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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

December - 2012 issue > CIO Insights

Operational Excellence

Sudesh Agarwal
CIO-Landmark Group
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Sudesh Agarwal
Founded in 1973 in Bahrain, the Landmark Group has successfully grown into one of the largest retail organizations in the Middle East and India. With over 40,000 employees, its current turnover is $4.7 billion.

At Landmark Group, operational excellence is at the heart of everything we do. Our quality value proposition is based on our service delivery value chain; Transition, Stabilize and Improve. We leverage our proven assets, tools and methodologies across the entire chain; from transition and stabilization - to ensure seamless and smooth Retail operations, applying best practices to reduce inefficiencies and enhance productivity on a continuous basis.

Landmark Group retail operations are distinctive on six dimensions:

1. Operational infrastructure

Our business runs 18x7 operations across all our stores located in India. Our state of the art Data Centers adhere to the highest security, health and safety standards.

2. Recruitment

Landmark Group focuses on hiring the right talent from across the world to meet our retail operation requirements. We recruit across a variety of skill sets to support operation programs ranging from complex unscripted customer service levels. To ensure that we bring the right talent to bear on our business problems, we have adopted several recruitment techniques including the highly regarded Predictive Index Framework that enables us to match a potential candidates profile with the requirements of the role being fulfilled.

3. Learning and development

Learning and Development are at the heart of our employee value proposition. The group Learning Academy gives employees the opportunity to develop and sharpen skills based on their roles and career aspirations. The Academy provides training and development interventions along multiple dimensions including functional, process-related, and softer people management areas. The Academy has in-house curriculum designers, which is fairly unique in the Retail industry, has enabled us to better design learning programs for employees.

4. Quality management

Our quality management professionals ensure we meet the highest standards of products. These roles are integrated with operations and are responsible for rigorously monitoring accuracy, turnaround time and other key metrics. They provide feedback to the operations and identify opportunities for improvement.

5. Technology innovation

High end setup for complete retail operation offers 99.99 percent uptime and full redundancy. Our two data centers are located in India. Our technology and telecommunications team has extensive experience in applications, network management and technology operations. Also, as Landmark Group supports cutting-edge processes for our business, there is an increasing need for us to extend our scope to specific technology solutions.

6. Customized risk management

Landmark Group approach to risk management is to segregate risks that need to be managed by line functions and those that need to be managed centrally. The Risk Management team is comprised of highly qualified professionals who work with all stake holders throughout the engagement to develop customized risk management solutions covering business continuity, information security and compliance with privacy regulations. In addition, this team also manages all infrastructure related risks for Landmark Group data centers.

a) Information security:

Landmark Group considers information security management to be a risk as well as a market differentiators and hence invests appropriately in implementing strong information security management systems. The information security program at Landmark Group is led by the Infrastructure team who in turn is assisted by a dedicated team of security professionals to ensure a minimum baseline standard for information security across the enterprise. In addition, the Infrastructure team or external company conducts regular internal information security audits which cover, information asset management procedures, IT security, personnel security, physical and environmental security, business continuity, change management, incident management and compliance with contractual obligations.

b) Privacy:

The Landmark Group Risk Management team works closely with business users to understand their privacy obligations to regulators in their respective locations. Wherever recommended by regulation / legislation, they enter into data protection agreements, on the basis of model contracts prescribed by the relevant authorities and implements technical and organizational safeguards to ensure privacy of end user personal information.

c) Infrastructure Risk Management:

Our team of infrastructure risk specialists work closely with the Facilities and Projects teams to identify and shortlist data centers across India that conform to our internal infrastructure risk standards. These standards have been drawn up specifically to enable 24x7 Retail operations by ensuring continued availability of premises through location risk assessment and management techniques, continuity of critical utilities such as power and HVAC through designing and provisioning of diesel/gas based generator sets/uninterrupted power supply units, and the safety of our premises and people through selection and design of fire alarm systems and access control system.
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