With strategies where the objective of operational excellence (OE) is evidenced by results, the KAIZENTM philosophy has seen an augmentation in its popularity as a reliable business strategy so as to lower operational risks and operating costs, and increase the revenues, in addition to creating value for customers. Lean thinking methodologies have enhanced the performance of industries globally, as they focus on meeting customer expectations through the continuous improvement of the operational processes and the culture of the organisation. In this context, with a decade-long saga dedicated to the enhancement of operational excellence, the 10th Annual KAIZENTM Congress India was recently held in Pune. EM - Efficient Manufacturing was the media partner for the event.
Philosophy of improvement
The three-day event, known as the 10th Annual KAIZEN™ Congress India 2019, commenced with the opening address delivered by Jayant Murthy, Founding Director, Kaizen Institute India and Africa, who delivered the welcome note and gave an introduction to KAIZENTM Congress India 2019. As the keynote speaker, he spoke about KAIZENTM as a culture and briefly affirmed the KAIZENTM philosophy of improvement through deletion instead of just addition. Speaking about achieving sustainability, he emphasised, “Between two disruptive changes, there has to be an improvement.”
The Congress then moved on to its first keynote presentation, which conferred on integral strategies for operational excellence, highlighted by Shekhar Ramamurthy, MD, United Breweries. Stating that culture is about attitude, behaviour and belief, he stressed upon OE as a blend of strategy, leadership, culture and execution. He also briefed on OE being instrumental for improving customer satisfaction and on embracing the concept of eliminating waste. He cited, “Unless the leadership believes and engages everybody in the KAIZENTM strategy, one cannot achieve operational excellence.”
This was followed by the four paradigms of the KAIZENTM Business System, which were elucidated by Vinod Grover, Founding Partner & Chairman, Kaizen Institute India and Africa, in his address on the ‘KAIZENTM Way to Excellence’. He spoke on the reliance of the foundation on principles and values —the concepts that drive our choices — by elaborating on five KAIZENTM values, which included people orientation, customer orientation and gemba orientation. Speaking on the KAIZENTM Change Module, he mentioned that without commitment in leadership, there can be no change and added, “Excellence in results demands excellence in processes.”
Enhancing by reforming
The subject of workforce avenues and employment in manufacturing was unbolted with the panel discussion on ‘Why is manufacturing not generating adequate employment in India? Is OpEx & automation to blame?’ The relevance of this pressing question was affirmed by the first speaker, Dr Ravi Damodaran, Chief Technology Officer, Greaves Cotton, who emphasised the sheer amount of workforce that India is capable of generating. According to him, opportunities in manufacturing will be created by investing through the supply chain in right technology to assist the creation of high-level jobs.
The focus then shifted to the comparatively lesser engagement of people within the manufacturing industry. Thus, briefing on the undeniable need to improve the attractiveness of the industry, Vasudeo Malu, Executive Vice President, Supreme Industries, cited, “The industry also plays a role in bringing in fresh new talent in the organisation.” He further highlighted the present condition of the industry, which has a few upcoming start-ups to exemplify the lack of innovation.
Subsequently, Rajan Shringarpure, Retired Managing Director, Vishay India, conferred on the creation of jobs and criticised the negligence in labour reforms as more and more companies are shifting to automation. He spoke on the general mindset, which no longer considers shop-floors as a dignified job due to lower pay, resulting in workers moving onto the services sector. He expressed his opinion that the pace of job creation is not at par with the need but also added, “Unemployment is not to the extent as it is being blown out of proportion.” He further spoke on the expectant growth in GDP generated by manufacturing by conveying that the policymakers want to increase it to 20-25 per cent as compared to the 14-15 per cent in the last decade.
This was followed by an address by Deepak Shrivastava, Founder & CEO, SHARVA Consulting, who concluded the panel discussion by elaborating on the ideal relationship between technology and workforce. He averred, “Technology is not aimed at replacing workforce,” and further stated that the advantage of technology would be to free the workers from repetitive labour, which would, in turn, augment the number of workers in manufacturing. The first day also witnessed a knowledge session on KAIZENTM in Pharmaceuticals, which was covered by N Gopalakrishnan, Senior Consultant, Kaizen Institute India. This was followed by a session on Total Flow Management (Elements of Lean Manufacturing), which was held by S V Subramaniam, Corporate Trainer & Senior Consultant, Kaizen Institute India. Simultaneously, there was also an experience-sharing session on Aurobindo Pharma, which was presented by Vinod Krishnan, General Manager — HR (Learning Leadership Culture) and Srinivasa Rao Sambangi, Senior General manager OPEX, both from the same company. The second experience-sharing session was on Fourrts India Laboratories, which was presented by Vachinathan Subramaniam, Senior Vice President—Technical, again from the same company.
