this a successful one.