Profits are made on the shop floor – V. R. Janardhanam, Former COO, Sundaram Brake Linings
The former Chief Operating Officer of Sundaram Brake Linings Ltd, V. R. Janardhanam, is a renowned expert in the manufacturing sector. During a recent interaction with him, at his residence, I heard him say that profits are made on the shop floor. “Can you please explain that?” I asked him. Here is his answer:
- There is a saying in Telugu, ‘Desamante matti kaadoyi, desamante manushuloyi.’ That is, a nation is not of soil or something; it consists of people.
- Profits are made on the shop floor. Shop floor is not just concrete. Shop floor is full of people. It is people in the shop floor who make the profits.
- The man on the machine knows best. For example, he says. ‘Satham oru madhiri irukudaiya.’ (Translated from Tamil, it means, ‘Sir, the noise is a bit different.’) But we don’t listen to him. We ignore him, saying, ‘Un velaiya paathuko.’ (That is, ‘Do your work’.) If you listen to him, whatever is the suggestion, you will benefit.
- Total Employee Involvement (TEI) takes care of that. Total, with capital T.
- It is possible to achieve TEI in the Indian environment. But you need the right leadership, the right motivation. It is possible.
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