Piramal Glass, Asia’s largest specialty glass manufacturer, has successfully kicked off its first cross-border trade digitization program using blockchain. The company is prioritizing the technology in 2021 as a means of unlocking hidden margins and efficiency through digital automation. It has done so in partnership with enterprise blockchain platform, #dltledgers, a fintech operating out of Singapore and India.
The first phase of this project had four main objectives: to validate the production use of blockchain in Piramal Glass’ supply chain and export operations; to increase transparency while protecting sensitive data and customer integrity; to understand if the technology could enable multiple stakeholders to collaborate on initiatives, such as sustainability; and to establish if blockchain delivers business value in terms of efficiency improvement and ease of use.
The Piramal Glass project may signal for India what is already happening elsewhere around the world – the rising penetration of blockchain in enterprise applications. For years, blockchain was criticized for failing to deliver on its initial business promise. 2020, however, appears to have been a pivotal year. As Deloitte’s 2020 global blockchain survey concluded: “leaders no longer consider the technology ground-breaking and merely promising – they now see it as integral to organizational innovation.”
India has yet to see the exponential rise in blockchain adoption that is being witnessed elsewhere globally, but with organizations like Piramal Group starting to move, this may be about to change. The Piramal Glass project will now progress into its next phase. Focusing on driving visibility and efficiency, the objective will be to streamline supply chain processes throughout the company’s global manufacturing operations, and to build out the company’s private, digital network of suppliers and buyers. The #dltledgers platform will have seamless connectivity with Piramal’s existing SAP systems, and will enable export and import digitization with multiple, global suppliers and buyers simultaneously. As the project proceeds, it will expand into more supply chain product flows, new areas like sustainability tracking, and tackle processes that depend on time-sensitive document transfer, IP security, and authenticity.
Vijay Shah, Vice Chairman of Piramal Glass and Piramal Group board member, added: “Piramal Glass is transforming into a digitally-enabled business. The board is aligning digital initiatives with the company’s organizational strategy. Our customers and vendors are key to our business, so secrecy, privacy, and protecting the Intellectual Property of our stakeholders is of paramount importance. We see blockchain technology is an integral part of our ability to achieve this going forward”.
Sudip Mazumder, Global Chief Digital & Information Officer, Piramal Glass Ltd, said of the project: “The most obvious benefits were the increased level of transparency and auditability between stakeholders in the supply chain, as well as a reduction in manual processes. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that the platform created a sense of urgency, speeding up key business processes, improving collaboration, and even increasing confidence among customers”.
#dltledgers’ Managing Director, India and South Asia, Raji Iyengar, commented: “Piramal Glass took a very structured approach to this project, enabling the #dltledgers team to work almost as an extension of the Piramal team. Clearly, the leadership here has a crisp vision and an urge to stay ahead in the digital transformation journey. Blockchain-based trade digitization is a great way to keep the wheels of trade moving, especially in pandemic times.”