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December 2 2020.

      Business Speak.

This quarterly communication will share with you, views of Senior management professionals of the leading organizations who have deep impact on the Indian Industry. We shall seek their views on the current business issues, opportunities in India & understand how their organizations help indian business become more competitive.

>> In the inaugural issue of "Business Speak" we meet; Mr.R. A. Venkitachalam, M.D & General Manager-U.L Emerging Markets. Underwriters Laboratories, famously known as UL Inc. ( a 112 year experienced world leader in product Safety Testing and Certification. UL issues the world famous UL product safety marking on a wide variety of products.
Recently,we met Mr Venkitachalam at his Bangalore office & sought his views on the Indian industry.
    QUICK FACTS on UL Inc.
> 20 Billion UL marks appeared on products.
> 71,409 manufacturers produced UL- certified products.
 In 2005,UL evaluated 19,140 product types.
> There are 1291 UL standards & 376 ULC standards.
>Sanjay Limaye: Can you briefly tell us about UL ,its history & activities in the emerging markets especially India.

UL is a 112 year experienced world leader in the field of, Product Safety Testing and Certification. Mr.Henry Merryl , the founder of UL started the operation in 1894 in Chicago in response to the industry need for an independent evaluator of electricity-using products for safety. UL is today an organization with over 6000 staff , one of the very few independent organizations in the world that 'writes' standards. Incorporated in the US as a 'not for profit' organization , UL today operates in 100 countries and has published over 1000 standards. The UL mark appears on over 20 billion products every year.

In India , UL has been active for the last 9 years through its own offices. UL India is growing aggressively to serve the India clients in the areas of Safety and Quality. UL helps the India manufacturers access world markets through its Global Market Access Program whereby UL acts as a single-window facility for all compliance requirements. UL also serves the automotive / aerospace / medical / telecom /general manufacturing sectors through its QMS services through value-added audits and certification programs.

>SL- Over the past few years Indian industry has been aggressively seeking overseas markets & is also exposed to world class competition at home. Do you think Indian organizations are in a position to exploit this exciting situation?

RAV: I believe that Indian companies today have a unique opportunity - a growing local market and a receptive world market.The Indian market is very demanding on Quality / Cost / Delivery aspects today and the gap that may have existed a while back with respect to global markets is fast vanishing. Thus excellence in the Cost / Quality / Delivery dimensions is a given for survival. What will now make the difference is Innovation and Speed.

Increasing number of SME companies in India today recognise that they have the Quality / Cost / Delivery in their favour and are working on scaling up quickly.Thus it is exciting times which we should make use of. The other factor to be recognised is that Made in India is getting increasing acceptability

>SL: You deal with with number of manufacturing firms. In the fast a growing economy,especially India, how are they developing their sales & marketing strategies.

RAV: I see many trends , key of those being;
a)Tap the outsourcing trend - manufacture in India and export e.g. Auto components / Medical Eqpt
b)Expand the footprint outside of India - acquire brands / manufacturing facilities outside of India e.g. Auto comp,
c)Tap the opportunities created by enhanced quality / spec requirements within India - enhanced purchasing power included E.g. Consumer products - many examples
d)Some examples of 'bottom of the pyramid' strategy - Consumer products incl Telecom,FMCG.
e)Expansion into unrelated areas - e.g. Aerospace components Mfg / Retail / Biotech

Many more such can be noted......

> Mr. R.A.Venkitachalam. (Venky)
>  Education:
   -B.Tech.Chem Engg. (I.I.T.Chennai)
   -M.Tech ( Industrial Management) (I.I.T.Chennai)
> Career highlights:
   ..Director and C.E.O - Thermax Surface Coatings
   ..C.O.O - BPL Mobile ( TN and KL)
   ..M.D & General Manager - UL Emerging Markets
> Hobbies:<<Classical Music.
>SL: What challenges do you see ahead for the Indian manufacturers, as India gets more integrated into world economy?

:  I feel there would be 6 major challenges indian manufacturers need to address at the earliest;
1. Quality / Cost / Delivery challenges will continue as always & will get more enhanced.
2. Innovation & Speed of operation witll be under competitive pressure.
3. Information Security and IPR.
4. Talent shortage .
5. Infrastructure constraints especially Logistics / Power.
6. Environmental concerns & issues.

>SL: What has been your most interesting "Business Insight" in the Indian manufacturing sector?

: I am excited that there are a good number of small but emerging manufacturers who are striving for world class quality and cost.They are doing exceedingly well in the global market with their innovative products. They are bold enough to face the challenges - they are winning.They have low capital costs - achieved through intelligent deployment of technology and capital and have speed.

Last update on 12-feb-08




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