Puneesh Lamba's journey can be an inspiration for the young minds who are aspiring to make it big in the corporate world. Albeit, he made a niche for himself in the marketing arena in the prime of his career, his desire to learn and experiment different fields helped him to achieve a greater height.
Today, Lamba heads the IT division of BILT and manages the overall Oracle ERP process.
He had worked in the sales and marketing team at Escorts for about 8 years and won several accolades for his performance, but he wanted to do more. He wanted to leverage his experience and knowledge to diversify and grow further.
"For 3 consecutive years, I won the award for best area sales manager. I began to feel that I had reached a point of saturation in that role," recollects Lamba.
"My head of sales asked me, if I was interested in doing something other than sales and marketing," and it was then that Lamba expressed a desire to learn more about other functions and processes.
"I told him till now I only know how to sell and make money. I don't know how the production is done, pricing and all that," he says.
Looking at his ability to learn and excel in everything he did, his manager asked him if he would want to shift from sales to IT. The company had launched an ERP initiative and was looking for functional experts to contribute in its development and implementation. Lamba grabbed this offer, foreseeing an opportunity to learn something new.
Beginning of the IT Journey
"From here my IT journey started," says Lamba. And the journey was not easy, as he says, "For about a month and half I found myself completely lost".The struggle continued for sometime but his manager advised him to hold on.
After the initial hiccups, Lamba actually began to enjoy his new role. "I started spending more time to learn the ERP process in depth and I took it as a challenge to succeed and then I found it so interesting that I felt ERP is my forte," he explains.
Lamba's ability to learn new skills, enhance his knowledge and adapt to a completely new function has helped him throughout his career.
After Escorts, he then moved to TCS in a similar capacity but it was at GE where things turned around for him; a path-breaking experience that made him what he is today. He traveled to multiple locations across the globe to lead the ERP implementations within GE. He further learned to lead deployments in other applications than core ERP, some were even customized.
He was quick to learn that the best way to be successful in IT deployments is to connect with the users and this is how he connected himself to core IT.
"Because of application centric domain, I could relate to the user more, application is something that users know better as they have to work on it. That was the starting journey on how I could relate to IT more," says Lamba.
Playing the Role of CIO
It's quite imperative that a successful CIO aligns his IT processto business goals. But how much does he need to understand vendor technology and make him a trusted advisor? The key is to identify your team's strength and build a practice that can be controlled and managed.
Enable your team with the required trainings and certifications to deliver what's needed to satisfy your end customers.
In GE, Lamba built a process that was flexible to customers' ever changing requirement and helped in meeting the business goals.
"Sometimes vendor comes and sells his solution. If you have management background you can understand what benefits your consumer. So I started this process in GE where we hired a core team of 35 people from sales for implementing ERP. Now these guys are doing very well," he adds.
It is extremely motivating to see such a journey of an individual who always believed in himself for what he did and changed the entire dynamism of learning new things in life and attaining success. He was a pillar of strength to many individuals who went along with him in his journey and identified higher potentials within them.
Today, in his role as vice-president, IT, at BILT, Lamba helped build new technologies within the production system to streamline the materials management work process, which was a challenge earlier. He still looks forward to learn something new to walk that extra mile.