Dipali Goenka, MD and CEO Welspun talks supply chain, analytics & sustainability

Dipali Goenka, MD and CEO Welspun, on how supply chains can be strengthened in the new world.

Amidst the tumultuous backdrop of the past few years, the intricacies of supply chains have come to the forefront.

Supply chains matter. Once obscured from the view of consumers, these intricate networks have been thrust into the spotlight. They have captivated the attention of the global economy and CEOs alike.

“The supply chain is the bedrock for manufacturing companies. As a country, when we are looking to become a USD 5 trillion economy, our supply chains will play a crucial role,” says Dipali Goenka, CEO & MD, Welspun India Ltd., while speaking to ET Edge Insights.

The infrastructure of global trade was often overlooked, but recent years have brought it into sharp focus. And it continues in 2023.

To strengthen the supply chain ecosystem, Dipali emphasized the importance of creating robust infrastructure and warehouses and highlighted the role of MSMEs.

MSMEs are important as most disruptions originate in these deeper supply chain tiers, and they need to be well integrated.

“We have a network of startups working in the areas of predictive analytics and blockchain. We need to tap players in this segment. Predictive analytics can be used to find what is being sold at the point of sale and how you react to it. The turnaround time is another factor that will be extremely crucial,” Dipali says.

On the usage of predictive analytics at Welspun:

Dipali Goenka: We are not just manufacturers now. We are serving 50 countries across the world. We also have brands in India like Spaces and Welspun One. We have a brand called Christy in the UK and licensed brands in the US like Martha Stewart and Scott Living. For us, this has become a complex ecosystem.

From past experiences, we have learnt that one must be in control of their point of sale (POS) for the retailers. For some retailers we also carry out vendor-managed inventories from warehouses in the US.

For us to know what is selling today and what will sell after three weeks is extremely critical so that we can connect to the trigger at the manufacturing end. And for this to happen, we require MSMEs to be strong.

When you talk about blockchain, we saw that in the Xinjiang region of China, the whole supply chain and blockchain became a big issue.

For us to see how we can connect the process of ginning (a process used to get clean cotton by separating or removing the seeds, dust, or any other foreign particles) with our factories is important. The traceability mechanism allows to track the source of the final product right back to the specific farm it comes from. This adds value and transparency to the whole process. It is not only about cotton, but the whole ecosystem should look to leverage blockchain.

On Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals:

Dipali Goenka: For Welspun, our bedrock is ESG. Whatever we do has to be looked at from a sustainability lens.
While we can meet the Scope 1 and Scope 2 targets, it is the Scope 3 emissions that are a challenge. Hence, when I talked about the MSMEs, it is this whole network that we need to look at and map accordingly.

(Dipali Goenka will also be speaking at the 10th edition of the Supply Chain Management and Logistics Summit to be held on 28th June 2023 in Delhi).

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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