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Tech icon of the week: Rahul Khona, Nexus Malls

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IndiaRetailing brings you a series on India’s key retail tech icons. Featuring Rahul Khona, CTO, Nexus Malls this week

New Delhi: Today’s CIO must know how to leverage technology to create value for the business. No longer are CIOs department heads of a support function, they are in the driver’s seat and need to be more than just subject-matter experts. According to International Data Group (IDG)’s “State of the CIO Study 2022,” 58 percent of workers outside of IT describe their company’s CIO as a “strategic advisor who proactively identifies business opportunities and makes recommendations.”

In this special feature, IndiaRetailing showcases the torchbearers of retail technology. This week, the spotlight is on….

Rahul Khona
In his present role, Rahul is partnering business teams in all phases of growth, by enabling development of technology to support the broader business objectives. He has worked as a consultant across various domains – retail, telecom, and banking all through his career. This helps him possess end to end knowledge on retail and telecom systems and their interlinkage with prevalent business processes. Rahul is a leader who blends technical acumen and superior communication skills with excellent understanding of key business drivers and customer needs. He is a versatile professional with reputation for integrity, drive and commitment. He is a creative thinker adept at identifying solutions and driving concepts through to successful implementation. Rahul is passionate about harnessing business benefits through innovative technology solutions. He has rich knowledge in building & developing high performance IT Teams and digitally skilled workforce through blended continuous learning programs & ensure self-sustainability.

Roles & Responsibilities
– Business IT strategy & governance
– IT strategy and IT roadmap
– IT security, risk frame work, governance and management
– ERP (SAP ECC, S/4 HANA, YARDI), salesforce CRM, DMS, SRM, HRMS, warehouse and food forecasting, SCM automation and retail omnichannel technologies
– Business Analytics and continuity plans
– IT budgeting
– Sustainable digital initiatives – customer centric innovation & customer experience including mobile app, digital commerce
– Thought provoking and leading organization in digital transformation
– Policy formulation and implementation

Career History & Experience
– Nexus Malls
Chief Technology Officer
Aug 2021-present
– Hardcastle Restaurants Private Ltd.
CIO, McDonald’s India
April 2019- July 2021
– Reliance Brands Ltd.
IT Head
Sep 2018 – Apr 2019
– Starbucks India
CIO and Head of Digital Innovation
May 2013 – Sep 2018
– Tata Consultancy Services
Assistant Consultant
Sep 2011 – May 2013
– Tech Mahindra
Associate Solution Designer
Mar 2010 – Sep 2011
– Reliance Communications
Aug 2004- Feb 2010

– Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Transitioning from Chief Information Officer to Chief Innovation officer
Management Program – Nov 2017
– SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies
MBA, Information Systems
BE: Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
– St. Dominic Savio High School
SSC, Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching

Aspirations to fulfill
A doctor/professor

Game changing Retail Technologies
– AI
– ML
– Skills
– Solution architecture
– Business analysis
– Team management
– Vendor management
– IT strategy
– IT service management
– Program management
– IT transformation
– Leadership and people development

Strengths And Weakness
– Business focused
– Problem solver
– Reader

Bigger plans on horizon
Looking at a few startup ideas and hopefully something should crystalize soon

Tech mantra for life
Reading, reading and more reading

This article first appeared in the November 2022 edition of Images Retail.

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