Innovation is an integral part of economic growth and cannot occur without embracing technologically-advanced manufacturing capabilities. Keeping this in mind, the 4th edition of the CII West Tech Summit 2016 – Technology Summit & Platform, held in Pune, brought together industry leaders who spoke on the importance of building a culture of innovation in companies. Technology and innovation go hand in hand and the summit, this year, was themed around ‘Technovation’.
R&D and innovation in technology
The inaugural session commenced with welcome remarks from Shishir Joshipura, Chairman, CII - Pune Zonal Council and MD, SKF India. He was followed by Sudhir Mehta, Chairman, CII - Western Region & CMD, Pinnacle Industries, who gave the
opening address for the session. Next, the summit perspective was shared by Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman, CII - West Tech Summit 2016, Immediate Past Chairman, CII – Western Region & CMD, Kirloskar Brothers. This was followed by a special address by YS Rajan, Honourary Distinguished Professor, ISRO 7 Chairman, Board of Governors, National Institute of Technology, Manipur. Speaking about the role of technology and trade, he explained, “Promotion of technology is important and technology and trade go hand-in hand.”
Next, the keynote address was given by Naushad Forbes, President, CII & Co Chairman, Forbes Marshall. He emphasised, “As a country, if we are serious about manufacturing and economic goals, we have to increase our R&D investments, which needs to multiply by a factor of 5 in terms of GDP.” He further noted that India’s manufacturing is focused in skillintensive and capital-intensive manufacturing structure. The concluding remarks of the session were given by Parag Satpute, Co-Chairman, CII – West Tech Summit 2016 and MD & Country Manager, Sandvik Asia.
Innovation as a strategy
The first session focused on the topic, ‘Innovation as a strategy’. The debut speaker of this session was Pratima Kirloskar, President, Innovation Society & Promoter Group, Kirloskar Brothers. She encouraged companies to innovate even if there is no R&D resource available and added, “Diversity is critical to innovation and youngsters and women should be a part of it.” The second speaker of the session, Avinash Lele, President, Cybage Software, stated, “The great thing about innovation is that it encourages the culture of fast failure and an experimental attitude.” The next speaker of this session was Sameer Kelkar, CEO, Grind Master Machines, who emphasised, “ We need to get on with robotics and other advanced technologies so as to leapfrog our manufacturing sector.” The session was moderated by Ninad Karpe, Deputy Chairman, CII – Western Region & CEO & MD, Aptech.
The second session explored the topic of how to keep up with the rapid pace of technology innovations. The moderator of the session, Shishir Joshipura, Chairman, CII – Pune Zonal Council & MD, SKF India, gave the opening remarks. The next speaker was Shripad Ranade, Practice Head, Tata Strategic Management Group, who said, “Currently, in the manufacturing sector in India, we are internally-focused. We need to stop being in a comfort zone of experimenting only till the point being able to control.” Explaining further, Narendra Barhate, Convenor, CII – Pune IT & ITeS Panel and MD & CEO, Seed Infotech, said, “Leaders have to create a culture of innovation and training and HR systems should be aligned to this goal.”
The next speaker was Subhasis Chatterjee, MD - India, Hydraulics Group, Eaton. He emphasised, “Innovation should be acquired across all departments.” Explaining further, Ranade added, “We need to have a work force not just from the science field but also other fields for diversity in perceptions.” Adding to this, Manoj Belgaonkar, GM, Quality Management, Siemens, concluded, “The constraint of manufacturing sector becomes the constraint of manufacturing innovation. If this constraint is removed, innovation will happen in a different way.”
Being a leader with disruptive technologies
The third session was on disruptive technologies. The opening remarks were given by the session chairman, Manish Kulkarni, Director, Strategy & Business Development, BDB India. The next speaker, Saimanoj Jonnalagadda, AMPD AM Applications, Renishaw Metrology, spoke on Additive Manufacturing. The second speaker was Anupam Gupta, Head of IIoT – Technology, Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions.
The subsequent speaker was Rajesh Khatri, Executive Director & CEO, TAL Manufacturing Solutions, who informed, “For 60 per cent of companies, automation is negligible in India because of costs.” He further added that he wants to see Indian MSMEs be able to afford robotics and drive towards Industry 4.0. The final speaker of the session was Abhishek Arun, VP – Business, Paytm and the concluding remarks were given by the session chairman.
Competitiveness through technovation
The final session covered the topic of competitiveness through technovation. The opening remarks were given by Shaffic Ahamed, Co-convenor, CII – Pune IT & ITeS Panel and VP & Country Manager – IT, Sandvik Asia. The following speaker was Roopak Karnik, MD & Country Manager, Bekaert Industries.
The next speaker, Shreekanth Moorthy, Global VP & LOB Head – PLM, Tata Technologies, explained, “The factory of the future will be a well-connected enterprise. It is imperative that sensors and other communication technologies be part of the plant operations. Connectivity is also essential for machine-tomachine communication. This will give rise to ‘intelligent’ shopfloors, from where notifications can be sent to the cloud. This is a network where the customer, the company sales team and the manufacturing team and their suppliers will be connected digitally over one platform.” This was followed by the next speaker, Sanjay Bharadwaj, Scientist ‘E’ & Team Leader, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials and the final speaker of the session was Sidheek Mohamed, Director, Engineering Knowledge Centre, Konecranes.
The Summit discusses the importance for the Indian manufacturing sector to innovate rigorously and leaders must inculcate this culture in their companies. An important aspect of innovation is having a diverse workforce and implementing it across all departments. This will help differentiate their product/ service offerings. Keeping with the trend, adopting the latest technologies such as robots, IIoT and Additive Manufacturing is also significant for building the factory of the future, which is predicted to be a well connected enterprise. ☐