January 21 - 24, 2020
Omni Orlando Resort, ChampionsGate, FL

A Quick Fire Interview with 3 OPEX Awards Judges


Ahead of the 2020 Global OPEX Awards we fired some quick questions at three of the judges, Alisha KaleSanjay Gupta and Sachin Ahuja. Read on for exclusive insights into the awards and the judges themselves. 

Is this your first time judging or have you been a judge in the past?

Alisha Kale:
"I have judged the past two years and am delighted to return for my third year."

Sanjay Gupta:
"I have been a judge and a speaker at OPEX Week for most of the last 15 years."

Sachin Ahuja:
"This is my first time as a judge and I am so very excited for it."


How important do you think it is that industries recognize excellence?

Alisha Kale:
"It is vital to the continued success of valued team members. Recognition gives everyone something to aim for, and award winners really do push the limits of what can be achieved."

Sanjay Gupta:
"It’s terribly important. But excellence has to be recognized in the following areas. First and foremost in individuals, which is something that PEX does so well. Second in the firm itself, Ecolab as an example, who does not participate, has not missed a quarterly earning in 40 quarters. It’s a well run company. Last, the industry: is it an excellent industry? The example I go to is semiconductor manufacturing, where reliability is obviously paramount."

Sachin Ahuja:
"The approach to process excellence, even though fundamentally the same, has been spread in all industries as different methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, Business Process Management and Enterprise Architecture. We believe the future will be digital which will mean it will be more important for industries to become pragmatic to focus on excellence."


What, in your view, makes a person or team stand out from the crowd?

Alisha Kale:
"Thoughtful projects, projects that have the customer in view. It’s so important to keep customers at the heart of things and to work on projects that really understand what it is that they need. Understanding the customer is the key to inspiration.  "

Sanjay Gupta:
"Integrity and passion. Getting and showing buy in from the masses and executives. Driving the program/project home and achieving results."

Sachin Ahuja:
"‘Being unique’, thinking of ways to be as innovative as possible, showing your passion, being yourself, talking about the challenges and how they overcame it. Hard work always pays!"

"becoming an OPEX Award winner gives instant credibility and visibility in ones network."

What difference do you think winning an award can make?

Alisha Kale:
"Continued hard work and recognition amongst peers."

Sanjay Gupta:
"I have seen people promoted to VP and go on to form their own company. But it’s getting recognition and a morale boost for the company and team that’s equally important."

Sachin Ahuja:
"Winning an award gains you instant recognition, boosting your motivation. Being a global platform, becoming an OPEX Award winner gives instant credibility and visibility in ones network."


What award have you won?

Alisha Kale:
"Music awards in high school, I used to play the saxophone and flute, and my version of ‘We built this city’ by Starship is almost Grammy-worthy. I’ve also picked up recognition for process excellence amongst team members."

Sanjay Gupta:
"PEX gave me a lifetime recognition, it seems unfair to get it so early in life. It’s packed up safe and is currently in New York. I am also the proud holder of a Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award (I would’ve got Gold, but I was too young which still annoys me). I was also Chess Champion when in Jr. High, but as I haven’t played for forty years, 11-year-old me would beat me in a match tomorrow."

Sachin Ahuja:
"I have some very ‘grown up’ awards, including PEX Award’s Under 90 Days category, CLO Learning Elite award-3 time winner for overall program and Best Six Sigma Black Belt Project at the IBM Process Excellence Awards. I’m probably most proud of my Star of the Year award by GE CEO Jack Welch, but perhaps the one my friends appreciate the most is Toronto’s ‘King of BBQ’."


The annual Global OPEX Awards honors and celebrates individuals and teams who have made a commitment to driving superior operational excellence and business transformation. Applications are open, which of the 8 categories will you take home?

Click here to learn more about the Global OPEX Awards




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