What it takes to transform the “Make in India” initiative

Ramani Mani MD Modutec

By Mr. M. Ramani

Managing Director

MODUTEC Ready Panels Private Limited

I’ve been a Panel Builder & a Modular Switchboard Enclosure System manufacturer in India with an Industry exposure, of more than 3.5 decades and I tell you, this is no small challenge. It involves so much of customizing solutions with the surprises of project change management thrown in. There will be delays and even denials of lifting finished goods; it’s not funny! The differentiation quotient is miniscule in most cases as a majority of Customers are cost driven in our Country. The survival game therefore needs tremendous fortitude, forbearance and failure proofing. Here are a few of the essentials, I reckon, are important to focus on to emerge a winner!
To survive, sustain and grow, we must first to prepared for the long haul. No short-term vision will work. We must learn to not only enjoy the journey, but also ask ourselves the all-important question of WHY we are in the business? When we seek to contribute, rather than to just consume, a larger vision emerges, which we will have to learn to latch onto. Our life and MISSION should be more about the purpose, rather than just making profits. It’s often said “Find PURPOSE, the MEANS will follow!”make in india initiative modutec

When with this context, the Company is formed and progressed, it’s not just about the entrepreneur, but that of his extended family, the team! Hence, it’s important to understand the personal aspirations of each of the employees and importantly, top-down. Inspiration, leadership and energy gets created by the tenacity of the top team. It’s therefore very important to have them aligned from a perspective of a synergy between the attainment of their personal goals along with that of the business goals. To give energy to this synergy requires the entrepreneur “to first seek to understand, then to be understood”. This has to be a half-yearly, if not quarterly exercise, led from the top.

When we consider the needs, desires and problems of our Employees, they sense the security that this extended family provides for. They consequently become more receptive to appreciate, that the journey in this space is from dependence, to independence to interdependence! Proactively then taking on responsibility, towards also achieving the Organizational goals, becomes a natural way of thinking. The sentiment then flows to and through the WHY of the business and that’s when the true WIN-WIN-WIN emerges. Everyone wins!
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In fact, Team, Systems and Strategy from the 3 pillars of any Organization. Here, the team has to be measured, monitored and managed from the ABC approach, ie, Alignment to the business goals in the backdrop of the individual Behavior along with Competence. One without the other does not work and needs coaching. The more the Leaders in the Organization are trained and honed in their training abilities, the better would be the culture and energy in the people and rightly oriented towards the common purpose. Systems stand for the discipline building, rules & agreements clarity with people structure, and the acceptable flexibility that gets built into the same. All progress is about the habits we form both as individuals and as an organization. These habits dictate the way we think, feel and therefore act. Every Country is distinct by these thought structures and therefore similarly, every Business House. Like they say in ABB, that their products are not made in China or India or Italy, but made in ABB!

The Japanese have mastered this philosophy thanks perhaps to the extreme survival game they had to play post the World War 2. The Toyota Way takes you through the philosophies of Kaizen, 5S, GEMBA, Root Cause Analysis with the 5 why concept and so on. Another wonderful theory emerged from the conflict ridden Israeli Country by Mr. Eliyahu Goldratt on the Theory of Constraints, Critical Chain, the 5 Steps of Focusing and so on. All these approaches help us & guide us in working Smart, not just hard! Effort should be channelized by every Entrepreneur to learn such concepts, enhance the Systems in their Organization and drive from these collective intelligences!

Finally, there is no place for complacency when it comes to Strategy of the Company. Here, we need to continually focus on the value we are adding to our Customers, differentiate them in ways that address the stated and implied needs of the users / buyers / channels and lead with innovation, R&D and cutting-edge technology. The art of marketing and persuasion should be done with a missionary zeal. The cause of why we are here should be overarching in comparison to what we get in return for products, solutions and services rendered.
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Can we see our business as an opportunity to contribute to the world’s work? Can we feel the gratitude that we are empowered in being positioned as a “Giver” in society? Can we appreciate that life is finite and our lives should be lived every day considering the possibility that it could be the last day of our life? What would we like to leave behind as our legacy? Each of us are unique and when God made us, it’s often said that he broke the mold. So, if there would never be another entrepreneur just like us who has ever and will ever walk the path we are on, then, the sense of urgency should grip us to make a difference and make the world a better place, because of us, isn’t it?

Hence, if we can be clear from the WHY to the WHAT, HOW, WHEN, WHERE and WHO in running our businesses, with the right Team, Systems and Strategy and the vision that it is our Habits that create our Culture and to sustain this in the right direction would then actually set us free to enjoy the journey along with the achievement of our mission. If all Indians can appreciate these concepts then the “Make In India” concept can move more aggressively from an Idea to Imagineering to Implementation and doing it the right way.
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