An up-close confab with Sanjay Puri, CEO C1 India Pvt. Ltd.
As e-procurement is making waves in purchasing cycles around the world, the picture seems to be
entirely contrasting in India- obstructed by the barriers created by the country’s traditional approach-
especially in its public procurement space. Over the course of time, the Public sector in the country has observed the potential opportunities offered by e-business models over the hierarchical, bureaucratic models and this, in return, has thrust an overall shift towards e-Procurement metric, to access the benefits of greater transparency, wider geographical reach and lesser time of transaction and better pricing.
As the market and technology continue to mature, new procurement challenges are striking the
country’s e-procurement space. There is a need to establish an appropriate and well-structured mechanism in the public procurement space. Greasing the wheels on this, C1 India has been successfully addressing the complexities and helping the organizations to streamline their procurement & supply chain processes and steer them towards sustainable success. Since its outset in the year 2000, C1 India has been delivering technologically advanced solutions catering to a wide variety of procurement and supply chain needs.
C1 India: Marking a revolutionary entrée into India’s e-procurement space
When the government was sketching its plan to infuse digital element in its functioning, the founding
team of C1 India was gearing up to introduce its cutting-edge dexterity in the untapped public
procurement space. The fountain to the world’s software needs, there is still a dearth of available e-
governance services in India. Digital governance or e-governance bloomed behind time in India with a
pinch introduced in the late nineties. Effective progress was made with the launch of an online train
ticketing system in 2002, alongside introducing e-filing of the income tax in the year 2004 and finally in 2006 with the establishment of the National e-Governance Plan (NEGP) to strengthen the country’s Core ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Infrastructure.
At a time when there were few concerted programmes for e-Governance in India, C1 India developed
and launched a comprehensive e-Procurement platform for Government departments and become the first organizations in India to offer e-Procurement solutions on a SaaS model and rollout a statewide e-Procurement implementation.
Global Presence and Association
With a strong presence in India and Middle East regions (covering Oman, UAE and Bahrain), C1 India is proudly associated with its high-end clientele and some of the best-of-breed companies across verticals like Sultanate of Oman, Government of Gujarat, Government of Goa, Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Gail Limited, GP Global, ITC Limited, KPMG, Asian Paints, SBI Bank, Union Bank, Canara Bank and more.
C1 India’s Growth Catalysts
C1 India has a team of 200+ talented and enthusiastic human dynamos with distinctive skillsets. Out of which 100+ developers look out for the company’s new ventures in integrating the latest technologies such as data analytics, AI, blockchain etc. to C1 India’s e-Procurement solutions. Having dexterity in Bank auctions with more than 12 years of expertise, C1 India’s team of 50+ highly efficient individuals has led more than 100K+ e-Auctions.
- First company in India to offer e-Procurement solutions on a SaaS model and rollout a statewide e-Procurement implementation
- Developed India’s first e-Procurement portal for the government of Andhra Pradesh. The project won the “Golden Icon” award for Exemplary Implementation of e-Governance Initiative
- Sultanate of Oman project proves C1 India’s another example of contribution in the procurement world. Integrated in 2010, the solution has been implemented to 70+ ministries of Sultanate of Oman so far. This project has also won the “Best e-Governance implementation” award among GCC countries
Inspired & intrigued, we reached out to the leader who is to be credited with C1 India’s present-
day success, the CEO – Sanjay Puri. A veritable engine of growth, Sanjay is Innovation-focused
change driver possessing a track record of transforming organizations with decisive actions and
revolutionary operational strategies. A Leadership coach with high EQ who consistently
produces sustainable results, Sanjay assumed his position as CEO at C1 India in 2018 and has
been accelerating the company’s growth till day.
Edited excerpts of the interview
What has been C1’s approach in scaling up e-procurement business in India?
Since our outset, we have always aimed at amplifying our procurement solutions as robust as possible by integrating the latest tools and technologies. C1 India’s procurement powerhouse has helped our valued clients to yield exceptional procurement results. We provide on-premise and SAAS based procurement solutions.
