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Manufacturing Bringing together the mechanical engineering community

Dec 4, 2018

VDMA India has been actively promoting knowledge on the benefits of mechanical engineering for many years through the Mechanical Engineering Summit. Likewise, it recently hosted the 7th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit that was held in Pune and covered a variety of topics of discussion, from cost optimisation to the best HR practices in the engineering industry. A post-event report…

The VDMA Summit is a gathering of the VDMA member companies of almost all the engineering sectors from over 15 cities in India, where mostly the top management and decision makers make their presence. The summit recently held its 7th edition in Pune, which was attended by more than 250 people and discussed topics, such as, the full-year impact of GST in manufacturing, the early adoption of Industry 4.0 & its challenges in manufacturing and more.

Bringing India-Germany closer

The summit commenced with a welcome address by Rajesh Nath, MD, VDMA India, where he spoke about the completion of 4 years of the current government led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and how, during these 4 years, India had experienced unprecedented and impactful reforms. He also highlighted the need for consolidation in the next few years before the economy sets itself up for the next phase of development.

Then the Chief Guest, Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) made a presentation on ‘Implementation of BIS–VI-Way forward for the Automobile industry’. Next, Dr Jurgen Morhard, Consul General, Federal Republic of Germany, Mumbai, gave a special address on ‘Indo-German Trade in western part of India’ and stressed upon some of the things happening between India and Germany, from technology transfers, investments, boost to tourism to students travelling to Germany for higher studies, increase in business travellers, and more.

This was followed by Carl Martin Welcker, MD, VDMA Frankfurt, who mentioned that he is more optimistic on trade with India as exports have grown to 1.6 billion euro, after which knowledge partner, BDB India, gave a presentation on ‘Primary user industry for machinery manufacturers’.

Next, the Technical Session I was commenced by Aditya Lakhanpal, Director-Corporate Treasury Solutions, Global Markets, HSBC India. He spoke on the importance of meeting the fiscal targets and shared that monetary policy remains focused on meeting inflation targets. The next speaker was Prashant Deshpande, Partner-Indirect Tax, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, who gave an overview on the impact from GST taxation & anti-profiteering. Thereafter, Nilesh Jajodia, CFO, Wirtgen India, shared his views on his organisation’s experience of GST in the last one year.

Challenges in Industry 4.0

The next technical session began with the release of the report, ‘Best HR Practices in the engineering industry’ prepared by HR Strategy Partner, Deepmala Datta, HR Consultant, Mier +Vidorna. Moving on, Lokesh Payik, Chief of Digital Enterprise and Connected Industry, Bosch, presented the topic, ‘Industry 4.0–Adoption, opportunities & challenges’. Subsequently, Sanjeev Kumar, Head of Marketing & Product Management, Rittal India, gave an overview about their automation systems. Next, Umesh Pal, MD, EPLAN Software & Services, took over, explaining the challenges in adoption of Industry 4.0 and shared that success lies in reduction of complexity and total integration. The last presentation was on ‘Adoption of Industry 4.0 and its challenges in the Manufacturing sector’ by Neeraj Athalye, Vice President – Innovation & Digital Business, SAP Indian subcontinent.The presentation focused on the need to have more mega cities, improved supply chain infrastructure and higher global integration.

GST Impact & Indian taxation system

The final session of the summit was a panel discussion on ‘From Red Tape to Red Carpet – Ease of Doing business’. The discussion was moderated by Rajesh Nath, MD, VDMA India and the panelists were Carl Martin Welcker; Georg Sparschuh, President, SCHOTT Glass India; Dharmesh Arora, CEO, Schaeffler India; Girish Ketkar, Whole Time Director & CFO, Thyssenkrupp Industries India; & Bipin Jirge, MD, ifm electronic India. Each of the panel members explained the implications of GST in their business in the last one year and the upcoming challenges, such as, anti-profiteering, getting skilled workers and so on.

The various hurdles that the panelists overcame during their career stint in their organisations were skills training, gender diversity, meeting global standards of manufacturing & quality processes while locally manufacturing in India. The discussion also covered the challenges that the customers face in adoption of technology, Indian taxation and legal system, Indian Infrastructure impeding logistics and movement, labour issues, poor vocational training system, price sensitiveness of the Indian customer/market, bridging aspirations of the older generation with the millennial, passing knowledge from the older to new generation, attrition of skilled labour and adopting/ suiting German products to Indian needs. The panel leaders displayed innovative methods and processes adopted by their organisations in overcoming the specific challenges.

After the panel discussion, VDMA India, associated with SKP Business Consulting as partner, conferred the first VDMA Manufacturing Excellence Awards under the categories: ‘Energy Efficient and Conservation Award’ and ‘Work Condition and Work Safety Award’. The winner was Milacron India and runner-up was Siemens, under the category, ‘Energy Efficient and Conservation Award’. In the ‘Work Condition and Work Safety Award’, the winner was Siemens and runner-up was Bosch (Nashik Plant). The trophies were handed over to the winning teams by Welcker.

The summit concluded with an evening presentation by Rahul Oza, Partner, Roedl & Partner Consulting, providing an overview of their organisation.

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