Tamil Nadu – the land of towering temples and mighty rivers, decadent gold bordered silks, lush green carpets of paddy and a language perhaps as old as time itself. As one of the most ancient cradles of civilization, the ramparts of the state have launched India’s earliest naval expeditions, scripted India’s oldest stories in stone, on tongue, on paper, heralded unconquerable kingdoms that find their mark in far east Asian countries even today.
As the Transformation Express made its way from Hyderabad to the molten heat of the sun and sand of Chennai, the weather was an apt metaphor for the blazing cauldron that is the state of Tamil Nadu – from its fiery depths have emerged the foundation of every possible industry that runs the economy.
Whether agriculture or manufacturing, textiles or IT services, there aren’t many enterprises that cannot trace their linkage to Tamil Nadu, whose people wear their culture like a badge of honour, unperturbed by the changing tides of modernity.
There is a timelessness about Tamil Nadu that remains etched in the minds of visitors, who cannot forget the sights of its centuries old, grandiose architecture that speak of impossible human feats, the fragrant aroma f its tangy, peppery hot cuisine or the tirelessness of its enterprise as one of the nation’s most prosperous, progressive and well-educated states.
Cementing a digital pathway
The first event that marked the Transformation Express’ entry in Tamil Nadu was a customer visit to the offices of Chettinad Cement, a behemoth of the construction industry. Mr. Kumaravel Theerthalingam (Chief Operating Officer - Chettinad Cement Corporation) and Mr. Ganesan Venkataraman (Sr. General Manager - Chettinad Cement Corporation) boarded the Mobile Experience Centre along with their team. The delegation was very inquisitive about digital and cloud solutions for the supply chain driven and logistics intensive construction industry.
The visit was followed by a partner event hosted by SAP partner NTT Data. Mr. Vinod Pallakil (Sr. Director, Midmarket Sales - SAP) delivered the welcome address. Mr. Raghav Nookala (AVP - NTT Data) spoke of how NTT Data has collaborated with SAP to promote digital transformation in the midmarket. The evening concluded with a panel discussion featuring Mr. Kumaravel Theerthalingam, Mr. Vinod Pallakil, Mr. Raghav Nookala and technology evangelist Mr. U.P. Prem Kumar.
The second day was dedicated to propagating the message of digital transformation to the public sector, where officials from various government departments, including the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) and the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSC) visited the Transformation Express to experience the digital solutions that could be applied to their undertakings.
Next on the agenda was a customer visit to KerryIndev Logistics Pvt. Ltd., India’s premier integrated logistics solutions company. The team that boarded the Mobile Experience Centre included Mr. Vishwanatham Gandla (CFO - KerryIndev Logistics Pvt. Ltd.) and Ms. Devi James Melchior (Business Head, Sea Division/Project - KerryIndev Logistics Pvt. Ltd.) The team was interested in knowing how SAP solutions can support the ever changing and increasing demands of the logistics industry.
The evening’s partner event was hosted by SAP partner ROX Technology and Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Vinod Pallakil opened the proceedings with his remarks. Mr. Jim Rakesh (Founder - Rox Technology and Solutions Pvt. Ltd.) and Mr. Karthik Kalaimani (Executive Vice President - ROX Trading & Systems) shared their views on building successful businesses in partnership with SAP.
The ensuing panel discussion saw spirited conversations about the need for digital transformation among Mr. Soumomoy Pal (GM IT - Amrutanjan Health Care Ltd.), Dr. M. Thomas Kandasami (Managing Partner - Kandasami & Associates), and Mr. Jim Rakesh. To draw the event to a close, Mr. Nikhil Kamat (Sales Lead, ISBN Sales) gave an overview about SAP Ariba and Mr. Nageswara Kamathan (Director, HXM) shared his insights on SAP Success Factors, one of the most influential SAP products.
Driving to the heart of the looms of prosperity
After an energetic start at sultry Chennai, the Transformation Express travelled to the foothills of the Queen of Hills - Coimbatore. With the velvety blue peaks of Ooty in the background, the Transformation Express weaved its way into the first customer visit of this textile manufacturing epicentre at Sieger Spintech, a leading provider of automation solutions for textile mills, car parking systems and storage solutions for warehouses. Mr. G Radhakrishnan (MD - Sieger Spintech) and his team showed keen interest in cloud solutions pertaining to the manufacturing sector, given that the sector faces unique challenges that require specialised technology intervention.
The evening’s panel discussion was hosted by SAP partner Indus Novateur. As is customary, Mr. Vinod Pallakil delivered the welcome address. Mr. Mani Kandan Ramasamy (GM, Sales (South India) - Indus Novateur) shared his thoughts on driving digital transformation in partnership with SAP. The other guests on the panel included Mr. Ashwin Nandha Manivannan (Director - LS Mills) and Mr. Sathiyamurthy Shanmugam (Founder - WeGroWin), who shared their experiences as key customers in the region.
Considering that Chennai and Coimbatore are housing some of the largest number of players in IT, ITES and SaaS sectors, apart from a significantly high number of entrepreneurial ventures, there was a heavy presence of business leaders and MSMEs at all the partner events in both cities.
A small trip to the backwaters of Kerala
After a whirlwind tour of Tamil Nadu, the Transformation Express headed to Kochi, the commercial capital of neighbouring state Kerala. The serene backwaters dotted with coconut trees and ubiquitous fishing nets along the coast greeted the Mobile Experience Centre as it was drenched in the first, fresh rains of the monsoon season.
The city’s sole event, a panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Vinod Palakkil and it featured Mr. Jinu John (GM - IT, Azcco Global Ventures), Ms. Smitha S (Head of IT, WFB Baird & Company (India) Pvt. Ltd.) and Mr. Vinod Kumar Nittoor (MD, Mesprosoft).
After the breezy respite in Kochi, it was time for the Transformation Express to head to its home in Bengaluru.
Follow the journey of Transformation Express here.