If Industry-leaders share, India can become a TQM Country

-Venu Srinivasan, Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Motor Company

Deming Prize is an internationally coveted award given to organization and to leaders who champion in Total Quality Management.

The Award is presented in honor of W.Edward Deming, an American Engineer who guided Japan to adopt statistical Quality Control. He strengthened the quality of Japanese Products which after his guidance received immense international repute.

Two gentlemen from Tamil Nadu have received this prestigious award in 2019. Dr. Venu Srinivasan, Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Motor Company received the Deming Distinguished Service Award 2019. Dr.Jairam Varadaraj, MD, ELGi Equipments Ltd received the Deming Prize for Excellence in TQM 2019.

5 leading Industry Associations – ICCIC, SIEMA, CODISSIA, Institute of Indian Foundrymen and COINDIA jointly organized a Felicitation Ceremony in Coimbatore on Saturday.

V.Lakshminarayaswamy, President, ICCIC welcomed the gathering.

Dr.Venu Srinivasan, while addressing, said that he took the mantle of TVS at the age of 27. He stated that he visited many countries, but Japan was the finest to learn about efficient and quality production/manufacture of a commodity. He credited Rajiv Gandhi for initiating the Indo-Japanese collaboration which led to the arrival of eminent professors who were instrumental in transformation of 100s of Indian industries. He said that in 1987, TVS was in an existential crisis, and the only way to go forward was to revamp the entire system, and that led to adoption of TQM.

It had ups and downs but it emerged as the 3rd largest motorcycle manufacturer in the country. Today, TVS’s domestic and global market share are increasing, the profit has surged high, product complaints have been reduced (Warranty-defects have come down from 40 defects per 100 vehicles to 1. 15 defects per 100 vehicles) and it is introducing 6 unique products a year in the market.

He said they (TVS) have taken TQM and Home Kaizen practices to families and are also focused on women empowerment.

Dr.Venu Srinivasan said that we need to create prosperity for the industry and have the commitment to share. “We always believe in sharing what we know and are open to share with non-competing companies. Manufacturing process, Quality Process, HR Process are not company secrets”, he said.

Talking about the future, he said every TQM Company is ought to share their best practices. Leaders in the company should speak in forums to show how it is done, so India as a whole can benefit and we can become a TQM Country.

Dr.Jairam Varadaraj said this award is about the people behind him. “It is not just me but my colleagues who have played a significant role in getting us this recognition.”

He said , in the beginning ELGi focused on two dimensions –Delivery and Defect. While there were many other things to be changed back then in the company, Dr.J.V.said they couldn’t afford to change all at once. The company aspired to change and progressively expand. The company started to measure every defect in the machine including the scratch. 25% of the products had some defect in the 1990s but ELGi accepted reality and there began the change and challenge.

“Today our defect levels are at around 1 to 1.2%”. We do independent quality assessment. Today we are at the best level”. Ahead of them is a German, and other competitors are nowhere near ELGi. “For us the tolerance level for defect is far less than our competitors. We have not rested and we have a long way to go”

“When we made progress in these two dimensions (defect and delivery), we expanded it into products, people, practices, and that is how ELGi grew” big- by conquering every dimensions one after the other.

He said “Aspirations and opportunities are available for everyone”. It is left to us to dream and convert that dream into reality, he mentioned. Resources are needed as the journey goes, and it is not a constraint for aspiration.

The Independence of India is a beautiful example of how with limited resources the country eventually claimed what it aspired, he said. He also emphasized the importance of having equity in the system.Dr.B.K.Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, Chairman, Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, in his presidential address said that both Dr. Venu Srinivasan and Dr.Jairam Varadaraj are from Tamil Nadu and have made the State and Nation proud. He showed the similarities they share, apart from where they hail.

Both men’s grandfathers were into similar industry, and led it. Both Dr.Jairam and Dr.Venu are 3rd generation Entrepreneurs, and have contributed largely to the rise of their respective companies when it was in ups and down, and they contribute to society’s needs through charity. He stated that India will continue to grow and be glorious as long as there are men like these two.