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Business Growth through Quality by Sanjeev Pahwa : 16-July-2018 :

DELIVER CONSISTENT QUALITY FOR BUSINESS GROWTH: PAHWA LMA CEO FORUM organised an interactive session with Mr. Sanjeev Pahwa, CMD Ralson Tyres India Ltd., to understand his Success Mantras, his business vision and the challenges he faced in creating an organisation committed to delivering consistent quality. The theme for the session was enunciated by Dr. Paramjit Kaur, General Secretary LMA, wherein she admitted that while most organisations claim to deliver quality, only a few are able to offer acceptable quality each time to the customer. Chairperson LMA CEO Forum D L Sharma lauded Sanjeev Pahwa for his firm belief in Quality as a Success Mantra, and also ensuring that he was able to implement the Quantity of Quality in the Tyre Industry with an annual turnover of Rs. 800 crores.

Sanjeev Pahwa, detailed his efforts on sensitising his team about the importance of consistent quality, investments in technology by bringing in the latest machinery, introducing the latest business reengineering processes and also creating a strong customer centric feedback system for ensuring that his customers buy the Ralson products with Trust. He admitted that though this seems simple, creating a Quality Culture requires dedication on the part of Top Management,100 percent commitment on the part of medium and lower management and intensive training of the operatives on the shop floor. He shared that in early 1990s there was hardly any technology for the manufacturing of tyres in the city, nor were there any tyre industry specific skill sets in the city and they had limited machinery to take a quantum leap into the big league. However, the rapid growth of Bicycle Industry, and the support and guidance of local cycle stalwarts like Mr. O.P. Munjal-Hero Cycles and mentorship by Mr S.P. Oswal-Vardhman enabled Ralson to innovate and set exacting quality standards for its products and processes. Sanjeev traced the inflexion point for Ralson to the year 1991, when the unification of Germany's created an opportunity to buy good quality second hand tyre manufacturing machinery at throwaway prices. Though the funding was scarce and dear, they imported 20 plus containers, for the transformation of their plant to a facility that could deliver latest products and consistent quality each time. Sanjeev shared 10 Success Mantras discovered by him during his journey to build a trusted company.

1. Myth of Pricing: He highlighted that when they introduced Nylon Cord Tyres at a price that was two thirds higher than the existing product for an industry that was highly price sensitive, this was considered to be fraught with huge risks. The results, however established that if the consumer is able to see delivered value in the price, and perceive the new products as significantly different, then a higher price was not a limiting factor.

2. Identification of a Market Gap: For his industry, this market gap, was that they were operating in a Seller's Market with limited competition. They could have been complacent, like many others in the Pre Liberalisation era, but they focussed on continuous innovation by associating with suppliers, investing in technology and processes.

3. Understanding Quality: He emphasised that though every manufacturer claims Quality as the ultimate Goal, it important to understand the different dimensions of quality and then design systems for delivery of Quality. Quality can be delivered only if systems are created to set standards both in the design of the products, and also the processes that deliver the desired quality.

4. Consistent Quality: While one does set Quality Standards, it is more important to ensure the Quantity of Quality Consistently, each time to the Consumer. Though equipment, technology and investment is important, what perhaps is of greater importance is a paradigm shift from Remarkable Quality at some times for some products to ensure that the first and the millionth product manufactured offer the same quality.

5. A Cheap Product may result into a very Expensive Product: A manufacturer may design a product that is of a very low cost, in order to target base markets, but the compromised made for this, could actually result in a very expensive product to make, as the customer may not be willing to compromise with acceptable quality standard, even though the price was low. In the process, consistent quality standards may need to be compromised with.

6. Understanding Positioning for the Brand: In order to develop and deliver trusted products, it is important to understand the Brand Positioning. Only once we are clear about the same, will we be able to take suitable decisions, regarding a Unique Price Quality Equation for the Product and also the Organisation.

7. Customer Connect: Sanjeev owed his Success to the fact, that he is closely and deeply involved with customer feedback, and for the same he has never allowed himself to be isolated or insulated from real time customer feedback. He maintained that introduction of a system was fairly simple, but its monitoring and reinforcement were critical for consistent quality.

8. New Product Development: Critical for Business Growth, and the organisation must keep innovating, keep introducing new products notwithstanding a high failure rate for new products. New Product Development is an investment that pays for itself whenever a new product clicks.

9. Eye for Detail: A CEO must have an eye for detail, understand the depth of production process, and always try to identify problems, as many a times complacency and lethargy may make a unit sick over a period of time. He maintained that it is important to confront problems than maintaining a conflict free comfort zone. He however suggested that if corrective actions can be taken within the constraints of maintaining organisational harmony, that would be a win-win situation.

10. Usage of AI and latest Softwares: Sanjeev credited his success to adopting the latest software for better analytics and information systems. He shared that their organisation pioneered the adoption of SAP and ERP systems for cutting edge real time information.

The sharing Session was followed by an engaging Q&A round in which Mr. Anil Kumar, Mr. Ajit Lakra, Mr. D.K.Sindhwani, Mr. Gurlochan Singh sought Mr. Sanjeev Pahwas views. Mr. S.S. Bhogal, Vice President along with Mr D.L. Sharma felicitated the Chief Guest.President LMA Kamal Wadhera expressed his gratitude to Mr. Sanjeev Pahwa, and hoped that participants would strive for offering global quality to their customers, as quality is now a prerequisite for success in the intensely competitive business world of today. He also appreciated his humility and the simplicity of expression with which he shared his distilled wisdom acquired over the last three decades

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