No matter what the growth strategy or the plan to up a company’s game, progress cannot be seen in a company without its people. And Rajendra and Ursula Joshi Group (RUJ) firmly believes in investing in its people to bring out the highest output. Besides, the group has undertaken umpteen businesses, bringing the Swiss working ethos to India and skilling its employees with special training. EM recently visited the RUJ & SRM Mechanics (RS-India) Jaipur plant, a joint venture with a Swiss Company SRM Technologies AG, established by RUJ Group, with an investment of 300 crores to achieve 5600 MT of production. The facility, located at Mahindra World City, Jaipur, has several Bringing Swiss work culture & quality to India manufacturing processes and techniques from milling, turning and Swiss-style lathe to heat treatment and surface treatment.
Dr Rajendra Joshi and Ursula Joshi founded RUJ Group in 2016 in Rajasthan and it has been growing ever since. The group first established the Bhartiya Skill Development University (BSDU) to promote Swiss Dual system of training in India. Following the establishment of BSDU, Dr Joshi had an objective of taking the Swiss Dual System of training a step forward and introduce Swiss work culture in India. This made him establish RS-India – the joint-venture between the Indian counterpart and SRM AG in Switzerland. Incorporated on June 10th, 2016, under the Companies Act, 2013, RS-India was established with the aim of manufacturing and assembling of high precision parts, with advanced technology machines imported from Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Japan. Herbert Rosenast, General Manager, Engineering Units, RS-India, informs, “Our machines are capable of continuous unattended production time of up to 24 hours daily, and have reduced inspection time, constant quality monitoring and no human error”.
The joint-venture will bring in a broad spectrum of various production techniques with a capability of producing all mechanical components in-house, from prototypes to large scale productions at RS-India in Jaipur. RS-India has been exporting 99% of its components manufactured and will soon be looking at venturing in Indian Markets through tie-ups and partnerships. The company has recently tied up with a German 3D printing company, Apium Additive Technologies GmbH, for manufacturing 3D printers for Asia Pacific continent. As Dr Rajendra Joshi, Chairman, RUJ Group, comments, “RS India has a target to cater to industries and multinational organisations or companies who have set up their manufacturing units in India and look up to European markets to import precision parts and components. RS India’s core focus is to reduce this gap and become a partner to these companies and offer these parts and components in India and reduce their dependency on imports”.
Precision parts and components
The manufacturing sector in India has a huge dependence of vendors and manufacturers on other countries to import precision parts and components. RS-India was established to reduce this dependence and offer small to mid-sized components here in India. RS-India offers various solutions such as metal anodising and galvanic, painting and heat treatment, sheet metal and machining of components, quality, testing and certification and assembly all under one roof. Major functions and processes conducted at RS-India are milling, turning, Swiss-style lathe, surface grinding, cylindrical grinding, punching, laser cutting, heat treatment, anodising, plating, powder coating and direct material laser sintering (DLMS). The company has a clean room facility, which can later be utilised to assemble medical components within the facility. RS-India at Jaipur has the raw material section where the material is analysed. Besides, there is a set-up mainly for housings, including small housings for 3D Printers and grinding and assembling, which also involves normal assembling. In another building, there are different types of heat treatment processes taking place. The group also has coatings, laser engraving, UV printing, nickle plating, copper plating, electric polishing, laser welding and more. Soon, they will also be venturing into deep hole drillings.
Jayant Joshi, Managing Director, RS-India says, “We don’t have specific growth drivers; for instance, we are doing parts for sectors from laboratory instruments to the automobile sector to medical equipment sector. We are not into high-end mass production. We are in the niche of small to mid-size volumes.”
Food and Dairy, Furniture and Hospital
The group ventured into the dairy business with Rajendra and Ursula Joshi Food Industries (RUFIL) in 2014 as well. The company has been established to bring in the Swiss quality and expertise in manufacturing dairy products within India. RUJ Group has further invested about Rs 150 crores in RUJ Woodcraft, which has been established to cater to the furniture market in India and offer world-class customised furniture in the country.
The group also recently introduced RUJ Hospitals, which will be operational in over 2 years from now. The hospital is a 150-bedded multi-super-specialty hospital, which will provide the best healthcare services with super specialties into critical care, CTVS, cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, and gastroenterology, with a backup of nephrology and endocrinology.
To increase employability and build capacities at the bottom of the pyramid and for those who have turned to the streets, RUJ Group, in its philanthropic project, will soon be introducing RUJ Skills Schools. The school is based on the concept of offering trainings and education to the ones who have dropped out of school and help build their careers in unique fields, from brick laying and salon to plumbing and tiling. “Buying machines alone is not enough,” cites Jayant and continues, “You need good-skilled people. Equipment does not help if the one working on the machine is pushing the wrong button. We are doing a lot in investing in our people. We train them here on the machines in India, the way we train in Switzerland. Then we send them abroad to our partner in Switzerland to learn how to work efficiently with these machines.”
However, there’s not much difference between Swiss machining and standard machining. “It’s about how you use it and how you proceed with it. The aim is to meet customer expectations,” explains Rosenast, and goes on, “We need to decide the mentality and mindset we are looking for on the shop floor. Everyone is responsible, from the one who is cleaning the floor to the one who is just pushing the button. In India, one can see both, high-end machines and low-end machines, between which there is a big gap. However, that is changing now.”
“Also, when it comes to production, we try to localise most of our systems in production, parts required, etc,” Jayant adds, “so we intend to work with our suppliers and better the logistic chain here. The logistic lack in India is still too big. Besides, how the material is arriving is also important. The transport needs to be improved for the near future. Materialwise, the percentage of our localisation is 70%, while 90% of the machinery is imported from countries abroad and some of them are sources from India.”
Bhartiya Skill Development University
A lot is being talked about industry-academia link in today’s industry, where the two look to collaborate and benefit from each other. RUJ is a step ahead in this regard and established the Bhartiya Skill Development University (BSDU), which was incorporated by the State Government of Rajasthan in 2016. The objective of BSDU is not only to provide students with a degree but also to give them an exposure to the industry and get the industry experience required well in advance.
“What makes our university unique is that it does not have routine faculties. We have faculty of skills, such as, manufacturing skills, automotive skills, carpentry skills, etc,” explains Brig (Dr) Surjit Singh Pabla, Vice Chancellor, BSDU, and goes on, “Each faculty has one or two schools under them and each school offers 2-3 bachelors or vocations in related areas. For example, in carpentry, the vocations will be cabinet making, furniture making, interiors, etc. The bachelor’s degrees offered here are as good as any other degrees because they are recognised by the Central Government, and with these degrees they can also take other examinations like, IAS or UPSC.”
What makes these degrees even more superior is the fact that 80% of the time the students are working on the machines and in the other 20% they are getting a general education. This gives them the opportunity to not only work in the industry but also start their own business at any level, from the certificate level to diploma level. This is because the students are sent to the industry at every level; for instance, the first semester is spent at the university and in the second they are sent to the industry to work and so on.
Though RS India does not restrict itself to serve specific sectors, it is currently making parts and components for automobile, laboratory, and vendors of just components for its partner SRM AG in Switzerland. RS India aims to cater to a variety of sectors such as aeronautics, automobile and other sectors who require just specialised components and not mass scale parts and components from small to medium size in volume. Jayant Joshi says, “The next step to increase our share in the precision manufacturing sector will be exploring the Indian market and target those companies who are looking at international markets to import precision parts and become their partners by offering them these parts in India itself”.
When asked about further expansion plans, Rosenast averred, “We can easily add space to the existing building for expansion. The concept we have implemented here is such that we can easily add space, without disturbing other production processes”.