The auto sector is reeling under a prolonged slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be demand pressure, coupled with the challenge of availability of labour because of the migrant crisis. In this backdrop, it’s imminent for IT decision makers to resort to digital platforms to make the potential customers shop from home. Piaggio India is all set to launch a digital marketplace model to allow customers to shop from home. “Additional budget allocation will be done to facilitate the customers to do vehicle shopping from home. The necessary digital channel will be built. A marketplace model will be built for the customers to buy commercial vehicles, auto rickshaws, spare parts, scooters, etc. The dealers will be provided the necessary discount for the orders booked,” says Abhinav Srivastava, Head – IT, Digital Transformation, Cyber Security & Analytics, Piaggio Group. When asked about a few ideas to rationalise costs in order to face the slowdown, he said, “There is instruction on freezing the new hiring round. Also it is likely that there will not be any major expansion plans going forward, thus new investments on IT infrastructure including desktops, laptops will be stopped,” informs Srivastava. At Piaggio Group, certain initiatives will be put on hold, “We had planned a lot of process improvement initiatives to work on all the inward looking applications – on the shop floor, dealerships, etc. We had budgeted for it. These are not show stopper initiatives and they will be freezed,” says Srivastava. Any similar initiatives will also be put on hold. Moreover, there were certain report building enhancements, analytics activities that were planned. These are enhancements but not show stoppers. They will not be implemented. But certain programmes, which are mandatory in nature – like e-invoicing, will be rolled out as per schedule. They are also budgeted for in this financial year. Apart from budget cuts, extra investments will have to be made in areas like application, network security. “The savings from the application and IT infrastructure has been channelised to cyber security,” says Srivastava.
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