Sunil Paila

40-under-40

Architect of Transformative Supply Chain with Holistic View

Sunil Paila

Director - Supply Chain and Manufacturing,

Turtle Wax India

I magine a career narrative rich in anecdotes, resilience, and a fervour for continuous learning, transcending a mere chronological list of jobs and roles. Sunil Paila, a seasoned professional with over 15 years of diverse experience, commenced his career as a mechanical engineer at Vedanta in 2007. Sunil’s impact transcended conventional roles, leaving an indelible mark on the company’s supply chain dynamics and contributing significantly to the construction of the world’s largest aluminium plant.
Navigating through various pivotal roles spanning project management, operations, and manufacturing, Sunil’s adaptability evolved from a mere skill to a defining trait. His standout achievement includes his response to the challenge of reducing supply chain costs, exceeding expectations with a remarkable 45% cost reduction.
Beyond his professional endeavours, Sunil’s narrative unfolds with a testament to personal resilience, emerging as the silver medalist of his MBA from IMT Ghaziabad despite facing the profound loss of his wife during the pandemic. Currently serving as the Head of Pan India Supply Chain & Logistics for Turtle Wax, Sunil holds a leadership position overseeing transformative digital and costsaving initiatives in supply chain management, commercial operations, and global imports.
His past role involved spearheading operations for India’s largest aluminium producer, managing substantial budgets, and dispatching 1.4 million metric tonnes of aluminium globally, leading operations for large-scale sea ports over 100+ vessels, 20+ captive goods trains, and, managing plant ICDs with fleet of 50K + containers for exports annually. Sunil’s strategic sourcing initiatives extended to countries like Vietnam and India. His noteworthy recognitions include being named a “Star of Business” by Vedanta Group, achieving silver medalist status in B-School, winning a national case-study competition at IIM Lucknow, and contributing as an internal trainer on supply chain management.
Tradeflock delves into the mind of this accomplished professional, revealing a journey that exemplifies adaptability, resilience, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence. 

How did your shift from mechanical engineering to supply chain management occur?

Transitioning from a mechanical engineering role to supply chain management was a pivotal shift in my career at Vedanta Group. Starting as an engineer, I progressed through project management and operations, eventually embracing supply chain dynamics in 2013. This intentional shift aimed at holistic growth, emphasising strategic planning, cost optimisation, and end-to-end operational insights. It was a challenging yet rewarding journey that broadened my business understanding and highlighted the pivotal role of supply chains in organisational success in me.

How did you tackle challenges while constructing the aluminium plant?

Navigating the challenges during the construction of the aluminium plant was a defining phase in my career. The project’s ambitious nature, coupled with limited expertise in Indian aluminium production, posed significant hurdles. However, our team’s collective expertise and commitment to continuous learning proved invaluable. Intensive research, global plant visits, and an adaptable mindset were crucial in overcoming uncertainties. This journey highlighted the importance of teamwork, strategic planning, and unwavering determination in overcoming unprecedented challenges, culminating in the successful construction of the plant.

What are your predictions regarding technology's impact on supply chains, and how do you foster its adoption in your team?

The future of supply chain management is reliant on advancements like AI, automation, adaptation of robotics in supply chain operations, IoT in manufacturing plants, blockchain in trade documentation, and E2E supply chain. AI enables predictive analytics, automation enhances efficiency, and robotics improves logistics. IoT and blockchain ensure transparency and security, fostering agility amid market shifts. Encouraging adoption involves showcasing real-life examples during training, emphasising long-term career growth, and fostering a culture of innovation.

How have personal experiences influenced your professional growth?

My formative years at a boarding school were pivotal, instilling independence and resourcefulness—qualities integral to my professional ethos. The loss of my wife during the pandemic reinforced my dedication to our shared aspirations, serving as a constant inspiration. Moreover, invaluable mentorship from exceptional leaders significantly shaped my approach to leadership and decisionmaking throughout my career.

In managing your team, how do you balance technology integration with fostering a growth-centric culture?

Embedding technology within our operations requires a delicate balance of encouragement and addressing concerns. I emphasise real-case illustrations to showcase technology’s business benefits, along with comprehensive training for effective knowledge transfer. I ensure a focus on how these tools enhance roles rather than replacing them, bridging theory and practice for seamless integration. Fostering a growth-oriented mindset centres on a culture that embraces change and continuous learning. Encouraging curiosity, seeing failures as learning steps, and empowering individuals to voice ideas are vital. Structured mentorship programmes, emphasising adaptability and forwardthinking, anchor this growth-oriented ethos.

Where do you see your career heading in the coming years?

My vision involves steering an organisation towards growth and success, potentially taking on leadership roles like C-suite roles or other key executive positions. I aim to drive revenue and innovation, woth a commitment to advance within the corporate landscape and, of course, aligning with the last wish of my better half. I also aspire to author a few books that are in my mind at a conceptual level.

Can you talk about your career achievements and upcoming goals?

Throughout my career, I’ve led diverse projects across supply chain domains, yielding impactful results. One notable achievement was orchestrating a remarkable 45% reduction in supply chain costs, reshaping operational efficiencies significantly. Looking ahead, I’m driven to explore novel challenges and initiatives. My focus remains on leveraging state-of-the-art technology, such as AI, automation, and robotics as applications to revolutionise supply chain dynamics. Enhancing visibility and precision in operations stands as a pivotal goal in my professional trajectory.







     







       







         







           







             







               







                 







                   







                     







                       







                         







                           







                             







                               







                                 

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