TVS Next

I never dreamed of becoming an SAP consultant. But here I am, heading a team, in less than 6 years since I first started in this role as a trainee at TVS Next.

My background was in Mechanical engineering. I had an interest in the manufacturing sector and that’s where I wanted to build my career. I was part of a manufacturing unit, taking care of production planning. But when the opportunity came along to join the SAP team as a domain expert for a global manufacturing client, I decided to try it out.

Mechanical Engineer turned SAP Consultant

My role as a lead consultant is to ensure that the domain-specific business requirements don’t get lost in translation when they come to development. One of the most critical things before developing an SAP module is to fit it to context for the relevant manufacturing process. Each step of the process in the real world, the interactions between various cross-functional teams or other internal processes, the effort involved, the machine hours, manpower, outcomes, etc. – everything needs to be mapped on to SAP before we can begin development. Once the mapping is done, comes development where I take on a more hands-off role with the frontend and backend teams – still heavily involved in the testing and ratifying the modules being developed.

As I started doing this more, I realized I have a knack for SAP and my efforts didn’t go unnoticed either. I soon became the single point of contact for my clients across India and the UK, heading the SAP Production Planning, Quality Management, and Planned Maintenance modules.

Moving to China

In 2019, I was asked to lead the project, when the client decided to take some of our best practices from India and incorporate them into their new ventures in China. It’s only when I started working in China, did we realize that the IT infrastructure controls there are not as they should be. Cybersecurity was a big question with people working remotely during the pandemic. This led me to take on the additional responsibility of owning and consulting the IT infrastructure for the units. We started creating and enforcing infrastructure controls, starting with a firewall system, developing token-based access control and more.

Learning on the go

While my move from a manufacturing unit to an SAP consultant didn’t seem all that different, this new responsibility I had taken on to look after IT Infrastructure was a whole other ballgame. One that I couldn’t have done without the support of our Infra team in India who never once hesitated to share their expertise and show me how things are done. And of course, my manager who believed in me every step of the way and pushed me to pursue this completely new assignment.

Goes without saying that my learning curve, these last couple of years, has been through the roof! This learning journey has been one of the best things about being with TVS Next – professionally and personally.

This supportive mindset extends to other things as well. Whether it’s making sure that the whole team is fully hands-on to step in when you’re held up with an emergency; or ensuring everyone’s ideas about the project are heard and considered during daily meetings or even coordinating casual team catch-ups so we stayed in touch across time zones.

Like I said, I never dreamed of being an SAP consultant. But I’m more than happy being one, here at TVS Next.

By Sanoob Thambi

Lead Consultant

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