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BW Businessworld

Implementing Solutions At Scale

With L&T Group for 23 years, on Sayan’s watch, several major ERP & web-based solutions have been implemented

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L&T Construction’s digital head Anantha Sayana has always been ahead of the curve in embracing technological changes. Since becoming the head of the department in February 2016, he has ensured that his company keeps pace with the changes through the development and implementation of hundreds of systems across banking, manufacturing, engineering and construction and services. Sayana’s interest and experience in Information Technology dates back to the days of punch cards and COBOL programming.

“Our digital solutions span across many areas of our operations and have been implemented at hundreds of our project sites in India and abroad. We identified areas that are critical to our success and developed and implemented solutions relating to ‘remote monitoring’ of the usage and utilisation of machinery at our project sites; safety, training and productivity of our workmen; tagging and tracking of materials and project monitoring; and geographic surveys using advanced technology. With over 5,000 equipment connected, over 11,000 users using over a dozen mobile apps for critical processes, thousands of materials tagged for tracking, our implementations seek to transform at scale and this has also led to our people understanding the potential of digital and the increasing demand for more solutions. All digital initiatives have an identified benefit realisation roadmap that is pursued and tracked,” says  Sayana in response to queries sent by BW Businessworld.

Sayana has degrees in physics, banking, management and law, and is a certified Information Systems Auditor and certified Internal Auditor. He has been with L&T Group for the last 23 years; he started with corporate audit services where he established company’s information system audit and information security functions; after that he moved to set up Apex Corporate IT function for the group. As the head of corporate IT for over 12 years, he has undertaken numerous implementations including major ERP and web-based solutions for businesses in the L&T Group besides setting up IT governance and benefit-realisation programmes. Under his guidance, L&T has used a number of new technologies in all these solutions such as Internet of Things, sensors and gateways, cloud, mobility, social, RFID, GPS, BLE, LoRaWAN iPhotogrammetry, LIDAR, GNSS, AR, VR Chatbots, automation and big data and analytics.

For a year, from 2014 to 2015, Sayana also worked for L&T Infotech’s office in the US to run a “sales excellence programme”. Prior to joining L&T, he worked with State Bank of Hyderabad, where he acquired expertise in retail banking, credit appraisals and foreign exchange. There, he also implemented many of the first IT systems that were introduced in the banking sector. Sayana has also authored technical articles for professional journals, and has won many CIO awards and made many contributions to the profession through voluntary work.

“We created a strategy that digital for us is not just about proof of concepts and pilots. Solutions have to be implemented at scale and with speed pervasively across the organisation for transformation to happen and benefits to be realised. We have built a digital team on a hub-and-spoke model with a central digital team that evaluates technology, partners, startups, develops solutions and digital officers at every business vertical to roll out the implementations and to generate fresh demand from the businesses. Change management initiatives, training on the digital attitude and usage of new solutions are pursued across all levels of the organisation through multiple physical face-to-face and digital platforms,” says Sayana.