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CIO Of the Fortnight

 

I was born on 18th of August, 1972 in Bhopal. My father, Tukaram Dhumal was working with BHEL & mother Vijaya was a typical homemaker, taking care of their 5 kids, me being the youngest one, following four lovely daughters.

I spent my entire childhood in Bhopal, where I grew up in a cosmopolitan culture. I did my primary education from Tagore Middle school & Higher secondary from Vikram Higher Secondary school. Later, I completed my Bachelor's degree (B.Sc.) in science from MVM collage. I did my Master's Degree in Computer's Management (MCM) from Symbiosis Collage of Computer Studies & Research (SICSR).As a kid, it was my dream always to work in Mumbai & it was here, where I started my career as a Management Trainee, worked through various roles before becoming the Head of IT in 2004, at the age of 31. In Oct 2008, I took over the role of Senior Director IT, South Asia Area having countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka, Maldives & Bhutan.

I joined DHL Express in July 96 as management trainee & have grown steadily since then, working in various positions like Assistant Systems Mgr, IT Manager, and Regional IT Manager, IS Projects Manager etc to become a senior IT leader in organization. My major achievement came in Jan 2004 when I was appointed as Head of IT at the age of 31, making me one of the youngest Senior Management Team member in DHL Express India at that point in time. Subsequently in Oct 2008, I took over as the Senior Director IT, South Asia, responsible for managing overall IT function for all 7 South Asian countries as mentioned earlier. Today, I am an integral part of South Asia Management Board (SAMB), reporting to SVP & Area Director of South Asia. I work shoulder to shoulder with my other business colleagues & functional heads on South Asia Area's business plans & strategies.

At DHL, in the initial part of the career, was involved in streamlining various IT processes & deploying IT systems, key projects like Customer Number Programming, Y2K Compliance, and consolidation of 5 regional data center into Mumbai, deployment of Document Imaging System etc, in addition to rollout of DHL's regional & Global IT systems. As Head of IT, the immediate challenge successfully negotiated in 2004, was the movement of DHL's Country Office to a new premises within 3 month, including Data centre & Call center, without any downtime. Later, some of the key initiative during my tenure as Head IT were outsourcing of entire Desktop, Data center , LAN & WAN support services, migration of P2P WAN network to MPLS, introduction of lease rental model for high value IT equipment equipments, setup of DR call center at Chennai etc, redundancy for international links etc . There were many first in IT space of Indian Air Express industry introduced, like launch of e-mail, WAP, SMS based tracking facilities, GSM & GPRS based courier scanners for almost real-time data return from field, image scanning of Airway bills & associated commercial paperwork for pre clearance of shipments from customs (before flight arrival) etc are a few of the significant ones, improving the services, impacting the customers directly.

One of the major achievement of my career was in the year 2007 by when DHL India IT won the first ever IT Award in Asia Pacific region from among 40 AP countries, beating some of the biggies like Japan, Hong Kong ,China, Singapore ,Malaysia, Australia etc.We repeated this feet in 2008 again by bagging this prestigious award for 2nd time in a row, which is a record till date.

Apart from IT responsibilities, in Oct 2006, I also took the responsibility of leading a very high profile global customer centric (non-IT) initiative of DHL called "First Choice" based on six sigma's DMAIC methodology for internal process improvements. With a team of just 2 in house consultants, I kick-started First Choice process in India & ensured rollout by arranging of training sessions, knowledge workshops & establishing the governance structure for First Choice office. Today, First Choice has become a very integral part of DHL Express India's culture. I was passionate about quality since beginning & had even earlier in my career, taken a lead of doing a non-IT initiative in the year 2000 when I had lead the initiative of ISO 9002 re-certification for western India, as a Management Representative (MR).

In the year 2007, my efforts & innovative approach to IT solutions had earned me a place in prestigious "CTO of the Year" awards, an independent event, organized by Jasubhai Digital Media. I was short listed in the top 5 finalist from about 350+ top IT leaders of the country by a jury of eminent IT leaders & panelist from various leading organizations of India. My efforts have also earned me a place in India's top 100 CIO's as per an independent IT magazine survey (CIO Decisions) conducted in early 2008.

I am married to Swati & we have a 6 years old son, named Atharva. Swati, my better half is a Science Graduate from Pune & is currently a homemaker. Prior to marriage, she worked in ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) Pune for couple of years & then in an engineering firm called Suneet Engineering for few years, both in Pune. She is a wonderful person & my constant source of inspiration in toughest of times. Atharva, our 6 & half yrs old son, is currently studying in class Ist at Billabong High International School at Juhu, Mumbai. He is smart kid, a sports freak, loves cricket, football & a host of other outdoor games. Like most of us, I love spending time with my family. I am strong believer in family first & maintaining a good work life balance. I look forward to weekends to unwind by spending time with my family either relaxing at home or going out for shopping in malls or for dinner to a nice cozy joint. We love traveling also & ensure that twice in a year , we go out on vacations to explore new places, either in India or abroad.

I enjoy watching movies, sports, socializing with family & friends, listening to old Indian movie songs. I like reading as well, not specifically into books, but any good piece of writing from anywhere. Munshi Premchand, R K Narayan, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conon Doyle, Sydney Sheldon are some of my favorite authors. Like any Indian, I love cricket & Sachin Tendulkar, adore Diego Maradona & Beckham when it comes to football. Among movie stars, Balraj Sahani, Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Khan, John Travolta, Nicholas cage, Robin Williams, Will smith are among some of my favorites.

As an IT professional & technology leader, my objective in life has always been simplifying thing & achieving ease of use for end users when it comes to IT solutions through effective use of technology. My personal belief is that we created technology to help us, make our personal & professional lives easier & hence it should be used the way we want & not the other way round i.e. we shouldn't become over dependent on technology to the extent that we shape our lives /work styles to suit it. Life is much more than technology & we must use it as an effective means to discover the solutions/answers to the challenges we come across in our personal & professional front to be successful & happy.

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