For this edition of #RiseToLead, we get some leadership insights from Ritesh Agarwal, VP – Head Sourcing Business Partnering & Asset Management (Auto & Farm Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd) to understand how he approaches supply chain optimisation and what is needed to #Rise above the challenges that come your way.
“I have been in various roles at strategic sourcing - as a Commodity Head for key verticals apart from leading Hedging, Risk Management, Digitisation and Analytics. Currently I head Asset Management and Sourcing Business Partnering – Auto and Farm Sector at Mahindra.
The most challenging experience has been during COVID, everything possible that could go wrong actually went wrong – Supplier financial crisis with nil to minimal industrial activity - the suppliers were stuck with unsold inventory, fixed expenses to be taken care of including salaries of employees; non availability of labour with their migration during peak COVID crisis; sudden spike across commodities; high logistics cost; disruption of international supply chain with China in lockdown state; unavailability of semiconductors. In this situation, supporting restarting of production was a huge challenge.
This experience exposed the vulnerability of our supply chain, helped take a step back and think of what lessons this had for us and what actions to be taken with increasing uncertainties in the global supply chain - geographical diversification of supply chain, localization etc.
In this crisis, as a leader, it taught me compassion towards our suppliers who worked hard to support industry, take quick decisive actions, work closely with various functions to address issues to come out of the crisis. Overall, it helped me see business at close hand and work closely to support it working beyond boundaries of functions. As a result of this close working, business has grown multi-fold between FY21 to FY22.
I was motivated by my ability to influence close working between functions, take quick actions and show results. I was also motivated to work on long term actions on digitization to take M&M on the path of digital maturity on supply chain helping to bring increased governance and higher efficiency. Focused goals and perseverance to achieve them is my leadership mantra.”