Sony and Honda started to produce their goods in India
-- Is India not good at making goods? --

2000/11/8

  FICCI  Japan Cell
Y. Sei
Japanese mission visited factories of Sony and Honda in the afternoon of 30th and 31st October 2000 respectively.

Sony installed many of used machine and equipment from Japan, and they have made use of packing materials from Japan to make many desks and table in the factory. I had an impression as if I were in the factory of just after World War II. A Japanese staff of Sony was saying ' This is a factory of 1960's.' But among those hand made equipment some machines or equipment were shining, those were the most modern inspection and testing machines and equipment.

Sony factory was originally shoemaker's factory and they added new wings to that. Some portion of the floor of factory were paved by Kota stone nicely and evenly, for Kota stone flooring was than more economical than concrete flooring. They minimized the cost of construction of the factory.

It kept very neat and clean inside of the factory and not a single dirt was observed at all.
Ten minutes every morning before entering daily work they have been cleaning places surrounding their own working job site including general manager of the factory.

The factory locates in the village called Dharuhera on Jaipur road about 70km down south of Delhi. High school graduated girls and boys are coming to the factory by 11 buses and working in uniform since 1995. GM of the factory also puts on the same uniform. They take a lunch in the same canteen. There are no discrimination by gender, and nationality and a half of group leaders are females. The stability of work force is 97%, which is the best of Sony factories in Asia. They assesses that the endowments of Indian are rather good; the skillfulness of the fingers, good eyesight, patient at work, never loafing on the job and full of faithfulness or of fidelity to the company. Indian endowments are not less than Malaysian is. Sony puts hub-center in Malaysia.

Workers on the belt conveyer are working with sparkling eyes and mounting or assembling 70 tips and parts onto the basic board by hand to make up international level of quality of TV. They are not looking the design map at all in front of them, but all of them know where and how to put by heart. It is rather surprise to know the best quality world famous Sony TV is hand-made at all. Final check or test at the end of conveyer belt is proving almost 100% OK. They are manufacturing about 3lac TV sets per annum and they will change system to automatic when production reaches one million. Presently Sony is making TV manually in hand-made factory in India without damaging their brand image.

Sony is using 70% of Indian-made parts and components for TV set excluding a picture tube, which is imported from Singapore. Sony is saying they can make any electrical goods in the present factory is enough demand exist.

Honda car factory locates in Greater NOIDA crossing the Yamuna, and it takes s little over one hour.

Honda factory is less automated than Toyota factory in Bangalore. A staff of Toyoda was commenting that Honda factory was based on the original point of car manufacturing. Workers there were doing job lively and gave very good impression to us. They are manufacturing about 1000 cars monthly and aiming to increase to 2000.

Japanese staff are assessing endowment of Indian workers good, especially skillfulness of the fingers, good eye-sight, patient and very good sense of hearing. Hearing a few minutes blow of engine just made-up they can point out good or bad with detailed description of bad. These sense is superior to Japanese. Honda is manufacturing cars in Thailand and they assesses Indian is better than Thai.

Mr. Abe of Sony General Manager of the Factory, ' We are looking matters at the same level of Indian workers eye. We are doing our best efforts to draw good endowment of Indian workers but never push and force one-sidedly.' Morita-ism is looked to penetrates into the level of workers.

Honda's work rules is rather volumes but in addition to that there is a booklet that explains what Honda-ism.

There is something common between the two. Wages for the workers are not so high compared with other factory around them, but all are working lively and eagerly. Factory is not equipped with ultra-modern automatic machines but manufacturing international quality based on original point of making goods. After observation of two factories, we would better to forget about the legend of 'India is not good at making goods.'

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