Lalit Dhamija on leadership in procurement

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
2 March 2016

Lalit Dhamija is team leader (procurement process) at ADCO and the chairman of the CIPS UAE Abu Dhabi branch. He has more than 35 years experience in the procurement and supply chain profession, working in both the public and private sectors.

Ahead of the CIPS Middle East Conference in Dubai on 26 April where he will be a speaker, SM asked him what leadership is about, and the best advice he has received.

What are the biggest procurement challenges facing the Middle East in 2016?
The major procurement challenge for the Middle East currently is the uncertainty in the market, especially the volatility in commodity prices.

This is resulting in organisations postponing their expansion plans and finding ways to optimise cost and add value to stay in the black. Other ongoing challenges consists of the late adoption and ineffective use of technology in managing procurement. There is also a lack of expertise in engaging stakeholders to obtain maximum value for the organisation through efficient procurement.

What is the hardest part of your job?
Procurement professionals find it hard to challenge the status quo and introduce change to adopt of strategic sourcing, category management and process optimisation, etc.

What is the best piece of advice you've received?
To create value through effective communication with end users, to understand their needs and engaging them for getting the right specifications/scope of work.

If you had one recommendation for procurement professionals looking to integrate procurement within the business what would it be?
Align with the organisation’s and stakeholders’ priorities and objectives through pertinent change management methodologies.

What does it mean to be a leader in procurement, and how can procurement leaders advance in the profession?
A motivated leader in procurement is one who:

  • Works to make the organisation appreciate the importance of procurement and benefits it can bring to the organisation’s success
  • Conducts regular dialogue with stakeholders for consolidating demand, eliminating waste, planning, market/supplier analysis for strategic sourcing
  • Ensures both the professional and soft skills of the staff are enhanced
  • Seeks opportunities for value addition through cost optimisation, reducing lead times and minimise inventory levels
  • Engages in supplier relationship and performance management through a structured program
  • Sets up a mechanism for internal performance improvement through KPIs and health checks
  • Adopts appropriate technology to streamline work
  • Uses market intelligence to take informed decisions based on data, facts and figures 

Lalit Dhamija will be speaking on the topic of Structuring procurement for success at the CIPS Middle East Conference 2016 in Dubai on 26 April. Click here to book your place.

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