Panel Discussion “Economic Slowdown? Let us overcome it!”

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Panel Discussion “Economic Slowdown? Let Us Overcome It!”

NIQR Head Quarters organised a Panel Discussion by Leading Industrialists on the topic “Economic Slowdown? Let us overcome it!” on 9th November 2019 at Hotel Hilton Chennai. The participants were CEOs and MDs from MSMEs numbering 61. NIQR organised this event as a free one for all the MSMEs who are facing some difficult times now, as a gesture for their support to NIQR over the last three decades.
Dr. V. Swaminathan, National Senior Vice President welcomed the gathering and Mr. C. V. Gowri Sankar, National Secretary introduced the panelists.
The following leading Industrialists were the panelists:
Mr. S Rajasekaran, MD, Infant Engineers (P) Ltd & National President, NIQR
Mr. K. Manikandan Vice President Sourcing Ashok Leyland Ltd & National Vice President, NIQR
Mr. Gopi Koteeswaran – CEO, Latent View
Mr. Amit Jain – President & Regional Business Head, South- Corporate Banking, Yes Bank
Mr. P V Raju, ED & CEO, Yazaki India Private Limited
Mr. Sanjay Chadda, MD, Stanadyne India Private Limited
Dr. Sameer Mehta, Vice Chairman, Dr Mehta’s Hospitals was the Facilitator
Dr. Mehta initiated the proceedings with an interesting question – Are we in a crisis? The response from the panelists was mixed with a couple terming it an opportunity.
Dr. Mehta asserted that India is going to be a 10 trillion economy from the present 2 trillion economy. He opened up to the audience with ‘Is the auto industry moving from mechanical with some electro parts to electronic with some mechanical parts’ which may be one of the main reason for the present situation.

Mr. Rajasekaran advocated five action points for MSMEs
  • Create positive mindset; be ready for tough days.
  • Remove fat in organisation; remove muda in the shop floor.
  • Improve productivity; this is the time to concentrate and improve OEE.
  • Financial management; work on working capital; do daily P&L; have positive bottom-line; review bottom line regularly.
  • Distribute your risk; carefully choose the stakeholder to distribute the risk to supplier/customer.

Mr. K. Manikandan explaining the present situation for truck industry, placed GST as one of the reasons for the present crisis but added the crisis is not only for India; it is for the world; he added the Axle ratio plays a major role, with a sudden increase of 20% in the truckers’ capacity. He pointed out that the best way for vendors will be to learn how to ramp up and ramp down quickly.
Mr. P V Raju did not find it a crisis, it is an opportunity time for everyone; he termed it as a pause we are passing through like the pause between games in a tennis match; best time to Go back to the Gemba and identify muda and reduce/eliminate them; like humans, reduce the fat in the organization to become fit.
Mr. Sanjay Chadda termed the present time opens an opportunity to explore how export market can support your organisation; and it is the time to increase the usage of resources to cater to other markets.
Mr. Amit Jain was clear that any bank will provide loan for bankable proposals; Bankable means- funds used for the intended purpose and have paybacks

Mr. Gopi Koteeswaran listed three big trends in auto industry across the globe
  • Ride sharing like Uber, Ola
  • Autonomous vehicle – but not picked up everywhere and
  • Electric vehicle…

The organisations should be ready to face the reality and look for opportunities in these areas
The Q & A session was lively; Mr. Hariharan Ramamurthy raised an issue-how come Auto OEMS who follow Just-In-Time and zero inventory have accumulated an inventory of Rs. 50000 Crores when they know pretty well they have to migrate to BS-VI;
He also added that GST is a path-changing decision in the country; MSMEs actually pay a huge advance to OEMs
Mr. Manikandan said the turnaround time for trucks has come down drastically due to the efficiency of GST implementation; also OEMs took ten years while migrating to BS-IV but they have taken only three years to migrate to BS-VI.
Mr. Rajasekaran added there are mainly benefits due to GST; previously the MSMEs have to face multiple agencies for the tax purpose, but now only one; this allows for better planning of one’s finance
Mr. Sameer Mehta observed that the only way to face the challenge is to learn best practices; that can only help you in the long run; he advised all organisations should adapt the right technologies for the future. Let us defy the prediction; Let India grow up to the previous High Level. He concluded by lauding the efforts of NIQR organising a wonderful event which has helped both the participants and panelists.
Mr. C. V. Gowri Sankar proposed the vote of thanks.
The panelists were kept busy during the lunch time also by many of the participants.