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Revolutionizing Kuwait's Public Transport: The Digital Transformation journey of Dheeraj Bhardwaj

IIK Staff Reporter Sunday, April 7, 2024
Revolutionizing Kuwait

In the world of digital revolution, there are front-runners who change what is possible even when technology was emerging. One such is Dheeraj Bhardwaj, CEO of City Group in Kuwait whose shift from shaping India’s technological landscape to transforming Kuwait’s public transport landscape has been nothing short of amazing.

Dheeraj's journey commenced in 90's with a Ph.D. in Computing Science from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi), an era while high-end technology was still in its infancy. He played a pivotal role in developing PARAM, India's first supercomputer, under the mentorship of Dr. Vijay Bhatkar at India's prestigious Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). His contributions to PARAM Padma, the first Indian supercomputer ranked on a worldwide supercomputer's list, underscored his prowess in developing algorithms to process massive data for Oil & Gas and space applications with precision. He was the lead architect of PARAM Padma's storage sub system and mission critical applications.

Late 90's, Dheeraj got an opportunity to work with prestigious projects in the US, including a NASA project and the Grid Computing system for ATLAS, a Large Hadron Colllider (LHC) experiment at CERN. Today, the Grid Computing is known as cloud computing.

Amidst accolades such as the "Young Scientist Awards" from the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, and featured on 'India Today’s Top 50 young guns who represent the changing face of India', Dheeraj's passion for digital transformation led him to new heights. It was not an easy task for anyone to be featured as a 'Scientist Entrepreneur”' in countries top 50 young gun's list by 'India Today'.

It was time for him to explore entrepreneurial ventures with his tech initiatives and he had ventured into his personal start-ups in the early 2000 while start-up scenario in India was in its early stage. However, soon he realized that technological innovation alone couldn't ensure the success of startups. "Innovation is a successful commercialization of an idea. If an idea is not commercialized, it remains and idea not an innovation," - that was his definition of a successful venture. Understanding the imperative of commercial viability, he pursued an MBA from Imperial College, London, blending his technical acumen with business management expertise.

After completing his MBA, Dheeraj was lucky enough to foray into the construction industry in the UK, which marked a turning point in his career. As an " Innovation Strategist," he spearheaded a digital revolution, transitioning the construction industry from traditional practices of insitu (on-site) construction to off-site manufacturing. He took challenge to develop constructure methodology to build without scaffolding to Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) like automobile manufacturing. His adept usage of multi-dimensional Building Information Modeling (BIM) not only best optimized construction processes but additionally mitigated onsite risk and reduced environmental impact. "For the first time, we transformed 70% of onsite construction to the factory, achieved reduction of 60% labour on-site, 30% time reduction and the major benefit was the reduced accident frequency ratio (AFR) to zero and carbon emission offset to zero ," Dheeraj recalls.

Venturing into the Middle East, during the year 2013, Dheeraj continued with his legacy of innovation. His contributions to big projects such as the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi and projects like the 'Dubai Innovation Index', earned him accolades and accolades, solidifying his recognition as a pioneer in digital transformation. The 'Dubai Innovation Index', led, was a first of its kind study that compares level of innovation in Dubai with global cities on both macroeconomic and micro economic levels. This initiative is aligned with the vision of Dubai leadership to make the emirate one of the most innovative cities in the world. As a Digital and Innovation strategy consulting lead with PwC consulting, he led various consulting projects for RTA Dubai, Emaar, Dar Group and a number of vision 2030 transformation projects in KSA. In 2019,he co-founded 'Arnab Mobility' – an innovative micromobility company in UAE.

In the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, in the year 2021, Dheeraj got an opportunity to lead Kuwait's prestigious public transport and logistics company 'City Group Co. KSCP' to create a new chapter in Kuwait's public transport landscape. Leveraging lessons learned from the digital shift in consumer behavior during the pandemic, he embarked on a mission to digitally revolutionize Kuwait's public transport.. "During pandemic, we all learned to order everything, from foods to groceries, online using our mobile phone, this made me think why can't transport too!" Dheeraj put his thinking cap. Under his guidance, City Group introduced groundbreaking initiatives, such as real-time tracking, digital ticketing of buses via mobile apps, and the globally benchmarked innovative CityLink Shuttle, offering affordable and convenient door-to-door transport solutions to plan, book, pay and ride using mobile phone.

" Each CityBus is now a digital bus. At any point of time, we can see where our busses are, how the driver is driving the bus, whether he presses break harshly, etc all are monitored and recorded through our Operations Control Room (OCC) We are the only transport company in Kuwait with full digital capabilities with planning/scheduling, through to digital ticketing and safety features and mobile" Dheeraj rejoice.

Dheeraj's vision has not only transformed Kuwait's public transport landscape but has also positioned the country as a beacon of innovation in the global mobility sector. His relentless pursuit of excellence and unwavering commitment to leveraging technology for societal advancement epitomize the spirit of digital transformation in the modern era. As various international conferences, where he was invited to speak, cite Kuwait's City Group as a benchmark for innovation and digital transformation, Dheeraj Bhardwaj's legacy continues to inspire a new generation of change makers worldwide.


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Express your comment on this article

 
Alex
Monday, April 8, 2024
Yes, still no services are provided to Ahmadi

Shrikant Agre
Sunday, April 7, 2024
Great! Proud feeling that we have pioneer of CDAC computers from India leading city bus system in Kuwait. I cant wait to.see how this transport company grows in coming years.

SYED
Sunday, April 7, 2024
103 bus drivers are bypassing the road trip by flying over the bridge instead of serving their passengers properly. The situation for passengers is dire, as they wait under the bridge unaware that city buses are using the flyover. We need to address this issue by installing 2KD cameras in front of the busses to catch these irresponsible drivers who neglect their duties of picking up and dropping off passengers correctly. These drivers often spend excessive time at source stops like MALIYA and JAHARA, causing inconvenience to passengers by overfilling buses before speeding over the bridges. Despite the innovative technology launched by the city bus company, the attitudes of these illiterate drivers remain unchanged.

Muneer
Sunday, April 7, 2024
Great to know about you. Never imagined the the City Bus CEO is such a high profile tech guy from India!

nishi
Sunday, April 7, 2024
Ahmadi is a prime location where most company located ,but there is no bus transport .please do something

Sree
Sunday, April 7, 2024
Why aren''t there any buses going to Ahmadi, even though there are lots of companies there?

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