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Vineet Sahni

Group CEO

Lumax - DK Jain Group

1 Rating

FUTURE TRENDS IN INDIAN MANUFACTURING SECTOR Localisation will be a priority

Jan 29, 2021

Vineet Sahni, Group CEO, Lumax - DK Jain Group - The safety of our employees and keeping the workplace safe for all takes priority over everything (Interview by Juili Eklahare)

With the year 2020 now over and done with, what were some of your biggest learnings from the year? How will these learnings help you grow your market position in 2021?

The year 2020 made us realise that change is the only constant. It hit us hard and caught us unawares. It reaffirmed and strengthened our belief in people. It became even more important to ensure safety and take care of people – our biggest asset. People played the most critical role in 2020, and skilling our workforce was the one way to enhance productivity for the future and have a conducive work environment.

Manufacturing has undergone sea-change. The pandemic accelerated the need for digitalisation in workplaces, process automation and low-cost automation on shop floors, enabling seamless, contactless operations. Self-reliance and localisation have helped many survive during the pandemic; they have helped in improving cost structures, making us more competitive, eventually leading us to offer localised solutions to OEMs and increasing our market share. Smart working with limited resources will be the norm and the future.

What is your outlook on the current state of the industry? Do you foresee a change in market dynamics? In what ways are you expecting the market dynamics to metamorphose in the coming year?

The festive time saw some green shoots, and this was very encouraging for the auto industry that was passing through a low phase even before COVID-19 surfaced. We have witnessed a V shaped recovery starting the festival season and a robust forecast from customers. The uptick of demand in the rural market also indicates further opportunities and improvement. We are optimistic about new opportunities arising and hope that the year-end sale of vehicles will continue to pick up & sales will continue to grow at a uniform rate thereafter. The future of automotive holds huge opportunities with the electrification of vehicles and connected vehicles. These will pave the way for innovation and new developments in the industry.

What changes do you intend to bring into your organisation to ensure it adapts to the evolving market competition and meets the changing customer requirements in the future?

The safety of our employees and keeping the workplace safe for all takes priority over everything. Only a well-engaged and encouraged employee can build a business. These unprecedented times have led to disruptions and created a ‘new normal’ that we are adapting well to. We feel that a hybrid model at workplaces will emerge in the future. Plenty of business travel and face-to-face meetings have been replaced with virtual meetings and this trend is here to stay. Localisation will be a priority, and shop floor practices & operations will undergo a major change.

Self-reliance in technology will be the focus, and a collaborative approach with our partners will help in establishing the same. It will also be instrumental in correcting overheads and cost structures bringing in efficiencies. Investing in capacity building and reskilling of the workforce is the need of the hour. Companies are under constant pressure to improve product quality, boost manufacturing efficiency, enhance safety, security & sustainability and also remain profitable. These factors will bring about a radical change in how an organisation and its employees adapt to challenges in the new normal.

In the year 2021, what according to you will be some of the big ideas that would make their way into the market, in terms of advanced technology adoption, innovation, shop floor operations, workforce management, skilling, upskilling & reskilling, as well as supply chain management?

The role of digital in these unique times is very critical and companies will have to adopt the new ABCD of the modern digital world to stay relevant. The A - Artificial Intelligence, B - Blockchain, C - Cloud Computing, D - Data Analytics will help in creating a conducive environment for enhanced productivity, cost optimisation, product development and operations. Digitalisation has to be leveraged to become more agile and improve customer experience. With the industry gearing up for the 4.0 version, technological innovation is the mantra for survival.

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