Hindalco’s Bhushan Akerker aligns tech for operational efficiencies and higher ROI

By : |May 22, 2015
Akerker has been marked as one of the first or amongst the first five CIOs to have implemented latest technologies

Hindalco Industries‘s CIO Bhushan Akerker comes with vast experience of about 25 years in information technology with specialties in IT services, IT infrastructure design and implementation, deploying large ERPs ( 11 instances till date), data centre build and operations, design and operations of network operations centre. His goal has been to rigorously align IT with business for operational efficiencies

Akerker was named as CIO for Hindalco in 2011. Hindalco, the metal flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, is one of the world’s largest aluminium rolling companies and one of the biggest producers of primary aluminium in Asia.

He started as a senior software specialist at Digital Equipment Corporation in 1991, and then joined as head – IT at L&T Infotech in 1994, followed by joining as executive director (CIO) Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology at the Nielsen Company in 2008. Prior to Hindalco, Akerker played a role of head of Novelis (India) Infotech, an Aditya Birla group company.

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Akerker has also been marked as one of the first or amongst the first five CIOs to have implemented latest technologies. For instance, he was first one to deploy exchange 2003 in the year 2003 in his organization. He has been also the among the first five CIOs to deploy business intelligence (BI) for metals industry for production domain, and first one to  roll out hand held devices on a scale as large as to collect data from 60,000 shops.

Akerker is quite well-known in the industry for the hand held data acquisition project, as it was unique of its kind for the period in 2004-2005. The project set standards all across the globe for data acquisition on a large scale before the advent of smartphones. The project was done for a market research company AC Nielsen. This was designed to collect sales data from 60,000 shops of about 5 lack SKUs around 10 years ago. This era was prior to the advent of smart phones. Hence deployment, connectivity, support and training were a big challenge. It reduced the cycle time of delivering data to the customer from 24 days to 10 days.

He also transitioned infrastructure services from Nielsen to TCS, where he monitored and managed 12000 servers, 800 storage devices and 700 databases, 110 applications. The operating expenses of the client were reduced by $65 million.

At Hindalco, with an investment capex of Rs 40,000 crore. It has embarked on the expansion by setting up five green field aluminum plants, in Odisha and MP. Despite of challenges of remote areas of mining belt, Akerker was able to successfully implement the ERP for these five new plants, with the tweak to the aluminum industry. The task was accomplished before the commissioning of plants facilitating smooth operations. He made ERPs interfaced to plant machinery especially rolling mills. Data was collected through SCADA and fed to the ERPS. The data also inputted into BI tool. About 140 fly by wire reports were generated on sales, machine centre costs, EBITA per ton etc. The data served the purpose of strategic decision making.

For his IT implementations and capability to bring operational efficiency, Akerker has received several industry recognition and awards. He was recently awarded with ‘CIO Leadership’ award for CIOL C-Change Awards 2015 at C-Change 2015.