The pace of commercial and technological changes dominating the 21st century has led to dramatic changes in every sector. As the hyper-competitive global business environment grew more demanding, leadership styles had to evolve significantly over the past few decades. The traditional leadership style was focused on efficiency and taking a longer time for global reach and growth. However, with awareness and availability of multiple technologies as well as rapid adaption at scale and the shorter window to leverage emerging global opportunities, a new style of dynamic leadership is emerging.
Today, while some veteran leaders find it difficult to keep up the changing leadership styles, wise leaders like Prabakar P. Selvam have successfully managed to adapt and evolve through this paradigm shift. At Cantier Systems, Prabakar is creating a vibrant environment to spot natural leaders and groom them into Innopreneurs to accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge technologies globally at scale in AI, IIoT, and Mixed Reality for SMART Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 Transformation.
A Distinguished Career
Prabakar pursued his Master’s in Computer Application (MCA) which provided him the key foundations for both technology and management perspectives. He has over two decades of profound experience in the IT and manufacturing domains and has proactively participated in accelerating the adoption of disruptive technologies such as IIoT, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, AI, and Mixed Reality to upgrade Cantier’s MES product to the next generation AI-powered Cantier MES 4.0 with Execution, IIoT, and Intelligence capabilities.
Besides successfully leading Cantier Systems, Prabakar is also serving as the Chairman of MESA APAC Board (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association)—an International Non-profit Organization that bridges IT and manufacturing and helps manufacturers to drive clarity on the role and value of modern technologies in production operations. Under his auspices, MESA has created several Special Interest Groups (SIG) in APAC countries such as Singapore, India, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand—focusing on the Industry 4.0 roadmap and countrywide adaption of SMART Manufacturing Maturity Index in the Philippines.
Gateway to SMART Manufacturing
Prabakar established Cantier Systems in 2011 with a unique vision to offer differentiated Smart Manufacturing Execution solutions for discerning customers. The Singapore-based company is one of the leading providers of an AI-powered, next-generation MES (Manufacturing Execution System) that integrates seamlessly with any legacy or modern manufacturing environments—combining Execution, IIoT, and Manufacturing Intelligence capabilities into a single platform for global real-time operations visibility, predictive decision support, and autonomous actions.
Cantier also enables customers to embrace the Industry 4.0 journey with contextual solutions to create Factories of the Future. These solutions include Industry 4.0 Roadmap Definition, Business Justification & ROI, Equipment Automation, SCADA & HMI, RFID Solutions and Robotic Process Automation, AI, and Cloud Computing. The company primarily works with Semiconductor, Electronics, Automotive, Aerospace, Metal Precision & Fabrication, and Food & Beverages Industries.
A Proactive Approach
“Many industry analysts, including Gartner, have predicted that Next Generation MES will include IIoT and Analytics by 2025 and beyond,” comments Prabakar. However, Cantier has already taken a lead in realizing these capabilities to offer ready-to-use solutions that are configurable to any specific industry context.
Prabakar strongly feels that the manufacturing industry urgently needs Operational Resiliency, Remote Monitoring, and Management of Critical Resources with real-time insights and predictions. In order to meet the current industry needs, Cantier is constantly deepening the integration of IIoT Data foundation and AI functionalities in all aspects of its product experience in Manufacturing Execution.
Steering the Ship
An organization’s success goes hand in hand with effective leadership. As the President and CEO of Cantier Systems, Prabakar’s dynamic leadership has been an inevitable part of Cantier’s success since its inception. He is leading the company’s technology vision to create the Smart Manufacturing Product Suite for Digital Transformation. He is also ensuring ongoing customer success with proactive global support systems.
Additionally, offering an intuitive end-user experience is critical for a technology company as it simplifies the implementation for the user. At Cantier, Prabakar has been instrumental in enhancing the intuitive end-user experiences. Under the leadership of Prabakar, Cantier Team is now focused on creating a globally connected technology and delivery partner ecosystem for the next level of growth.
Surviving through the Crisis
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were devastating for almost all the industries across the globe. Organizations had to revamp their strategies to survive in the new normal. Like many other organizations, Cantier also had its fair share of challenges to combat.
During the pandemic, Cantier expanded into new geographies through a trusted eco-system of partners. Additionally, the company had to manage a lean Product Development & Solution Team and ensure timely remote delivery within budget. “These challenges have tested and sharpened our operating practices to be more agile and cost-effective, resulting in a better bottom-line performance,” asserts Prabakar.
Prabakar believes that in the pandemic and post-pandemic times, leaders need to take larger responsibility for consistent enterprise-wide communication to ensure high levels of employee and customer happiness. According to him, facilitating the team to achieve Key Performance Indicators across the organization is also critical for a leader to survive and thrive in these uncertain times.
Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic in 2020, the future awaits with a plethora of opportunities. Prabakar expects Remote Management and Contextual delivery of Product led Solutions to be widely embraced. Prabakar concludes by predicting that continuous technological innovation and deeply integrated partner ecosystems will pave the way for a more digitally inclusive and empowered manufacturing world.
Read full issue: The 10 Inspiring Leaders in the Automotive Industry, 2023