The Real Estate industry in India has still got a long way to go when it comes to leveraging technology. Till recently, the industry had embraced technology at a superficial level only. However, Chirag Boonlia, Group CTO, Embassy Group is hopeful that industry is genuinely poised to leverage the transformational impact of technology. This young techie is on a mission to accelerate the business transformation for his organization and the industry as a whole, by completely focusing on the digital transformation journey of the various catalysing groups across the various asset classes ranging from commercial business parks, residential, services, co-living, co-working, education, hotels and restaurants alongside an entire spectrum of IT for the group companies including ERP, CRM, Mobility, digital footprints, Infrastructure, Network & other peripheral systems. As exhaustive as that one-liner sounds, Chirag is gamechanger who has made changes happen. Paradoxically, it’s not the tech that excites him. Instead, it’s the transformation impact of the technology and his very belief that invariably the way things are evolving, we would end up having only two functions in any organization and that is innovation & marketing and tech would be the one which would give impetus to innovation.
Chirag’s professional journey has been a roller coaster, grounding him and shaping him to the well-informed and insightful professional he is now. “My career started with me taking some tough calls early in my career and walking the less trodden path by opting for a coding-based internship at a start-up as against interning with marquee brands while doing MBA to quitting a marquee Indian consulting MNC to joining an international product MNC. I believe that persistence, perseverance and determination to contribute beyond the four walls of KRA’s, catalysed with a little bit of luck, gave me the opportunity to transform businesses transcending across multiple domains, technologies & organizations ranging from established to institutional backed start-ups. This is why I hold success to be a journey and not a destination. However, successful or not, I take pride in all my work, big or small, as I did carry them out with boundless passion and a firm belief to add value to whatever I do. Be it as small as ‘You are an inspiration like the way Sachin was to the team and the nation’ or as big as ‘CTO of the year’, each of these are special and treasurable moments for me,” says Chirag. He is someone who charts his course of action on the adage ‘The Most Important Shot in Golf is the Next One’; in this ever-changing and evolving world, its pertinent to learn, unlearn, and relearn to survive and thrive.
Chirag concentrates on building trust and relationship with his teammates and subordinates and then share his vision with them. He is the type of the leader who believes in empowering his team to run with the baton for the goals with his intermittent supervision and guidance. He also holds that although working from home, or anywhere for that matter, is possible and proven to succeed, it is not sustainable. “I believe that we human beings are wired for social interaction and lack of it would lead to a detrimental impact on our entire ecosystem. Being in the IT industry, this isn’t a novel concept as such however transcendence of this beyond IT, of course, is a game-changer of sorts.”
Chirag is of the opinion that technology is no longer going to be relegated to the orthodox IT department. It has now seamlessly permeated into the boardroom and this is unprecedented. “IT department won’t be driving force for the change anymore instead it would be the business counterparts leading to a more significant jump in success to failure ratio of the transformation programs. There is no such thing as Digital Transformation Strategy, it’s just a business strategy in this digital world. I have been working tirelessly with my business counterparts at Embassy group across the asset classes ranging from commercial business parks, residential, services, co-living, coworking, restaurants etc in the real estate domain. Lots of game-changing consumer experience applications are the focus for now for our residential, co-living & commercial business park extended customers & many of them would arguably be the first of sort in the industry,” opines Chirag.
Looking forward to 2021, Chirag is optimistic that although the pandemic has been a bane to the human population, events of this magnitude always manifest within itself lots of opportunities. “The entire world is undergoing a fair bit of disruption at the moment and what comes next is not necessarily clear however what’s apparent to me is that it’s creating an opportunity for people like us. A bit of re-alignment of my goal post and capitalizing on enormous opportunities underneath is the need of the hour keeping in mind the once in a century kind of an event we all are going through,” Chirag concludes.