Behind the scenes: Kulbir Thind - Senior Vice President Application Operation

Kulbir Thind joined Fresenius in December 2020 as Senior Vice President of Application Operation at Fresenius Digital Technology (FDT). How does he manage the complex tasks associated with FDT’s transformation journey? What does he like best about working for FDT? How does he promote transparency and trust within his teams? Kulbir reveals all this and much more in this interview.

When you have the right mix of empowerment and talent, there is enormous potential to move forward. And that’s what we’ve got here.

What contribution do you and your teams make to Fresenius?

We have many solutions that are critical when it comes to supporting the Fresenius mission. The most obvious ones are supply chain applications – these ensure that the medication, ingredients, and equipment arrive on time, thereby ensuring patient supply is met. But we also deliver lots of other solutions that provide support. One example is predictive maintenance, which enables us to anticipate when a machine, or some of its parts, may fail. So, we can prevent disruptions in advance and ensure critical patient care systems remain available. Other interesting examples include eCommerce solutions for the Kabi online store in the United States, or platforms that help us to better serve our healthcare customers. It means we make a positive impact on people’s lives through our work – something that large technology companies cannot usually claim.

What is the most exciting project that you are responsible for?

Right now, we have several transformation projects underway that I am really excited about. They offer a fantastic opportunity for Fresenius, as they fundamentally change the way that we deliver services to the business segments. To support us further, we have chosen a strategic partner who is evolving our delivery models into more cost-efficient solutions, while maintaining and even improving quality levels. As the change is new, this transformation might feel painful for some, but it will set us up for the next stage of the journey. I’m convinced that everything that we are doing here is being done for the right reasons.

In addition, we have started to move our applications out of our own data centers and into the cloud. This allows us to leverage more innovation and to modernize the facilities.

We are also working on services that are more responsive a nd more scalable to business demand. And we will start the next generation of the ERP implementation journey using SAP S/4 HANA. This offers enormous potential as we standardize and streamline business processes at Fresenius. The overall aim is to provide value to the business – and, ultimately, to the patient.

I have enjoyed interacting with a ll the people I’ve met at Fresenius, whether virtually or in person.

What do you like about working at Fresenius Digital Technology? What distinguishes us from other companies?

The people here. I have enjoyed interacting with all the people I’ve met at Fresenius, whether virtually or in person. They are really bright, with a fantastic spirit, fighting to do the right thing for the business, and it’s not solely about personal goals. Working with such a talented group of people makes projects so much easier. Above all, it means that things are typically under control and run smoothly. When you bring all of that together, there is a massive opportunity to make a great success of the transformation journey that we’re on, to execute our projects and to progress.

Trust and transparency are presumably really important in a period of transformation. How do you encourage this?

I‘ve been on the other side a number of times, and when I was in those shoes I was pretty much impatient and nervous myself, especially the first time you go through the journey. So I want to provide answers and to communicate with employees as quickly as possible. But we are working through the most complex transformation journey in the company’s history. For me it is also important to make myself accessible and available for discussions (in all-hands-meetings, virtual coffees and one-to-one-meetings), even though I have a crazy timetable myself. And I try to be transparent and to make the working environment as empowering as possible, so people can make their own decisions. I think that when you have the right mix of empowerment and talent, there is enormous potential to move forward. And that’s what we are aiming for.

Thank you for the interview, Kulbir!