A strong cultural fit and commitment reduce IT turnover rates.

Pushkar Rege, CIO at UPL, sheds light on the importance of attitude and cultural fit over mere technical knowledge. 

In an era where digital transformation significantly impacts every industry, the agrochemical sector is no exception. Integrating technology into agricultural practices is not merely an option but necessary to address the dual challenges of enhancing productivity and ensuring global food security. This transition towards a more technologically integrated approach brings to light several critical facets: the readiness to adapt to remote work as demonstrated during global crises, the pivotal role of information technology in streamlining operations across mergers and acquisitions, and the strategic deployment of digital innovations in manufacturing to boost efficiency and sustainability.

Central to this transformation is the evolution of vendor relationships into more profound, more collaborative partnerships. This shift underscores the recognition that achieving lasting progress in the digital age requires a synergy of efforts, where mutual benefits and shared goals drive technological advancements. Furthermore, the narrative emphasizes the importance of cultivating a workforce that is not only technically proficient but also culturally aligned and adaptable to the rapid pace of change. This includes a focus on insourcing talent based on attitude and fit rather than just technical skills, highlighting a broader trend towards valuing human elements in the digital transformation journey.

This exploration offers a lens into the broader implications of digital adoption in the agrochemical sector, reflecting on how strategic IT decisions can catalyze significant advancements while fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration that extends beyond the confines of the industry.

An enlightening conversation between Nisha Sharma, Principal Correspondent at CIO&Leader, and Pushkar, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of UPL, sheds light on how technology and innovation are spearheading advancements in agriculture and food security, a sector fundamental to the well-being of the global population. This dialogue discusses the transformative power of digital solutions in tackling real-world challenges faced by farmers across the globe, emphasizing the necessity for industries to embrace technological preparedness and agility, especially highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic’s unprecedented challenges.

Embracing technology for growth and sustainability

The commitment to leveraging technology goes beyond mere innovation; it’s about solving real-world challenges that impact farmers worldwide. 

“We were ready with our laptops and remote working… giving a laptop even to a junior person was not thought of. But that’s how we’ve been working.”- Pushkar Rege, CIO at UPL. 

The readiness to adapt to remote operations and digital workflows, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, underscores the vital role of technology in ensuring business continuity and resilience.

Mergers, acquisitions, and the power of technology

The narrative highlights how strategic acquisitions have expanded global reach, underpinned by robust IT integration. The seamless assimilation of new entities through technology exemplifies operational excellence and amplifies the company’s ability to foster synergy across borders.

“IT has a mainstay… we’ve always been building the technology layer first… we could derive synergy only because we could do an ERP of 55 countries in less than 12 months.”- Pushkar Rege. 

Digitization at the core of operations

At the heart of operational success lies a deep-rooted adoption of digital technologies. From automating manufacturing processes to employing IoT for preventive maintenance, the industry sets new standards in digital agriculture. This shift towards action-oriented adoption reflects a culture where technology is ingrained in every operational facet, driving unparalleled efficiency and productivity.

Partnership over Vendorship

A refreshing take on vendor management as partnership management emerges, emphasizing mutual benefit and shared success. This approach fosters a collaborative ecosystem, wherein technology partners become integral to achieving the overarching mission, marking a departure from transactional relationships to strategic alliances.

Looking ahead: technology and talent management

The future of technology and talent management is envisioned through a lens that prioritizes attitude and cultural fit alongside technical acumen. “Insourcing is all about attitude. The technology knowledge will always change… the right cultural fitment becomes very critical at the source.” – Pushkar Rege. 

This focus on insourcing talent that embodies the right mindset highlights a proactive approach to building a resilient, innovative workforce adept at navigating the complexities of the modern technological landscape.


Through the lens of these discussions, it’s evident that the journey toward technological advancement in agriculture and beyond is about making a substantive impact. The strategic deployment of technology, the importance of nurturing partnerships, and a commitment to sustainable growth present a blueprint for businesses aiming for transformative success in the digital era. This narrative transcends the confines of any single company, offering universal insights into technology’s role in driving business success and contributing to a better, more secure world. 

Image Source: Freepik

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