Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 70

66
KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
Frugal Innovation
–byNirajBajaj
In theearly1960s Indiawasmakinggiant strides
in scienceand technologyandMukandwas in the
forefront.UnderKamalnayanji’s leadership,Mukand
forgedahead. By1957,Mukand steelwasused in the
buildingof anew terminal inSantacruzairport, the
Canada-India reactor inTrombay, theVaitarnaDam
andChurchgateStationof theWesternRailways, to
name just a fewprojectsundertakenat the time.
Our growth surgedduring thisperiodasa result of
several initiatives: in training, inproduct development
and in launchinganewdivision for capital goods
engineering. At the same time, profitswere steadily
invested to increasecapacity.
Starting in1957, Kamalnayanji launched three
major training initiatives.Heappointedawholetime
Industrial TrainingOfficer forworkers. For engineers,
Mukandentered intoaneight year technical
agreementwith the thenwell-knownBritish steel
foundry,DavidBrown Industries. TheBritish firm
wouldhelpMukand solveproblems in its foundryas
also to train Indian techniciansat itsYorkshireplant.
The thirdprogramwas formanagers.Mukand sent
thosewhohadaminimumof tenyearsexperience
andwere likely to shoulderhigher responsibilities
toHarvardBusinessSchool’seightmonthexecutive
educationprogram.Otherswere sent toCanada
andRussia for advanced training.Meanwhile,
Kamalnayanji openedupMukand to studentsof the
newlyestablishedRegional EngineeringSchools to
enableexperiential training.
Onproduct development,Mukand tiedupwith several
internationals firms.Oneexample isquite interesting.
Wepioneered themanufactureofAutomaticCentre
BufferCouplers for trains, incollaborationwithUSA’s
NationalMalleableandSteelCastingsCorporation.
Oneof our biggest achievementswas to
indigenouslydesignandbuildcapitalmachines for
the steel and sugar industriesat a fractionof the
cost of similarmachinery.UnderKamalnayanji’s
chairmanship (1947-1971)Mukandpioneered frugal
innovationmuchbefore it becameabuzzword in the
21st century.
(a)Beingable tobuildmachinesat lowcost gaveKamalnayanenormous joy. Thegroupentered themachinebuildingbusinesscirca1960. By1963,
Kamalnayanproudly showcasedequipment fabricatedat theKalweplant at a fractionof thecost of importedmachines. In thesepictures isaShot
Blastingequipment built in-house. CostRs. 70,000; (b) apart of aSandSystem thatMukanderected in1962: CostRs. 4,00,000and; (c) a10-ton
OverheadCrane fabricated inKalwe. Cost: Rs. 90,000.
(a)
(b)
(c)
1...,60,61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69 71,72,73,74,75,76,77,78,79,80,...124
Powered by FlippingBook