Creating Transformative Business Opportunities

May 10, 2024
Manufacturing | 6 min READ
This article was originally published in Efficient Manufacturing - Source link
Jigar Vakharia, Senior Vice President and Head - Manufacturing at Birlasoft, engaged in a discussion with Efficient Manufacturing exploring the concept of 'Plants of the Future' , harnessing cognitive technologies such as AI and Machine Learning.
Jigar Vakharia
Jigar Vakharia

Senior Vice President and Head



Q1. What are the key components of Birlasoft's current business model in the manufacturing sector?
Birlasoft's business model in manufacturing focuses on strategic growth initiatives and collaborative partnerships. We prioritize domain-led offerings and utilize key technology partnerships to deliver Enterprise Solutions, Digital & data services, Infrastructure & cloud services. Our focus on themes like Supply Chain Visibility and Plants of the Future drive our dedication to addressing industry needs.
At the core is our commitment to co-innovate with customers in leading business & technology areas like Industry 5.0, De-carbonization, Digital Twins, and Generative AI. This creates large transformative opportunities and strengthens existing relationships, ensuring our solutions meet evolving industry needs.
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We emphasize talent development through domain trainings led by SMEs and partner-driven programs on digital technologies like Generative AI, Digital Twin, and Cloud. Our cultural tenets, including organization-first, customer and people-centricity, say-do ratio, be bold, and quick decision-making, underpin our strong business model, enabling us to drive growth and deliver better value in manufacturing.
Q2. How is Birlasoft leveraging the concept of "Plants of the Future" to stay competitive in the market, and what specific features of this concept is the company prioritizing?
Manufacturers today are at varying levels in terms of maturity spectrum. Most of them are already evaluating & adopting smart manufacturing technologies to improve quality which ranks as one of the primary drivers to build Plants of the Future. Leveraging deep domain expertise, particularly from CK Birla Group's century-old manufacturing legacy, Birlasoft serves as the preferred strategic partner understanding manufacturers’ IT-OT environment and delivering custom solutions.
Considering existing industry challenges ranging from data silos, interoperability to data security risks, we go-to-market with industry leading solutions like MDC, ProdLogix, MachineLogix, intelliAsset etc. to optimize plant operations.
Our Consulting toolkit, the TRU Smart Factory Maturity Analyzer, assists clients in evaluating their current maturity level and devising a roadmap for accelerated advancement at scale. Our dedicated attention to OT security, complemented by a centralized risk scoring mechanism, highlights our commitment to tackling emerging cybersecurity threats. Additionally, our ongoing collaboration with clients on Generative AI applications through Birlasoft Cogito platform exemplifies co-innovation and staying ahead of industry trends.
We are actively engaged in Smart Factory pilots with Hyperscalers. Our marquee partnership network with cloud providers and niche partners supports co-development of solutions accelerating customers’ transformation journey.
With a proven track record of enhancing metrics like OEE, machine throughput, and asset uptime, Birlasoft continues to drive transformational outcomes and is poised to empower manufacturers to embrace their vision of "Plants of the Future", thereby maintaining competitiveness in the market.
Q3. How is Birlasoft utilizing cognitive technologies such as AI and ML to enhance collaboration between humans and machines, and what specific technological advancements is the company prioritizing to facilitate the transition to Manufacturing 5.0?
For one of our cement manufacturing clients, we responded to the shift towards Manufacturing 5.0 (M5.0) by moving ahead from predictive to prescriptive analytics with recommendations for performance optimization, productivity improvement, in-process quality control, thereby assisting Plant Head, Engineer and Operator in decision making. An innovative initiative is our Gen AI-powered Digital Thread accelerator, which integrates product lifecycle information from engineering to shop floor to aftermarket processes, enabling Closed Loop manufacturing with human monitoring the controls.
Our industry-ready offerings leveraging both AI, ML and Gen AI in accelerating Smart Manufacturing initiatives include:
  • Predictive Maintenance: Real-time process visibility with prescriptive recommendations for proactive/preventive maintenance.
  • Virtual Factories with Digital Twins: Developing digital replicas of physical manufacturing assets to simulate and analyze their behavior in various scenarios.
