The power of innovation in Titan, perhaps can be compared to the power of a punch delivered with a clenched fist, as opposed to the power, the punch can generate with an individual finger. We believe in involving every employee on our innovation journey and focussing on the processes created around innovation, rather than results (results of course, follow). The innovation journey , which started in a small way in 2003 has graduated over years to, most of the teams ( departments ) & employees having to do two jobs simultaneously a) How do I do my job better b) How do I find new ways to do my job .
We have reached, certain stage on our journey in Democratising the innovation process, and this exciting and purposeful journey, which does not have a final destination, is continuing.
Titan Industries limited, a joint venture between TATA group and Tamil Nadu Government (TIDCO), was formed in 1985, to design, manufacture, brand and retail watches. As per the understanding reached between the partners, The Managing director of Titan, will be a nominee from TATA group and the Chairman will be nominated by Tamil Nadu Government. Today Titan is the dominant watch retailer in India, with sales of 15 Million watches per annum, and with market share of 55%. 15% of our total sale comes from exports; we also have an international presence in Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam , Bangladesh and many other countries.
Titan diversified into precious jewellery manufacturing and retailing in the year 1995.Precious Jewellery is a big market in India with 40 Billion USD market today (8 Billion USD in 1995 ). The retailing of precious jewellery in India is dominated by family jewellers. Jewellery retail is also highly fragmented, with over 300000 individual retailers. We were the first Corporate to enter in Jewellery retail, and the task was to understand jewellery manufacturing, precious metal buying, and the biggest task was to compete with family jewellers , who have been in business for decades with a loyal customer base. The family jewellers source their jewellery from gold smiths (through middle men) who work from their house (cottage industry) with nil or minimum overheads.
We had started with a manufacturing plant with all modern refining, alloying, waxing and casting facilities, imported from Sweden, Japan & Germany, with an investment of 15 Million USD. We evolved to selling jewellery under two brands, brand Tanishq , for the evolving, modern design & fashion conscious Indian woman , and brand GOLDPLUS for traditional, investment conscious Indian women. We have, as of date, 152 retail stores under these two brands across the geographies of India.
The annual revenue from jewellery business had crossed 1.5 Billion USD in last financial year.
As of today, we are the largest jewellery & watch retailer in India. Also we have recently expanded our retail foot print in selling optical eye wear (started in 2006), and have achieved market leadership in this category also with over 250 retail stores.
In Titan ( Being a part of TATA group ) , we are guided by the TATA group philosophy on ethics , values, and Governance , and also, processes for Business excellence ( called TBEM ) , HR processes , Sustainability , safety, and Innovation Processes ( guidelines by TGIF). There are appropriate forums, and structured yearly audits by assessors certified by TATA group, to understand where Titan is good at and the areas of improvement, in our journey of excellence.
The family jewellers were getting their margin (huge) by giving under karatage jewellery to customers. Also the family jewellers had not invested in right manufacturing set up, in getting the purity of their jewellery products , built in to the process. It is to be noted that , the regulatory measures from the Government is in its nascent stage and it is impossible for the customers to know the purity of product they are buying , since even a jewellery made with under karatage will shine.
Under this backdrop, our jewellery products with right karatage were perceived as expensive by the customers , and , Titan Jewellery division , with huge manufacturing investment , initially, could not penetrate market dominated by family jewellers and was making losses year on year from 1995 to 2003. Introduction of karat meter ( a device to check the karatage of jewellery in a non destructive way ) in 2002 in all our retail show room , and creation of awareness amongst customers , started bringing foot falls to our stores. But the challenge was to make our business model profitable.
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention , and this in our context can be re-phrased as necessity is the mother of innovation. In the year 2002 , an international consultant engaged ,by our company ( in an attempt to revisit our strategy ) had recommended closure of our jewellery manufacturing plant . What was required for manufacturing to survive ( considering its huge investment , as opposed to minimal investment by the market ), was not incremental improvement in productivity , but quantum leap in output. With a leap of faith in innovation , and a leap of faith in people , we started our innovation journey in 2003. Very encouraging initial results, created a genuine love for innovation amongst key participants , and then we began to think systematically in designing processes for innovation , creating structure around innovation , themes around innovation , educating people on innovation , involving every employee in innovation, backed with rewards and recognition. Our Co created Value for Innovation, reads as below -
Systematic progress (processes) in Democratising Innovation
Transparent culture leads to trust worthiness, which is a pre requisite for Innovation culture. Having won the trust of employees and partners (as explained in various parts of this story to follow ), we started with theme based innovation , branding the same widely , within the company , and inviting ideas and having a structure to scrutinise ideas till implementation. People sensitization and motivation to understand and participate in innovation, is important.
