Pfizer Director: The impact of automation on customers

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Planning automation


In this week’s episode, Seth is joined by Anil Bhavnani, Director BPO and Digital Transformation Site Leader at Pfizer, India. Anil shares his philosophical approach to the impact of automation and offers advice on how to be a part of the technology revolution.

As a ‘certified Quality Master BlackBelt in Six Sigma from Centre for Learning and Organisational Excellence (CLOE - USA)’, Anil has earned his place as Director of Business Process Outsourcing, where he manages services in Europe, Asia and The America’s.

Anil explains that although RPA started nearly three years ago, Pfizer only really got involved and started integrating RPA into their work, shared services and consultancy last year; “frankly, a lot was happening and we were trying to integrate our work onto a single ERP, so the focus was to move to a global standard footprint and bring our work into our shared services and consultancy, so we thought we ought to do two things at the same time. It was a strategic decision to not focus entirely on digital or transformation.”

“Nothing is permanent,” he says, “everything is here and tomorrow it’s not going to be there - that’s reality. You don’t need to be attached to what you’ve built. Time and change means it’ll get transformed. It’s the Mandala Approach.”

Anil’s original intention was to grow the company and their employees from 100 people to 300 and then to 600 people. “Today, the whole analogy is different, we came down from 600 to 400 people, with a target of 200 employees due to digital transformation and M&A integration efforts… I took it to a particular point and now I have to optimise and bring the headcount down.”

What does the future look like from the employee perspective?

When it comes to job retention, Anil says that: “some jobs will go away, and some will be created” because even though you will lose certain jobs, they’re heavily based on repetition and rules, but with that comes the introduction of new jobs and tasks; “lots of jobs are becoming more creative and new jobs are being created with business analysts with a bit of programming experience and developers are actually writing the code, and some of the code writers aren’t hard-core computer specialists - they learn on the job.”

“These ‘cut and paste’ style jobs don’t really add value. They’re repetitive. The cost of not being there means that employees will be re-worked without the manual effort… New jobs will be more highly skilled and not on par with what the jobs were doing before, therefore we should expect better paid jobs.”

Being a part of change, Anil believes, is “empowering” because you’re “doing it in your lifetime and it means you’ve done something while you’re here and impacted people… Look to up-skill yourself, learn technologies, automation and always put the effort in to learn the new skills required. You can either be part of that change or stand aside and be left out.”

Driven by customers

This overall improvement of the process allows for the customer to have a better experience; “the focus is that the customer should have a good experience,” says Anil.

Read More: Why X-Data is Key to Breaking Through in the Experience Economy

And what if you and your company part ways?

Sometimes when jobs change, you or your people might not be the right fit for the newly up-skilled requirements, and that’s ok - according to Anil; “sometimes it's that point and time in life when you change what you’re doing - you change career and do something else that’s either related or even sometimes unrelated.”