The apex body of the auto component Industry, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), recently concluded the third MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) summit which focused primarily on ‘Managing Volatility.’

Speakers at 3rd MSME Summit

Speakers at 3rd MSME Summit

Inaugurated by Ajay Shankar, Member Secretary, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) with N K Maini, Deputy Managing Director, SIDBI the Guest of Honour and Sudam Maitra, Chief Operating Officer (supply chain) Maruti Suzuki India, as the Keynote Speaker, the summit attracted some of the most well known faces in the auto industry.

 The summit proved to be opportune as last year was one of the harshest slowdowns the auto industry has experienced in a decade. To make the most out of the event, over 80 component manufacturers attended the summit. Speakers from OEMs, component manufacturers, consultants and the government shared their insights on the current industrial environment. Overall, more than 120 people attended the summit.

The purpose of this summit was to understand the dynamics of the Indian automotive market with focus on MSMEs, the factors affecting their de-growth and what could be the possible strategies to manage volatility in the industry,” said Ramesh Suri, Vice President, ACMA. “The industry and government will need to collaborate in helping companies manage the challenges, especially handholding Tier 2 and Tier 3, the weakest link in the entire automotive value chain.”

Suri’s address was followed by the theme presentation by Subhrata Sengupta, Vice President, Avalon Consulting, who spoke on how an MSME could anticipate volatility and the steps required to manage it. Sengupta attributed volatility chiefly to three factors – technology, labour relations and taxation. According to him, the way to anticipate volatility is by “Collaboration with stakeholders, both internal and external, by gathering and analysing intelligence about anything that impacts a company’s ability to compete, and by revisiting and updating business models regularly.”

Most of the speakers emphasised on VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) forces being in play behind recent developments in the auto industry. While Shankar referred to volatility as intrinsic to human civilisation, Maitra believes that VUCA is the new normal. “To mitigate volatility, MSMEs must strategically design a long-term road map, have effective financial planning, prudently manage manpower, work smarter and leaner, and focus on limited, dedicated yet diversified customers without any compromise on quality,” he said. However, Maini went a step ahead and redefined VUCA as Vision, Understanding, Communication and Agility; he urged the industry to strategise so that adversity turns into an advantage.

Other eminent speakers who spoke during the summit were Prabhjit Didyala, MD, Accenture; Tushar Arora, Director, Abilities India Pistons & Rings; Gursharan Singh, CMD, Raunaq Automotive Components; Shivaji Basu, Business Head, iON Mfg. TCS; Saurabh Poddar, Director, Sellowrap Industries and Alok Trigunayat, COO, Ecocat (India).  

J Srikant


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