Mr. Viren Joshi is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Sigma Electric, USA. He has over 30 years of experience in leading engineering companies in India, Asia, MEA and Europe.
He previously worked at Parker Hannifin, USA, where he set up operations in India and over 15 years led it to a market leadership position. Mr. Joshi also has wide experience in growing new businesses from Start Ups and managing large engineering MNCs.
He keenly practices Lean Enterprise, Policy Deployment/Balance Scorecard and Talent Development.
Mr. Joshi is the recipient of a National Award from The President of India, for a paper on Alternate Sources of Energy. He has attended Global programs on Leadership, Change Management, Balanced Scorecard, Talent Development and Mergers & Acquisitions.
|ET: It is commonly believed that Indian engineering manufacturers cannot compete in the global market. Is this true or a fallacy?
The share of heavy and light engineered goods in India’s total exports has grown from 13% to 19%. Since 2008, engineering exports have posted a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%. In fiscal 2012, engineering exports were Rs 346,150 crores (US$ 56.7 billion). The Government of India is targeting growth to over Rs 12,21,000 crores (US$ 200 billion) by 2017.
This data proves that Indian engineering manufacturers are competitive in the global market. The range of products exported is wide — from castings, forgings, diesel engines, valves, pumps, machine tools and heavy duty plant machinery. India has a good ecosystem of small and medium enterprises that form a reliable supplier base to large engineering enterprises.
Indian engineering companies have set up world class manufacturing facilities and have proven performance to deliver consistently high quality precision products and systems to the satisfaction of the most demanding global customers.
ET: In the light of the ‘Make in India and sell anywhere’ vision of the new Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, what can Indian manufacturing firms do to become competitive globally?
VJ: ‘Made in India, compete globally’ should be the mantra of every manufacturing company. To achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wonderful vision, manufacturing firms need to embrace the following practices in order to become globally competitive:
||Focus on – Quality, Quality, Quality
There is no substitute for just supplying a quality product.
Quality must flow through the company at every stage, every activity from the sales quote, engineering, manufacturing shop, delivery system, documentation etc.
Focus on 3 P's - Processes, People and Product
Standard Operating Procedures, well trained and motivated People and a quality Product are the 3P’s that every company must adhere for global customers.
The organisational mind-set should be calibrated so that every function ensures that standard work procedures become the way of working.
India has a large pool of technically qualified manpower; they must be trained to participate in this manufacturing revolution.
Products must meet the customers’ specifications and expectations including aesthetics - no less will be acceptable.
Global mind-set, local execution
A positive winning attitude –“We Can” will go a long way, towards developing a successful organisation.
Successful ‘Execution’ at the operations level to meet commitments is of prime importance.
Lean Enterprise, Lean Manufacturing - are two famous mantras which can change the face of Indian manufacturing. Lean is a cultural evolution of the company to create continuous improvements. Change will not have occurred until “Lean is the way we do things around here”.
Lean Enterprise — covers the whole organisation, and is arguably one of the best tools available today to improve financial performance and customer service, leading to unlocking organisational value, considering the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) global and Indian environment.
ET: Are the Indian demographics well placed to reap dividends from the growth of the engineering export industry?
VJ: India will become one of the most populous nations by 2025, with a headcount of 1.4 billion. The country’s population pyramid is expected to “bulge” across the 15 – 64 age bracket over the next decade, increasing the working age population from approximately 760 million to 870 million by 2020. Around 64% of India’s population is expected to be in the age bracket of 15 – 59 years by 2026.
India is poised to become the world’s youngest country by 2020, with an average age of 29 years and account for around 28% of the world’s workforce. In comparison, during the same period, the average age is expected to be 37 years in China and the US and 45 years in Western Europe. While China’s demographic dividend would start tapering off by 2015, India is expected to enjoy the benefits until 2040.
The increased proportion of working population will provide a window of opportunity to:
1. Improve labor productivity,
2. Increase domestic production,
3. Enhance revenue from services,
4. Increase savings and reduce the burden of old residents on the working population.
Empowered with unique demographic advantages and guided efforts, India is poised to position itself among developed economies within the next 10 – 15 years.
ET: Please share as what makes Sigma Electric unique as an Indian engineering company focussed largely on exports?
VJ: Sigma’s key strengths are our world class manufacturing plants; focus on quality, processes and people, lean manufacturing practices, engineering & design skill sets, global customer relationships, international business practices and compliances and an excellent highly skilled team.
Lean Manufacturing: All Sigma facilities practice lean manufacturing principles and employees practice ‘lean’ in their day to day activities. This helps in identifying and eliminating waste in the manufacturing and business processes, creating value for our customers by offering end to end cost effective and innovative solutions with focus on Quality, Cost, Delivery and Safety and Environment.
Sigma has created excellent relationships over the past decade with leading global customers including Eaton, Hubbell, ABB, Lowes, Siemens, Electrolux, Whirlpool, Stanley Black Decker, Timken, Baumer, Endress+ Hauser, Crompton and Kirloskar.
ET: What message would you give to the Indian Engineering Export Industries to sustain the global competitiveness?
VJ: I do believe that the Indian economy and global markets will continue to face a VUCA environment for many years. Industries need to prepare themselves to face this global situation. The key message that I would like to convey to all Indian engineering export companies is to focus on lean enterprise / manufacturing:
- Lean Enterprise is arguably one of the best tools available today to improve financial performance and customer service, leading to unlocking organisational value, considering the uncertain environment today and in the future.
- Lean is all about empowering people throughout the organisation, to execute changes in workflow process.
- Lean starts and ends with each individual's sense of accountability.
- Lean instils a culture of execution through disciplined tracking methods using the Balanced Scorecard.
- Lean requires accelerating the cultural change of top leadership talent.
- Lean will prosper if the leadership retains a sense of lack of satisfaction.
- Lean manufacturing produces higher levels of quality and productivity and better customer responsiveness.
- Securing the full benefits of lean manufacturing requires the organisation to concentrate on their whole value chain by implementing comprehensive lean tools.
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