METAL SEAM CO. PVT LTD _'Drumming the Drums'_ by zhouwenjuan

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									 METAL SEAM CO. PVT LTD
  (‘Drumming the Drums’)
- A case study on Innovative practices by an SME

              Author: Manoj Joshi
                 Assistant Professor
        (Sahara Arts & Management Academy)

          B-1/51/Sector B, Aliganj, Scheme,
        Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, 226024
             E-mail: mj_32@gawab.com
         Residence Phone: +91-522-2370934
              Handy: +91-933-52-35676


                    Submitted

                    12/05/2006




                                                   1
                                         Abstract



Entrepreneurs from the Small and medium enterprise have always demonstrated the

strength, wisdom and courage, while establishing their venture. The importance of such

Small & Medium type enterprises cannot be ignored in a growing economy. The founder

Manager of Metal Seam Co Pvt. ltd, Mr S B Agarwal has proved that dreams could be

turned into valuable ventures by utilising the innate characteristics. The challenge

imposed by uncertainties within the family living, cannot deter but compel the thinking

towards the survival process and raise the spirit of the leader. It is the understanding of

the business environment, knack of appreciating opportunity, hard work, dedication and

tireless efforts topped by Innovative practices that makes the difference form the crowd.

The case study demonstrates how an individual dares to traverse to an unknown field and

with the gut feel supported by intrinsic motivation can do wonders in establishing a

profitable enterprise. It also highlights the passion to learn, radical innovation, business

orientation and the operational strategy of a small time drum manufacturing enterprise.




Keywords:



Innovative   Practices,   Radical    Innovation,    Intrinsic   &   Extrinsic   Motivation,

Entrepreneurial Competency, Opportunity Recognition, Risk and Uncertainty




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                            METAL SEAM CO. PVT LTD

                                (‘Drumming the Drums’)



As Bertrand Russell said, ‘Man’s greatest triumph is to achieve stability and inner repose

in a world of shifting threats and terrifying change’. So has been the confidence of few

great entities that we have termed entrepreneurs, who have reposed a consistent faith in

their latent abilities to transform their vision, towards the economic growth of the

surroundings. The route to innovation has been the greatest manifestation pursued by

mankind and the successes have been emulated over the periods. Yet another paradigm

move from a simple service orientation, to a business performance has been exemplified

by Shri Suraj Bhan Agarwal, the founder Managing Director of Metal Seam Company

Private Limited, commonly known as ‘Drum Wale’, in Indian dialect.



The Birth of the Enterprise

‘Vision has been seen to efface out in the form and shape as being dreamt’. A typical

observation worldwide has been that there was no positive correlation between the

innovator and the past experience of his business, the technical background and the area

chosen to represent the innovation. This has been largely reflected by the birth of Metal

Seam Co. Pvt. Ltd., Lucknow. However the common factor, which remains relevant in all

research studies and findings, is the passion, desire, will and relentless efforts to

transform the imagination into tangible results.




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Background of the Founder Director

The founder MD, Mr S. B Agarwal was born on 07-6-1930 in village Dollutpur, Tehseel

Anoopshar, District Bullandshaher, Uttar Pradesh (India) in Agarwal’s family but

unfortunately his father Sri Avadh Behari Lal Agarwal expired after two years of his

birth. He stayed in the village up to the age of eight years along with his mother and one

elder sister and studied in the village school up to class-2. One day, his kind hearted

uncle, who was a Junior Engineer in PWD, Lucknow, came and took the entire family to

Lucknow, the capital city of the state Uttar Pradesh. His two elder brothers were already

taken to Lucknow by his uncle at the time of death of his father. As his uncle’s earnings

were a meagre Rs.180/ per month only and that the Uncle was very honest, the entire

family passed its days in very low profile and great hardship. Mr Agarwal started

studying from class-3 in a municipal school and studied till the 7th class. Subsequently he

got an admission in K.K. College from where he passed the intermediate (Science) and

B.Sc. In the mean time he took up tuition work and other small business to help family

and to pay the college fee. In 1942 his uncle retired and there was no help from his eldest

brother, who too had become a Junior Engineer. Mr Agarwal requested his eldest brother

to get him an admission in an Engineering College but all in vain. The next in line and

immediate elder brother, after the retirement of uncle left his studies and started

manufacturing ‘Eye Droppers’ and ‘Dibbis’ for used for containing ointment, on very

tiny scale. The entire family helped him by drawing droppers out of hollow glass tubes by

melting it on blow stove and the aunt, uncle and mother would put rubber sheath on glass

droppers and packed them in cartons. Thus the family and Mr Agarwal prolonged their

livelihood and met the daily living expenses.




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By the grace of God Mr Agarwal was a technical minded individual from the very

childhood and used to get pleasure in engaging in technical activities. His neighbour used

to buy old Motor cycles from Military auction and sell it after repairing. He observed this

process eagerly every day. How the engine was disengaged, the pistons were changed,

the valves were grinded and finally and reassembled. He would volunteer to his

neighbour and learned a lot. He had a proclivity to study mechanical engineering but due

to family circumstances and poor financial strengths could not do so.



In 1950 there was a wind for opening agriculture Farms. The Govt. was encouraging

young people to adopt farming and was giving free land. Mr Agarwal’s elder brother

decided to start farming and after a lot of running was able to get hold of 100 acres barren

land, absolutely free, in village Gadhota, Dist. Gwalior near Dabra, from the Madhya

Pradesh Govt. The elder brother prompted his younger brother Sri S.B. Agarwal to join

him in is farming endeavour. Perceiving no opportunity elsewhere Mr Agarwal joined

hands with his elder brother. Rs. Ten thousand was collected from all sources, which

included contributions from mother, uncle, maternal uncle & aunt. With the collected

amount, one brand new Ferguson tractor was purchased for Rs. Seven thousand that

included a plough and a tiller.



