Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Indian Jugaad (Frugal engineering)… How far will it take us in Transportation Industry
I was reading an interview of Prof. Nirmalya Kumar (taught at Harvard, IMD and Kellogg). He mentions Indian companies as good in marketing but poor in R&D.
Also,he keeps the Human Resource in the organization at par if not higher than the customers, contrary to Vineet Nayar, CEO HCL.
I agree with Prof. Nirmalya to certain extent. If we compare the European companies to the Indians, the difference is apparent. Indian companies on an average benchmark themselves to the European leader. Excluding companies like TATA and biotechnology industry, on an average Indians have hardly done any new ground breaking R&D in engineering.
Investment in R&D is a privilege which very few can afford in India. R&D requires constant funding and a lot of patience. One cannot expect overnight results. While developing a product which is already existent in the market requires benchmarking to the market leader and a cost effective production formula. Developing a product that has never before seen features or a new product altogether requires a hell lot of effort and market research capabilities.
Indian heavy / project transport industry is now going through a phase where transport operators are differentiating vide inception of new and improved European vehicles. It’s a welcome start but a very misplaced one at the same time.
Offering the same services on a technologically improved vehicle is misguided approach to the needs of the industry.
What is required is to first clean and streamline the services offered and then introduce the new vehicles. Transporters are not the only people to be blamed for this ill-advised approach, the contractors play equal part in it .
Recently a very big construction company floated a RFQ for a transportation of 400T consignment. They provided the drawing but not the CG. When asked for it they just replied “the others didn’t ask for it, then why do we provide you the CG?” I was silenced. Now I knew why bridges collapse or vehicles overturn in India.
You will get my idea if see the comparative videos between how Europe transports windmill turbines and how most of the Indians do it.
The european/american trailer is followed by an escort vehicle which has a operator with a remote to negotiate sharp turns.
and now see how its frighteningly done in India at a fraction of cost