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`Industrial engineering has key role in current scenario'

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Rear Admiral A.K. Kalra, Project Director, Shipbuilding Centre (centre), presenting a copy of the convention proceedings to the GAIL CMD, Mr Proshanto Banerjee, after releasing it at the 45th national convention of Indian Institution of Industrial Engineering in Visakhapatnam on Friday. At extreme right is the Singareni Collieries CMD, Mr R.H. Khwaja. - K.R. Deepak

Visakhapatnam , Dec. 12

INDUSTRIAL engineering (IE) has to play a crucial role as India is now emerging as a force to reckon with in the world market and is set to take on the majors in many sectors, Mr Proshanto Banerjee, Chairman and Managing Director of Gail (India) Ltd, has said.

Mr Banerjee, who assumed charge as the new President of the Indian Institute of Industrial Engineering (IIIE) here on Friday at the inaugural of the 45th convention of the institute, said benchmarking was a key tool and Indian companies should not be content with incremental targets, but should measure themselves by international standards.

"India, after liberalisation, has become a buyer's market and the customers are becoming more demanding all the time. Therefore, the best international practices should be incorporated in the production processes and internal paradigms should be challenged all the time,'' he said.

Mr Banerjee said that he was optimistic about the future of the Indian industry and its ability to adapt to changes and measure up to the challenges ahead. Industrial engineering, encompassing several disciplines, would be a good tool in the hands of the industry to achieve the objective.

Mr R.H. Khwaja, Chairman and Managing Director of Singareni Collieries, said the company, on the verge of closure twice in the nineties, had achieved a remarkable turnaround and industrial engineering played a crucial role in the process.

"Of the 2,400 executives we have in the company, 43 executives are working full time in our IE department,'' he said.

He said the company was planning to introduce productivity audit, energy audit and enterprise resource planning. It would also strive to get the ISO-9001 certification.

Mr Khwaja opined that attitudinal change would have to be brought about in Indian companies to face competition. "We must give up this laid-back attitude. We can't compare ourselves with China, which is at least 50 years ahead of us. Though we have done extremely well in a few sectors like IT, let us have no illusions about ourselves. It is a long, long road ahead,'' he said.

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