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Anil G Verma

President & Executive Director

Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co

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SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING Our leaders are charged with building a positive mindset among the teams

Jun 15, 2021

…says Anil G Verma, President & Executive Director, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co - a company invested in re-engineering with household appliances, security solutions, consumer goods, etc - in this interview with Juili Eklahare. He highlights the company’s milestones, its manufacturing facilities in the country, how its businesses are adopting stewardship of their environmental footprints and more. Excerpts…

Over two dozen Godrej & Boyce suppliers have earned GreenCo certifications. What is your action plan for a 100% green supply chain?

In order to have a green supply chain, it is imperative that
corporates take steps to grow their key vendors, thus building
a sustainable ecosystem. Towards uplifting our key vendors to make them GreenCo certified, we started our vendor cluster journey in 2010-11 with an objective to make our supply chain green and lean. So far, we have completed 10 clusters and have covered 49 vendors with each cluster being linked to specific initiatives. Out of the 10 clusters, two were dedicated to GreenCo certification to help make the processes at our key vendors’ facilities green & sustainable. A number of our vendors have won the certification, and we are working towards doubling this over the next two years.

Can you tell us about some of your chosen works of CSR and sustainability initiatives?

In the CSR space, we have trained about 180,000 youths in various livelihood skills over the last decade. We also realigned our manufacturing processes to produce essentials like hospital beds, oxygen ventilator vales, medical refrigerators for vaccine storage and personal sanitisation units.

We embarked upon our sustainability journey decades ago. Under our ‘Good and Green’ vision, we adopted a strategic approach to greening our processes & products and being a socially responsible corporate in 2010, aligning to the sustainable development goals. Over the last decade, we have crossed many encouraging milestones like, Godrej & Boyce being the first company to introduce CFC, HFC & HCFC free refrigerators, the company having 11 of its manufacturing units that are GreenCo rated, with two of them being rated Platinum plus and 7 Platinum, and more.

With India’s plans to become a self-reliant economy, what impact is this having on Godrej & Boyce’s growth plans?

Godrej & Boyce has always looked to grow its businesses in the domestic and export markets. We have invested in product development and manufacturing infrastructure keeping these goals in mind. Besides this, the Government of India has also introduced PLI Schemes under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme. In accordance with the programme, we have commenced the indigenous manufacturing of air conditioners & components for the same.

Plus, we have created new manufacturing facilities in different parts of the country, including Uttarakhand and Gujarat. Most recently, we established a new industrial complex in Khalapur, Maharashtra. We have deployed the latest machinery and infrastructure at these plants to meet global certification standards. We have also invested in laboratories for the in-house testing of our products.

Has this time of COVID moved the needle on environmental action for Godrej & Boyce? How do you balance growth with sustainability?

COVID has brought in additional challenges with it, especially in the space of resource management, while continuing with our set targets & directions being pursued under our ‘Good & Green’ strategy. We have now declared our commitment to the ‘EP-100’ movement, i.e. doubling our energy productivity by 2030, the ‘Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5°C’ aligned to Science Based Targets initiative and Net Zero Building by 2050.

We sure believe that growth is essential, but it has to be sustainable for people and the planet while earning profits. We have striven to promote sustainability of our businesses by basing our strategy on materiality aspects with respect to our products & processes. Our businesses are adopting stewardship of their environmental footprints. For example, in 2020, Godrej & Boyce became plastic neutral for the quantities used for the packaging of our products sold or offsetting 30% of e-waste generated due to the sale of our consumer electronics products.

How is your organisation moulding Indian engineering and manufacturing for a world-class future and the India of tomorrow?

Bringing our customer delight through quality products & service is what we stand for. Our design and engineering teams are continuously working on new & better ways to create offerings that deliver greater value at a lower cost to the environment. What’s more, we have developed our own in-house AGV technology for material movement between the machines, using IoT for communication between machines and the AGVs. We have taken initiatives to train and skill our key suppliers on management, building robust productivity and quality systems and then further to sustainability in terms of lean & green management and finally, to Zero Effect Zero Defect (ZED).

How has the COVID-19 pandemic influenced your leadership style in the organisation?

The health & safety of our employees come first, which has always been an integral part of our core values at our company. Our leaders are charged with building a positive mindset among the teams. They are harnessing the energies of the organisation to build a stronger & better tomorrow through constant communication. They are building capabilities and resetting internal processes towards this objective. We have also empowered our teams to listen to the market signals and respond to them in the interest of achieving our goals. The decision has been driven to the lower levels in order to be nimble and adaptive to the market.

Can you tell us about your company’s current expansion plans?

We see a substantial headroom for growth in all our businesses. The pandemic has thrown up fresh opportunities in sectors such as healthcare, warehousing & logistics and consumer durables, among others. The healthcare sector, in particular, is presenting opportunities for double-digit growth for the foreseeable future. Our company has been serving the healthcare sector through multiple business units for many years in areas like, hospital beds, medical refrigerators and calibration services for medical equipment. However, India’s need to bolster and expand its healthcare infrastructure in the current scenario is even more urgent & compelling. As a result, we have witnessed a sustained rise in demand for many of our key healthcare products & solutions.

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  • Anil G Verma is an engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, BHU and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has over 30 years of experience in functions such as sales, marketing & manufacturing and was the recipient of the RMI Roll of Honour for Life-time Achievement in HR at the National HR Conclave, HR 2.0, in 2010.

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