Every year, a theme of innovation was adopted, Branded to give visibility , and efforts were channelized in getting ideas and acting on it.
Some landmark milestones achieved in the process of democratizing innovation are highlighted below
A) In 2004 we started WHAT IS NEW? Each department is given a white board, where they should capture, three new things that they are pursuing, every month. Competitive spirit was brought in by attaching rewards to departments systematically following this initiative. 14 departments, and 3 ideas per month, and 12 months, gave us amazing results.
Process followed to engage & evangelize employees :
It is said that “People do not care who you are and what you say, until they know , you care for them." The important foundation in any change management initiative, is to win the trust of employees ( and all stake holders ).As is there no instantaneous magic switch to build trust, with the everyday acts and deeds that the senior leadership does , over a period of time , the employees observe and judge whether we are trust worthy. Genuine care for people and placing people interest ahead of the business interest has always been in Titan’s DNA. The great platform of trust, therefore was already prevalent in our company and the task was to build on this for this new initiative. Series of engagement with people, as detailed below, followed
a) Discussion with all departmental heads, leading them to think that only through innovation , can we obtain break through results. Getting their consensus before launching the program
b) Engaging with union office bearers and opinion makers in formal discussions in the factory and informal discussions outside the factory premises , in creating awareness on the current situation , and the expected outcomes in terms of productivity for us to break even ( 200% improvement in productivity ).Sharing with them the turn-around stories of many corporate with employee involvement. Sensitising them to the urgency and leading them with conversation to think that, we need to innovate, and they can innovate
c) After taking the department heads, office bearers of the union and opinion makers in to confidence, conducting many open houses, to genuinely communicate with employees on the need for break through improvements, and sharing many inspiring innovation stories
d) After all these were done ( took us about 6 months ) , Launch of What is new , with a big fun fare
e) Designing a suitable reward mechanism, and announcing the same to create competitive spirit amongst people
f) Daily rounds in shop floor, most of my time will be spent on few departments who had initially filled in the board
g) Peer pressure slowly started setting in and over a period of three months all departments (14 in all) had their boards filled in.
h) Daily reviews in the shop floor, weekly reviews with Managers, assisting them with timely resources in experimenting their ideas and applauding people in the shop floor , started yielding results
i) Monthly production review starts with , reviewing the progress on What is new , ahead of the production numbers
j) Introducing each team to MD whenever he visits the plant and , making the employee to present to MD about their new idea , opened up the flood gate for newness every month .
k) The winners every quarter as assessed by external jury , were rewarded
The WHAT IS NEW? Board launched in 2004.
B) LEAP FOR LASTING LEADERSHIP :The jewellery business had two major product portfolios, diamond jewellery and plain gold jewellery. Our manufacturing plant was equipped to manufacture all cast diamond jewellery , and also , we had great facilities to alloy and refine gold. The plain gold jewellery manufacturing is outsourced , ( 70 % of our revenue comes from plain gold jewellery ) , and as explained in the beginning , they work like a typical cottage industry , with age old equipment , processes and mind set. The inefficiency of Gold smith community was borne by customers paying for under karatage. The task ahead of us was to improve substantially the efficiency at the vendor premises , and deliver the right karatage jewellery , at a price , which is comparable to what family jewellers are offering.
In 2005 , we involved the vendor fraternity, with the innovation initiative called " Leap for lasting leadership ", ( Bob Beamon’s long jump record , remained a record for over two decades , and inspiring our vendor fraternity to find the equivalent for Titan ) challenging them to reduce the manufacturing lead time for plain gold jewellery from 30 days to 3 days , studded jewellery ( handmade ) from 58 days to 9 days , and kundan jewellery from 60 days to 3 days. Continuous engagement with Karigar (gold smith) fraternity, in motivating & training them was done.
