In this edition of iFaber, we bring to you another tale from the floors of one of our clients, which is a pioneer in India for Auto Control Cables & Gear Shifters with Push-Pull Cables. We had a chat with Mr. Rahul Kejriwal – Executive Director at Remsons Industries Limited. Excerpts of this interesting interaction are as mentioned below –
Faber Infinite (FI) – We have a subscriber base of around 20,000+ readers across 8 countries, our readers would want to know more about Remsons Industries Limited and about your journey in the organization?
Mr. Rahul Kejriwal (RK) – Remsons Industries is a pioneer in India for Auto Control Cables & Gear Shifters with Push-Pull Cables. It started almost over 65 years ago, founded by Mr. V. Harlalka, a visionary and a pioneer in the Auto Ancillary Sector at the time when there were very few automobile companies in India, Remsons commenced its operations at a time when only Mahindra and Bajaj were present, even before Maruti Suzuki entered India. The industry size was much smaller, that is when most of the family business owners started the journey in the automotive sector. In those times, we had to be dependent on the technologies which were developed in India. This was because there were too many restrictions to bring foreign technologies, for joint ventures for foreign exchange because India was in great deficit at that point in time. There were many other challenges like power as well in the industry. Hence, all the machines and technologies were developed in India. This is the era from where Remsons began its journey.
Later, it graduated to multiple units, we got Global OEM customers and started exporting our products from the year 1996. In the cable industry, most of the technologies that have been introduced in the country have always been first introduced by Remsons and then followed by the other organisations. Later, many multinational organisations started to enter and set their base in India, post 90’s after the Indian economy was globally opened. All the technologies that are globally available today are also available with Remsons. So, we started by manufacturing Pull Cables, then we started Cable Assemblies, later we went into manufacturing Parking Brake levers, and then Gear Shift Mechanism with Push-Pull Cables. Today Remsons is a full system supplier with Design, Production, and Validation Capabilities.
I joined the organisation somewhere in the year 2000, while I was still completing my education. The journey has been phenomenal. I have seen the organisation in the transition from my grandfather’s times to the new generations joining in, the cultural changes, the OEM transformation, the technological changes, and the changes in working patterns. From how it was a family-run business to how it has shaped to a more professionally run business today. Even today, the transition phase is on which is an ongoing journey. Recently in the last couple of years, the organisation has got a good boost in its growth. We have started to look for global expansions, some joint ventures that will give us multiple growth very rapidly. So, it has been a highly interesting and fascinating journey for me.
FI: Great Sir! Further, we understand every industry has its own challenges. What are the challenges unique to your industry?
RK: Our industry is very labour oriented. So, our challenges have always been to find and hire the right skilled, productive labours that can be retained for long. Along with that, our products are low-cost products. So, the slightest change in the raw material, labour cost, or the power and fuel costs directly affects the overall profitability of the organisation. So, to maintain that balance well is a challenge.
FI: What is your strategies post COVID to get back to normal?
RK: Remsons Industries is into a range of automobiles such as two-wheelers, three wheelers, four-wheelers, light, and heavy commercial vehicles. We are also divested into the Farm Sector. So, this has helped us a lot during the post COVID recovery. Like, the two-wheeler industry is doing great at present, both in the OEM as well as after-markets. Light commercial vehicles are also doing very well at this stage. So, we are trying to maximize the sectors which are pulling businesses like Farm, Two Wheelers, Light Commercial Vehicles, Exports.
But every day is a new challenge due to material movement, raw materials availability, intermittent lockdowns happening, the employee’s exposure to the virus, isolation requirements, the work needs to be managed. Work from home has put a lot of stress since it is not time-bound and the work-life balance is lost which was supposed to be the other way around and now everyone is waiting for offices to start. Because over calls and meetings any work is bound to take more time to finish than when in a collaborative face-to-face meeting. All the above-mentioned factors are affecting productivity as well.
FI: How do you plan to work on productivity and profitability strategies post-COVID?
RK: We have a lot of new laborers because the old ones have migrated due to the COVID situation. So, we need to train new employees. A lot many other factors are affecting the cost of the organisation. The raw material costs are premium, the labour costs are premium, everything has been at more cost, but the product prices are not going up. So, these challenges are tough, and we are trying to hire more skilled staff, trying to train them faster so that things can go back to how they were. Also, the festive season is coming up, so the demand is very high and we have to meet the OEM’s requirements which require high productivity.
FI: Team Faber has been associated with Remsons Industries Ltd in the Lean Facility Design journey. Can you share more about the journey and the role of Faber Infinite along with the outcomes of the project – that has helped Remsons stay ahead of the competition?
RK: We engaged with Faber for a specific project, where we got the new plant layout done. Since the shifting process has been delayed (due to COVID) and what was supposed to happen in June or July 2020 will now take place in around December 2020. Team Faber Infinite has mapped out all our processes perfectly such as raw materials, stores, material flow, movement between material flows. Since we are setting up the plant at present, we are taking into consideration the COVID norms as well.
Although COVID may not last long, we are setting up preventive measures for the future. So, the involvement of Faber Infinite has given us in-depth knowledge and confidence. We shall also engage Faber as we go ahead with our implementation phase to avoid any mistakes as we go forward. It has been a worthy journey with Faber.
FI: What advice would you give to the organizations who are thinking of embarking on the journey or who have embarked on the journey of continuous improvement?
RK: One of the most important things, as per me should be to have a correct team to embark on any such initiative. Without the correct team, I think you cannot achieve anything. With a good team, even difficult tasks are accomplished, and everything falls into place. This is applicable for any journey for achieving the goals.
We sincerely thank Mr. Rahul Kejriwal and team Remsons Industries for being a part of iFaber – the official newsletter of Faber Infinite and sharing his valuable insights. Good luck Sir!