Suguna Foods Digital Journey

Karunanithi S, CIO, Suguna Foods

According to research by ICRA, India is one of the fastest growing poultry markets globally, with 7% y-o-y growth last year. India is now the world’s fourth largest poultry producer in volume terms. India has emerged as one of the few emerging economies with a self-reliant, technology-driven poultry industry. . Karunanithi S, CIO, Suguna Foods in an interview to Dataquest talks about IT adoption dynamics in the Poultry industry. Excerpts 

What are the unique IT demands of the poultry industry?

Technology has transformed the poultry industry in many different ways. Automating business processes, addressing challenges such as traceability – encompassing the monitoring of feed supplements and healthcare products, ensuring the entire feed requirement planning and batch cycles (involving several stages during the growth of the bird), quality checks, pricing strategies based on current market rates, are some of the obvious use cases. The focus is now to streamline the supply chain processes and improve operational efficiencies.

Tell us more about Suguna’s adoption of progressive technologies

Coming to Suguna, we are the ninth largest broiler producer in the world and the number one broiler producer in India. Quality and innovation are core values at Suguna, we pride ourselves on the level of quality and service we bring to the table. Our cutting edge R&D facility is testimony to our commitment. With 84 state-of-the-art hatcheries and 62 world-class feed mills in full-fledged production, our setup is one of the largest not just in India but across the Asia region as well. Our processes are at par with global leaders in poultry.

Suguna has been at the forefront of technology adoption in the Indian poultry industry. We’ve defined industry benchmarks on several occasions. For instance, we were the first Indian poultry company to successfully implement Oracle E-Business Suite, ERP system. This gives you an idea on how technology is a core enabler at Suguna. We use modern technologies for a variety of applications, starting with Human Capital Management, Mobile Application for Field Force and customer experience.

We’ve recently started our cloud journey as we wanted to focus more on innovation and expanding our core business instead of spending too much time and effort to manage the IT infrastructure. Cloud has allowed us to do this with ease. We’re in early days still and are considering various ways in which we can modernize our business processes with technology.

How has Oracle helped you transform your business?

We’ve been a happy Oracle customer for a number of years. We’re one of Asia’s largest, well-known poultry players and we extensively use technology to keep us ahead of our peers. Our sourcing application, which is connected to all our suppliers across the country, runs on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. As a result, we’ve realized increased operational efficiencies and fast-tracked our decision making.

When it comes to producing good quality feed, sourcing the right raw materials is super critical, because this is key to our sustained growth. With the adoption of e-sourcing application, we’ve expanded our reach to include all suppliers to get the best quality at the best price. Further, the e-sourcing application has helped increase transparency across the board and simplified the entire process – starting from sourcing to settlement and price discovery, given we purchase in huge quantities on a daily basis.

What’s your technology roadmap looking like? Where does Oracle fit into this?

With Oracle as one of our strategic technology partners, we’ll continue to assess how modern technologies can strengthen our business growth. After the initial cloud success, we’re now in the next phase of cloud adoption. We’ve recently moved our HR system to Oracle HCM Cloud, the implementation is underway. We’re also exploring Oracle’s EPM solution. In the near term, we’re also thinking of exploring IoT and chatbot solutions to integrate the chain of farmers, supervisors and veterinary doctors to improve our poultry management processes.

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