ACI2014JUNEJune 2014

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Great Expectations!

After nearly three decades, the country has given one party a clear and strong mandate to govern. Political pundits view this as a harbinger of real change in every aspect of administration. No sooner were the elections announced, did sentiment pep up the bourses, signified by the gradual rise of the rupee. The rupee strengthened against the USD to Rs 58.52 when trading closed on 23rd May against Rs 68.80 in August, 2013; it was Rs 61.08 at the beginning of the year. Foreign inflows into the country have declined to $18.79 billion during the first 10 months of 2013-14, from $19.10 billion for the same period last year. The decline in foreign investment could affect the country’s balance of payment and the rupee value. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is crucial to India’s development programmes including infrastructure projects that catalyse growth. Analysts opine the country needs about $1 trillion before end of FY 2017. A focused, open-minded leadership at the centre can give the ailing economy that much needed fillip to booster the country’s growth. People in general and the business community in particular have Great Expectations. Will the new government work to revive the falling economy and advance investor confidence by introducing much needed reforms?

In this issue, we have ‘Should SMEs Automate?’ as the cover story. With Great Expectations from end users, OEMs are under stress to add more features to their respective vehicles, irrespective of the segments they operate in. They eventually pressurise Tier-1 component manufacturers whose challenges are snowballing in terms of cost, quality and delivery. While these expectations are managed by large companies, they may appear humongous for SMEs. Can these Great Expectations be fulfilled by SMEs? Should they resort to automation to rise up to demands – is what the story analyses. We have carried Maruti Celerio under Technology & Innovation section as the car sports a new technology – Automated Manual Transmission. While car sales are dropping due to economic slowdown, the market leader has launched Celerio with Great Expectations. The response has been good so far, but it is necessary to wait and watch whether the vehicle would maintain the tempo for the required period.

The Shop Floor Sojourn section covers National Engineering Industries (NEI) that makes several varieties of bearings under the NBC brand. The company won the Deming award in 2010 and is currently working hard to acquire the Deming Grand Prize. Not only has the company expectations from the award, but customers also have Great Expectations on quality and cost. We have interviewed the new Managing Director & CEO of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) who is responsible for vendor development to achieve over 80% localisation. He has shared with us not only the plus and minus of Indian vendors but also the Great Expectations the company has from them. Trust all component manufacturers rise up to the expectations of the global OEM community, and create a niche for them.

Wish you Happy Reading. Do send us your feedback

T Murrali


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