“Support beyond demarcation of manufacturing zones”

Over the years manufacturing has changed – it’s not only about technology, processes or skills – it’s about support beyond just demarcation of manufacturing zones.
K Jagannathan, Executive Director- Marketing and Sales, GMT_____________________________________________________________
 Guindy Machine Tools (GMT) was founded in 1959; independent India was 12-year old then. The new national leaders infused enthusiasm into the young and enterprising to use technology and know-how from their own country and establish business to open up the economy. GMT’s founder P Venkat Raman inspired by the new government industrial policy was determined to fulfil his childhood ambition to “to own machines and craft artefacts”. The demand arose for products like lathes and workholding devices for lathes such as chucks. GMT zeroed in on chucks, fully aware that every lathe used would need a good quality chuck. Today, GMT has emerged as one of the leading manufacturers of workholding devices and metrology equipment in India. It manufactures a range of manual chucks, power chucks and special chucks. GMT makes custom built chucking system for special applications.
‘Make in India’ possibilitiesWelcoming the ‘Make in India’ initiative, K Jagannathan, Executive Director- Marketing and Sales, GMT said, “We have the expertise and the manpower to produce the best. For more than 50 years, our company has specialised in the production of high precision workholding devices, work positioning, machine tools and metrology equipment. As a mid-sized company with a highly motivated and quality conscious staff, we are flexible enough to meet all technical requirements of any customers.” GMT currently employs around 350 people. Mr Jagannathan is also responsible for developing GMT’s Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specials and export customer base.
Challenges to overcomeThere are several challenges in manufacturing – it is not just allotting land, having a large raw material base or a large pool of skilled workers. Good infrastructure and basic facilities is a must. “Over the years manufacturing has changed – it’s not only about technology, processes or skills – it’s about support beyond just demarcation of manufacturing zones,” remarks Mr Jagannathan while highlighting the challenges before ‘Make in India’.
Commenting on how ‘Make in India’ can achieve success despite challenges, Mr Jagannathan suggests for eliminating excessive permits especially for small family-run businesses. He said, “While the automated large factories are part of our greater vision, they will still be served in India by thousands of small family businesses as suppliers. Having the same rules for them as for big businesses is extremely inefficient.” Mr Jagannathan also advocates for a single-window for quick efficient processing.
Lack of basic infrastructure is a major concern for the Indian industry. Mr Jagannathan observed it is no use allotting a manufacturing zone without any basic infrastructure. “We have personally experienced this aspect. Setting up a plant in an allotted manufacturing zone without reliable communication, no network connection from any service provider and the agency cannot see beyond the allotted real estate. So we have to get our basics right, only then we can think of achieving success,” he adds.
Further, the foundry industry needs massive support, Mr Jagannathan demands. “Fluctuating prices in raw materials, shortage of power and an environment policy which only serves to hold back rather than promote manufacture of castings is not a good start for a ‘Make in India’ initiative,” he adds.
GMT’s future roadmapGMT stays in touch with rapidly changing technology by introducing new processes in design, manufacture and management. Existing processes are constantly reviewed and computerised. “We will continue to set the pace for further developments in its chosen technologies of workholding, surface finishing and metrology,” Mr Jagannathan concludes.

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