Tapas Kumar Bhunia is the CEO of SS Solutions, a company which provides Business Transformation Programs covering Management Consulting, Business Consulting, IT-enabled services (ITES) and Program Management services for various market segments. Tapas started his career as an Engineer in manufacturing companies abroad like Raymond and Arvind Mills Ltd. During this period; he excelled in Business Strategies, Business Processes, Corporate Planning and Performance Improvement programs in the areas of Operations, People Management and Transformation Programs on ERP platforms. Subsequently, he joined Big4 Firms providing Professional Services and practiced Business Advisory, Management Consulting, and ERP led transformation programs. He has worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd. (PwC) and Ernst & Young (EY).Over the years he has amassed a wealth of experience which enabled him to led an experienced and high-performing consulting team having the expertise of multi-disciplinary professional services in the area of Management and Business Consulting, ERP Led and Non-ERP led IT transformations which help businesses to perform better and grow faster across industries.
Tell us about SS Solutions and its work in Bangladesh.
Being an emerging economy, major economic indicators show that Bangladesh is on a positive growth trajectory. Companies need to capitalize on this opportunity by transforming their way of managing their businesses, adopting advanced management techniques to manage their business processes, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and MIS (Management Information Systems). They need to take advanced procedures, technology and business monitoring tools to transform their business to the next level. In that direction, SS Solutions can provide end to end business solutions i.e. from strategy to implementation, which would deliver better performance from the investments made by the firm, making operations run better and more efficiently. The company also provides IT-based technology solutions which help businesses perform better. We help companies transform their business processes and assist them to implement advanced technologies available through ERP and non-ERP IT platforms which assists them in how they serve their targeted markets.
We have started our practices in the technology domain covering ERP led solutions and added Non-ERP IT solutions as well to cover all business aspects. It is important to protect our investments in IT solutions and infrastructure from global cyber security threats. Thus, we have started providing cyber security solutions after due diagnostic study and review to provide a holistic approach to this emerging threat. The market is also bullish about the export of food products and pharmaceuticals to the regulated markets which must meet compliance requirements for process and computer system validation. Therefore, we have started the relevant services. For all the high-end technology solutions we have partnered with renowned global players for the related know-how.
There are numerous companies in the private sector which are experiencing excellent growth, especially in the Banking and Finance Sector, Textile and Garments Sector, Pharmaceuticals industry and some other manufacturing sectors. The public sector is also upbeat and has initiated multiple projects to improve its internal efficiency to provide better services to the public as a whole. In this regard, we are trying to get involved in these sectors to help facilitate their growth. We are engaged with public sector projects which are transformational in nature on ERP platforms. We are also helping them in capacity building with implementation and training.
SS Solutions was formed around four years ago with the initial goal to resell ERP licenses, mainly SAP products. Currently, we are in the process of rebranding ourselves as an end to end service provider as we believe that only technology can’t solve the business challenges, it is important to bring synergy among three important pillars: people, process, and technology. We need to help businesses, both public and private. The company is also setting up a Centre of Excellence, which will be a training centre which can be leveraged by young aspirants for Global Certifications. We are going to set up a virtual skill assessment center with Procter Led certification to cater to growing corporate need for better trained IT professionals very soon.
What are your thoughts on how economies (including) Bangladesh are becoming more data driven?
No more can we afford to take decisions based on our whims; instead, we must rely on facts and figures derived from proper data. Most of the corporate houses in Bangladesh have started realizing the importance of correct data, its analysis and structured MISs in taking quick and timely decisions. Most information is perishable in nature. Hence, the right data will help businesses only if the right choices are made based on it, at the right time. I have observed that today’s business leaders in Bangladesh are encouraging decision making based on facts depicted by data and expect structured MIS to avoid any ad-hoc decisions.
Today’s globalized economy drives us to keep ourselves ready for global competition along with ever-changing customer demands and expectations which make the decision-making process more and more complex. This process requires futuristic planning, increased visibility, and more predictability. This transformation needs ground rules like the streamlining of business processes, identifying KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of those processes, measuring those KPIs and quantifying the expected against the actual results to lead the chosen field of interests and selected areas of growth trajectory. Numerous sectors are adopting data based analysis for quantifying the results and monitoring of the respective business objectives.
What problems regarding skill development have you observed in Bangladesh? What is SS Solutions doing in regards to this issue?
We have observed fast growth in almost all the sectors in Bangladesh. The Government, banks, and corporates have adopted advanced technologies to improve quality, production or service delivery and bring consistency in all these areas. This increases the demand of people knowledgeable it technology, IT enabled services, finance, accounting, business planning, and management. Graduates coming out of local universities with different backgrounds are just not industry ready resources. This is an issue which needs to be addressed by the related authorities. On the other side, students and technocrats are going abroad to pursue their career outside Bangladesh. Hence, the companies aspiring to grow faster are forced to hire talent from outside of Bangladesh or taking services from overseas businesses and consultants. I agree with this idea for the time being to sustain our growth. However, we need to take initiatives to develop our local talent pool. Our idea at SS solutions is that we need to build up the capacities here in Bangladesh. We can bring IT experts and consultants from abroad for the time being but hopefully within a year or two the knowledge will be transferred to the people working with them locally. We have decided to invest in the training and development of local resources.
At SS Solutions, we have already taken steps to create skill development programs for the locals. Previously, if any Bangladeshi needed International standard certificates, they had to travel abroad to India or Singapore for full-time programs, which is always costly. Now, our education center will provide the same quality of education with SAP Global certifications and other similar certifications in the respective areas.
How important is SAP solutions for emerging businesses in Bangladesh?
The market perception about SAP solutions is costly because of its German origins and non-availability of expertise locally. However, we are building capacities locally to provide International standard solutions at lower costs. We are also bringing alternate SAP solutions for small and medium enterprises to fit their requirement and budget. We have received excellent response in this regard as we can provide single-window solutions with SAP education services to provide training with global standards.