Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Monday, 11 January 2016

L&T Works , OK

( Contributor  :  R K Seth  )

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Inspired by HRS's titillating memoirs, HCP's encouragement and Kodam Narsaiah's "Collect, Store & Recall", I am tempted to recall some Non-moving inventories from L&T's  vast memory store. 

I joined L&T in 1979 in Central Source Development Cell (SDC) and was very soon witness to the truly visionary leadership of HCP as Powai GM.

Around 1983-84, computers were introduced in India.   L&T also decided to start buying computers and HCP's visionary thinking was instrumental in introducing computers in L&T and deciding that Central Purchase (under Central Materials Dept - CMD) will do the Centralized purchase of computers for all L&T Groups. 

The PO for the first 4 computers (know then as IBM compatibles) for L&T Pune office was placed by me in Dec 1984 on Minicomp Pvt Ltd, situated opposite SEEPZ  and owned by an NRI Mr K. R. Sheth. 

It  was perhaps one of the  first Indian companies to market  computers known as IBM Compatibles by  importing in SKD condition and assembling in their unit. I recall that some people used to ask me if K R Sheth was my brother (my name R K Seth sounding similar). Perhaps they also found some facial resemblance. But actually Sheth is Gujarati and I belong to UP.   

The computers available then were PC/XT (with one hard disk and one floppy drive) costing about Rs 1.5 Lakh each and PC (with  two floppy drives, but no hard disk) costing about Rs. 1.00 Lakh.

Around 1986, well ahead of time, it was again the visionary thinking of HCP which helped in setting up a Computer Literacy Centre (CLC) in L&T Institute of Technology (LTIT) where only L&T-ites' children were allowed to get admission. 

We bought about  27 PC computers for CLC from HCL and these were used for training the LTIT students and develop their computer skills at such an early stage.

All of you may recall that HCP used to circulate various Japanese articles and success stories under the heading "Japan Works OK" somewhere in the 1980s (??).  

I was very fond of these as they were unique and highly informative and I used to file all these articles in a box file date-wise after circulating in the Dept. 

 We came to know the importance of these Japanese articles and HCP's true visionary prowess bore real fruits when around 1993-94 L&T Management decided to company-wide launch TQM, a Japanese management concept based on latest technologies and tools. 

Our consultant was Eicher Consultancy, who initially trained all the Directors and Senior Management and then multiple internal facilitators / trainers took over after 5 days intensive "Train the Trainer" programs at the Shipping Institute opposite Powai lake.  

Mr P R Kothari, then Head CMD, was given the responsibility of conducting and co-coordinating these 3 days TQM awareness programs all over India, covering all the employees.  

Some of the Facilitators were V H Iyer, P H Sakhalkar, U D Oza (of Powai Accounts), PRK himself, TA Krishnan, B V Khasnis and myself (of CMD). 

Each group had their own trainers responsible for conducting these programs within their Group. Perhaps Sakhalkar and myself were the longest running trainers (as later we also conducted "Personal Effectiveness" based on "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Dr Stephen Covey). 

 I am really grateful to this great company for giving me opportunity to conduct about 125 programs all over India, starting from 1994 up to Dec 2010, when I left from L&T Infotech. 

This long stint also gave me enough experience to be a Freelance Corporate Trainer post retirement, which I am continuing till date. 

All the 3 day TQM awareness programs were conducted away from the workplace, either in a resort or a Hotel in Khandala, Lonavla, Igatpuri etc (for Mumbai works / offices). 

I remember having conducted a program for our Regional Office, Calcutta, at a resort on Jagannath Puri beach. Usually the second evening used to be the party night with sumptuous dinner and entertainment program by the participants.

 One senior management  person  used to be the guest on this day. Some times YMD used to be the guest and we used to sing old Manna day songs  in the evenings.

Many of the TQM initiatives  taken from that time onward have helped L&T's continuous growth and  in reaching the present leading position. 

So taking cue from HCP's "Japan Works OK", can we coin the words "L&T Woks OK" !!

PS. - I request HCP or anybody else to correct me, in case I have reported any thing wrong. 

Cheers

R K Seth


Ph: 98211 72644

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My comment :

RK : Nothing visionary . As they say ,

       " Ideas are dime-a-dozen . It is their execution that counts "

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Corporate  Culture  :

Vision  for  future  /  " Forever  learning "  attitude  /  Willingness to  experiment  /  Emphasis on  continuous  training  /  Providing opportunities to Employees / 
Concern for  children of Employees

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