LinkedIn Q&A On Technology Changing The F&B Industry
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LinkedIn Q&A On Technology Changing The F&B Industry

By Syed Zainul Haque April 09, 2018 - 1,684 views

We thank Arvind Kumar, CIO, General Manager – IT of Elior India for his insights and time.

Elior India, a fully-owned subsidiary of France’s Elior Group, entered India in late 2016. They serve over 1.35 Lac meals every day and have 3600+ employees. Elior customers include Daimler, Pfizer, Cisco, Google, MRF, Vellore Institute of Technology, Larsen & Toubro, Ashok Leyland, Panasonic and Hindustan Motors.

Every week we publish insights with a Q&A with CIOs, CMOs, and CXOs.

See the link to the previous LinkedIn Q&A by Indus Net Technologies at the bottom of this post.

Q1: In recent times #foodtech was a talking point, and a lot of innovation has been done in this sector by companies ranging from Food Panda, Zomato, Grofers and even established brands like Dominoes, etc. This has permanently changed people’s expectation in terms of experience with “food delivery”. How did you leverage digital to create winning customer experiences?

Technology is amazing and is in progress since 2005 in the commerce segment. The same was expected by the food giants as well, so one after another started adapting user demand; the user expectation has grown to delivery on demand. I also personally use Dominos, Zomato, foodpanda, swiggy, Box8 etc. I personally feel technology can provide highly personal and delightful experience and ease of use, but ultimately it is your product quality that will make them come back for more. The IT and operations together can build exceptional customer experience.

Q2: Most #foodtech focused on delivery and improving the experience from the kitchen to dining table. Has there been technology (not necessarily digital) innovation in the kitchen (i.e. manufacturing/cooking) side? What has that been and how is this side evolving?

Technology is changing the kitchen as we know it. From global cuisines available at your fingertips on video to high-end tech that maintains food quality, taste, and hygiene while in storage, technology is building a new kitchen experience. The same also expands efficiency for the Chefs. The simplest example of these apps is the Menu Management System (MMS). They are always specific to the industry segment and cannot be generalized.

Q3: The global food robotics market is estimated to exceed $2 billion by 2022. Robots can now make pizza, salads, and alcoholic beverages. Robot-powered food preparation is in its early stages. The move to AI, machine learning, and robotics is described as the fourth industrial revolution. Do you see IoT and Automation making any major inroad into catering/food business in India? What are practical examples that you have come across that has impressed you?

Robotics and IoT are going to be very crucial for the manufacturing industry including food catering. Robotics will help prepare meals with much higher efficiency and in perfect portioning reducing wastage.

IoT will help to keep the hygiene intact and help in a more robust supply chain by monitoring quality and procurement processes.

IoT is being used to maintain hygiene and create the perfect conditions for making chapati, noodles, bread, and vegetables. It’s incredible how robotics and IoT are being used to maintain temperature, the pressure in chillers and nutrients in food. The future looks exciting.

Q4: What kind of change do you see in consumer behavior in your F&B sector? Being a B2B player, how did you and your organization manage to make an impact on consumer experience?

Consumer behavior has evolved a lot in the recent times. In the shortest form, I can say, we use technology and best in class food to deliver a phenomenal customer experience. The ultimate win is when our customers share their feedback with a smile.

Q5: Elior has adapted a transformation plan called Tsubaki. What is the role of Digital in Elior’s Tsubaki Transformation Plan?

Tsubaki is built around three objectives: accelerate growth, optimize costs, support operational excellence. The role of digitalization is to leverage technology to bring more value to customers and to be a differentiator for our customers.

Q6: Which digital technology do you think will be “most critical” in future and where our imagination will fall short of the impact that it will make in our life? Do you see something happening in that area already in any sector that amazes you?

Tech Chef, which can personalise your meal based on your taste, emotion, need/demand is the technology that I can see is most critical and will make lots of impact on all of our lives.

Q7: What do you think is the most hyped up “digital technology” which may not deliver much compared to the hype that has been built around it through media and marketing?

Mobile User Apps.

Q8: Any advice or key learning that you may want to share with the fellow CIO/CDOs?

Innovate technology in line with business to provide best in class consumer experience, enables business growth.

Q9: What is that one thing you do not want technology to change in the functioning of a food and beverage company?

 Taste of food 🙂

Read our last LinkedIn Q&A session with Priya Dar.

At Indus Net Technologies we are creating #DigitalSuccess for global customers. We are always ready to hear from leaders on their plans to create #DigitalSuccess.

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