Head of digital and innovation
Samip Mutha has been at RPG since 2013 and moved to a corporate digital role in January 2015 when the group set up a digital function. Mutha, who has worked around the world in consulting, was chosen to start the Digital journey at a time when, he says, digital was a fad.
“I think it has been a fantastic journey during which we have moved from a fad to digital becoming a driving force in some of our businesses. We have also established innovation as a focused function since 2017.
At that time, we also established RPG’s Innovation Festival to showcase the success and failure stories across the group’s businesses that people could learn from, leading to RPG picking up the prestigious Best Innovation Company of the Year Award from Economic Times in 2020.
But he is keen to point out that his journey has also been marked by a more human focus, where the value of people is recognised and employee experience is high. “We are the first company in the world to have an Emoji in our vision statement. RPG is a people-centric organisation.”
The move from Digital being a nebulous concept in business to a driving force of industry was “a leap of faith,” Mutha says. “Those of us who took that leap in the early years are now reaping the benefits six or seven years later. Before joining RPG I was a career consultant working across manufacturing, banking, retail, construction, and airlines, which has helped me immensely in putting forward the success of Digital. For the success of Digital, you need people who can think of the exponential application of technology to a business.”
That’s no mean feat in manufacturing. “Let me be very clear,” says Mutha, “Manufacturing guys are not digital. We’re very analogue. We want to touch and feel the product. So we used to go to people and say “this is how digital can change the business.” And now our functions – manufacturing, supply chain, finance – they come to us and say, “can we do this?”
I would quickly like to touch upon IoT. To me IoT does not mean ‘the internet of things’, but ‘independent of technology’. “I always say the success of IoT is independent of technology. I apply that anywhere in Digital, because it is not the technology that makes it successful but the people in the business.”
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“Sometimes automation is seen as a panacea. We see it as one of a number of solutions, not a silver bullet.”