As a 30-year veteran of supply chain systems development, Mahesh Pradhan boasts a unique blend of leadership, knowledge, and vision. After graduating from Mumbai University with a master’s degree in physics and a diploma in computer science, he started his IT career in Lupin Labs and then became a system executive for BASF and Siemens, where he remained until 1992. He then set out on his “B2B journey from Bombay, India, to Bentonville, AR. Upon arriving in the U.S., he was hired as a programmer analyst by one of the largest retail chains in the world, Walmart. Mahesh then spent the next 25 years climbing the ranks—ultimately becoming vice president of supply chain. He also served as chairperson of the company’s Asian Pacific Associate Network and represented Walmart in the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Additionally, he designed and developed the first warehouse management system for Walmart International, which has since become the foundation for the company’s subsequent WMS systems. Mahesh served as an integral member of Walmart’s growth from $48 billion to approximately $500 billion in 2018. During his tenure at Walmart, he and his teams won numerous awards including the OCA National Award for Excellence in Corporate Achievement, a Pioneering Award, Paradigm Buster’s Excellence in Customer Service, Industry Leadership in Business, Team Innovation in Technology, Global Industry Leadership in Technology, and a Star Team Award. Then, in February 2018, Mahesh founded Scope Retail Systems, Inc., an Arkansas-based information technology company that specializes in building custom IT products for the digital supply chain. Based out of Bentonville, AR, the self-funded business has grown nearly 70% year-over-year.
What led you to leave Walmart and to start your own business?
Walmart enabled me to see how rapidly business and technology was changing, especially in supply chain and retail sector. In late 2017, when an opportunity arose to start a company of my own, I remembered the words of Walt Disney: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” So, with the support of my family and friends, I decided to start the business.
Tell us a bit more about Scope Retail and what it has to offer.
Over the past three years, we’ve developed and built many scalable and flexible IT supply chain related products. They are customized to meet the needs of our clients, using the latest technology—AR, VR, and robotics. One of our products is COSMOS, which is an order management system currently used by one of the top 5 grocery retailers. We also developed QuikPik—a micro fulfillment solution and SiREN, our generic integration engine. Another of our products called CALM, automatically processes claims using blockchain technology. We are currently building an Orion-Enterprise inventory visibility platform, which will enable multi-use cases by allowing organizations to gain visibility of inventory across the network. It is an extremely exciting time at Scope Retail.
To what do you attribute your success?
Jim Rohn once said, "If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary,” and I have never been willing to settle. It’s important to have a drive for success, a clear vision, and an end in mind. Our company was also built on a solid foundation of relationship, trust and accountability. I’ve surrounded myself with great advisors and mentors, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have two exceptional business partners, Sandesh Ramnathkar, our CTO, and Tushar Agrawal, our CIO.
Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
My mom, dad, and two elder brothers always demonstrated the importance of staying true to my values and who I am as a person. Throughout my childhood, our family of five lived in a house with one-room and a kitchen. I remember them all having a great work ethic and leading by example. They were also trustworthy and maintained good relationships with everyone around them—a legacy I strive to carry on today and pass it on to my children.
President and CEO
Scope Retail Systems, Inc.