Hitting Perfect Harmony

DQI Bureau
New Update

It all started when the top management at the Mahindra Group were on the

lookout for a solution that could enable two way-interactive communication

between the senior management and the group employees, and between the employees

of diverse companies within the group. As the Mahindra group has nine industry

verticals ranging from automotive, IT, holiday resorts and financial services,

this diversity made it difficult to conceptualize a common platform that could

bring everyone together to exchange views.


This gave birth to the One Mahindra initiative that still is considered one

of the most mature Enterprise 2.0 initiative in corporate India. As a first

step, corporate IT created a portal based on web 2.0 to leverage on the

synergies and knowledge of employees across the group. "We did a small survey

and we discovered that many of the group employees have created communities on

Facebook and Orkut. So we realized that there was a latent need for people to

collaborate," says Arvind Tawde, senior VP & CIO, Mahindra Group. After

extensively researching popular social networking forums Tawdes team zeroed in

on three applications that could deliver phenomenal results. These include

MahiSpace (a personal page where employees can display their profiles and areas

of expertise), Ask Mahindra (a forum where employees can ask questions and

receive answers from colleagues across the Mahindra group) and Innovation Pad (a

platform where users can put forward innovative ideas and have the opportunity

to have them implemented). The groups goal was clearto position their Intranet

One Mahindra as a group-wide employee networking portal which could help

employees showcase their skills, expertise and domain knowledge.

Our Enterprise 2.0 initiative was based on a

latent need for people to collaborate

Arvind Tawde, senior VP & CIO,

Mahindra Group

Apart from One Mahindra, the Common Customer Database (CCDB) was one of the

key IT deployments where the corporate IT team pooled in all the customer data

from the companies within the group. Another major project which is currently

underway is called Project Harmony and will go live on April 1, 2010. It is a

very large project and the IT team has been working on it for the past two

years. It identifies the common processes across the group including accounts

and finance, recruitment, and HR. These have then been put on the common IT

platform which is hosted centrally on a single instance at Mahindra city. While

this is a technologically intensive project it also involves a high level of

change management. It is a major milestone because once the project, goes live,

even the smaller companies within the group will enjoy the benefits of a central

IT architecture. Forty companies will go live on the project on April 1 while

two companies that are based abroad will be roped into the project next year.

"Project Harmony has been the most challenging of all projects and is also one

project that I am passionate about," says Tawde.

Going ahead, Tawde plans on deploying a private cloud for all the common

applications across businesses. "This will prove to be a viable business

initiative as we already have over forty companies within the group who will be

the immediate customers for a private cloud," concludes Tawde.

Priya Kekre