Re-Imagining IT – Meet The Mastermind Behind Building IT Infrastructure Against All Odds

Rishabh Chhajer - Executive Vice President - Head of IT Ops, Infrastructure & Enterprise Applications at Dhani

The Challenge: When you’re a company that’s operational across 150 cities and caters to a capacity of over 10,000 employees, building, deploying, and maintaining strong IT infrastructure is no easy feat. From setting up an SD-WAN system across 150 offices to optimizing tech costs and expenses, Rishabh Chhajer and his IT team at Dhani have a plethora of mountain-sized obstacles to overcome with the utmost precision and consistency.


A brisk walk down memory lane

To say the least, I’ve had an interesting journey as an IT professional. Hailing from an electronics and communication background, I started my career in 2011 as a technical developer with Oracle and slowly scaled up with an elaborate IT stint with General Electric Digital. In 2017, I moved to Ola as a manager for enterprise applications and gradually took on additional roles related to the infrastructure. Putting my best foot forward in the start-up space, I focussed on improvising automations across various touchpoints in the organization.

Big enterprises call for massive action.

Joining Dhani in 2021 was a life-changing experience for me. Having previously worked at Indiabulls Venture Limited, I was intrigued by Dhani's unique approach to integrating various consumer businesses under one brand. As a D2C eCommerce platform, Dhani has earned the trust of over 2.6 million active users who rely on us for their monthly shopping needs. Being part of this immensely credible brand fills me with a sense of pride, and the trust our customers place in us fuels my passion for IT. As the head of the IT division at Dhani, my team and I work tirelessly to build IT solutions that cater to over 10,000 employees spread across 150 offices.

We understand the value of our customers' online shopping experience, and it drives us to push the boundaries of what is possible, even in the face of daunting challenges.

Crafting efficient processes using technology

I'm incredibly enthusiastic about technology. For me, IT doesn’t stand for “information” technology. In my view and experience, IT is short for “innovation” and technology. As an IT leader, my day-to-day duties revolve around improvisation and streamlining IT functions across various departments at Dhani, be it finance, HR or IT itself.

In terms of IT solutions, our focus for 2023 is to introduce and drive the automation of most processes that could reduce human intervention, boost sales, and enhance employee and customer experience simultaneously.

Enabling the best digital experience on the Dhani Super App

As we speak, we're launching a UPI feature on the Dhani app. Our team is working tirelessly to make UPI available to all our active users, thanks to cutting-edge wallet services. This calls for some serious digital transformation and automation. But don't worry, we're budgeting for the occasion and will be factoring in the new budget requirements in our next annual operations plan. Get ready to experience hassle-free payments with Dhani.

Introducing a self-service portal for better customer experience

Not everyone is comfortable talking to a customer agent before making a purchase. We've realized that most of our customers prefer chatting with a bot to get their queries answered. To improve customer service, we're introducing chatbots on our applications. Customers can self-serve by logging into the portal and connecting with a chatbot for quick answers. But, it's important that we implement the chatbot intelligently. Plus, we're working to enable the chatbot to communicate with internal teams and reduce IT tickets by 30% monthly.

Setting up NOC based centralized monitoring for S3N (Server, Storage, Security, and Network) Infrastructure

At Dhani, we take immense pride in our expansive presence across more than 150 cities. Our corporate offices are equipped with top-of-the-line hardware, including UPS, CCTV cameras, servers, desktops, and more. In addition, all our collection centres are equipped with cutting-edge network software and high-speed internet connections.

However, maintaining such a vast infrastructure is not as simple as one would imagine. With limited resources and costs of assigning one engineer to every office, my team and I face an uphill task of ensuring that everything runs smoothly. It's not just about fixing the issues; it's about making sure that they don't happen in the first place. That's why we're setting up the NOC command centre, which will serve as the central hub for monitoring all our office spaces. By centralizing our operations, we can optimize our resources and improve our efficiency, all while reducing costs.

But our work doesn't stop there. We believe in empowering our staff members across teams by offering an apprenticeship program that equips them with the skills and knowledge necessary to troubleshoot basic issues. It's a small step that has already yielded impressive results, with a 20% reduction in tech costs. At Dhani, we understand that technology is not just a tool, but a means of bringing people together. That's why we pour our hearts and souls into every aspect of our work, striving to create a seamless experience for our customers and employees alike.

Challenges for 2023 in a nutshell

As the head of IT at Dhani, I am constantly reminded of the ever-evolving nature of our work. Process changes are a permanent fixture in our organization, and it falls on my team and me to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve by implementing tech-based practices and solutions that enhance our efficiency and productivity. However, migrating to new systems and platforms is no easy feat. We have to navigate a labyrinth of challenges to ensure that our systems are foolproof, meet industry standards, and optimize our IT security infrastructure to protect our customers and employees' data. The stakes are high, and failure is not an option.

The journey is not without its bumps and hurdles. Managing change and getting stakeholders on board requires constant attention and a delicate balancing act. But for us, it's not just about adapting to the changes; it's about doing so with empathy, passion, and an unwavering commitment to our customers' and employees' wellbeing. At the end of the day, it's not just about the technology. It's about the people behind it, and we pour our hearts and souls into every project we undertake, no matter how challenging it may seem.

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