ADDRESS AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE ANNUAL MANAGEMENT CONVENTION OF THE MADRAS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
17-12-2003 : Chennai
National Development and Entrepreneurs
I am delighted to participate in the inauguration of the Annual Management Convention of the Madras Management Association (MMA), Chennai. I would like to extend my greetings to the President and Members of the Association, stalwarts and distinguished members of the industry and service sector, delegates and participants of various prestigious organisations. The theme of this year's Convention "Vision to Reality - The Indian Journey", is indeed significant. As I always tell, a vision is the prime mover which leads to thinking. Thinking leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to actions and integrated actions lead to success in missions. India has a vision to transform itself into a developed nation by 2020. In the journey of India from vision to mission, contribution of people from all walks of life is necessary. The need of the hour is to sensitize people towards this journey. Hence mobilization of right type of human resources becomes the prime responsibility of managers and entrepreneurs.
Law of development
When we go through the development patterns and dynamics of connectivity between developed countries and developing countries, we find that a developed country has to market their products in a competitive way to different countries to remain as developed country. To get transformed into a developed country; the developing country is also required to market their products to other countries in a competitive way. Competitiveness has three dimensions: quality of the product, cost effectiveness and supply in time. This dynamics of competitiveness in marketing of products by developing and developed countries, called the law of development, is one of the areas which require continuous attention of entrepreneurs, managers and industry.
Co-ordination - the key to success
Management has five basic functions - Planning, Organising, Directing, Coordination and Control. India, over the years, has acquired enormous experience in planning, organizing, directing and control. The problem is regarding coordination. This is so because economic development is a wealth generating activity. Today in the competitive world, wealth generation can occur only through innovation in technology. The greatest problem today is acquisition of technology. This technology is scattered between scientific laboratories, development agencies, production agencies, private sector, public sector and the academic institutions. Coordination of all such institutions, which are geographically separated and organizationally dispersed, is the most difficult job which a manager faces. This is an area in which the MMA can find novel methods of coordinating multiple agencies through virtual organisations to generate home grown technology for application in our products. This is the only way we can make our products competitive.
Expanding role of managers and entrepreneurs
India has demonstrated its immense capabilities and core-competence to the world with large talented manpower. On account of the green revolution, India is now self sufficient in food. The operation flood has made India, the largest producer of milk in the world. Health services have also been improved since independence with increase in life expectancy from 33 to 64 years; fall in infant mortality from 148 to 71 per thousand, and eradication of diseases like small pox, cholera through vaccination etc. Small-scale industries provide a significant percentage to the national GDP. India is in a position to design, develop and launch world-class communication and remote sensing satellites. India is having capability of building large Thermal and Nuclear power stations. Defence research has led to many significant developments in weapon systems like strategic and cruise missiles, sonar's, underwater weapons, light combat aircraft, tanks, electronic warfare systems and various armours. India has a strong base in the development of information technology and the country is progressing in hardware and software business of more than $10 billion.
Many Indian companies including MNCs are not doing well as they find it difficult to face competition, pressure and take "quick right" decisions. It is said that you cannot do business with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow. An effective manager gets the job done through high quantitative and qualitative standards of performance with satisfaction and high degree of commitment.
A managerial culture emphasizes rationality and control. Manager has to achieve results so that people will continue to contribute to this organization. It takes neither genius nor heroism to be a manager, but persistence, tough mindedness, hard work, intelligence, analytical ability, tolerance and goodwill. He needs to develop good leadership quality. I think, management education should transform a person to a leader. A leader is one who thinks what he can give to others instead of asking what others can do for him. The style keeps changing as the situation with the types of people. Leadership style should blend with managerial functions. The management education needs to give this ability to manage and lead the change. Indian entrepreneurs should not be just home grown industrialists but they should also become leading MNCs. Leadership with nobility and change management are the two important elements needed from Management Associations to the nation.
Development of Entrepreneurs
The key characteristics required in an entrepreneur are desire, drive, discipline and determination. I am confident that the Entrepreneurship Development Cell promote following important traits among the would be entrepreneurs :
(a) Vision and pioneering spirit.
(b) Being able to see possibilities where others do not.
(c) Always searching for new opportunities and challenges
(d) Being creative - 'able to think out of the box'.
(e) Constantly striving to do things better
(f) Confident about taking risks
(g) Proactive and focused on the future
(h) A good knowledge and skill base.
I am happy to know that the MMA has assisted small and medium entrepreneurs in management education through an Entrepreneurship Development Cell, with funding assistance from Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Germany. I am sure the MMA will continue to expand the scope of its activities through research, innovation and coordination for the larger benefit of Indian industry.
Total Quality Management
I have participated in many space and defence programmes. Putting a satellite in the orbit needs a large rocket system. Rocket system and the satellite put together will have atleast 50 sub-systems and more than 80 thousand components mechanical, electrical and chemical. To put a satellite in the orbit all the systems have to work to full performance requirements. Even one sub-system or one component fails mission will be a failure. Same is true with launching of missile systems. It has to reach the required target by flying thousands of kilometers. The message I would like to convey here is that those in the programme have to learn quality of a product has to be built in during the design phase and carried forward till the test phase. It has to be constantly improved. The man who designs and manufactures must love what he does.
Entrepreneurs have to aim for total quality management that is quality design to production and testing, leading to market. This will ensure success of the product and system. I hope the Madras Management Association would aim to align the organizational management system, human resource management system and the total quality management system for promoting a successful TQM initiative by any enterprise.
Addressing the present problems
In the present context, key problem areas faced by Tamil Nadu, especially the city of Chennai, are inadequate supply of water, power, congested transportation and pollution created both by transportation and the industry. The MMA can work for a novel solution for this problem of water through developing solar energy powered seawater desalination plants which will provide a perennial source of drinking water to the city at an affordable cost. In addition, Chennai being located very near to the equatorial region has enormous sunshine, and thus is an ideal place for solar power plants which can even feed power into the grid. Also there is an urgent need for finding solution to the growing transportation problem in the city by designing innovative traffic control systems and working on pollution free automobiles. Pollution free transport systems combined with solar power based industrial units will automatically reduce the pollution in the city. There are institutions which are working on these technologies in different parts of the countries. I would suggest that the MMA should bring them together to find a lasting solution to the problem of potable water, energy, traffic congestion and pollution in the city and the State. I am sure, MMA has the potential to undertake this task and become a role model for other institutions.
As you are aware, our Prime Minister in his Independence Day announcements has declared a rural development programme called PURA - Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas. It involves identification of rural clusters with growth potential and creating Physical Connectivity, Electronic connectivity, Knowledge connectivity and thereby Market connectivity.
Recent experiences indicate that the economic progress of few countries particularly the developed countries is due to the contribution of large number of small entrepreneurs employing less than 50 persons in their establishments. We need such entrepreneurs in large numbers in our country for developing and transforming our village clusters into sustainable economic units. I am sure many of the entrepreneurs and managers grown by this Association will create enterprises in many PURA complexes in the country, particularly in Tamil Nadu, in the coming years, improve the lifestyle of our village community and be an active partner in Developed India mission. Let us join together in building India as a developed nation and get the rightful place for India in this planet.
My best wishes to all of you.