Traditional Karigar Workplace
Karigar Work Environment at Titan
The steps and the philosophy we followed in enrolling vendor fraternity and Gold smith , in Innovation Culture
A) Backdrop: It is important to mention here that , we looked at the Gold smiths as people , first , and then as gold smiths. The one million gold smith fraternity in India , being a highly unorganised industry , are a neglected lot , and do not get any help either from the retailers or from the Government , in improving their life standards. The middle men who connect the retailers and gold smiths were benefitting the most. Involvement of child labour and an unhygienic work environment (where most work, eat and sleep) are traditionally accepted norms in this industry .Also since the work environment is not well engineered, our research revealed that they retire at the age of 35 to 40 with health problems like back pain, poor eye sight, lung disease etc.
B) Our Innovation challenge was four fold 1) Create a work environment, in which they can work up to 60 years of age 2) Upgrade their equipments in getting consistency in purity of products 3) Radical improvement in processes to crash the lead time of manufacturing , and substantial reduction in inventory holding days 4) With process improvement , improve their productivity , enabling them to earn much more.
To achieve the above , we went with a six prong approach Engage , Implement 1 , Include , Inspire , Educate and Implement 2
With the above backdrop , we started engaging ourselves in series of group discussion ( 2500 people covered in 8 months time ) and listening session with Vendor along with their gold smith. We understood that like every human being is entitled to have his own hopes and aspirations , the gold smith fraternity had their own legitimate hopes and aspirations and they could never get a platform for someone to listen to them in the past. Before embarking on our innovation initiative, based on our earlier discussions with them, we had quickly prepared an action plan and started to implement (Implement 1) some of the welfare measures. To mention a few-
- Organised yearly eye camps for Gold smiths. People needing spectacles or cataract surgery , were identified and our company had borne the expenses of all corrective measures.
- All gold smiths ( around 2500 who worked for us ) were covered under hospitalisation insurance and the yearly premium borne by the company.
- Assisting them in procuring the right equipments , to achieve consistent purity, depending on the merit of the vendor , either we had financed or arranged for them to get loan from banks.
- Made our judicious judgement , with all the interactions we have had with them , and rationalised the vendor base from 64 to 21.
After having done this , we believed that we should create an environment to appreciate them before inspiring & educating them. Our efforts to INCLUDE them involved
- Coming out with a magazine for gold smith fraternity , christened “ BANDHAN “ , covering the success stories in gold smith’s personal life and professional life ( a quarterly magazine ) distributed to all karigars ( Gold Smith)
- Giving them platform to come out with their ideas for efficiency improvement ( Brahmaputra was the name of this idea collection scheme )
- Recognising the Gold smith with best alignment , best design , and best suggestion and rewarding them in the presence of their family members
- Each vendor’s place had a corner displaying the photograph of achievers ( Gold smith )
- Bringing gold smiths in batches to our factory , allowing them to see how we are doing things and making them to think
- Celebrating Gold smith day once a year , with cultural and sports program.
After having set the right platform , we had series of meetings to INSPIRE & EDUCATE them
- With the grand plans that we have to make their work place a world class one ( An initiative called Mr. PERFECT , right infrastructure , right equipment , right layout , right safety , right process etc )
- Inspire them with stories of people who have created history ( The challenge was doing it in their local language Bengali ) , and seeding in them the thought that impossible things are possible
- Sharing the challenges with them ( 30 days to 3 days manufacturing ) and asking for volunteers , ( from vendors , who wants to be with us in experimenting this journey) . Two vendor partners had volunteered and we had started working with them.
Having won the trust and confidence of the partners, the environment was receptive to changes and new way of doing things. Implementing ( Implement 2 ) , after thorough investigation on what needs to be improved , was an year long journey. Some of the major initiatives which led us closer to achieving desired results ( 30 days to 3 days ) being
- Creating bill of material for the individual variants with the help of Gold smiths. ( Otherwise the practice was to give them a 2D drawing of the jewellery and the individual elements, that goes in to making the jewellery , are decided by gold smiths, with their experience , and we had no data on this )
- Consolidating the bill of material of all the variants in our system and mapping it with past sale data to understand the consumption pattern of various common elements used across categories of jewellery ( 864 elements we understood are being used by them with which any jewellery can be made )
- Based on the consumption pattern arriving at kanban stock to be available at the vendors place. A two bin system was introduced to delink the parts manufacturing and jewellery manufacturing
- The orders were released with BOM , and the newly created parts department picked the parts required for a given variant, and gave it to the gold smith whose job was now , only to solder and polish the jewellery . The parts removed for manufacturing was indented and replaced to replenish the bin
- Along with this , the operations in soldering involving maximum time were identified and alternate innovative method defined and implemented. ( RTV mould to help them reduce manufacturing time in a process from 6 hours to 6 minutes , and curing of POP which was taking 60 minutes , reduced to 3 minutes ).
