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Diksha Somai Pillay Head of Innovation at Exxaro Resources


My qualifications include a BSc in Chemical Eng and Masters in Mechanical Eng. I have completed courses such as Artificial Intelligence Strategy with MIT and Management Development Program (MDP) -full distinction and Best Student Award. I am currently working on my Doctorate in Business Leadership proposal that will seek to answer critical engagement model questions on Gamification.

Being in the resource sector for 8 years I have learnt about the full value chain of mining and energy. My career began in 2010 as a Professional in Training (PIT) in Exxaro's Growth Department that became Cennergi (50/50 JV with Tata Power). During this time a multitude of projects ranging from concept studies to pilot plants were part of my portfolio. My main interests are in #disruptmining, exponential innovation and to #Futureproof our business. I recently completed and executed strategies for Innovation, Business of Tomorrow and Sustainability.

My current job I report directly to the Executive General Manager for Innovation and IM. I am responsible for driving and integrating Digital and Innovation in Exxaro's . Some groundbreaking initiatives we fast-tracking : Exxaro's own AI search tool to source credible, unbiased information to make investment decisions, and gamification application for Safety and Learning. In the process of developing a world-class Digital Twin Asset that will be projected in the AR space for the GG6 expansion project (R4bn capital investment), phase 1 in progress to create all the smart 3D/4D BIM models. Phase 2 will be to establish the fully integrated IOT platform and Phase 3 will be to go live with augmented reality and hopefully into extended reality (XR) in 2020. I am currently setting up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation.

I am a proud millennial, businesswoman, wife and mother of 2 beautiful children.

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