I interviewed Sanjay Desai who discussed Talent Management in SCM Function.







Thanks, Dustin. I appreciate this particular lead and the time that you're investing in me for this phone call. Let me introduce myself. I'm Sanjay Desai. I'm an end-to-end supply chain professional based in Singapore since 1998. I started my career as a blue-collar worker during 1983 for Unilever in India in the warehousing function. I used to do loading/unloading, pick /pack operation, and also drive a 3-ton vehicle to make deliveries to customers day in and day out.


I was in the last year of my grad studies, and I came from family background where making money was necessary. After competing my Graduation, I was offered a job as a clerk in the same warehouse, and that is where actually my progress started.


I worked in a few positions during my six years at Unilever and continued taking additional responsibility which kept me moving upwards in the food chain. I moved to AVENTIS in 1990 and then to RPG Group company called CEAT Tyres for a short stint. Exxon India pulled me from CEAT Tyres in 1996-97.  The Exxon move was cornerstone of my future, and it kind of exposed me to a regional platform in Singapore.


Exxon India [00:01:14] to advancing upward during 1998 and with my desire to take more functions, more work, I moved to Apple in 1999 followed by Dell Global and then to S. C. Johnson till 2010. In 2010, I got my first break into the leadership at Thermo Fisher Scientific, a medical devices company, as director of supply chain for Asia Pac. I left Thermo Fisher after five solid years. Then I joined HUNTSMAN as director of supply chain for Greater IPAC, which eventually I left in 2016, end last year. After working for 34 years and nine different geographies and many other functions in supply chain, I decided to work for myself. And from January 2017, I truly am a freelancer helping SMEs and homegrown companies in Asia to increase their appetite and passion in supply chain. I do a little bit of training as white paper writing and training in S&OP and other stuff


I'm indebted to God, my family, friends, and my network of professionals for the sustained journey of growth. Very proud of what I do, Dustin..


Can you talk about whether there is a talent gap and what you see in this as far as talent in supply chain?


The talent gap is there, definitely. But it is not so much exonerated as the talent gap that people typically tend to use. And I think professionals at higher or mid-management levels tend to overplay this word “skillset Gap”  there is a gap, definitely. And the gap has happened because of a couple of factors, and we will take a look during out call. But there is indeed a gap, but it's just overplayed a bit. The gap is not as wide as people made it out to look like that.


What are executives doing about this?


One of the things that we don't really do, we don't think longevity, and we don't think sustainability. And what I mean is that there may be a gap, at the same time, there's a gap in not able to identify, nurture and grow talent. So it works both ways. There is a gap, and then we are not doing it right now today, something for the talent to grow, nurture, retain and hire so that the gap does not widen. After a couple of years, this talent is available to take on additional responsibility and take management positions. But because we are not in that league because of the fast pace today, we are really not able to do talent management well. And that is creating a gap because we are not doing something today for the future.


Can you talk about what are the technology disruptions that will be in the supply chain world and related to talent management?


So if we look at the technology for the next five years, there are very broad mega-structures that we see. We have ecommerce coming in. We have direct delivery to customers by way of drone. We have 3D printing going to have a massive effect on manufacturing. And mostly, the manufacturing jobs are going to be in terms of some difficulty because when a robot can replace three to four humans very easily.


So having said that, the gap is going to widen further because the current set of people, especially in the manufacturing side, in the OMNI Channel inventory, those skillset are going to be less and less in demand. And a new skillset is going to win demand which can work with technology, which can work with 3D printing, and which will work with Additive manufacturing.


So there is going to be a transformation in the skillset of the existing skillset slowly waning out. But a new set of skillset would come in. And the recent “Z”  generation that we see is exactly kind of in the right position to take on those roles eventually because of their capability and “ease of Use’ with technology from a mindset perspective as well as from a change management perspective. So these are now the major trends that we see in supply chain,


So if you look at the next 10 years and the kind of ecommerce that is going to happen, the change in the mode of delivery to customers and if you look at healthcare sector as a DIRECT Delivery, if you look at oil and gas sector with the oil prices falling down, there are different composition of chemicals coming up. The end user markets are going to grow. In Asia and India and China, especially where we have a layered distribution structure, that structure slowly will go away.


There is a very definitive transformation and transition happening in supply chain. So we need people who are comfortable with technology. We need people with skillsets who are comfortable to work on ecommerce and high-change management teams which don't stand kind of longer term, short product life cycles. And more business happening on the ecommerce frame. So those are some of the broad skillset changes that you will see in supply chain.


The recent, resources that we have, which is the Millennials and the people who are in their mid-40s and 50s, we need to change things around otherwise I am thinking in the next five years. Even my job is going to go away when somebody else can he be...a younger generation can easily take over my job and ensure the same efficiency.


Thanks Sanjay for sharing today. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make?


Yes, most of it. Definitely with it. Because we talk about talent, management, grow, nourisher and I will doing enough in order to skillset for the future so we have definitely cover in our span as much wider it is in a talent management, Dustin.


Great I look forward to interview you in the future in a additional topic.


Thank you so much Dustin, you have a great day ahead. Take care.



About Sanjay Desai





Sanjay Desai


Strategic SCM Transformation, Manufacturing Planning, Inventory Mgmt, Network optimization, Service Segmentation & P&L


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