TMurraliIndustrial Production during the April-August period of 2014-15 grew at 2.8% as against flat production in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. According to the industrial production data, manufacturing that constitutes over 75% of the index contracted by 1.4% in August, compared to 0.2% decline in output a year ago. For April-August, it grew at 1.8%, compared to 0.1% contraction during the same period last year. The consumer goods segment, during the same period, showed contraction of 4.9%, compared to a decline of 1.6% in the same period, the previous fiscal. The consumer durables segment declined 12.9% as against a dip of 11.2% during the same period last year. In the case of consumer non-durable goods, output grew by 0.9% compared to 6.8% growth for the same period last year. Even so, 11 of the 22 overall industry groups in manufacturing showed positive growth in August. Therefore, to steer the way for growth, it needs a fillip from the government in the form of reduced interest rates. However, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, in a recent media interview to a leading daily, said that credit depended upon investment, and interest rates – though a blunt tool – was also the only tool available. The Governor who wanted to be realistic and pragmatic feels that the medication seems to be working. Is it necessary to take the patient off the remedy before it has run its full course, and take a chance, which according to Rajan is always the danger in Indian policy, and is it, therefore, advisable to stay the course? Arguably, the dosage has been working but the time has come to change the pattern of treatment to match the changing economic scenario, by reducing interest rates, so that growth is not slowed down. Change in Mindset is the need of the hour.

The Union Government’s move to deregulate diesel prices, stating that clarity on fuel prices would help manufacturers plan for future products and investments in a better way, is a welcome sign. It resulted in a price cut of Rs 3.37 per litre of diesel. Changing Mindset is evident.

The Cover Story of this issue is: ‘The World of 5S.’ One of the concepts for manufacturing excellence, it has been in vogue for many years in India, with both vehicle makers and parts suppliers. However, its implementation depends upon the size of the organisation; their vision and mission. While a matured level of realisation can be seen in companies with Japanese and Korean connections, it is largely missing in small and medium enterprises. Nevertheless, the scope is wide for organisations to extrapolate this concept from beyond the shopfloor to the office, canteen and scrapyard. The story analyses the way the concept has been practised and the road ahead. Though we had planned the story about a quarter before, it is a strange coincidence that a part of the 5S concept – Shine (cleaning), is also part of the Clean India campaign. Change in Mindset is necessary for every organisation, and the country. Among other stories, we have the new Scorpio in the Technology & Innovation section. The vehicle comes with many features, perhaps matching the changing mindset of consumers. Also, you will find a Special Report on Magna International that has developed, and is developing, products matching the Changing Mindset of the consumer.

Trust this issue will be of interest to you.

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T Murrali


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