Dhandapani has a robust business background spanning 30 years. He is highly experienced in finance, business planning, operations, projects and IT. In the past 11 years he was responsible for the IT portfolio at Sundaram Clayton / TVS Motor Group of companies.
Here he continues to oversee IT strategy development and execution of IT policies and practices for business profitability and growth in the group’s 11 companies — which have a collective turnover of over Rs 9,000 crore. He has conceptualized and successfully deployed projects that have yielded business benefits directly linked to the top line, in the first year itself. And these projects have received many topnotch industry awards. Dhandapani himself has won awards and has numerous certifications.
A jury endorses this by saying, “His contributions to the business are quite visible and his overall approach to IT and
business is what a good leader can take as a benchmark.” In his present role as Group CIO, which he assumed in 2005, Dhandapani drives business strategies, oversees optimizing, standardizes business processes across the group, drives innovation and ensures that the IT infrastructure is secured to reduce risk. Apart from this, he is also involved in decisions related to technology deployment and IT spending.
His contribution to the business is directly reflected in the projects he led and in the immediate ROI. Take for instance
the project to digitize the NPD (new product development) process to reduce NPD lead time, so as to achieve target cost
and quality. Under Dhandapani’s leadership and guidance, the NPD lead time was reduced from 24 months to 11 months — that’s more than a 50 percent time reduction. Or take the project to digitize lean manufacturing system with multiple objectives of improving employee and asset productivity, service levels to customers and quality. Here the service level to customers was further improved from 87 percent to 98 percent.
The U.S.-based Managing Automation selected Sundaram-Clayton as Managing Automation Progressive Manufacturing 50 for digitizing lean manufacturing in ERP in the year 2008. It also selected TVS Motor as Managing Automation Progressive Manufacturing 100 for completely automating all business transactions from planning, order to cash for outsourced manufacturing of True4 oil business in the years 2009 and 2011.
Sundaram Clayton received the first ever SAP ACE (Award for Customer Excellence) in the year 2006. TVS Motor Company was awarded SAP ACE in the years 2007, 2008 and again in 2010. Dhandapani has also led the in-house development of the Dealer Management System — an ERP system for TVS Motor dealers, which is implemented across the group’s 10 companies. Till date, 750 dealers have adopted the system across India and overseas. Other successful projects were Electronic Kanban for just-in-time manufacturing, and a data acquisition system for Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Here RFID-based material control systems were introduced. All these projects provided business benefits in the first year itself — yielding revenue of more than ` 60
crore across the group. Also, employee productivity was increased by more than 50 percent in several projects. There’s a ` 100 crore business within the group that has more than one million transactions per annum with 600 customers. Thanks to automation, this business is handled by just one person! It has been running successfully for last four years. That’s another example of Dhandapani’s fine strategy and innovation.
Dhandapani is a member of Business Leadership Team (BLT). The high-level BLT is accountable for business results, driving market share and introducing new products and the entire operations and finance. It is responsible for business strategy formulation and execution and for driving business targets.
Externally, Dhandapani is associated with, and contributes to various committees and associations. He is an IT Member of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), a member of the Academic Board of Council for DG Vaishnav College, Chennai and also Chairman (TN Circle) at Indus.