The second half of the first day, once again, witnessed a session by Grover, who delivered the keynote speaker introduction. This was succeeded by the second keynote presentation, which was delivered by Suresh Mahadev, Director Process Excellence, Flipkart India. His operational excellence success story focussed on the key elements to keep in mind in the journey to excellence. In the course of his address, he spoke on the lean principles to define value, map value stream, create flow, establish pull and pursue perfection. He also emphasised on the significance of establishing a culture to understand the tasks at the shop-floor level.
KAIZENTM: A system of belief
The final keynote presenter for the day was Vyshak Simha, Chief Marketing Officer, Kaizen Institute India and Africa, who gave an introduction to the final speaker. The first day concluded with the closing keynote address by Gaur Gopal Das, International Life Coach & Resident Monk, ISKCON, who is also known to be the first ever leader, who has received an IMAI Award for being a leader in promoting personal excellence.
Through his sagacious address, he spoke on the two mainstream ways for exponential growth — smart strategy and charismatic personality. Drawing comparison between a man and a balloon, the Life Coach explained that just as the gas inside the balloon is what takes it up, in humans the same ascension could be achieved through a strong belief system, right values, understanding, attitude and thinking. He urged the audience to have belief as the foundational premise and advised, “Use KAIZENTM as a belief, not as a tool.”
He further encouraged the outlook that KAIZENTM should not be kept restricted to organisations and that it must be implemented in everyday life, too. This achievement can be brought on by inventing in micro instalments for macro goals — small, consistent, right—for a better change and a better tomorrow. With this, he expounded the KAIZENTM mentality to eliminate waste through the motto, “I am my own competition” and gave a brief example of Indore’s cleanliness.
Increasing efficiency and excellence
As the theme of the Congress was across industries, the
second day saw the emergence of topics like, HR processes for excellence, Lean Factory Design, world-class offices — The KAIZEN™ Way. The conference commenced with intense panel discussions on the topics, “Factory design & layout features that hinder efficiency of day-to-day operations & ways to address them” and “HR practices for Excellence.” The esteemed panellists for the first panel were Prasanna Kumar, Plant Manager, Eaton India Hydraulics; Harish Pant, Chief Business Transformation Officer, NTF India; and S G Belapure, Managing Director, Zydus Hospira. Consequently, the second panel discussion was heralded by Arvind Shrouti, Individual Consultant; Dr Suresh Kumar, Senior Vice President, HR, Aurobindo Pharma; Vivek Patwardhan, Retired Global HR Head, Asian Paints; and V S Shirodkar, Director, Basil HR Advisory Service.
Additionally, the Congress held the first knowledge session on ‘Culture Building for Operational Excellence’, which was held by Arvind Kulkarni, HR Advisor & Senior Consultant, Kaizen Institute India and Africa, and also held a second knowledge session on ‘Lean Factory Design’, which was covered by N Gopalakrishnan. Furthermore, there were also experience sharing sessions, which proved to be insightful regarding the implementation of KAIZENTM in various organisations, in India and across the globe. The first experience sharing session for the day was on Hytech Engineers, presented by Hemant Mondkar, Managing Director of the same company; and the second experience-sharing session was on Datwyler Pharma Packaging India, which was delivered by Rahul Dev, Vice President India of the same company.
The third experience sharing session was on Paragon Polymers, which was conducted by Sitaraman Ganesan, Chief Production Officer from the same company and the last experience sharing session of the day on Sud-Chemie India was led by D R Mahapatra, Process Manager, also from the same company. Apart from these sessions, the expertise of the panellists and speakers provided profound comprehension on their respective subject matters. Following this, the introduction of the closing keynote speaker was given by Grover and the end of the second day of the Congress drew close with the closing keynote address by Vivek Patwardhan, Ex Global HR Head, Asian Paints, which paved the way for the awards distribution for the National Case Study Competition 2019, hosted by Jayanth Murthy and the vote of thanks, delivered by Grover.
The third day of the Congress witnessed KAIZENTM trainings and benchmark tours, which operated from the standpoint of ‘Seeing is Believing’. The training sessions were specifically designed to increase the understanding of the KAIZENTM and Lean techniques. Through various activities, the sessions offered the chance to learn its basics through group activities and simulation games.
Thus, at the conclusion of the three-day conference, the congress successfully bequeathed a greater comprehension of the KAIZENTM outlook to its attendees. The commemoration of the decade-long chronicle set an unparalleled milestone in the expedition for operational excellence in the Indian subcontinent.