Mr Agarwal lived in Farm for five years, worked hard, ploughed fields by tractor and

also by bullocks, drove bullock cart, sowed paddy by Japanese method and got the 2nd

prize in Gwalior District, awarded by Director of agriculture at Gwalior ‘Mela’




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(carnival). He was also selected by the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Govt. for USA

under Ford Foundation Exchange programme for farmers but could not go attend due to

financial restrains.



The family of his elder brother was quite big by now and that there was not much

earnings. The Farm land was uneven and lacked irrigation facilities. Hence, he foresaw

no scope for prosperity in the farm business. Besides this his old uncle, aunt and the

mother were living at Lucknow with no one there to look after and care for them. He

returned in April 1956 to Lucknow with Rs. seventeen (17) in his pocket, one pair of

trouser and shirt. His uncle prolonged the existence of the family by mortgaging

ornaments and with some help from the eldest brother. Mr Agarwal was perturbed for

being jobless. One day his eldest brother came to Lucknow and advised him to do work

of an Insurance Agent and introduced him to one of his friend, who was a branch

manager in New India Assurance Co. Ltd. An opportunity came in hand as an as an

Insurance agent and this became the turning point of his life.



The branch manager motivated him for doing extra business in insurance. He prompted

Mr Agarwal that in Insurance services one could write a cheque for self and besides that

‘you are not the servant of any one’. He said, that ‘if you do more business you could

earn more commission’. This is where Mr Agarwal was exposed to training of human

engineering. His work within three of months of joining was so appreciating that his

branch manager gave him an appointment letter of a Field Officer from 1st September

1956, with a starting salary of Rs. one hundred fifty (150) per month. Luckily Life




                                                                                      6
Insurance Corporation of India Limited (LIC) was formed from 1-9-1956 and the services

of Mr Agarwal were transferred to LIC. He worked very hard in LIC for procuring

Insurance business and used to cycle 20 to 25 kilometres in a day in all seasons. He

earned two and some time three increments and in 1958 was gifted with a Royal Enfield

Motor Cycle by LIC for generating more business. Being in LIC business he met a wide

cross section of the society got exposure and gained confidence while interacting with

different type of people that ranged from peon to IAS and even ministers. This aided him

in his endeavour to learn and conduct more business. In 1968 he was rewarded with a Car

from LIC.




Since childhood the desire towards technical upbringing was steering Mr Agarwal, who

later emerged out to be among the top few entrepreneurs in the field of Drum

manufacturing. It was in his mind from the very beginning to establish an enterprise, in

which he would use his God gift for technical orientation and would demonstrate the

capabilities he had inherited as experience.



Fortunately one day in 1963 he was sitting with one of his friend Mr. Singhal, an owner

of a paint factory and asked to suggest a business for him. Mr Singhal responded that Mr

Agarwal should start manufacturing Tin Containers and Steel Drums as an enterprise and

that he would be the first buyer of tin containers. Mr. Agarwal responded by saying that

he had Rs. Two thousand only (2000) with him and how could a factory be started in




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such meagre amount. Mr. Singhal inspired him and motivated him to start the enterprise

by taking God’s name.



This was enough a motivation to undertake an enterprising mission, to his well conceived

thoughts. The idea was premature but had substance in it. He was backed by the

confidence and support of the family, especially his wife. She played a significant role in

the making of the organisation, with as little as Rs. two thousand (2000); she contributed

to the idea by her husband. Thus the dream for being an owner of a firm was conceived.

He spent many days to select the name of the factory and after much exercise he decided

to name the factory as M/S Metal Seam Co. of India under the proprietorship of his wife

Smt. Kanak Lata Agarwal. He bought a second hand Shearing machine from Kanpur for

Rs. four hundred (400). Being short of funds, he decided to manufacture the required

machines and dies himself. He used to go to American and English library to study

technical books and learned a lot regarding Dies and machines. Most of the machines

were designed and manufactured by Mr. Agarwal, a simple graduate with no technical

education or background but God gifted technical knack, only a hand full experience on

motor cycles and for overhauling of his farming tractor. The technical books, he studied

in the library became the master of his ‘innovation seeking abilities’.



After much running he got a Government Loan of Rs. five thousand (5000) and a Bank

limit of Rs. Ten thousand (10000) from State Bank of India. He purchased one lathe

machine for Rs. two thousand five hundred (2500) from Batala (Punjab) and started

manufacturing the required machines and dies for tin containers at his residence. With in




                                                                                         8
one year required machines and dies were ready and the trial of small container was taken

out. Trial piece was shown to Mr. Singhal and he gave an order of 2000 Nos. of small

containers as a trial order. By and by the next size was developed and so on the work

began to progress.



The work with LIC however continued, with 2-4 increments that he made as a result of

good performance. The work grew slowly. In the year 1968, he received the shed from

the government and hence shifted his operations from the residence to this newly

available place for his entrepreneurial passion, the master of his ‘innovation seeking

abilities’. The year 1970 saw a shift of his business to container making, which was in

line with earlier business but of larger size than the previous tin manufacturing. In

process of this slight automation was required and with his curiosity, every move was

demonstrated with a taste of his technical hands on. Each time, he came out with some

new approach to resolve the issues. The work had taken shape but was not up to the mark

due to lack of hands. Mr. Agarwal could not give full time and was also busy in LIC,

enough to sustain the higher echelons of his imaginations. There just existed sustainable

cash in revolving and new Drum machines and dies were made under the guidance of Mr.

Agarwal.



In 1976 Mr. