Part II: Digital transformation approach for chemical companies

Part II: Digital transformation approach for chemical companies

Digital transformation is not just the responsibility of leadership; it is a journey that requires input from every level of an organization.

  • By Vishal Kelkar & Chetan Badhe , Thought Leader, Industry 4.0 | February 28, 2023

In the previous article, we highlighted how Indian chemical industry is steadily progressing thanks to internal as well as global factors and how Indian players can take advantage of this opportunity to transform themselves digitally and stay ahead of competition. Once organizations successfully assess their readiness for digital transformation, the next step is to define the roadmap for making it happen.

Defining Digital Transformation Roadmap

The Journey of any change/evolution starts with a carefully crafted roadmap. Leaders driving the initiative should have a clear vision on the organization’s target state post transformation. Digital transformation in manufacturing can present some unique challenges. Three important aspects should be taken into consideration while defining the digital strategy for an organization:

  • People
  • Technology
  • Process


Digital transformation is not just the responsibility of leadership; it is a journey that requires input from every level of an organization. Shop floor teams have a unique perspective on problems and can provide valuable insights. It is essential to involve all employees, create a culture of innovation, and recognize contributions and successes to drive successful digitization transformation.

Conducting brainstorming sessions: Collaborative ideation sessions are conducted across the enterprise where everyone from shop floor to middle level to business leaders share their thoughts on solving current and anticipated problems. Following points should be considered while organizing these sessions:

Set a clear objective: define the problem or challenge you are trying to address and make sure everyone shares the same understanding

Invite diverse group of participants: Bring together people from different departments, locations, functions, backgrounds, and levels of expertise to get a variety of perspectives and ideas

Encourage free thinking: Create an open and non-judgmental environment where people feel free to share any idea, no matter how unconventional or seemingly unrealistic

Use visual aids: Whiteboards, sticky notes, and other visual aids can help people organize their thoughts and make connections between ideas.

Assign a facilitator: A facilitator can help keep the session on track, encourage participation, and make sure everyone's ideas are heard and recorded

Follow up: After the session, make sure to document the ideas generated and follow up on any action items or next step.


After ideation process is complete, leadership should focus on evaluating and selecting technological requirements. Following points should be taken into consideration:

  • Alignment to organization’s mission and vision
  • Product selection
  • Tangible and intangible benefit of all the products.
  • Low hanging Fruits which can show immediate results. It will help management and people to gain confidence on the transformation process
  • Current infrastructure availability (Existing IT + OT support)
  • RoI calculation for the identified technology


Once the ideas on innovation and solving current issues are captured and technologies are selected, the next step is to prepare an operational strategy. The current processes are revisited and checked for potential changes. The operations are re-aligned to incorporate the selected technologies and the list of changes are recorded.

Throughout the process, following important aspects should be implemented for the larger program.

Stakeholder alignment: Identify key stakeholders and ensure they are aligned with the vision and goals. It is important to get buy-in from all relevant parties to ensure the success of the initiative

Target Operating Model (TOM): Develop a target operating model that outlines how your organization will operate in the future. This should take into account changes to technology, processes, and people

Innovation and experimentation: Encourage innovation and experimentation throughout the transformation process. It will help to continually refine and improve the different initiatives.

Verification: The defined digital roadmap can be evaluated against the industry benchmarks for digital maturity like NIST, CII etc.

Overall, it is important to take a holistic and strategic approach to digital transformation. By carefully considering these key elements, you can design a roadmap that is well-aligned with your business o


Successful digital transformation can result in improved efficiency, enhanced customer experience, increased revenue, better data insights, greater agility and innovation, and better employee engagement and satisfaction. It helps organizations stay competitive and adapt to the rapidly changing business environment.


Vishal Kelkar, Product Strategist & Manager, Digital Transformation and Chetan Badhe, Sr. Manager – Digital T, Thought Leader – Industry 4.0

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