Jun 13, 2017

Ganga Nandan Mishra, Vice President – Automotive Business (OE Sales), SKF India speaks on the business opportunities in store for the company in the automotive sector along with the importance of skill development. 

MMI: Many global automotive players are set to enter the Indian market in the near future. In this background, what are the business opportunities in store for SKF?

Mishra: With the governments pull on ‘Make in India’, many international brands are now eyeing at India as a market for long term investment in terms of setting up own production facilities and expanding their existing manufacturing set ups.

The increased demand for greener and safer vehicles with the change of pollution and safety norms, will initiate new adaptations in technology thus demanding high quality and precise engineering products, for which SKF is the preferred brand across the globe.

SKF’s global presence and long standing partnerships with these manufacturers will be an added advantage and will open up new avenues of automotive business for SKF India.

MMI: In terms of quality, what are the measures undertaken by SKF to produce high quality products? What are the latest technologies used in the production process?

Mishra: SKF is present across 130 countries and is known for ‘One SKF, One Quality’ to its customers. Our latest technology based manufacturing channels, stringent quality checks, highly trained engineers and business excellence tools like six sigma ensures standard product quality anywhere, worldwide.

Our Zero defect channels have been audited by OEMs and the materials goes directly from SKF factories to the OEM’s assembly line without any inspection.

Our new factories are equipped with latest robotic platforms ensuring faster and high quality products to the automotive industry.

MMI: In 2011, SKF had established a Global Technology Centre India was established in order to bring technology development closer to customers, locally. Kindly update us on its progress so far? 

Mishra: The Global Technology Centre India (GTCI) is led by innovation. Our Research and Innovation Centre in Bengaluru – Global Technology Centre India (GTCI) is fully equipped to innovate and customize our offerings for the Indian market at the shortest possible time.

Since its inception GTCI has been adding value through precise engineering support to SKF’s customers in India and globally. It has been instrumental to serve customer needs in terms of customization and innovation.

We can also say that it’s a professionally equipped innovation centre that can serve customer requirements through reverse engineering, benchmarking, metallurgy testing, virtual simulations, product life cycle management and product engineering.

Innovation will be a major driver for growth and the company will leverage on their competencies in R&D, while also introducing product-level innovations for the local market.

MMI: With the rise in automation, labourers will also require the right skill sets to stay employed. What are the measures taken by the company to address this issue?

Mishra: SKF India initiated a uniquely designed skill development plan for its workmen in 2011 and implemented it through a state of art ‘Kushal’ training centre within its Pune Factory at Chinchwad. The company has been upgrading its technology regularly since the year 2000 and felt the need of empowering its existing and newly recruited workmen through skill development. This will not only give them the opportunity to excel and boost their morale as a valued employee of the organization but will also reduce the production & quality issues, aligning with SKF’s standard of providing one quality products across the globe.

The uniquely designed training over a span of seven years enables a workman to be multi skilled and an expert in operating various machines keeping quality at the core. In addition, the behavioural training for effective living and leadership enhances human relations at the workplace while inspiring them to care for one another and take accountability of their decisions on a personal and professional level.

More than 60% of the workmen have moved across multi skill grades since 2012 and the operation efficiency has increased to 70.4% by 2016.

MMI: What are the company’s expansion plans for the Indian market?

Mishra: The economy is turning, plus the strategy that we are putting into place is going to push us to a stage where we would start adding capacities. As a matter of fact, we are already in that process; we are increasing the capacities of our product lines and some more plans are in the pipeline. We have a clear objective of serving our customers faster & better and thus increasing business.

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