  • Quality Assurance: AI-powered image recognition for quality inspection and defect detection.
  • Supply Chain Optimization: Streamlining supply chain operations, including demand forecasting, inventory management, and logistics planning.
  • Employee training & aftermarket collaboration: Smart Glass solutions powered by AR/VR augment remote collaboration in warehouse operations, aftermarket & employee trainings.
Q4. How does Birlasoft prioritize workforce development and empowerment within the manufacturing sector?
Birlasoft has a robust Learning and Development framework that supports the growth of employees by providing opportunities for upskilling and cross-skilling in Technology, Domain, Process, Leadership and Behavioral skills through a range of programs.
  • Online learning platform: Birlasoft has partnered with a premier online learning content provider, offering a variety of courses from top-tier universities, hands-on projects, and certifications.
  • Alliance partner trainings: Through robust partnerships with Hyperscalers, our employees gain access to cutting-edge training materials and certification opportunities.
  • Higher education programs: Birlasoft in collaboration with leading Business schools in India offer the following programs:
    • Young Titans: This program is designed to equip select high-potential employees with essential managerial competencies.
    • Next Step: This program facilitates employees in gaining advanced professional expertise in areas like "business analytics and data sciences."
  • Domain learning:
    • Induction program: A comprehensive program to familiarize employees with the manufacturing industry covering essential concepts and practices.
    • Knowledge-sharing sessions: Led by SMEs, these sessions offer diverse learning opportunities across various manufacturing domains, enabling employees' to understand customer needs better.
    • Byte-size learning: A curated self-paced learning journey to upskill employees, encouraging ongoing learning and professional development.
  • Leadership Development:Strong emphasis on cultivating leadership skills through targeted programs, including high-potential development interventions, women's leadership skills enhancement, fortifying managerial capabilities, and fostering overall leadership proficiency.
Q5. Can you discuss any recent mergers or acquisitions that Birlasoft has undertaken to strengthen its position in the manufacturing technology market?
Birlasoft has chosen a distinct growth approach, emphasizing on investing in domain solutions and bolstering partnerships with specialized allies for collaborative solutioning and go-to-market strategies.
Rather than relying on mergers and acquisitions, we prioritize leveraging partnerships to expand our market presence. We have crafted tailored growth strategies for different regions, teaming up with hyperscalers, ISVs, and niche partners.
Recent collaborations include our engagement with a niche Decarbonization partner, where we are developing an emission accounting framework, and partnerships in the worker safety domain. These alliances allow us to combine our expertise with that of our partners, resulting in innovative solutions.
Q6. How does Birlasoft leverage its global presence to serve manufacturing clients across different regions?
Birlasoft leverages its extensive global presence to serve manufacturing clients worldwide with tailored solutions and localized support. With Onshore Delivery centers in the US, Europe, Australia, Singapore, and Brazil, as well as Offshore centers in India and recent expansions in Mexico and Coimbatore, we ensure close proximity to clients and efficient service delivery.
In the US, dedicated client partners provide personalized support, building strong relationships. For Global accounts, we leverage cross-regional relationships to expand regional business coverage and ensure comprehensive support by global client partners who oversee operations across different regions. In Europe, our focus is on building long-term partnerships, supported by cross-selling initiatives and collaborations with niche technology companies offering end-to-end solutions.
In the Asia-Pacific region, we prioritize operational efficiency and customer centricity, engaging in large-scale programs such as Digital & Cloud transformation projects. Collaborations with customers and leading OEMs/CSPs drive co-innovation initiatives with Proof of Concepts to address evolving market needs.
Our global footprint allows us to offer localized support, build strong partnerships, and deliver innovative solutions tailored to the unique requirements of manufacturers worldwide. Through strategic expansion and collaborative initiatives, we reinforce our commitment to serving as a trusted partner in the manufacturing technology market.
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