How do you compare the Indian shop-floors with that in the developed countries? Do you think Indian industry is at par with the global standards? If not, which are the areas of improvements?
Indian shop floors in chemical and fertiliser industry are advancing with times and are comparable to any international standards in some of the sectors. Equipment manufacturers are already providing services all over the world. India being a global leader in the IT industry, its integration with manufacturing has happened in a big way. Areas of improvement can be supply chain and logistics. A huge value gets locked up in these areas, which can be efficiently utilised and reduce working capital needs.
How is the workforce evolving with the rapidly changing technology era?
The Indian workforce is quite adaptive. Post-emergence of IT in the early 1990s, many hardcore manufacturing persons had moved to IT and have contributed extremely well to it. Now times are changing. With reduced outsourcing principles, manufacturing is gaining its old status. Within manufacturing, workforce have adapted well to the new technologies, new toolsets, new way of workings and even new managements.
How can plant leaders make a difference in achieving a common goal of the organisation?
Manufacturing has become more “glocal” (global as well as local), tying in local talents to achieve needs of the global market place. A plant leader’s role is to make that happen. Local issues, be it from workforce to regulatory keep cropping up and have the power to disrupt the manufacturing temporarily or on a permanent basis. Even though each employee works for betterment of the organisation the Indian shop floors in
How can the plant managers and their teams work towards achieving and sustaining excellence under the umbrella of a corporate & business unit strategy of continuous improvement?
Corporate and business unit strategy should be aligned. In fact, business strategy is derived from corporate strategy only. As an example, from our organisation is we have dedicated our all resources for fertiliser expansion because of which we postponed our industrial chemicals expansion and other investments. Fertiliser manufacturing is our top priority and serving farmers is our moto.
What kind of productivity improvement tools are being used in your manufacturing plant?
We use various improvement tools like 5S, TPM and Kaizen for improvement in processes and equipment availability. We also have developed business intelligence tools, world class SAP, auditing and compliance management software.
Would you like to comment on any plant leadership challenges in today’s rapidly changing technology world and a competitive business environment?
Leadership today, should be more agile and adaptive to dynamic scenarios (both internal and external), driven by technology and competition. Challenges may even need strategic goals to be revisited and realigned. It is leadership duty to keep a tab on what’s is happening in the market place and industry. A big challenge is to increase responsiveness to customers and to the environment. With climate change experienced by all there is tremendous pressure on leaders to be more environment-friendly in a cost-effective way.