I interviewed Sridhar Upadhyaya who discussed the Project Management - Perspectives from India.
Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Yes, I'm an electrical engineer basically with about 23 years of industrial experience largely in supply chain management.
Can you talk about your experience with project management? What are some of the challenges that you face?
What happens in India basically, managements are basically into public sector, private sector, and the timelines are not really properly managed, I would say. The customers, they give the order but then it goes into a lot of [inaudible 0:00:52] and then you end up having large inventories and these kind of challenges.
How do you deal with these challenges?
What we do is basically, we have got a certain way of project management, and I've been practicing this, as you know, the tools that are available such as Microsoft project management, Office and all these things. But, as I said, the challenge in India is, the projects, once they are... Like, for example, if I get a customer [inaudible 0:01:30], it doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes it gets stuck midway through, and we get stuck with the supply chain process.
So what we have done of late is that there are very tight pre-order negotiations with the customers and proper milestones discussions with the customers to ensure that the projects, even if it gets stuck, the suppliers and the supply chain end doesn't get affected much.
Do you have some examples you could share of how you've done that in practice dealing with the customers?
Yeah. What we do is we have a cross-functional team comprising of the sales team, the project team, the sales and order-processing team, and the supply chain team. And we have our regular interviews and feedback sessions with the customers. There's a regular meeting with the customers for the customers just to ensure that the project is going to track and giving feedbacks and taking feedbacks from the customers so that the project flow is not jeopardized.
Do you have any final recommendations on project management in India?
No. Most of the tools, what we have... Yes, we do have the project management tools, but these are largely, predominantly the software industry, but not in a manufacturing industry.
That's interesting. Well, thanks for sharing today on this topic. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make?
About Sridhar Upadhyaya
Head of Supply Chain