My KTP project was with Dando Drilling International, a company with over 146 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and sales of water well, mineral exploration, geotechnical and GHP drilling rigs and equipment. My KTP project was about integrating the supply chain and enhancing the product development process at Dando in order to strategically support the company in becoming more competitive.
My primary role was to lead and manage strategic change at the company. No matter how simple this sounds I believe that what I did is equivalent to most of the tasks that are done by strategic management teams. I not only had to lead a change but also work with the top management to define the vision for it and, with the help of , construct the path to push it forward and engage staff with the process to ensure buy-in. The major work then for me and the company managers was to make everyday operations hassle-free. My work involved all the aspects of the business viz. creative designing, decision making, implementing, analysis, networking, making etc. What I did has helped to develop an in-depth understanding of the engineering business and its management. Therefore, I call KTP a good ‘Learning-By-Doing’ programme for aspiring engineering and/or management executives and I believe this is the KTP’s ‘Unique Selling Point’.
Overcoming the challenges
Like every change project, the key challenge in our project was to motivate and drive the project stakeholders towards a successful change. To gain their trust and confidence was one of the biggest challenges. UoB helped me in realising the fact that the Law of Engineering Attraction is Innovation – people are attracted towards innovative products, processes and promotions so this is what we used to overcome the challenges. We designed and demonstrated an innovative system and process and promoted it with an innovative flair which helped us in gaining trust and confidence and to develop positive curiosity for change among stakeholders.
What I’m doing now
My KTP ended in April 2014 having fulfilled all its objectives and delivered a great impact for Dando. This was reflected in the final report which was graded ‘outstanding’. Post KTP, I was employed by Dando as Operations Manager. As rightly quoted by Benjamin Franklin, “without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” One of the biggest tasks of my current role is to keep on finding this meaning and implementing it. My current role looks strategically at identifying, designing and implementing a business operational change which supports future growth. At the same time, the role involves fulfilling current demands successfully.
The benefits of being a KTP Associate
I believe that “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge” – UoB and Dando have helped me in finding “what I know and what I do not know”. I undertook training, professional qualifications and, most importantly, received moral support which has significantly impacted on my knowledge and experience. At the same, I had a platform to implement this knowledge in the real world. This I believe is one of the biggest benefits of being a KTP Associate. I was part of a top-management decision making process and at the same time I was a learner. This ‘Learning-By-Doing’ principle of KTP is the biggest benefit that an Associate can gain early in their career.
Jugal Desai, Design Operations Engineer at Dando Drilling International