GMR Group : Building Blocks

With businesses spread across diverse fields like airports, energy, highways,
and urban infrastructure (including SEZ), GMR Groups business units were using
several standalone systems running disparate processes; resulting in lack of
real-time information availability, vulnerability to inaccuracies, and lack of
reliable and meaningful information structure.

Headed by GM Rao, GMR is engaged in modernization and restructuring of the
Delhi airport, and development of greenfield airport in Hyderabad. The group was
looking for a common scalable platform, in order to provide disruptive growth in
existing business verticals. "With entry into new businesses and locations,
there was a need for seamless flow of information across the group, and
mitigation of operational risks. Moreover, there was provision of an
infrastructure to business, so we could capitalize on the immense
opportunities," says Johny Paramian, CIO, GMR Group.

The absence of a holistic view of business across verticals translated into
no seamless information flow for the business units. Keeping in consideration
expanse of GMRs business interests, the groups then technological base was
incapable of keeping pace with the growth, since operational complexities
increased manifold.

"A combination of reasons were acting as impediments in the groups growth;
namely continuous and reliable information; absence of uniform MIS and
operational reporting based on integrated system; standardized policies and
procedures, with defined roles and responsibilities, and embedded controls, with
emphasis on company-wide risk management," adds Paramian.

  • Quick rolling out of business solutions in India and abroad, in new
    locations and verticals
  • Enabling new business processes in SAP environment
  • Consolidation of business processes and visibility across the sectors
  • Continuous and reliable information
  • Uniform MIS and legal / operational reporting based on integrated
  • Standardized policies and rocedures with defined roles and
  • Embedded Controls, with emphasis on company-wide risk management

Going Live
GMR went in for SAP ERP, and went ahead with SAP as its implementation partner.
Kick-started in July 2007, during the implementation stage, building the team
was a major concern, as it not only involved hiring people externally with
expertise in enterprise resource management, but also borrowing employees
internally from business units.

"With nine business units and varied information and access control
requirements, it meant that there were diverse practices and processes; making
it challenging to define common process, across the entities and sectors," says

The project management team finally came out to be a hybrida mix of 120
people chosen internally and externally. Change management includedsetting up a
dedicated training center, where people were trained in three stagesLevel 1 and
2 before Go Llive, and Level 3 after Go Live.

Factors like weekly meetings to address every day issues, flawless
coordination between the team and involvement of top management meant that the
deployment proceeded smoothly; aided by mock live sessions, revealing a number
of loopholes. In fact, the number of days in between account closing and Go Live
was brought down from eighteen days during the trial run to just three and a
half days during the final run. This was a great achievement, as the lesser the
number of days for cut-over, lesser is the amount of data to be managed manually
during the cut-over period, and the easier is the transition. Therefore, during
the actual cut-over, account closing took place on the January 31, 2008, and the
system was in place by February 4; but the final Go Live took place on the
February 5, 2008.

Thereafter, Go Live for fourteen more entities took place on March 17; and
for twenty-three more entities in April, using the same operational guidelines.

In the phase II of implementation, GMR would be implementing new generation
modules, covering BIW, SRM, CRM, and SEM; along with real estate and EHS.

Stuti Das

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