Horizontal deployment at other Vendor Premises
We had organized an event for these success stories to be shared by the gold smiths whom we had initially involved to other gold smiths. Over a period of time (4 to 5 years ) the gold smiths earning has tripled and our inventory is now one sixth of what we were otherwise holding. Encouraged by the above results our management is investing on 5 Million USD in four manufacturing buildings, engineered to take the life style of gold smith many notches up.
Hear some of the gold smiths’ (karigars) reactions to the improvements here.
Click here to have a look at the proposed Karigar center.
C ) SIMPLIFY & AUTOMATE: Encouraged by good results from What is new and Leap for lasting leadership , in an effort to get more from the already motivated Managers and employees , we had come out with an Innovation Theme , called SIMPLIFY & AUTOMATE .Our belief was that , whenever a collection launch of product in the market place happens there is a huge buzz associated with the newness and it increases the excitement & energy levels in the market place and amongst our employees. In similar lines , if we are able to place a theme around our innovation and brand it internally , it generates excitement and new found energy surfaces. Accordingly, in 2006 , the theme for our innovation was " SIMPLIFY AND AUTOMATE "
Why & What Of simplify & automate : In 2008 , we had achieved a sales revenue of RS 1000 Crore and the company was all poised for a 5 fold increase in revenue in 5 years time. The challenging question posed to the Managers was, how are we going to get fivefold increase in output in 5 years time. In an exclusive off site meet , people were made to think on the fact that
- We can get 5 fold increase by increasing our capacity fivefold by adding machines and equipments , and plan for increase in manpower to reach Rs 5000Crore revenue.
- They were made to think that this approach is ok , if we all agree that we have already the best equipment and best of processes , and there is no room for any improvement. Also they were enlightened in this work shop on the uncertainties of market place , and the risk associated with adding facilities and increasing the manpower, and made them to seriously think on what processes can be simplified and what can be automated , in a systematic way.
- They were asked this challenging question , Why not we create history in jewellery manufacturing , by innovating newer and better ways of doing things.
- Different groups were formed to address capital intensive processes and manpower intensive processes and we decided to meet after three months, at the same venue
Results- Ten path breaking thoughts /projects evolved .The presentation made by a manager( at the end of 3 months ) is attached , where in , in an area involving 456 manpower ( as is for 5000Crore ), this team had come out with new ideas and their recommendation was that ,the same job (to manage activities),for Rs 5000 crore turn over can be done , only with a total of 47 people. Please click here to see the presentation.
Manual Diamond Bagging
Diamond Bagging Automation Implemented in 2006
C) INNOVATION SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT: Having tasted the hidden strengths of employees and partners, since only 20% of the employees were actively participating in innovation, in 2009, we came out with an initiative called INNOVATION SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, with the view to make all stake holders innovators by 2015.
A six month program on innovation, co-created by EREHWON, an innovation consulting company , that has pioneered the Orbit Shifting Innovation Methodology, to buid and mutiply the number of innovation champions , with the capacity to conceive and execute innovation projects , at Titan , was designed with 3 days of class room session , on what , why and how of innovation , followed by 4 hours / week free time to work on identified innovation projects, 2 hours of mentoring in a week, Monthly review with SMT , ultimately leading to a diploma in innovation to the employee.( To have a look at the innovation school brochure-click here). So far 50% of our employees have been converted as trained innovators, and manufacturing innovations contribute to around 20% of our profits. (To have a look at one of our innovator’s project, please click here)
First Batch of "Innovators" From ISCM
E) TATA INNOVERSE :As explained in the CONTEXT initially , we are a part of TATA group and have access to their best practices. From 2010 we have tasted the power of open innovation through TATA INNOVERSE, an open innovation web 2 platform promoted by TGIF ( Tata Group Innovation Forum ) bringing all Tata employees together. Five unresolved challenges from our past were posted by our managers , on Tata Innoverse and for three problems, the team could get solution from this new platform, within four months. The initial success story , had created a deep belief in collaborative innovation , and this platform is being used by many of our managers regularly.
