March 15, 2017
Priyadarsanie Ramasubramanian, Head of Engineering and Technology – Tesco Bengaluru on key IT planning for 2016-17, leveraging new technology, her role and how Tesco Bengaluru is promoting more women through its Women in Leadership Development program
Bangalore: Meet Priyadarsanie Ramasubramanian, Head – Engineering & Technology at Tesco Bengaluru, which is the operations and technology centre for Tesco worldwide. Tesco Bengaluru centre was set up in May 2004 to enable standardisation and build centralized capabilities and competencies which can be leveraged across the Tesco Group.
She is accountable for retail demand forecasting across Tesco’s operations in the UK, Asia and Europe. With close to two decades of experience in managing software development programs, Ramasubramanian is responsible for building high performance and scalable teams through effective leadership skills and focus on value, flow and quality to drive business value.
In this interview with ETCIO, Priyadarsanie Ramasubramanian talks about Tesco’s IT programs during 2016-17, her role in driving innovation around new technologies and shares her views on women’s role in the IT sector and much more.
Q1. Which were the key IT initiatives Tesco has rolled out in 2016?
Tesco is the UK’s largest food retailer and has long been a pioneer when it comes to technology and data. It is gearing to face the opportunities basis the latest advancements in technology. Applying cutting edge analytics and the most current data is the supermarket’s answer to dealing with challenges ranging from evolving customer behaviors and engaging in a competitive marketplace.
Tesco is focused on security, cloud, data analytics, open sources & developer tooling, mobile among other leading edge technology platform refreshes and transforming technology. Focus on security was to address key business risks. We have started using the public cloud to provide highly scalable and fast service whilst reducing capital investment, building a data and event ecosystem for the core business and building an API Platform (of key business services) to power e-commerce.
We want to build the foundation for future innovation and treat everything we do as a product, with agile product management processes unifying our business teams and technology. We aspire to build a team with global talent supported with our new career framework and leverage open source software to drive innovation and create new technologies.
Q2. Going into the year 2017, what sort of IT planning are you extending for this year?
We would continue to focus on the goals we set out to achieve with a company wide scope. We want to create a new enterprise information security organization, bring in operational efficiencies by standardizing and transforming our colleague, finance and people systems and focus on software defined infrastructure and cloud.
Additionally, we want to build on programs for unified end-to-end customer experience, end-to-end supply chain, API platform for retail powering consumers, streaming and event-based data analytics platform whilst focusing on our people to create engineering-led teams bound to product teams and outcomes.
Q3. In your role as head of engineering and technology, what kind of innovation projects are underway at Tesco using some of the latest technologies?
Much of the business’s innovation begins within the Tesco Labs, which was founded to research new technologies which could benefit the company and its customers. Tesco Labs has up to 50 projects on the go at any one time and experiments with VR and AR, connected home devices, near field communications (NFCs) and mobile applications.
We also run regular hackathon events where programmers compete to develop new solutions. Some of the great ideas are then sponsored to complete development and be used for customers’ benefits.
As a head of Software Development and Technology team at Tesco Bengaluru, I am driving supply chain efficiencies in forecasting. At supply chain, we strive to increase efficiencies in our logistics and distribution chains, to keep down costs and minimize environmental impact.
Supply chain at Tesco Bengaluru focuses on three priorities – improving availability, reducing wastage and stockholding. The key to get these KPIs right is to be able to forecast sales accurately for which complex predictions are needed on a sea of historical sales based data that influence sales, like price, promotions, events, season and weather.
With about 7000 stores across countries, several thousand products ranged in each store, and serving millions of customers a week, this is a complex challenge. My team has embarked on working along with business and addressing this challenge on big data.
Q4. There are fewer women in the IT sector. However given your personal work experience, do you see that is likely to change in near future with more women joining the IT sector and playing key roles in organizations?
Whilst the number of women in IT is still not very encouraging, we should appreciate the fact that women in IT have gradually increased in the last few years and we do have a good story at entry level. The focus has to now shift to creating an ecosystem for our women colleagues to sustain their journey in the organization and to develop themselves into leadership roles.
