Sanjeev Kumar – Director & CIO – ApON India


Consulting and Advisory

Current project

Network Optimization, IT Security

Most proud achievement

Led Design Development and Implementation of Enterprise wide
Solution to optimize plant performance, productivity, creating sync
between demand and supply maximizing profitability. Implemented
prescriptive and predictive solutions on customer service and warranty

Dream project

Create a knowledge platform wherein businesses can get benefit from technology visualization to internalization by experts.

Team size

Total direct and indirect 950

Total IT / Technology budget (people + Infra + outsourcing + Services)

30 Crores

Are organisations missing a trick by not creating a “Chief Insourcing Officer” post?

Not really, these terms like insourcing and outsourcing need
redefinition when we look at it from current perspective of speed,
agility and fast changing consumer and market behaviours. No
organization can run on complete insourcing. Take for an example
Automotive Companies ,the most matured ones , 60% of components come
from outside. If they start manufacturing, tyres, glasses , wiring
harness etc then their focus will be off from the main product and its
innovation. Even in colleges visiting faculties give a different
perspective to students. In electronics industries , CPU and GPU are
manufactured by third party whereas complete product is manufactured by
OEMs. Hardware and all software don’t come from same Manufacturer . If
you insource everything it means you will compromise on inputs coming
in from best of the brains be it in architecture or design and thus a
company will run a race of a loser and finally follow a diminishing

What according to you defines insourcing in your industry?

As I said in response to above , the textual definition needs to
change and we need to understand the context of it. In many
organization in India people feel that an employee on payroll does that
work so it is insourcing and when we engage experts from outside for
special tasks it is outsourcing. Same is true with products and
services .If we try to see big picture, in an organization you can’t
afford to insource everything and get best results . There are
strategic junctures where we need to take a call on make or buy ,
insource or outsource. There are certain practicing experts available
directly or through organizations, you need to engage them and they will
give you a different perspective of outside-in. People with fulltime
employment often find themselves too much engrossed in operational
issues therefore they can’t see many things spherically due to
limitations of bandwidth and obviously noisy operational mind. There
are supporting organizations with experts specially do that for you,
once we engage them, they work as insider but they charge based on
engagement and outcome and not as a constant overhead of an employee .
They create lot of values for the company particularly in knowledge
industry. Take for an example , in IT security domain, we do
Network Assessment, VAPT, Server Scan , Database Scan , Device
Configuration Scan and we engage people , best of the brains and pay
them handsomely . They prefer working like that. Our human brain is
naturally programmed to work in an unbounded state to generate best
ideas, it outperforms when it is not caged, it gives best results and
with outstanding outcome.

Why is it gaining momentum in your industry?

Yes its redefinition and deep lateral understanding.
The mix of two is gaining momentum not just one. The impact of IT has
become wider, it can’t be managed as one department. People of
business functions are now well informed and well aware. The slice of
IT that lands into various business points are well managed when
business process owners handle it forming a cross functional small
groups where as technology is managed best when delivered by insourced
and outsourced teams.

How is it better than the earlier pre-outsourcing situation?

It is all same, the IT reach is expanding , the surface is widening.
Businesses are disparately trying to expand and grab opportunities.
We cant increase fixed cost due to slanted thinking about insourcing.
So right mix of outsourcing and insourcing have to be there to balance
it out.

What services lend themselves best to outsourcing in your industry?

Digital Transformation, IT Security, Getting Business and IT alignment assessed and vetted.

How difficult or easy was insourcing transition for you?

It is the easiest. But I supportuni-sourcing that happens when we
create centre of excellence with a team comprising internal and external
experts and they work in full sync as one pool of resource for the
company. I also advocate creating a small independent business or a
profit centre with large group to assess, envision and implement
technology impact in certain domain.

What percentage of IT is currently insourced and how do you see it stabilising in two years’ time?

Nearly 70 %, we are on cloud. We have outsourced ERP enhancements
and support, We have mixed IT with business , complete IT security
and Infrastructure is outsourced. We practice Bi-Modal effective IT for

What are the key considerations for successful insourcing?

Engage a partner who work as insider either as contractor or
employee. Create a small group like forming centre of excellence
(COE) , could be a small setup within an organization. Define scope
and objective and let the group achieve it. It has to have a management
mandate , freedom and budget to be effective and impactful. Few
organizations are creating a small company within large one to focus on
transformation and innovation.

Who are the key support partners for successful insourcing?

Engage partners carefully, people who have practical knowledge of
envisioning and execution. Mix it with internal team. Create small
group forming COE and support them to be successful.

How can a CIO create a solid business case for insourcing?

CIOs are on centre stage when it comes to insourcing. They have to
let loose and come out from the nano state of closed IT & mind .
They need to collaborate more with internal and external experts . You
can see that matured functions like Finance we do a lot of insourcing
and outsourcing .Employees in finance department feel empowered when
external experts come and guide them thru various Audits and Controls ,
help them in strategic decisions.

What are the key consideration is budgeting insourcing transition costs?

It is subjective in nature, what we try to insource with listed
priorities and budgets are allocated and transition is planned .

How can one ensure that the in-house IT will be able to support future requirements and innovations?

It is not possible and economical to meet complex business
requirements with inhouse IT. We need to create facilities that has mix
of skills of internal and external staff.

What are a few of the key tools or resources you use to monitor the overall health of your insourcing?

It is not practical to try to do complete insourcing and gain on speed and innovation.

How has insourcing evolved in the last 5 years?

Has diminished and will diminish.

What is the Insourcing Multiplier support that is essential for success?

Move to Bi-Modal IT concepts. Engage other departments in IT and engage experts from outside.

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