PL Podcast

CPO and the C-Suite: Velkumar Bahulayan on pushing for bold transformation in 2020
Episode 1
• Published 11 Dec, 2020

In this episode, our hosts Leslie and Steve, talk with Velkumar Bahulayan, Director of Indirect Procurement at Juniper Networks, to hear his take on aligning to the C-Suite.

Having received the go-ahead to launch their large-scale procurement digital transformation program, J-Procure, now is an ideal time to hear first-hand about the challenges and successes he and his team faced when reporting to and gaining support from the top. Tune in for inspiration and practical tips from this passionate procurement professional.

Episode Highlights

1:00 – C-suite perception and procurement transformations

Leslie and Steve set the scene around the C-Suite perception, its increased relevance in 2020 and what we can learn about making procurement a key value driver from companies like Juniper who are taking bold steps with digital transformation plans.

2:52 –  Who is Velkumar?

Introduction to Velkumar and his role as Director of Indirect Procurement at Juniper Networks.


4:07 – Who are Juniper Networks?

Juniper as an organisation and how the procurement function is positioned and structured to align with the C-Suite.


6:34 – Velkumar’s procurement background

Velkumar’s professional career in procurement of over three decades, along with the lessons he’s learned along the way.


8:06 –  A five year procurement transformation

J-Procure, Juniper’s 5-year procurement digital transformation program, encompassing innovation, sustainability and value goals simultaneously.


9:06 – Future-proofing transformation

How J-Procure promises to deliver value by preparing Juniper to be adaptable to the next changes in technology.


11:40 – Tackling 2020 disruptions

Velkumar explains why it was important for his team to boldly push ahead with this program, despite the disruptions of 2020, and which skills and characteristics of his – suddenly virtual – team helped them do so.


14:59 – Procurement and the ESG agenda

Procurement’s role in delivering to the ESG agenda via Velkumar’s experiences and suggested action points for CPOs.


16:00 – Culture and passion

Why culture and passion are important components in addition to C-suite support.


21:45 – Change Management

Velkumar talks about managing team buy-in and upskilling to get them to adapt to new technologies, and how he measures that process.


24:20 – Velkumar’s view on successful procurement transformations

Challenges and lessons from Velkumar to other CPOs when considering a transformation of this size.

About our hosts

Leslie Venetz

Leslie Venetz

Director of New Member Expansion in the Americas

Leslie Venetz is a seasoned business development professional focused on helping organizations save time and money. 

Stephen Hall

Stephen Hall

Head of Partnerships and Digital Engagement

Steve combines a background in journalism with experience in building award-winning products for a global community of procurement executives.

About the guest

Velkumar Bahulayan

Velkumar Bahulayan

Director of Indirect Procurement, Juniper Networks

Velkumar Bahulayan is the Director of Indirect Procurement at Juniper Networks, one of the leading network companies that’s head-quartered in California, USA. Velkumar’s procurement expertise spans more than three decades. He has been heading up procurement at Juniper Networks since January 2015. Prior to Juniper Networks he has taken on procurement roles at organisations such as, Cisco, India Tele Infra Ltd and NetApp.

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