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Talking Tech: Arun Kathpalia, Director – IT, Benetton India Pvt. Ltd.

In modern day retail, the CIO’s is a fast-evolving role – one that is no longer confined to backrooms replete with dusty computer monitors, but one that works on the digital dexterity of the company.

The CIOs of today have earned their rightful places among the C-suite of companies, sitting in the boardroom, taking technology-based decisions that help companies achieve their goals – both in terms of digital advancement as well as in terms of revenue-generation.

Suffice to say that companies are no longer complete if they don’t invest in strategists who are catalysts in facilitating organizational technology shifts.

In this special feature, IMAGES Business of Fashion showcases the torchbearers of retail technology. This week, the spotlight is on one such CIO who is a retail technology veteran – Arun Kathpalia, Director – IT, Benetton India Pvt. Ltd.

Arun Kathpalia has a rich experience of 30 years in the field of technology. He has helped various organizations transform businesses by implementing new technologies emphasizing on infrastructure support, project management, networking and data communication.

Roles & Responsibilities

The crux of Arun Kathpalia’s work revolves around analyzing complex business needs and recommending technical solutions and operational support.

He has been instrumental in implementing MM,SD,PP,FI CO & BW of SAP-AFS for Benetton along with integrating the company’s systems with third party POS systems through PI
Management of all I.T. activities. This includes database management, software development, infrastructure support, project management, networking & data communication.

He has worked to implement various ERP modules like Financial, MM, PP, SD in Mfg/Pro and customized ERP for the company.

Aside from this, he also manages IT security for the company – a huge task in itself – along with patch management.

He works to analyze the current and future information technological needs of the organization and alongside performing a periodic analysis, prepares an annual budget for IT.

Aside from this, he helps recognize new developments in information systems and establishes current and long-term needs for the organization.

“I hope to create a very valuable technology organisation that spreads as big as the globe is. I would have been a great cook or a very effective sports coach. Either way, I would have strived to be the best in those areas as well, just how I go that extra mile in my day-to-day ordeal now.”

Career History & Experience

Arun has been with Benetton India Pvt. Ltd. since 1993 now. He was Head of the IT till 2011, when he was promoted to Director – IT, a position he has enjoyed for the last 12 years now, owing to his exemplary performance.

Before that, he was associated with Jay Yushin Ltd. where he held the post of Manager IT for a year – from 1993-94.

Education & Skills

Arun – who has completed his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) from Maharshi Dayanand University (1983 – 1987) – counts Enterprise Resource Planning, Management, IT Operations & Strategy, Analysis, Server Management, Microsoft SQL server management and SAP experience among his key skills.

He says for him, game changing retail technologies include VR and emerging gaming tech, things he hopes to incorporate into Benetton soon.

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