After touring Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the World CIO 200 Roadshow 2020 visited Kuwait and Oman, on November 26. This edition of the roadshow unfolded in a virtual convention and brought together digital leaders in the region.
About the Kuwait and Oman edition
The Inspire 10 on 10 session, where an expert discusses an important sector, was conducted by Piyush Chowhan, Group CIO at Lulu Group. He dug into the pandemic’s impact on the retail industry, and discussed the “secret recipe” for surviving or even coming out successful from this pandemic. Chowhan noted that change in retail has been highly transformative. Players like Walmart have actually seen a revival. But the small players are finding it challenging to survive. “Small is becoming smaller while big players like Walmart and Amazon are increasing their market share,” he noted. But for everyone, digital transformation is the only way to be successful. Digital provides you with all the tools you need for success, but if you implement them without having customer experience at the centre, they are bound to fail. “Learn from the customer, make them part of the journey,” he added. Good customer experience can only be delivered if you have good amount of customer data. New-age retailers are not those who simply have products to sell, they are the ones who also own customer data.
Next up was Mohammed Tamimi – Regional Sales Director, Rubrik, who talked about how Rubrik has been built from scratch and has a completely different approach to backup. Rubrik offers converged backup appliances that includes four nodes in each. The company has also gotten rid of the pain point of having to buy licences for various activities. The four-node concept does everything required within the appliance itself. And it can not only scale up but also scale out. The solution is also immune to ransomware and hack attempts, has deep search capabilities and the backup can be quicky switched to live production box to avoid any downtime.
Tamimi handed the stage over to Iftikhar Arif, GM Information Technology, Muller and Phipps, Pakistan. He mused that there was a time, not so long ago, when we imagined 2020 to be the year of flying cars and robots. Instead it turned out to be the year of the pandemic. Pakistan was caught by surprise and, at the start of the pandemic, the belief was that it will not impact the country. But it did, and in a big way. Arif then discussed the steps taken by the government and his organisation in response to the pandemic.
The next session was by Manoj Saxena, Chairman, RosettaNet Singapore, who presented the GCF CIO Outlook Survey 2021. He shared interesting insights and gave a peek look into what the final report will deliver. The report aims to impart insights that will help technology leaders assess maturity levels, strategise investments and boost readiness for benchmarking. Amongst the examples Saxena offered, was a glimpse into leadership styles that organisations would prefer to hire. Apparently, 59% would prefer one that is both transactional and transformational.
The final session was by Ektaa Sibal, Gifted Energy Healer. She talked about leaders of the future, and dealing with uncertainties in the present and post pandemic world. Leadership can no longer be reactive, it has to become proactive. Working from home is here to stay and leaders need a proactive approach in dealing with the challenges this shift brings. Social wellbeing is an important area of concern, as also a feeling of belongingness. Leaders need to boost resilience and adversity quotient of their employees, and embark on mindset building. “Wellness culture is not a concept. It is something that should be imbibed by the organisation,” asserted Sibal.
And the winners are
The final highlight of the Kuwait and Oman session was the CIO 200 Country Awards, given to CIOs who have been the catalyst in bringing about change in this challenging year. The winners also received blockchain certificates.
About CIO 200 Summit
Established in 2017, The CIO 200 Summit is a multi-country CIO felicitation ceremony that recognises achievements of digital leaders. The CIO 200 Awards are not a competition but a celebration of the amazing lives of CIOs and their game-changing careers.
The 2019 edition of the event toured 15 countries and gathered over 3000+ delegates over a span of three months. Key stakeholders tabled roadmaps for strategic decision making and identified yardsticks that are the key drivers of growth in the digital world. The World CIO 200 Summit 2019 concluded over December 09-10 with a gala event at the Double Tree Hilton in Ras Al Khaimah. The highlights from the 2019 edition can be seen here.
About Global CIO Forum
The role of a CIO is one of the most critical one in today’s business and industry. Today, CIOs hold the future of innovation, productivity and competitiveness in their hands. At the Global CIO Forum, we not only provide our members with an exchange forum for best IT leadership strategies and practices to enhance business results, but we are also developing a strong voice to ensure that CIOs are represented at key industry and government decision tables. In other words: Integrate. Influence. Impact.
The Global CIO Forum’s mission is to represents IT Executives and CIOs globally. Currently working in META region and with expansion plans globally, the Global CIO Forum is a non-profit community of CIOs and IT leaders whose mission is to facilitate networking, sharing of best practices and executive development, and to collaborate on issues faced by the CIOs and IT executives.