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Talking Tech: Satish Panchapakesan, Sr Vice President and CIO, Arvind Fashions Limited

In today’s day and age, any CIO worth his salt must know how to leverage technology to create value for the business. No longer are CIOs department heads of a support function. Instead, they are in the driver’s seat and need to be more than just subject-matter experts.

According to International Data Group (IDG)’s ‘State of the CIO Study 2022’, 58 percent of workers outside of IT describe their company’s CIO as a ‘strategic advisor who proactively identifies business opportunities and makes recommendations’.

In this special feature, IMAGES Business of Fashion showcases the torchbearers of retail technology. This week, the spotlight is on Satish Panchapakesan, Sr Vice President and CIO, Arvind Fashions Limited.

About Satish Panchapakesan

Satish Panchapakesan is a techpreneur, a professional with over two decades of buying, selling and delivery services experience. His expertise lies in end-user leadership, along with core consumer business knowledge in retail and CPG value chains as well as in deep digital skills.

Panchapakesan has a deep consumer and industry connect, and is known for his global outlook.

As Senior Vice-President & Chief Information Officer, Arvind Fashions Limited (May 2020 – Present), he specializes in creating business and technical leadership to service a multi-brand business portfolio, newer operating models, in modernizing SAP apps and infrastructure for scale (order to cash, fashion/core replenishment), in bringing in platform integrations and in ensuring security – in terms of data fidelity and GRC – for brands and companies he works for.

His tech mantra: Someone who ‘humanizes’ new ways of doing things. He says his game changing technology in as far as retail goes is Cloud Apps.

Career History & Experience

Prior to joining Arvind Fashions Limited, he was Strategic Business Unit Head – Retail and Consumer Goods Vertical at Cognizant (July 2016-March 2020).

He also worked with Consumer Goods Practice at Cognizant (November 2010- March 2016) and for Business Development and Solutions – Consumer Goods at Cognizant (November 2008- November 2010)

Before Cognizant, Panchapakesan worked with reputed organizations like Wipro Technologies (Retail and Consumer Goods: Client Engagement Manager, January 2003 – October 2008); M&S (Consultant, 2003-2004) and Infosys Technologies (Project Manager, January 2001 – January 2003)

Education

Satish Panchapakesan is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, from where he completed his Executive Program: Emerging Partners, Advanced Professional Studies: Global Leadership in 2012-2013. He has also completed his BE, Mechanical from Bangalore University (1990-1994) and his Masters in Management from Indian Institute of Science (IISC), August 1995 – January 1997.

Aside from this, he has done a course in PGP-AI and ML Learning, AIML, Decision Sciences from Great Lakes Institute of Management in 2018-2019.

Personal Life

At some point in his life, says Panchapakesan – who is an avid long-distance runner and a yoga coach – he would like to serve in India’s defense forces.

“I hope to be an influencer and talk about some topics close to my heart, maybe deliver some TEDTalk-esque lectures to inspire people. If given a chance, I would want to express myself through some art form and/or write a book someday. But, whatever I do it will be led by my heart and my beliefs,” he states.

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