Debanjan Banerjee: Streamlining Business Processes With Versatility & Astute Planning

Debanjan Banerjee: Streamlining Business Processes With Versatility & Astute Planning

Debanjan Banerjee, Chief Information Officer

Debanjan Banerjee

Chief Information Officer

India is one of the fastest-growing alcoholic beverages markets globally, with an estimated market size of $52.5 billion in 2020. According to the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% between 2020 and 2023. Pernod Ricard is the No.2 worldwide producer of wines and spirits with consolidated sales amounting to €10,701 million in fiscal year FY22. The Group, which owns 17 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive portfolios in the industry with over 240 premium brands distributed across more than 160 markets. Pernod Ricard India Private Limited (PRI) is a fully owned subsidiary of Pernod Ricard South Asia and a fast-growing multinational alcohol-beverage company delivering quality products to its consumers across the country. Home to renowned brands in each category, Pernod Ricard India holds one of the most dynamic and premium portfolios in the industry, led by Seagram’s whiskies that include Royal Stag, Royal Stag Barrel Select, Blenders Pride, Blenders Pride Reserve Collection, Imperial Blue, 100 Pipers and a wide range of international premium brands such as Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute and Jameson Irish whiskey.

CEO Insights engages in an exclusive interaction with Pernod Ricard India CIO- Debanjan Banerjee, where we discuss his experiences and learnings in this journey.

Take us through your educational and professional background? What inspires you as the new-age leader?

I owe my learning journey to my parents, the institutes I went to, the organizations I worked for, and managers/ leaders with whom I had the privilege to work with. I picked up the ability to plan meticulously and execute things seamlessly from my father, while my mother was instrumental in shaping my value system. My upbringing spanned many cities and a couple of countries, which gave me a very early exposure to people and friends from different cultures.

My education in engineering and post-graduation in business administration, inspired me to always want to make a difference in people’s lives and to influence others. I worked with managers who were not only demanding and very competent, but also very hard working, which helped a lot in accelerating my learning curve. Exposure to different managerial styles, different backgrounds of business environments, different cultures, ecosystems of technologies, processes and partners/vendors, enriched my journey and learning path as I progressed into my current role.

What truly inspires me today is the art-of-possibility and the very fact that there are so many choices.

Define Pernod Ricard India as an organization and its current position in the industry?

‘Conviviality’ is the core purpose of Pernod Ricard India, and it is embedded in the vision of the company - through each of its products, marketing and social initiatives. As “Creators of Conviviality,” we aim to unlock the magic of human connection. We focus on building a community that celebrates togetherness, focusing on inclusivity, and being responsible – remaining true to our three founding values: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics.

With over 25 years of rich legacy and operations in the country, the company operates through its two distilleries in Nashik (Maharashtra) and Behror (Rajasthan) apart from 29 bottling sites across the country. The Group’s commitment to the “Make in India” initiative is reflected in our sales portfolio within India, which comprises over 97% of domestically produced brands.

With a strong belief in ‘Creating Shared Value’ for the business and local communities, Pernod Ricard India is commmitted to driving transformational growth and development for the country in line with our ethos of conviviality without excess.

My dreams have shaped my journey to success. I believe that success is measured by the size of one's dreams. So Dream Big, and Dream to Make a Difference

As the CIO, how are you creating business value for Pernod Ricard India through technology?

My mantra is to build the ‘Tech Muscle’ in the organization so that it can embrace any technology for highest impact.

To do this, it was important that we took a step back and revamped our approach and objectives to be in line with the business aspiration. In the past couple of years, we shifted from the tool/project led approach to building Tech Capabilities on strong data/process foundation, that is helping us sense and respond to market changes with greater agility, drive better resilience, improve productivity, enable better employee experience and strive towards becoming a data led organization. Many of these capabilities are helping us build the culture we strive for and is integral to the success of business strategy. To highlight a few of such capabilities, we have invested in an integrated planning platform that cuts across functions and processes, we have put a foundational platform of Industrial IOT in place which has become the base for several productivity improvement projects across our plants, we have revamped our data/ analytics platform for citizen empowerment not just for basic analytics but for advanced analytics as well, we have invested and industrialized across several pillars of Intelligent automation for variety of use cases. These capabilities will continue to expand as we move ahead. At the same time, we will continue to invest in upskilling people and adding new skills, where required, all of which will contribute to delivering greater value for our businesses.

What’s the future Technology roadmap of Pernod Ricard India?

While we invested in few Tech Capabilities in past few years, the journey is not yet over and so we will continue to invest in building and harvesting the value from those investments.

We are faced with challenges in our operation due to high costs and stability of our supplier ecosystem. Hence, we will invest in areas that will help us manage this external condition in much better way. A big agenda for all CEOs is the focus on ESG. We are also charting our way forward and Technology will play a key role in bringing that to life, not just from driving literacy and visibility but also in helping embrace this in our ways of working. The industry we operate in, is highly regulated and also subject to frequent changes. So, reaching out to customers and consumers in a consistent manner is quite challenging. Hence, we will invest in Tech Capabilities focused across these stakeholder groups so that our customers and end consumers can be served better.

Debanjan Banerjee, Chief Information Officer, Pernod Ricard, India & South Asia

Debanjan Banerjee has graduated from Birla Institute of Technology with BE in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He also has a Masters in Business Administration from IMT Ghaziabad. Before Pernod Ricard, he has worked with Cargill and Reckitt Benckiser India to name a few.

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