Engine of growth

Retail firm Kamal Osman Jamjoom has sped up its global expansion plans fuelled by recent deployments of advanced network and security solutions.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  February 3, 2008

From a strategic point of view that is what I have planned, but operationally I am still focused o n the project," says Rizvon.

Building a company

The thirty-six IT team of KOJ - ten of whom work in the Saudi offices - has taken on the three-phase rollout of Oracle and put together an infrastructure that is capable of handling all phases even before the first one goes live.

"A lot of the credit for the success of the project should go to my team - a set of wonderful guys who have worked hard for this. Initially when we started the project, we had some worried consultants telling me that my team was not adequately skilled in handling Unix and Oracle. I went back to the team and gave them the option of training themselves or getting in new people.

Eighteen months later, those same consultants are wowed by the transformation of the team," says Rizvon.

He also credits the company's open culture, which encourages internal growth and movement, as primary elements cementing the success of the organisation's IT and other ventures.

"We have a culture of growing people internally. We give employees total independence to develop and deliver projects to the business. The different teams are one of our secrets for success. Every business head has freedom to make suggestions on any aspect of the organisation at our bi-monthly meets," says Rizvon.

The company also fosters a healthy attitude towards internal movement and business heads like Rizvon work on a career path for their employees to guide them and help them move up within KOJ. In fact, Rizvon says that several IT team members who have proved their worth have been moved to head different operational departments within the company.

"We don't play the blame game when mistakes happen. We always go back to SWOT analysis and look at what we did well and what we did wrong. We then try to find solutions for that - that is our second strength.

"Finally, we look globally and work locally. We look at best practices, we like to learn from everybody and maintain good relationships with retailers here and in the UK," says Rizvon.

All of these count as extraordinary measures to bring not only the IT team, but the organisation together as a cohesive whole to take on the challenges of competition and productivity that could come up everyday.

But the real winner for KOJ and its IT team might lie with a winning positive attitude that is ready to take on the world with a smile, as displayed by Rizvon himself.

"It is fun. It is extremely challenging, don't get me wrong, but it is certainly a lot of fun," he says.

Projects included under the SMART programme

1. System Selection Project (SSP) - Completed

2. Project Management Office - Completed

3. Business Process Mapping (AS IS) - Completed

4. Infrastructure Management - Ongoing

5. Data Integrity Management - Ongoing

6. Oracle E business Implementation - Ongoing

7. Oracle Retail Implementation - Ongoing

8. Change Management - Ongoing

9. Training - Ongoing

10. Post Implementation Support - From March 2008

11. Supplier Integration - post stabilization - around Q 4 2008

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