Centrepiece of Efficiency and Innovation: PiLog’s Supremacy in Digital Transformation 

PiLog Group

The emergence of advanced technologies and digital solutions has revolutionised the world and resulted in business and organizational growth. In response to customer demands and new market trends, companies have started implementing technologies in their processes, boosting their efficiency and performance. To help drive this fundamental change, many organizations have taken steps that have eventually led to digital transformation.

In this ocean of digital transformation service providers, PiLog Group stands apart from the crowd with its perfect blend of technology and industry expertise. Disrupting the industry, under the fine leadership of Dr Imad A. Syed, the company is providing excellent digital transformation experiences catering to the specific requirements of its customers.

At the helm of PiLog sits an accomplished, multifaceted, and passionate leader—Dr Imad A. Syed. He currently serves as the CEO of Zone 3, Group CIO, and Board Member at PiLog Group. A vastly experienced personality like him has over 18 years of progressive career growth, during which time he wore different hats, from Sr. Systems Engineer to today’s C-level positions and Board Member. His overall experience spanning over 20 years speaks volumes and beyond.

During his tenure, Dr Syed led organization initiatives from the front for all value management initiatives for PiLog group development and its esteemed customers in go-to-market, revenue management, innovations, profitability, product development, etc. This proficient leader assumed various roles such as Corporate Advisor, Senior Executive, Digital Advisory, etc. Moreover, he has expertise in designing simple yet powerful strategies for data governance, management, transformation, and analytics of complex system landscapes, and he has a proven track record of excelling in operational efficiency and effectiveness. With his brilliance, he revolutionised product and solution development using innovative frameworks that are agile and sustainable from the perspective of futuristic technology evolutions.

Taking on different responsibilities, Dr Syed also worked on developing and executing business strategies such as GTM, Product, Operational Management or deep and diversified Value-Engineering solutions. Apart from excellent skills, he is a considerate leader passionate about nurturing, building, and leading high-performance teams. ‘Result in the best of both worlds in the form of customer and employee experience’ is the principle Dr Syed has believed and proven several times.

Dr Syed’s career journey does not stop here. He has also conceived, designed and built the architecture of Enterprise solutions with state-of-the-art futuristic technologies and cloud-based content micro-services (web services) with subscription models. Moreover, he has conceived and designed the data lifecycle management processes such as iDataAcquisition, iDataHarmonization, iDataGovernance and iDataAnalytics for on-premise and on-cloud enterprise solutions that can be integrated on-demand across various platforms and operational systems.

In an exclusive interview with CIOLook India, Dr Syed shared the organization’s details, unique services, challenges, advice, and plans. Here are the snippets:

Please describe your organization in detail. What are the mission and vision of your company? 

Headquartered in South Africa, PiLog has been in the master data business since 1996, with a large global client base. The company boasts of its dictionary as the best dictionary in the form of PPO—PiLog Preferred Ontology, which has covered the MRO and Services templates industry agnostic for over a couple of decades. Moreover, it has successfully implemented Master Data Governance solutions in the market, which are pre-tested, pre-configured, and well-proven with industry best practices offerings such as on-premise, cloud, and hybrid models.

Putting all its brilliance, transparency, and efforts into its projects, PiLog strives to achieve excellence. Its methodology, processes, tools, algorithms, programs, approach, repositories, etc., are governed as per ISO 8000, 22745, 29002, 11179, and IEC 60050 (IEV) complaints. Additionally, the company is an ISO 8000-certified master data service provider (QMDP Certified) duly supported by ISO 9001:2008 and an ISO 27001-certified company.

In addition to that, PiLog’s vision and mission focus on master, meta and transactional data as well as business process transformation:

  • End to End-to-end Supply Chain Optimization.
  • Optimization of Asset Life Cycle Management.
  • Business Partnership Evolution.
  • Seamless Data Migration.
  • Digital Transformation.

What was the inspiration behind venturing into the industry as a Digital transformation company?

PiLog is also blessed with an innovative and forward-thinking leader—Dr Syed. In addition, the company’s leadership team, Dr Salomon de Jager, Mr Gideon Huisamen, and Mr Pieter Strydom made important contributions by complementing each other’s capabilities from time to time. As one of the leading companies in Digital Transformation, PiLog Group’s open-door policy and culture for change has helped budding talents perform and take up leadership roles quickly. Its leadership always believed in change for good and influencing and promoting innovations.

What USPs make you stand out as a fastest-growing digital transformation service and solutions company? 

With the innovative approaches to its processes and effective leadership, PiLog has achieved success. The uniqueness of the company’s services is progressing toward being reckoned entrepreneurship by Dr Syed. Mission and goals had been very simple for Dr Syed, with his motive to make organizations efficient and structured to meet dynamic business and technology demand with TOP and BOTTOM line improved by a minimum of 20 per cent YoY and Revenue to 200 MUSD by 2024 and 1BUSD by 2030. The USPs of such brilliant leaders are:

  • Harmony, culture and decentralised governance,
  • Zero roadblocks for change, ability to prove and improve every day and non-monotonous with highly professional and competitive business,
  • Passion for technology changes and adoption as an early bird,
  • Building business-driven technology excellence and love for data,
  • Excellent knowledge management and employee first notion to build strong and long-lasting customer business transformation.