Many corporates like Tesco Bengaluru emphasize on the need for inclusion and diversity and run several programs and have special policies to encourage and help women in technology pursue leadership roles (middle and senior management).
Tesco Bengaluru runs a special program called “Women in Leadership Development” where they run programs for women entering leadership roles to help them realize their true potential, break barriers and being the best they can be. Women need to be ambitious and at the same time not go down the guilt lane in trying to be perfect in everything and eventually hold back.
Great Customer Offer – The Economic Times
Big Data Analytics -Taking a Deeper Dive, Financial Express
“Is internal comms about to get interesting?”, PR Moments
Training Gen-Y employees to be leaders by Nick Williams, Human Capital
Madhu Menon – CFO, Tesco HSC Participates In Bloomberg India CFO Summit 2014
We are investing more in tech as digital property is the way forward: Tesco CIO, the Economic Times
Company Encourages Employees to Go Green, The New Indian Express
Business Women Get More Opportunity, DNA
In Pursuit Of Happiness_The Hindu Business Line
The Future of Big Data in Retail, Images Retail
Garden away those corporate woes – Bangalore Mirror
Hackathons Morph Into Recruiting Vehicle, The Hindu
Tesco HSC Steps to Clean Karunashraya Lake, Bangalore | CSR Vision
Is Diversity Your Company’s Most Resounding Mantra? by Anju Sethi, Head, Learning and Development, Tesco HSC | CXOtoday.com
Oh Baby! Why women can’t break the IT ceiling | Bangalore Mirror
Decade-old Tesco captive still strong, Business Standard
Glen Attewell Interviewed On NASSCOM Website’s Face 2 Face Column
IndiaCSR: Tesco HSC Launches Sustainability Initiatives For Greener Future
OUR AIM TO PLANT TREES
Plan to protect dwindling wetlands of Bengaluru
NEW LIFE TO PLANTS IN PARK: Eenadu
In Retail, Domain-specific Skills Must For Effective Customer Servicing – TimesJobs.Com
Cos Now Hire Storytellers to Mentor Staff – The Economic Times
Training The Managers, The Tesco Way – HR Katha
Every Bit Counts – Human Capital
Lay The Foundation of IT With Agile Technology – CIO Review
For Children Of Migrant Worker – Bangalore Mirror
When change is the only constant – Times Ascent
Staying power of the new workplace
From Nottingham To Whitefield, Metro Life – Deccan Herald, October 5, 2015
Tesco HSC Announces Corporate Name Change to Tesco Bengaluru
From Seeing The Dawn Of Windows To Being The Director Of Technology For Tesco, Bengaluru, Vidya Laxman’s Journey – YourStory.com
Expat’s Diary: For Tesco Bengaluru’s HR-Head, ‘Passion’ And ‘Relationship’ Hold The Key To Indian Work Culture: HR Katha
Boss’s Day: Be a leader, not a ‘boss’ – Timesjobs.com
Gender Diversity’s Good, But Where Is It? – CXO Today
5 Ways To Appreciate An Employee – The Economic Times
Technology Consulting – What Does the Future Hold? – Consultants Review
Tesco Bengaluru Partners With Lithium Urban Technologies to offer a pioneering and emission-free transportation experience for its employees
Tesco Bengaluru Partners with Lithium Urban Technologies to offer emission-free transportation employees: India CSR
Eco-friendly Cars: Samyuktha Karnataka
Emission-free Transportation : Eenadu
Tesco, Lithium Urban Joins Hands: Deccan Herald
Tesco Bengaluru opts for green transportation with Lithium: The Times of India
Need to Reassess Traditional Approaches: People Matters
Marathon Mania: The Economic Times
Women techies log on to trendy, soft wear – Bangalore Mirror
How Retail Giant Tesco Handled The e-comm Onslaught – The Hindu BusinessLine
Investment In People Makes Good Sense: CXOToday
Deck the halls – Deccan Herald
Seminar on M-commerce Held – The New Indian Express
Looking inside contemporary application architecture – Silicon India
Employee Volunteering is a key element in Tesco’s CSR efforts