Award Ceremony for Tata Innoverse
F) In 2011, we created two huge events called INNOVATION BAZAAR (IDEA MARKET PLACE), a two day event to show case employee ideas, and INTERWEAVE, a one day event , to bring all brand executives under one platform. Innovation Bazaar : The idea of innovation bazaar was conceived after going through the HBR article in 2007 , on “ A buyers guide to Innovation Bazaar” written by Mr. Mohanbir Sawhney and Mr. Satish Nambisan. Innovation bazaar was decided to be done within Titan with three objectives
- To encourage employees to show case their implemented innovation and give them the pride of sharing their innovation with their other colleagues
- Create a cross pollination opportunity platform, within Titan , for people to get inspired by ideas they see , and possible implementation in their area of work
- To demonstrate management’s commitment to the subject Innovation , by conducting this large two day event.
Eight eminent Jury panel evaluated the ideas , and decided on the best innovation. The innovations spanned across brands , businesses and functions , covering process , product , retail , customer service , and support functions. From 340 entries received , through proper filters, 120 ideas were shortlisted to be on display.
A nearby 3 star hotel with all their facilities were completely booked for our event for three days. Innovative products from six other leading companies were on display , along with the respective company’s executives. Our employees could get new insights through this. We had converted the hotel’s squash court in to a theatre and inspiring films on innovation were played. This event was attended by over 3500 people, and this was done to Cross pollinate ideas within different businesses of TITAN. (Discover some opportunities identified for cross pollination - click here.
Titan Innovatin Bazaar
A Stall in Action
Take a glimpse of the exciting Titan Innovation bazaar ( a two minute AV ) by clicking on the icon!
INTER WEAVE: This was a one day event conducted in an off site resort . The purpose of Inter weave event was , in an effort to bring the SIX different brands of our company ( Titan , Tanishq , Goldplus , Sonatta , Fast Track , Eye + ) and Retail executives who work for Titan , to share their innovations with one best example in each of the four subjects given to them, with the larger audience . The four subjects were
- Innovative customer acquisition
- Innovative customer retention
- Innovative advertisement
- Innovative retail process improvement.
With 6*4= 24 presentations, this event was attended by over 350 executives. There was a Jury Panel to evaluate and zero down on the best. This was perhaps the first platform created since inception of our company (23 years back ) in bringing all brands together and sharing their innovations. The idea was to create a platform to cross pollinate the ideas and reward the best.
Interweave Rewards Ceremony
G) INNOVATION CENTRE : Inspired by Mr. Steven Jhonson’s TED talk and his book on WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM , we have created this unusual building with the hope of bettering the quality of ideas from our employees .This temple for innovation (An innovative building) Called INNOVATION CENTRE, is aimed at engaging & inspiring people to come out with best of ideas for the challenge that they are working on. Unusual ambience coupled with bringing diverse set of people to come together , in this building, is expected to lead to unusual and impactful ideas. In Innovation centre we are giving the right ambience for employees to come, see the challenges, think and submit their ideas. It is a two hall construction with the first hall designed to be used as hall of creativity and the second hall designed to be used as hall of tranquillity. A small proto-centre, library, discussion rooms are part of Innovation centre.
Titan Innovation Centre
To understand the concept behind the innovation centre and the story behind its structure, and usage please click here.
Also this year we are taken space in IIT M Research park , ( result of an effort between a premier engineering institute IIT in India and industry for collaborative work between industry and academia ) and having a strategic tie up with them to have IIT brains and their facilities to work on resolving our challenges. This is called Titan Innovation Hub.
1) Enrolling employees to innovation initiative was a problem faced . This was done by identifying the opinion makers and giving them a serious listening on their grievances. On solvable issues, giving them a commitment and honouring the commitment and therefore winning their trust post which they were made the light house for the next innovation initiative . Supporting them and facilitating them to succeed and recognizing them. To read the Cindrella Story ( authored by Porus Munshi, Kinshuk poddar , Vidya viswanathan , Copy right Erehwon Consulting company ) , on Titan Innovation ( page 6 to 10 ) in enrolling employees ) please click here.
