RSB Group, rich in both personal and professional culture, believes that winning the Deming Prize enabled it to imbibe the TQM approach in every breath of its activity to attain business excellence at all times. Chairman R K Behera shared his views with J Srikant, on the group’s plan going forward. Edited excerpts:



Q: How do you see the progress of the industry? Do you think the industry has bottomed out and the situation will improve from here on?

Behera: The bygone year has not been very comfortable for the auto component industry due to cyclical effects; however, with a number of positive measures announced, industrial progress has now started taking pace, albeit slowly. With favorable anticipated inflow of FDIs and conducive fiscal measures, overseas multinationals will be setting up shop in India for ‘Make in India, Made in India’ brand, when buoyancy is expected to increase the volumes further.

Q: Are there any new product segments that you are looking to enter?

Behera: We have already started supplying Fifth-Wheel Coupling in collaboration with Fontaine UK, fully assembled Gear Box for LCVs; we have now entered into Technical Assistance Agreement with a leading Japanese company for manufacture of state-of-the-art propeller shafts for LCVs/SUVs in India.

Q: In 2013, you received the Deming award. It has been 10 months since then. What did winning this prestigious award teach you and what changes did you make to your organisation preparing for this award?

Behera: Winning the Deming Prize has taught us to imbibe the TQM approach in every breath of our activity to attain business excellence at all times. While preparing for the Deming Prize, we have ensured that our entire process is meticulously aligned to the TQM approach. We have reaped benefits in terms of managing business through Systematic Approach (TQM), maintaining highest quality at all times, optimal resource utilisation, total involvement of all resources including human resources and a big cultural change through continual improvement and PDCA approach in every operation/process for increased business performance.

Q: Are you planning to increase investment in research and development?

Behera: We already have a subsidiary, I-Design Engg Solutions which is in to research and development for more than a decade now. R&D is a continuous affair in our business process and innovation is an integral part of it. Our niche products, Propeller Shaft and fully assembled Gear Box, are well received by our customers, which is an outcome of this endeavour. We will continue to venture into new product development in the near future.

Q: How do you keep improving your products to stay ahead of the competition quality wise, yet keep the manufacturing cost under check?

Behera: Built-in TQM approach across the length and breadth of our organisation in every sphere of process keeps our cost under check continually without any compromise whatsoever on quality. This has given us an edge over competition in quality, cost and service. Besides, our systems are aligned to quickly adapt to market changes.

Q: Are there any changes that you are bringing about in your plants in terms of operation, automation, workforce etc?

Behera: Continual change for best of best is inbuilt in every sphere of our activity, more so in operations which are highly automated with latest technology and state-of-the-art machines. Besides, RSBians have assimilated/implemented constantly every tool of TQM in their work culture through ongoing Kaizen and Improvement Projects, QC Story, etc.

Perhaps, what you see today may have changed for the better tomorrow through improvements which are perpetuated in the system. We are in the process of introducing TPM to make our plant and equipment more efficient and productive.

Q: Could you give a breakup of your sales from different vehicle segments? How is this going to change for RSB in the long run?

Behera: Bulk of our business is from the CV segment and the balance comes from 4-wheelers. We are gradually increasing our share in the 4-wheeler segment. We are not into the 2-wheeler segment as of now.

Q: How much of RSB’s revenue come from exports? Do you see it changing in the future? If yes, what do you think will be the reason for the change?

Behera: Presently around 6% of our revenue comes from exports and we will be increasing it to 12-15% in the next 3 years owing to anticipated increase in volumes due to favorable fiscal and other positive measures, and FDIs.

Q: What is the current installed capacity at your plants? What is the utilization at these plants?

Behera: Presently we are running at 60-65% of our installed capacity.

Q: Are there any plans to increase the capacity in the near future?

Behera: Firstly, we will utilise fully the existing capacity and we expect marginal increase in capacity depending upon the off-take of our new products by the customers.

Q: Are you looking to expand your footprint outside India in the near future, through acquisitions or partnerships or entering new geographies?

Behera: With a shift to ‘Make in India & Made in India’ strategy, more focus will be on expanding pan India operations through collaborations, entering into segments hitherto untapped. Overseas acquisitions will be based on the opportunities available.

Q: What are your sales targets for the year 2016-17?

Behera: We are targeting Rs 1,800 crore plus for 2016-17.




Nirmala Udgata - for box item

RSB’s HR initiative – systems and procedures with a humane connect

With more than 4000 people working for RSB Transmissions across the world, there surely is need for well-rounded human resource policies (HR) not just for daily operations but also to keep every employee motivated to perform throughout the year. Rightly so, from inception, dating back to 1975, HR has always been its prime ingredient and edifice.

RSB attributes its success to the innovation, dynamism, responsiveness and ethical conduct it has adopted in HR initiatives. “Our HR approach is not only all impersonal rules and regulations that stifle, but consists of systems and procedures that have a humane connect and provides ample space for growth,” said Nirmala Behera Udgata, Head – Group HR, RSB Group. “The path to individual growth is open, unending and unhindered with focus on building and imbibing ‘Quality and Customer Service’ in all respects in their areas of operations,” she added.

The group has an open door policy with walk-in access to members irrespective of rank and file to air grievances and to offer ideas and suggestions. The grievances and ideas are respectfully and seriously evaluated and implemented according to merit. “We are proud to say that many of our organizational and business improvements have their origin in these grievances and suggestions,” Udgata said.

Understanding the importance of the role family plays in maintaining quality of work at the workplace, RSB conducts get-together on festive occasions with family members for closer interaction beyond the confines of business. Chairman regularly connects with colleagues through ‘Heart to Heart with Chairman’.

In the pursuit of HR excellence, the Group has embarked on a three-tier approach, – ‘TQM in HR’ done through 7 key measures, viz. Productivity, Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety, Morale & Environment based on responsibility and hierarchy established for each and every level of employee. The performance in these measures is reviewed by the management at planned intervals. TQM as a practice has given phenomenal result in catering need-based Skill Gap Analysis to meet business objectives through Skill Matrix.

RSB follows skill index at four levels, such as beginner, intermediate, expert and master, with focus on organisational, plant, department and employee-wise skill index. Through this, the variance analysis is done to reduce the gap with significant impact on individual skill level year on year and improve overall performance of the organisation.

RSB also used the services of world-renowned management guru, Dr Ichak Adizes for implementing ‘Change Management.’ This programme covers methodology in a structured way to bring about clarity in organisational structure, roles and responsibility for each and every function and process, and also succession planning.

The Pune-headquartered company also took initiatives like leadership programmes where all are considered as leaders from the top management to the shop floor managers. “The key aspect of this programme is to use PAEI (Producer, Administrator, Entrepreneur, Integrator) methodology to put right person in right place” explains Udgata.


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