Press Release: Tesco Bengaluru Wins Best Practice in Data Analysis Strategy Award
Tesco keen to work with Indian start-up ecosystem – Business Standard
TechGig: Women Achievers: It is important for women in technology to be seen, heard and leave an impact, says Tesco Bengaluru tech director Vidya Laxman
New Indian Express: Women Had a Blast
Bangalore Mirror: City Team Feeding UK’s Hungry
Economic Times: Whitefield Builds a Kingdom of Its Own
Hindustan Times: Want the job? Here’s why you should ditch the professionally-written CV
IndiaCSR: Tesco Bengaluru celebrates World Environment Day
Silicon India: Making Your Organization the Best Workplace
Company CSR: Tesco Bengaluru Supports Sankara Eye Hospital To Enable 430 Free Eye Surgeries
CSR India: Tesco Bengaluru supports Sankara Eye Hospital to enable 430 free eye surgeries
Tesco Bengaluru Plants 6500 Saplings Together with Local Communities to Increase City’s Green Cover
Prajavani: Tesco’s Tree Plantation Drive
TimesJobs.com: A Fresher’s Guide to The Technology Industry
Press Release: Tesco Bengaluru hosts Technology Day – Ignite 2016
Tesco Bengaluru bets on agile market push
Tesco Bengaluru installs e-toilets in Whitefield
Tesco Bengaluru Extends Maternity Leave to 22 Weeks
Forbes: Big Data At Tesco: Real Time Analytics At The UK Grocery Retail Giant
Human Capital: Technology At The Very Helm!
CSR Mart: Eco-friendly Transportation for Colleagues
Mint: Lithium Urban Tech paves the way for EV revolution in India’s cab market
ETRetail: Dev-ops adoption in retail in India
Human Capital: Creation of Measurable Goals
Press Release: Tesco Bengaluru renews its commitment to serving Tesco shoppers and colleagues at dedicated shared service centre
Outlook Business: Ride to rejuvenate
Be Grateful, Positive And Strong Urges Deepa Malik at 2017 IWD Event
ET CIO: Tesco Labs has up to 50 projects on the go at any one time: Tesco Bengaluru’s Priyadarsanie Ramasubramanian
Deccan Herald: Keeping a close watch
Deccan Chronicle: Corporate sector leads way in implementing new maternity bill
The Statesman: Path of progress
YourStory: Tesco’s Glen Attewell: ‘My father was a weaver, mother worked in textiles, they pushed me to succeed’
Press Release: Tesco Bengaluru appoints Sumit Mitra as CEO
ET Retail: Retail supply chain planning and optimization
Financial Express: Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016: From Anand Mahindra to TeamLease and Paypal: Will this hurt employment of more women? Here’s what they said!
World HR Dairy: Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 increases paid Maternity Leave to 26 weeks in India | Major Highlights and Industry Reaction
TheDrum: Apple, Google, Lego, Tesco and BMW top UK’s most loved brands on social media
Economic Times: Bye-bye corner office: It’s one team, one space
Press Release: Tesco Bengaluru reinforces commitment to sustainable practices through World Environment Day activities
Business World: We Go Beyond The Mandated 2% For CSR: Aniisu Verghese, Tesco
Economic Times: Here is how companies are learning from millennials’ mistakes
Deccan Herald: Rise of AI redefining retail
Financial Express: Tesco Bengaluru CEO Sumit Mitra: We believe in driving a culture of innovation
Economic Times: 5 ways to delegate decision making
The Economic Times: To bridge gender gap, companies going big on innovation
Dr. Sumit Mitra wins ‘CEO of the Year’ at the Future Leaders Summit and Award 2018
Tesco in Bengaluru collaborates with Indian Institute of Science for a technology fellowship programme
Tesco Leaders at NASSCOM Product Conclave 2018
Securing mobile apps – Preventing MiM attack
Bengaluru goes from technology capital to talent hub as e-tailers hunt for IT skills
Tesco establishes a Business Services Centre in Budapest to serve its Central European operations
How to make an organisation an awesome place to work
We are a Great Place To Work® certified organisation.
