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Interview The Indian lion is still not unchained

Jan 1, 2016

“Our goal is towards achieving sustained business excellence, with a focus on manufacturing excellence and setting up worldclass manufacturing teams and facilities. So, every aspect of the organisation should be process-driven. In fact, training and human resource development is also vital for success. We are developing disruptive technologies in a staid industry. They are potential game changers.” C P Rangachar, Managing Director, Yuken India

What is the impact of the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the Indian manufacturing sector? What are the major changes witnessed last year?

What got India global attention is 1990’s beauty queens, 2000’s IT, and 2010’s Make in India. Huge foreign direct investment (FDI) is required for manufacturing and this campaign positions India favourably in that direction. Due to the global downturn, companies are willing to shift production overseas to reduce cost. India can be a winner by coupling manufacturing with R&D strength. Manufacturing careers may attract some of the brightest talent away from IT, finance and selling soap. But the Indian lion is still not unchained.

Brief us on the major trends in the upcoming years, in terms of technology development, advanced manufacturing technology adoption, product lifecycle, collaborative manufacturing, etc.

Today, customers are becoming more demanding. Ease of use and functionality are the key drivers. Differentiation demands mass customisation where technology will comprise greater share of value. Product lifecycle is shrinking, which will impact the existing entrenched industry to deliver only incremental improvements. Disruptive technologies that come from outsiders include the transformation from vacuum tubes to transistors initiated by Bell Labs; mainframes to laptops; landlines to mobile phones initiated by Motorola, etc. And now the innovation is towards self-driving cars which is initiated by Google. As far as collaborative manufacturing is concerned, despite success in auto components and aerospace, India is still not ready. So, it is better to start with collaborative design, leading to manufacture.

How do you plan to align your company’s Vision 2020 strategy with these trends?

Bullock carts to Mangalyaan co-exist in India, so each level of company has to chart its own path. Our goal is towards achieving sustained business excellence, with a focus on manufacturing excellence and setting up worldclass manufacturing teams and facilities. So, every aspect of the organisation should be process-driven. In fact, training and human resource development is also vital for success.

What would be your recommendations on achieving manufacturing excellence and sustaining the growth momentum in today’s uncertain market conditions?

For us, the key success factor is CEO COMMITMENT. For achieving manufacturing excellence, knowledge and experts should be easily available. In today’s uncertain market conditions, working in clusters and visiting model plants definitely accelerates improvement.

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