2) Enrolling the vendor fraternity was even a bigger problem ( the how part was explained earlier )
3) Even when a bright idea was arrived at, resistance from the others in implementing was the other challenge
Actions to surmount the challenges : It has not been one quick fix idea , but has been a series of genuine efforts which has helped us to overcome most of the challenge
1) The culture should be employee friendly, If employees are not participating in innovation , we believe that, it is not their fault , and look at what we should do and what we are not doing
2) Engaging with opinion makers and giving them a serious listening, and fulfilling some of their grievances and making them a light house for innovation
3) Creating a structure to focus on innovation - INNOVATION COUNCIL & FUTURE GROUP (future group has 15 executives working full time on innovation, in Jewellery division ). Innovation Council ( 16 member senior group, for all business verticals of Titan ), was formed by our MD in the year 2010. This was done after the success stories on Innovation from Jewellery manufacturing and after we underwent the innometer study as a company ( and for jewellery division ).
The task given to INNOVATION COUNCIL ,was three fold
- How do we create a frame work to improve continuously on innovation
- How can we increase participation level on innovation from employees
- How do we integrate innovation in to our Strategy process .
Innovation council thus formed , analysed the Innometer scores on different aspects of innovation ( meets once a month for two hours ) and had come out with a 5 pronged agenda
- Innovation enablers (organising many innovation activities ) ( Innovation Bazaar for Titanians , Innovation Bazaar for Vendors , Interweave , Inter weave in regions, Innovation News letter , daily mail on Innovation etc are done )
- Providing platform for idea generation ( Launching Innoverse in Titan, Innovation Hub In IIT Chennai , Innovation Centre )
- Educating people to innovate( Innovation school , Innovation Challenge Program at IIMB, a two week program for managers, lectures by eminent people on innovation , sponsoring employees to many innovation conference ) )
- R& R programs ( Dream team , Outstanding Titanian , Innovation Bazaar winners , Interweave winners , Hall of fame , Moment of fame ) : Involving the finalist family members , Cash rewards , Publishing these events in our News letter , Rich momento and Certificates, Grand award ceremony in a five star hotel with entertainment from eminent artists , inviting eminent speakers .,.,
- Measurement on innovation ( to know where we are doing well & where we should improve. Innometer study by TGIF adopted )
Future group, was formed in Jewellery manufacturing in 2008, to enable the organization to cope up with the ideas pouring from employees. A two member team was formed initially, with a view to filter the ideas (earlier done by CFT , part time ), and to work along with the ideators in experimenting . What started in a small way, has now developed into a 15 Member team headed by a Divisional Manager , three managers and the rest Executives. They are perhaps the busiest people in Jewellery manufacturing.
Our learning is that A) Believe in people B) Take responsibility ( do not blame it on people ) C) Keep definite time to review innovation D) Keep challenging questing floating always E) Grand R&R F) Measure / bench mark where we are on innovation & improve
To mention a few stunning outcomes from our Innovation culture
The biggest benefit from our effort to democratise innovation , is that, we have created a bunch of agile employees, who are ready to adopt and take head on the rapid and disproportionate changes happening in the market place , and lead the changes with their innovative ideas.
a) Production quantity per shift per person in stone setting improved from 100 to 1800 per person per shift. An international bench mark. (patent pending for mould setting innovation)
b) Wax setting production improved from 350 to 2100 per person per shift. Again an international bench mark. (patent pending)
c) Manufacturing lead time on plain jewellery reduced from 30 days to 6 days
d) Studded jewellery ( handmade ) manufacturing lead time reduced from 56 days to 9 days
e) Robotic bagging automation introduced (Otherwise we would have engaged 150 people for this job) ( patent pending innovation )
We are the world’s first in introducing this process
f) Colour & lustre matching automation
g) Kundan jewellery - manufacturing lead time from 60 days to 3 days
h) Virtual stone setting 100 proto per month from a group of 20 employees to 1000 proto from the same group (Patented)
i) 700 gms per month production of karigar to 4000 gms per month per karigar
j) Gold loss in manufacturing , through series of innovation today stands at 0.11% , down from 5% in 2003 ( An industry bench mark )
k) First TATA INNOVISTA in 2006, First prize won by our employees (otherwise called workers in other companies)
Titan Awarded for Mould Setting Innovation in Tata Innovista
Titan Awareded in Tata Innovista For Diamond Bagging Automation in 2006
The Tanishq story was recognized as an example of innovation in the form of a case study called “The Voyager” in the TATA innovista . Click here to have a look at the case study.
