Vinayak Kharche

Driving the Petrochemical Industry Towards a Brighter & More Efficient Future

Vinayak Kharche

Head Of Information Systems & Automation,

Adani Petrochemicals (AEL)

Automation is no longer just a buzzword, especially in the petrochemical industry. As the industry continues to evolve, the adoption of advanced automation technologies will be instrumental in driving productivity improvement, long-term sustainability goals, also enhance safety, and ensure environmental compliance. As the Head of Information Systems and Automation at Adani Petrochemicals (AEL), Vinayak Kharche understands the pivotal role automation plays in shaping the industry’s future. As a seasoned leader bringing a wealth of experience to the forefront, he leverages digital transformation and automation as the keys to success.
Vinayak’s journey is a testament to his commitment to excellence in this field. Armed with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and post-graduation credentials in artificial intelligence and machine learning from BITS Pilani, he brings a unique blend of traditional engineering acumen and cuttingedge digital expertise to the table. This fusion is nothing short of transformative in an industry seeking innovative solutions to ageold challenges.
As a digital technology leader, Vinayak orchestrates a symphony of digital engineering and construction practices, data governance, work process automation, asset information life cycle management, and business process automation. His passion lies in harnessing the power of digital technologies to drive business performance to new heights. In essence, he’s a driving force behind the industry’s transition towards a more streamlined, efficient, and data-driven future.
A crowning achievement in Vinayak’s career is his pioneering work in integrating Digital Twin technology into the complex petrochemical environment. This groundbreaking approach has not only modernised information systems but has also set new benchmarks for industry best practices. Furthermore, Vinayak’s profound understanding of asset life cycle information management and his extensive experience in executing mega oil and gas projects make him an invaluable asset in the field. He shoulders the crucial responsibility of providing strategic and operational direction for information and data management while ensuring unwavering standards of compliance and excellence within the EPC domain, facilitated by the Digital Twin Platform.
Beyond these roles, Vinayak is a visionary at the forefront of digital transformation initiatives. From conceptualisation to realising tangible value, he has successfully implemented innovative technologies, delivering significant boosts in productivity while slashing operating costs. As Vinayak continues to bring a seismic shift in industry norms and a relentless commitment to pushing the digital envelope while rewriting the playbook at AEL, TradeFlock questions how. 

How has your diverse career moulded your leadership and automation contributions to your organisation?

My journey through various esteemed organisations has profoundly shaped my leadership skills. Early on, I learned adaptability and innovation, setting a strong foundation for growth. Working on a global gasification project fostered visionary leadership and a shift from being actionoriented to a more forward-thinking approach. As I progressed, empathy and a focus on people’s needs became paramount. Embracing diverse roles and challenges allowed me to evolve into a technology leader, emphasising collaboration, informed decisions, and adaptability. My experiences reinforce that leadership is about empowering others to reach their fullest potential.

Kindly share a significant milestone that inspired you the most. How did it help you become a more informed automation leader?

A significant milestone that deeply inspired and informed my role as an automation leader was successfully leading the end-to-end automation implementation for a complex petrochemical process in my previous organisation. This achievement underscored the transformative power of automation, emphasising meticulous planning, cross-functional collaboration, and its potential to enhance efficiency and operational performance. Another pivotal moment was crafting a digital execution strategy for a megapetrochemical project, aligning with the vision of a “Digital Twin.” This experience reinforced the strategic importance of automation, emphasising its role in driving efficiency, collaboration, and success across diverse geographical locations. These milestones have fuelled my commitment to automation’s transformative potential in shaping the future of work and business operations.

Apart from the professional world, is there any person or mentor that has inspired you in your life?

Outside of my professional pursuits, two individuals have been influential in my life. My grandfather has imparted wisdom on patience, compassion, and treating all with respect, emphasising the power of attitude in shaping outcomes. Additionally, during my postgraduate studies, Professor Dr. A. G. Ambekar’s mentorship fuelled my passion for learning and provided a foundation for personal and professional growth. His principles continue to guide my journey towards becoming a more effective leader.

What specific qualities should a leader possess to scale his or her growth in the business world?

In my opinion, a leader should possess the ability to envision the future and craft a clear roadmap that guides the organisation towards that vision. This involves not only conceptualising the desired destination but also breaking down the steps, strategies, and resources needed to achieve it. Dare to dream and pursue your vision. As a leader, putting your trust in your instincts and trusting your team is extremely essential. I firmly believe in the power of empowerment, achieved by placing trust in team members. This approach strengthened the overall capabilities of the team and also instilled a strong sense of ownership among them. Leadership involves a commitment to innovation and a willingness to embrace change. As a leader, one has to understand and harness the power of digital technologies that can drive innovation and optimise complex processes. By embracing digital tools and data analytics, leaders can make informed decisions and stay agile in an ever-evolving business landscape. Ultimately, integrating digital strategies into leadership practices enables organisations to remain competitive. Innovate and embrace change.