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Rockwell discusses lessons learned, new possibilities post-COVID-19 in FMCG sector

Rockwell Automation organized a webinar that outlines challenges and opportunities in the FMCG sector. Here are the excerpts of the same

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Rockwell Automation, New normal, Aniruddh Verma, ITC, Suresh Madan, Nestlé India, Senthil Nathan Srinivasan, IS CavinKare, Pranav Majgaonkar, Armstrong Machine Builders, Industry 4.0, Sabyasachi Goswami, Dilip Sawhney, Rockwell Automation India, Sriram P, Pernod Ricard India, Yoginder S. Grewal, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Arup Ghosh

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the India Inc. like never before, forcing business owners to implement new measures to stabilise, re-open and grow their operations once the country-wide lockdown starts easing.

Now, industries are working out ways to operate and adopt the “new normal” post Novel Coronavirus, which has exposed and tested the digital preparedness of many industries, including the FMCG sector.

Thus, to discuss the immediate challenges, business strategies, new possibilities, etc in the FMCG sector, and how companies can navigate through uncertainties and capture opportunities in self-reliant India, Rockwell Automation India held an insightful webinar where experts deliberated upon planning ahead in a series of sessions.

Illustrious panellists including Dilip Sawhney, MD, Rockwell Automation India; Sriram P, Executive Vice President-Operations Pernod Ricard India; Yoginder S. Grewal, CTO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages; Arup Ghosh, Head IS Solutions, Rockwell Automation India; Sabyasachi Goswami, Connected Services Leader, AP Rockwell Automation India discussed how companies through modern digital ways prepare for new normal, be at the forefront of smart manufacturing, build a resilient future and make intelligent use of data.

The webinar began with a fireside chat with Sawhney, Sri Ram and Grewal talking about lessons learnt, accepting the status quo and focus on business continuity planning (BCP).

“This is a generational event that we are faced with right now and how we overcome and tackle these challenges will define how far our businesses are successful as we begin to come out of the other side of the disruption and also define how we as individuals and leaders come out of this disruption. FMCG as an industry has a huge role to play,” said Sawhney.

During the fireside chat, they also spoke about how the FMCG sector can focus on disruption, tech-enabled solutions, value chains, simplicity and how a phased approach will help companies sail from today to tomorrow.

“We need to have a pragmatic solution, re-evaluate and change business strategies- be it remote working, traditional office space, extended shift working in terms of factories, amendment in labour laws-these are the things that can bring us back from the sufferings from the uncertainties,” said Sri Ram.

They also discussed how the sector needed to robust their supply chain by becoming agile, adopt a functional mind-set, reduce dependency on traditional modes, enable technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analysis and drive digital the right way to meet the demand.

“Simplify everything to the maximum extent, whether it is people, process, technology or BCPs because once you have simplicity, it is easy to execute, duplicate and complicate, followed by flexibility, transparency and ownership. Technology is like a double-sided weapon, it can help you and create problem also, if not simplified,” said Grewal.

After the fireside chat, a presentation on Industry 4.0 and the new normal in manufacturing industry forum- FMCG by Arup Ghosh focussed on such technologies and entailed how Rockwell Automation’s Remote Assistance with Augmented Reality from its Factory Talk Innovation Suite would help the sector get back on its feet and even prepare it for black swan events in the future.

“Businesses with the capacity to manage their critical operations remotely are far better positioned to ensure plant safety. AR can be used for creating an asset digital replica and connected real plant for monitoring or training operations and manufacturing personnel,” said Ghosh.

Meanwhile, the third session of the webinar saw a presentation by Sabyasachi Goswami who focussed on business continuity, skills gap, aging infrastructure, operational efficiencies and secure OT network.

“The biggest challenges are skills gap, poor network segmentation, poor visibility, regulatory compliance and operational efficiency,” he said.

A panel discussion was also a part of the webinar where experts Aniruddh Verma, Divisional Manager (Engineering & Projects) ITC; Suresh Madan, Senior Engineering Manager Nestlé India; Senthil Nathan Srinivasan, GM; IS CavinKare; and Pranav Majgaonkar, MD, Armstrong Machine Builders. spoke at length about remote workforce, Cloud services, automating supply chain, touch-less deliveries, intelligent data system, Digital Twin, cyber-security and more.

The fifth session by Vijay Singh, Engineering Manager-AP, Rockwell Automation India, saw discussion on facilities for future, challenges, business and operational factors and digital compass.

The webinar, thus, captured the entire sentiment of the FMCG sector and spoke about tech solutions such as augmented reality and factory innovation to enable companies to sail in the “new normal”.

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