Below are given some excerpts from an interview of Shri Ashoke Nath, IAS, Chairman & Managing Director, DFC, New Delhi.
Comment on the role of HR in Delhi finance Corporation :
HR is important in any organisation. a smaller organisation like Delhi Finance Corporation cannot afford to have a separate department of HR. We send our people to selected institutes for training in three or four aspects, which can bring about efficiency and change in work culture. First aspect, is regulations and procedures, which every employee should be familiar with, as like in any other government organisation. Unless they are familiar with all these things, they cannot work efficiently. Second aspect is our specialist functions and technical matters. Third and most important aspect is attitude. The need of the hour is a transformation into a customer centric organisation, which is essential to stay ahead in competition.
Motivation assumes significance, as incentives are not enough. We cannot always follow "Carrot-and-Stick policy". We have to create business by taking care of each and every customer's needs.
Do you think that training of employees has brought in a perceptible change ?
Yes, people here have realised about the advantage of professional training. We are also analysing the customers' feedback. But it is too early to comment on the results.
According to you, what are the lessons to be learned from private sector in HR management?
There are finer points to be learned from the working of any organisation. In that case we should also learn from public sector. Maruti is an example where management has brought in changes to instill a sense of identify and loyalty.
How is DFC faring since you have taken over as its captain ?
It was like any other organisation when I joined. During my tenure, I have tried to improve things in a better way through constant interaction and persuasion. I can feel the change in work culture and attitude. There has also been reduction in delays at all levels of decision making. We have short-circuited the procedures and thereby reduced time to process applications. Computerisation has also helped us to serve customers in a more efficient way.
UNIDO incubates machine tool cluster at Bangalore
Successful clusters give nations competitive advantage and India is in the process of adding another one to its existing list - the machine tools cluster in Bangalore which accounts for 40 percent of the machine tools produced in the country.
The cluster recently took a marketing delegation to China and discovered that though Indian machine tools manufacturers could not compete in areas such as general purpose machines, they had a chance to become successful niche players in high-end technology products.
The machine tools manufacturers in Bangalore, mostly concentrated in the Peenya industrial area, have been upgrading themselves technologically. Of the 50 odd machine tools firms in the area, over 20 manufacture CNC (Computerised Numerical Control) machine tools.
UNIDO started working on the Bangalore cluster in 2000 and focused on creating common initiatives among firms in marketing, training, procurement and transport. The whole idea is to create economies of scale, which small firms normally would not be able to enjoy, by joining hands with others.
UNIDO is promoting the organisational structure of consortia of firms which have backward and forward linkages with each other but do not compete among themselves. Nine such consortia have been formed so far in Bangalore and they have, in turn, come together to form the Association of Bangalore Machine Tools Consortia.
Among the consortia which have got off the ground the fastest are the Bangalore Machine Tools Consortium and the Indian Machine Tools Consortium.
These two have between themselves generated additional business equiries of Rs.27 crore and business of Rs.3 crore so far.
As a result of the clustering, the demand for common services has been consolidated. UNIDO has deployed two world-class quality consultants to work with the firms which would not have been able to engage them individually.
The consortia and their association are opening marketing offices, putting in joint advertisements and above all sharing knowledge. UNIDO's primary aim is to get firms to jointly look at common problems and thereby promote the social capital of a cluster.
India climbs 9 rungs in competitiveness scale
India has improved its standing in the latest Global Competitiveness Report of the world Economic Forum (WEF). It has been ranked 48th among 80 countries in the 2002 report, compared to 57th among 75 countries last year.
The ranking is based on each country's growth competitiveness index, which represents an estimate of the underlying prospects for growth over the next eight years.
The index takes into account three broad categories of variables that are found to drive growth in the medium and long-term; technology, public institutions and the macro-economic environment. The WEF report has commented on the substantial improvement in India's ranking in the list, alongwith that of China, which has improved from 39th in 2001 to 36th in 2002.
"The world's two most populous countries, especially China, have outperformed most other countries in terms of economic growth in recent years. Much of their overall rankings is a result of their stable macro-economic environment", the report says. The 2002 list is topped by the US, which was on the second spot last year. Finland, which had topped last year, has been ranked second this year. Taiwan is in third place, up from 7th last year, while Singapore has maintained last year's 4th position. Sweden has climbed four notches, from the 9th spot to the 5th.