Satire

You promised to be a game-changer, not a name-changer: An angry HR manager’s notice to CEO Modi

What if India were a company, and Narendra Modi its CEO?

What if India were a company and Prime Minister Narendra Modi its CEO? Among other things, it would mean that the leader would be subject to annual and mid-year reviews and would have a Human Resources Department breathing down his neck if he failed to meet targets.

In this imaginary (and kind of wonderful) world, three-and-a-half years into his leadership, as his company faces a slowdown, CEO Modi receives a letter from a not-so-happy HR head:

Dear Mr Modi,

As per your date of joining on May 26, 2014, you have been with us in the capacity of CEO for more than three and half years. You will agree that post your selection, the board of directors and the shareholders gave you full support during the induction period and trusted you blindly in whatever actions you took. We were all aligned that you would turn this company around ASAP. However as head of HR, it  pains me to convey that there is nervousness over your performance and worse, about the way you are going about things.

Please take this mid-year review seriously and in the right spirit, so that we can change course before it is too late.  

On performance, you have yourself admitted that that the company is nowhere near the double digit growth you had talked about. This despite the industry not coming under any severe external shock. Our manufacturing is down, hiring is down, projections are off the chart and your much touted digital payment and tax revamp system are simply not working. Clearly you have launched ambitious plans without any thought about execution – this is simply not acceptable.

While performance can still be improved, the HR department is deeply worried about your way of functioning. There have been multiple reports of members of your information technology cell abusing others, threatening to use violence and making sexual slurs – are you absolutely not aware of these practices? Also, I hear that there is an IT Head in your team who has openly tried to justify assassination? I am sorry so say Mr Modi, this open intimidation and abuse of people is not our company culture and we cannot allow you to change that.

Also it has been noticed that you have been absent from office on the pretext of tours. We are having a hard time explaining the audit team why we ran up such massive bills for these tours when the returns were negligible. You went abroad and signed multiple MoUs – but there is no investment on the ground, no manufacturing happening. You said that you will build the image of the company abroad – but the only thing that was built was your own personal brand. Please note, HR is disallowing you any more foreign trips in the coming months.

On communication skills, you had bowled us over in the interview round, but now we hear that your communication with the team is one-sided and there is no room for any feedback and questioning. This sort of behavior is harmful to the long term prospects of the company and I would like you to work as a team player. We don’t want a group of two-and-a-half-men running the company. What is point of having people like Sush and Raj when only Amit and Arun are used for decision making? 

I would also like you to respond to allegations of taking credit for others’ works. Is it true that you have taken older project files and made jazzy PPTs out of them and presented it to the shareholders? While your presentation and marketing skills are legendary and may have got you this job, please know that you had assured us that you would be a “game-changer” and not a “name-changer” as is being alleged. 

In the end I would like you to refocus your energies on the fires that have to be doused at home. It seems that an emergency in London or Portugal office has your immediate response, but you are too busy to respond to a critical emergency in your home branch. 

Please note that the only criteria you will be evaluated on hereon will be your actual performance and not your assurances. It is your performance that will make or break your case when the shareholders meet next. I hope you will be able to allay the fears of the minority stakeholders as well to show that everyone’s rights are being looked after and that growth is actually taking place.

Regards,

Akash

Head – HR.

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The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.

This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.

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The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.