The hierarchy at Bajaj Auto gives Khopkar one advantage some of his peers don't have: He doesn't need to present his case to the board. Once he convinces the CEO and the CFO, they take his case to the board. But that also means that he needs him to anticipate all the data the CFO might need to present. "I have long-standing credibility in this organization. They have seen the kind of work we have done in the past. If you have credibility with your management, they will fight to get approval from the board," says Khopkar.
So where does he think that leaves CIOs who are new in an organization? "If a CIO is new, he can always rest on his past laurels. Demonstrate the kind of work you have done in a previous organization. If you have proposed something new to management and they are apprehensive about it, make use of your networking skills. Try to arrange a tour for your business people around an organization which has done something similar. When business heads talk to their peers from other organizations and learn about the benefits of the technology, they are more easily convinced," he advises. Khopkar himself has arranged for one of his peers from a reputed organization to meet the CEO and the senior management at Bajaj Auto.
"Right now when I talk about it, it seems like a cake walk," Khopkar smiles, "but it is really difficult when you are trying to fit in all the pieces of the jigsaw to make management see a comprehensive picture. We backed our new case with tons of background research and a plethora of tests. We not only looked at the success stories around the industry, but also spoke to many vendors to gain different perspectives and 360-degree view of the solutions available. It took us about three months to test and gather rock-solid data and references to make our case water-tight. But that's what it took to get our initial budget hiked from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 120 lakh in just two meetings with the management."
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