Key accolades that enabled overall success and progression within the organization:

  • Transforming a Data Management Organization into a Digital and Business Process Transformation Organization.
  • Ability to hold large client base for sustained and long-term business.
  • Build of NextGen DATA QUALITY HUB on the latest and greatest technology platforms.
  • Innovation HUB and high-performing team management.
  • Value Management in the Delivery Process.

What are the immersive benefits of the services/solutions that you provide to your clients? 

PiLog has been evolving products and services for the past three decades, with the core mantra of Business and Digital Transformation, strategized right skilling and highly competitive products covering not limited to:

Key Products: 

  • DATA Quality HUB including Data Harmonization, Data Migration and Governance Solutions for multi-domain master and metadata objects with impactful tools of Industry Standards (repository, templates), ML&AI-driven and IoT-enabled.
  • Business Partner Life Cycle Management (Vendors and Customers).
  • Business Performance Analytics Platform (Spend and Inventory Visibility).
  • Fixed Asset and eSPIR Solution.
  • Master Data and Process Maturity Assessment Software Add-On (ECA, MCA, SCMA, ALCMA).

Key Services: 

  • Cleansing Services covering Cleanse, Standardization, Categorization and Enrichment of multi-domain master data.
  • Management Consulting.
  • Business Process Outsourcing (Data Management, S2P, Category Management).
  • Asset and Supply Chain Process Optimization.
  • Master Data and Process Maturity Assessment Software Add-On (ECA, MCA, SCMA, ALCMA).

What were the initial challenges after venturing into the field, and what are the challenges now? How do you overcome them?

Every organisation witnesses highs and lows in its journey. The way it tackles all the difficulties determines its path towards success. PiLog also faced some major challenges and made a way through its effective management. Market penetration across geography and industry sectors was one of the major challenges addressed by revised geographical strategies and effective partnership management. Retention of the Knowledge Base was managed effectively with a career development plan, equal opportunities to progress, and profit-sharing models.

Moreoveradopting evolving technologies and synchronizing platforms to meet dynamic customer demand and huge competition was forward-thinking product release plans that improved customer user experience and limited change management. Not just this, Business plans with short-term to long-term longevity and sustainability have helped businesses to sustain in favourable and unfavourable market conditions, including that of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the company invested in the transformation of employee and customer relations to experience better.

As an experienced leader, share your opinion on how technology is transforming the industry and what advancements we can expect in the future. 

Current and near-future market conditions will be cautious, with more organisations looking at opportunities to consolidate and optimize business and IT processes and investments. Though it is murky for IT products and services companies to sustain, Innovation, Automation, and the Right Vision will enable the IT Products, Consulting, and Services Industry to blossom.

PiLog’s focus is on Data such as Master, Meta and Real-Time Analytics optimization and, in turn, business processes that affect large industries the most on 4 M’s (Man, Machine, Money and Material) for Extended Supply Chain & Asset Life Cycle Management.

What would be your advice to aspirants who are willing to venture into the digital transformation niche?

Dr Syed’s two cents for budding entrepreneurs is to follow simple commandments of business evolution:

  • Transparent, passionate and vision-based engagements.
  • Continual Investment in Innovations.
  • Create a value chain within the organization for better experiences.

How do you envision scaling your firm’s operations and offerings in the future? 

PiLog’s business plan for the short, mid, and long term is derived from controlled aggression and the ability to manage effectively quarter by quarter, meeting organizational objectives. The company aims for Improved profitability with increased automation, PCBs, and per capita income. Additionally, it holds a goal for top-line and bottom-line improvement above market derivations and expectations.

PiLog also focuses on increasing market penetration across geographies with strong partnerships, analyst collaboration and beefing up digital marketing and sales management. Additionally, the purpose will be to extend the service line and amalgamate products to DATA Quality HUB with modular availability for customers to pick and choose on-premise or on-cloud. Also, Focused Investment on Innovation Council

Please give us a few testimonials of your clients and a list of awards and recognitions that accurately highlight your organization’s position in the sector. 

We had good and bad times with clients on various engagements but always gave enough insights to self-reflect and improve. Great journeys are shared, some lasting for more than two decades, wherein revenue and partnership have grown multi-fold. After a few engagements, some customers went into shells but always remembered and reckoned us during need even after decades. Few customers pushed us to be recognized by analysts and certifications to position ourselves better. At the same time, few had engaged in a partnership for product development and co-innovation and even ramped up partners.

*PiLog’s Hall of Fame* 

  • Man of Excellence Award. 2021-22.
  • India’s Most Coveted Award was presented to Dr Imad A. Syed.
  • Chief Executive Officer in Recognition of Outstanding Professional Achievements and Contribution in Nation Building by Indian Achievers’ Forum.
  • CEOs of the Year 2021.
  • Certificate of Appreciation presented to Dr Imad A. Syed, Chief Executive Officer, 2021.