In a March edition of Supply Chain Digital Magazine (pages 98-109), Nandini Basuthakur, CEO of Procurement Leaders, discusses why World Procurement Congress is the must-attend supply chain event of the year.


Could you start by giving us an overview on Procurement Leaders and what you seek to achieve?

Procurement Leaders is the world’s largest and most valued procurement network and intelligence platform. Powered by a syndicated member and partner community of over 750 leading global companies, Procurement Leaders inspires more than 33,000 senior leaders to make faster, more informed decisions and follow proven paths to success. Through next-practice insights, practical tools, expert guidance and industry connections, Procurement Leaders accelerates the transformation journey to greater value creation and procurement excellence.


In what ways can you help to accelerate the procurement function?

PL is committed to divergent and next generation thinking around the future facing topics of talent, innovation, digitalisation, sustainability, risk and operating models. How can we collectively use our strengths to solve some of the world’s greatest problems? How can we implement dynamic solutions at a multiple member level? To support this, Procurement Leaders offers insights, applications and expert networking opportunities that can be consumed in a multi-channel way to maximise our customers’ experience. To compliment the digital, advisory and one-to-one offerings, our large-scale congresses, member hosted exchanges and supplier innovation accelerators offer a wide range of in person networking experiences.


What does procurement look like for businesses in 2020?

I strongly believe that procurement will become far more strategic to the business, continuing the trajectory it has been on for 20 years from its legacy as a back-office function. However, many of the current tasks will become automated and digitalised, leaving procurement professionals to focus on the management of complex, reciprocal relationships in the supply network; supplier-collaboration initiatives for the collective good of the value chain and harnessing data to inform better business decisions. There is a risk that those procurement functions that don’t evolve quickly become obsolete.


In what ways can procurement deliver strategic value in risk, innovation, sustainability, talent and digitalisation?

Procurement is in the perfect position to deliver value in these areas. While enterprise risk management comprises many things, supplier and supply-chain risk is a large component. Similarly, the collective innovation capability of a company’s strategic supply base far outstrips that of any single organisation, while the supply base also accounts for a significant proportion of any company’s sustainability footprint. By deploying next-generation talent and new digital capabilities, procurement leaders can harness these opportunities and bring real value to their organisations.


World Procurement Week is back for its second year – how successful was last year?

Last year was a real success – it was the first year we catered to the ultimate procurement team experience. This provided a dedicated content track for the CPO and senior management, alongside further curated content and activities for their wider teams. The World Procurement Congress (for CPOs), running concurrently with the Indirect Category Leadership Forum (for team members), provided a valuable week for all, ending in the World Procurement Awards hosting a night of celebration for over 1000 delegates. For 2020, we will tailor that experience even further, allowing for detailed content and impactful peer to peer networking suitable to all levels and roles.


Can you talk us through the World Procurement Congress (WPC) and what the event offers?

The World Procurement Congress is the industry’s largest global gathering of senior procurement executives. The two-day event focuses on the visionary, forward-looking trends that will shape the long-term success and impact of the procurement function. In 2020, procurement must evolve to support the C-suite agenda and, in doing so, become permanently relevant to the CEO and board despite a backdrop of market uncertainty and external factors that could dampen growth prospects. This year’s Congress will equip delegates with the knowledge, real life case studies and solutions to pivot for business success.


What makes WPC stand out and different from other events?

The World Procurement Congress is exactly what the name suggests, a truly global gathering of senior procurement professionals from the world’s largest organisations as far reaching as Australia, Singapore, China, UAE, the Latin and North Americas as well as from throughout Europe. While the nature of the speaker line-up is largely global CPO led, WPC differs by showcasing leading authorities from a multitude of different industries and vocations with cross functional C-suite insights, academics and business leaders providing a holistic learning offering as part of the programme to develop attendees to be the best business leaders they can possibly be. This holistic opportunity to network, learn, benchmark and ideate with a truly global senior audience sets WPC above the rest.


What is in store at WPC 2020? Why attend?

This year’s agenda will focus on the key challenges currently faced by the global procurement community: digitalisation, risk, sustainability and talent, but all through the lens of how these can help achieve business objectives and deliver impact to the C-suite agenda. The Congress aims to provide a roadmap for the modern CPO of how to develop their function, ensure the function’s value proposition is fit for a new world and reach procurement and business overall goals through value creation and sustainable growth in ever changing and volatile environments. WPC is the perfect opportunity to meet with a global community of the most senior, progressive procurement leaders from around the world. With time set aside for formal and informal networking to expand personal and professional networks, content to inspire and aspire to, and an array of the most innovative technology and solution providers to help execute strategy, WPC 2020 brings together the entire procurement ecosystem to help develop practical and tangible strategy to execute the CEO agenda and deliver to C-suite priorities, today.