A power talk was organized by Great Lakes on LEADERSHIP and the speaker was Mr.Venu Srinivasan Chairman & MD of TVS Motor company Ltd. and MD of Sundaram Clayton Ltd. He is also a director on the boards of Cummins India Ltd., Lucas-TVS and Sundaram Fasteners. Coming from one of the most well known business families of India, namely from the TVS family, he has worked hard for more than a decade towards successfully reviving the business of TVS Motor company from the hard times it faced during early 1990s. He has been instrumental in making the company stronger and finally by 2001, strong enough to split with Suzuki on favourable terms and start manufacturing on its own. Under his stellar leadership, the company won the coveted Deming International award for quality management in 2002 for its successful Total Quality Management (TQM) practises.
Mr.Srinivasan talked about the characteristics of a successful leader, namely integrity and vision and related these to quality of leadership and quality of processes. He said every institution has a finite life and quality helps in making this life respectable and determines its relative longevity. Quality supported by standardization of processes results in costs becoming less finally. Total Quality Management is an approach towards this, focussing on breakthrough in selected areas identified strategically and continuous improvement in other critical areas. A system of excellence is built by appropriate training, discipline and ordering of things – the manthra of Japanese quality covering the breadth and depth of processes. Such a process doesn’t give birth to extra-ordinary people but brings out extra-ordinary results from ordinary people. A typical TQM model involves identification of critical problems, finding solution, standardization and passing it on for control and further improvement.
Such a model is applicable to all cultures and countries. Talking about entrepreneurs, he said the greatest challenge for an entrepreneur is to make his creation bigger than himself and TQM would be an effective tool to achieve this. Finally he talked about the respect that every employee in an organization deserves and the importance of moulding them as leaders. Leadership builds culture in an organization and culture builds next generation leaders. This ensures that there are quality leaders in pipeline, which is the concept of sustainable leadership.
The speech was profound in thoughts about quality leadership and inspiring for the students. After the formal questionnaire session, Mr.Venu Srinivasan stayed on for a while for an informal chat with the students and it proved to be an enriching interaction for them. This session was again indicative of the respect Great Lakes commands in the industry. Needless to say students couldn’t have asked for more!