l) Working on 41 path breaking projects, prioritised based on an innovation portfolio created..
m) Substantial Improvement in Innometer Study (A study for benchmarking the innovation ecosystem available in the company using a tool developed by Prof. Julian Birkinshaw.). In 2009/ 10 , The innometer study results revealed that , our scores on Innovation from Inside , Cross Pollination , and Innovation from outside ( please see chart below ) were not in the top 25 percentile in global benchmarking. We started concentrating on these fronts by adding more pertinent initiatives to improve our current practices and thereby improving our scores.
- Innovation Inside : We came out with a new initiative called SEED + , encouraging individual employees to come out with ideas , on a constraint ( once a month ) defined by the management. Cash awards of up to RS 30,000 was announced. In Innovation school, we recruited 87 students.
- Innovation from Outside : We started engaging ourselves with outside entities with different talents , in finding solution to our problems. Vision camera manufacturing firm in Bangalore , An independent R& D firm specialised in powder metallurgy based out of Hyderabad , Strategic tie up with a small R&D firm Serenity Inc, based in California, specialising in Nano technology , Tie up with Goldratt Consultancy based out of Israel ., etc. to learn from their experience.
- Cross Pollination a) Exposure to Innovation students on other (un ) related industry , when they generating ideas to solve their challenge. Interesting example can be sending a team of our employees , who were working on obtaining 100% acceptance in our alloying process , to get uniform homogeneity , to a pharmaceutical company , alloy steel makers , to a sweet manufacturing company b) Innovation bazaar & interweave were done to get more cross pollination ideas.
With all the above done , resulted in improved scores in our next Innometer study. ( Please see chart below )
n) International recognition for the processes of innovation adopted in Titan by the European Business School , in one their competition on “ Developing leaders in Supply chain . . A publisher covering the event , had our story as a case study in their book –“Develop Leaders in Supply Chain Management”. (Click here to see the award and read through the case study)
Titan Innometer Study
Completer Turnaround in the PBT of the Jewelery Division as a result of various innovartion measures.
1) Every employee can innovate (Given the right culture & opportunity)
2) Never blame people for not innovating. Always ask yourself what is that you could have done better
3) Keep sensitising people to innovation (this should be an ongoing effort)
4) Create specific structure for scrutinising ideas (Otherwise people will lose interest)
5) Take idea to next step immediately. (Even if you fail, you will learn fast)
6) Educate people on tools & techniques to come out with ideas
7) Always publish challenging questions to make people to think beyond their routine
8) Liberal Rewards & recognition programs
9) Always (once a year) measure the status of INNOVATION ECO SYSTEM in your company, to improve
10) Innovativeness is sustained, when the employee realises that, innovation can go beyond the economic benefits to the company , in helping him to reinvent his professional & Personal life
11) Always focus on processes for innovation and not for results ( results are bound to follow )
12 ) Keep generating ideas , more the ideas , more are the chances that we will get a break through idea.
13) Learn the art of managing the present without losing focus on future (TOP MANAGEMENT)
14 ) Last , but an important lesson learnt being , you cannot push employees to be creative , and the top needs to create the required pull by constantly and relentlessly, engaging , inspiring , with courageous patience.
The credit should go to-
a) Our MD, Mr. Bhaskar Bhat for having created a people friendly culture
b) TGIF ( Tata Group Innovation forum ) & TQMS ( TATA quality management system ) , for periodically guiding us with many pertinent innovation initiatives ( Innovista , Innometer , Innoverse , Innocluster , Innomission etc )
c) Wonderful organizations like EREHWON who always inspire people on innovation; Mr. Pavan Soni, Independent innovation evangelist & Mr. Gokul of EREHWON from whom I have learnt a lot.
d) The members of the innovation council , with specific mention to Meera Harish.
e) The wonderful employees who continue to innovate.
I had the privilege of leading a team of 500 bright and young employees in Jewellery Manufacturing , and , leading & mentoring our Titan Innovation Council.