Our solutions encompass the entire gamut of end-to-end procurement lifecycle including, Indent
Management, Tender Management, e-Auctions, Catalogue Management, Warehouse Management,
Supplier Management and Contract Management.
C1 India’s services enable enterprises to transform their bottom-line to a more sophisticated, strategic business unit to drive significant value, increase efficiency, optimize maverick spending(s), manage associated risks, leverage advanced analytics to gain actionable insights, and deliver a superior experience.
Being a frontrunner, how did you welcome the paradigm change kindled by COVID-19?
The impact of COVID-19 has been witnessed all across the business world. The consumption and
demand are severely impacted which resulted in the domino effect in markets worldwide. The latest
trends are showing an upward movement in terms of demand and consumption indicating a positive
sign towards market recovery. The pandemic brutally exposed the shortcomings of supply chain industry and forced enterprises to reconsider their strategies. Since every problem comes with an opportunity, it’s critical to adopt new technologies to gain an upper hand to attract business, get advanced insights, reduce maverick spending, improve communication, and improve management performance. Our remotely accessible e-procurement and supply chain solutions enable procurement professionals to evaluate and assess demand trends, strategize fund allocation, manage people efficiently, and leverage actionable insights to plan for short-term and long-term strategies proactively.
C1 has consistently delivered leading-edge solutions backed by the latest technologies over the years
and will continue to do so. Our objective of adding value is still unchanged and as the markets are
starting to recover, the potential for e-procurement services is ever-increasing. Lastly, normality is a
little far-fetched during these times but eventually, everything will be fine, so keep sailing and work
innovatively to defy all odds.
What are the plans for the company?
In the coming future, procurement will be a driver of corporate goals and an enabler of business
innovation and digitization. Real-time data insights, predictive analytics, blockchain and AI technologies will make procurement simpler, smarter, and more strategic than ever before.
We aim to make our procurement solutions as robust as possible by integrating these latest tools and
technologies. Our comprehensive procurement solutions powered by blockchain, AI and newly developed technologies will make the procurement experience more intuitive and proactively deliver actionable information to the users.
Our futuristic BI reporting tool will visually analyze the data, extract meaningful insights and give more
control over report distribution and scheduling. Expense Management and Spend Analysis tools
powered by AI and Blockchain will uncover the savings opportunities. The automated Expense
Management tool will capture spend from multiple sources and the Spend Analysis tool will simplify the process of cleaning, classifying and organizing the spend data. These highly secured tools will allow users to make informed decisions about the organizational spend and identify savings opportunities.
CEO, C1 India Pvt. Ltd.
Sanjay shoulders nearly three decades of global experience in Profit Centre Operations, Sales, Business Development and Product Management. He has experience across verticals like Enterprise, FSI, Telecom, IT, Government and PSU and worked in various markets in India, the Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He is highly conversant with the latest technologies; handling large bids, commercial aspects, finalization of agreements and leading steering committees for successful rollouts of large projects.
A Leadership coach with high EQ who consistently produces sustainable results, Sanjay assumed his position as CEO at C1 India in 2018. Previously, he held leadership roles at some of the most prominent organizations like Lexmark, Dimension Data, Aspect software etc. Sanjay holds a Bachelor Degree in Computers and Master’s Degree in Marketing Management. Sanjay has been bestowed with the prestigious “CEO with HR Orientation” award presented by Zee Business in recognition of his “outstanding contribution” to human resources development, leadership and capability building within the organization.
He is passionate about sharing his knowledge & expertise and educating people about procurement tools and technology. He has written several articles providing quality insight on procurement industry- its importance, digital transformation and future. Some of his published pieces include:
- Startup India: How entrepreneurs can realize the full potential of govt’s scheme, remain competitive
Words of Wisdom
Be it an aspirant or an experienced professional the hunger to learn should always be second to none.
It’s important to stay updated on current business affairs, financial news, and new technological advancements/innovations. We should constantly lookout for new technologies and possible adaptations to discover its true potential and value. The key to success is staying ahead of the market curve to yield the best outcomes.