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Home > Business > Special

A unique plan to groom future leaders

BS Reporter in New Delhi | September 15, 2006

After making a mark for itself in the world of information technology, India is now emerging as a key global centre for manufacturing.

Projects are mushrooming throughout the country. There is no shortage of opportunities for businessmen, except there aren't enough visionary leaders to give shape to their business plans.

To get over this problem, a path breaking initiative called "Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing Programme" is being launched. An Indo-Japanese collaboration, it aims to churn out at least 200 business leaders over the next three years.

The first edition of the 18-month programme will be launched in 2007. Some 50 mid-level managers from manufacturing companies will go through intensive training at IIT Kanpur, IIT Chennai and IIM Kolkata, interspersed with breaks to implement the learning at their place of work.

From the Japanese side, the initiative is being led by Shoji Shiba, the world-famous Total Quality Management (TQM) expert and author of 'Breakthrough Management'. Shiba, who will steer the training during the first course, says some of the faculty will be drawn from Japan initially.

"The ultimate goal is to have an all-Indian faculty," he told Business Standard. The Japanese government will bear half the cost of the programme.

From the Indian side, ownership of the programme is likely to be taken by the Confederation of Indian Industry. The programme has the blessings of the National Manufacturing Competitive Council. It has recognised this programme under the National Work Skills Programme.

For the course, managers with five to seven years of experience will be sponsored by companies. They could come from any function and will have to pay Rs 4-5 lakh. However, there will be no compulsion on these people to stay with the company for a stipulated number of years after completing the course.

Each company will be encouraged to nominate two people for the course. According to Shiba, some Indian groups such as the Anand Group, the Sona Group, TechNova, Ashok Leyland, Brakes India and UCAL Fuel Systems have pledged support to the programme.

Shiba, who is professor emeritus, University of Tsukuba, Japan, and advisory professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, had conceived the Leaders for Manufacturing Programme while he was teaching at MIT (1990 to 2005).

In the US, he says, 10 per cent of the participants went on to become CEOs within seven years and all participants became senior managers.

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