Applied data scientists – A natural evolution for software engineers?
Tesco Business Services – UK Receives Process Improvement Award at the Engage 19
Tesco collaborates with NASSCOM Foundation to set up its first Nook in Bengaluru
Tesco, Nasscom to improve employability
My First Job: Sumit Mitra,CEO, Tesco Global Business Services
Read interview of Sumit Mitra; he is CEO of TESCO Global Business Services
Shiva Chinnasamy of Tesco on the evolving role of a technology leader
Top 5 Key Skills A Good Data Scientist Should Have
Bengaluru is central to how we run Tesco, says CEO Dave Lewis
Dr. Sumit Mitra – CEO, Tesco Business Services & Tesco Bengaluru is now on Confederation of British Industry (CBI) advisory board for India
NASSCOM Leader Talk: Interview with Dr. Sumit Mitra, CEO – Tesco Business Services & Tesco Bengaluru
Business Today: Tesco Bengaluru Helps Over 320 Underprivileged Youth Stand Tall Through Life Skills and Vocational Training and Job Placements.
TimesJobs.com: Leader’s talk: Sumit Mitra, CEO, Tesco Business Services
Economic Times: Develop The Habit of Collaboration
Entrepreneur India: Make Your Employees Feel Like the Founder
Tesco announces launch of community-based clean water programme in rural Bengaluru
Entrepreneur.com: Why Innovation in Hiring Has Become the Need of the Hour
Tesco Bengaluru appoints Sumit Mitra as CEO
Tesco Bengaluru reinforces commitment to sustainable practices through World Environment Day activities
Tesco Bengaluru renews its commitment to serving Tesco shoppers and colleagues at dedicated shared service centre
Tesco Bengaluru hosts Technology Day – Ignite 2016
Tesco Bengaluru Wins Best Practice in Data Analysis Strategy Award
Economic Times: Companies go liberal in giving time off to new dads
Analytics India: How Tesco Bengaluru Is Working On Using AI, VR And 3D Modelling In Retail Industry
Tesco Bengaluru Participates in Women – Only Hackathon
Tesco Bengaluru inaugurates first community career development Centre in partnerhsip with NASSCOM Foundation
Delivering The Most Compelling Offer For Customers
Tesco Business Services is recognised as one of the top 20 Most Admired Shared Services Organisations in the World by SSON
Waste food to Plant Wealth: Tesco helps farmers with compost
Sustainability Practices at Tesco
Business services of the future: More digital, more intelligent
How Bengaluru kept UK’s Tesco retail ops going during Covid-19
Vidya Laxman, Director, Tesco Technology: A bag full of opportunities will soon overflow with AI
Refuelling India’s Tech Economy
Top skills companies will look for in the post COVID era
How Analytics Is Shaping The Retail Industry In India
BCP PlayBook: Tesco put people at the heart of its COVID-19 resilience plan
Tesco Business Services receives four awards at the ‘Impact Annual Awards Asia 2020’ organized by Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON)
Tesco Bengaluru appoints Ramamoorthy Rajagopal as Finance Director
Tesco Bengaluru Appoints Nimmi Sebastian as Head of Communication & CSR
Despite Covid, Bangalore helps Tesco engineer a success story: An Economic Times Coverage
How analytics helped Tesco improve its customer satisfaction amid Covid: An Economic Times Coverage
Three years in a row, Tesco Business Services recognised as one of the Top 20 Most Admired Shared Services Organizations in the World by SSON
Tesco has moved from being service-led to an engineering-based firm: CEO
Data insights helped boost revenues for these three large corporates
How Tesco Bengaluru transformed Tesco’s retail experience in UK
Women at the new workplace: WFH to Hybrid models – post-pandemic world to witness radical reforms