For taking an organization on a growth trajectory, IT implementation with the assurance to run it smoothly is the idea of Amway India to spearhead their growth figures. Sanjay Malhotra, VP, IT, Amway tells Bhawna Satsangi about the importance of IT infrastructure in Amway and how does the simple implementation has helped the company to make sales turnover of over Rs 2,288 crore in 2012.
How important is IT infrastructure for Amway?
IT is critical to our growth strategy and we manage almost a million distributors as part of our business operations. We ensure continuous delivery service along with quality products to the market. I think IT has a very important and critical role to play, and is core to the organisation for overall business operations and long term growth.
What are the biggest areas of focus as far as IT implementations are concerned?
Being a direct selling company there are two areas, e-commerce and the mobility where we see implementation and updating technology is really important so that more and more people are interested in dealing with us. Large amount of people who do business with Amway do it as a part time vocation and they need that flexibility to interact with the company anytime, anywhere and that being the case, website is one core component which we continue to enhance and update. Therefore, our website alone contributes to 35% of overall revenues. We want to upgrade it in line with what the distributor community really wants. Second is mobility, as we understand that the mobility trend is picking up most of the people are connected through either smart phones or hybrid devices. I may or may not have a PC but I still have a mobile device, could be a tablet or smart phone. More and more people want to connect through that channel.
How IT implementation has been successful for Amway?
IT is very relevant to the success of Amway so all the people in Amway are very open and very supportive of the initiatives and collaborate with us in an open manner. They fully support the initiative and then they back it out with the resources and time availability of the key individuals that need to be the part of the project. Our distributor community is also fairly well informed and engaged and so they keep the pressure up on IT to ensure that we are delivering right kind of technology and solutions which meet the business requirement.
What kind of challenges do you find while implementing typical IT systems for Amway?
I think first and foremost is to ensure the requirements have been clarified and there are no gaps there as I think that’s the most challenging point. Once having done that the implementation is very simple. The second is that change management. How do you induct new technologies in, how do you ensure people are accepting and working with that are few of the concern areas.
How did you overcome these challenges?
To keep constant engagement with users, training was a very important aspect. When we launched the portal we engage the distributor leaders. IT team was going out, doing training sessions with distributors to ensure success in the project.
What is your success mantra?
My success mantra is to keep it simple. We just want to do projects which really deliver business value. I don’t want to implement complex architecture but want to keep our structure and architecture simple. I ensure to do it in a most simple fashion.