Ashwamedh 2005: National Manufacturing Conference at XIMB

Xavier’s Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar organized Ashwamedh, the national level conference on India’s manufacturing sector at the XIMB auditorium on Saturday evening.

Distinguished speakers from different segments of the manufacturing sector came down to the campus to share their valuable insights on theme ‘Manufacturing excellence in India – Opportunities and Challenges.’

Mr Rajive Kaul, Chairman, Board of Governors played moderator for the evening and initiated the discussion highlighting the need for a faster rate of growth for the country’s manufacturing sector if India had to become the third largest economy in the coming decades.

“Although the service sector forms more than 50 percent of the Indian economy, you would ideally want the industrial sector to increase its share from the present 27 percent. Until this happens the economy will not get the necessary impetus it needs to grow at an accelerated rate”, he observed.

Mr Ram Mohan Rao, Dean, Indian School Of Business, Hyderabad while pointing out the auto mobile, pharma, oil and chemicals sector as the best performing ones, felt that it was imperative for the entire manufacturing industry to take that quantum jump of excellence with the world standards soon.

“Infrastructure development is a serious bottleneck obstructing the manufacturing sector’s growth, and has to be cleared. Moreover companies should also develop and flexible and effective supply chain that can sustain the most demanding manufacturing processes,” he added.
He stressed on the need to view both India and China as a combined economic power instead of always comparing them.

Mr MK Choudhary, Senior VP, Lafarge India highlighted factors such as government patronage, market distortions and ineffective management philosophies as serious barriers to growth.

He said, “Besides China, countries like Thailand and Malaysia have taken a head start in developing sound manufacturing processes. Therefore we must now focus on aspects like quality management, leveraging human capital, optimum use of IT recourses in order to improve the productivity of the manufacturing sector.”

Mr HM Nerurkar, Vice President, Tata Steel gave a historical overview of manufacturing trends. He spoke about innovative concepts ranging from Henry Ford’s assembly line production to the more modern concepts of total productive maintenance (TPM).

“Innovation in production techniques coupled with a constant endeavor to reduce cost not affecting the quality should be the focus of India’s manufacturing sector”, he commented.

He gave an instance from Tata Steel where they had successfully trebled their output despite reducing their workforce by half as an example where the world productivity standards could be reached even after reducing the human resource of the company. He added, “One who is more adaptable to changing trends would do well the future”, as an ending remark.

Mr CR Pradhan, CMD, Nalco gave the public sector perspective to the discussion by speaking about the new success stories from the manufacturing units PSUs.

He said, “Although factors like the dearth of technical labour, social obligations towards masses, employment generation might have impinged the growth of manufacturing sector, the scenario has now changed with most PSUs performing on the stage.”

He too agreed with concepts like TPM, insisting that the productivity of any concern could not ever improve until it took care of its equipment.

The Q&A; session followed where the students had a free interaction with the panel. The speakers addressed questions ranging from the importance of labour reforms to corporate social responsibility and improvement of labour productivity.

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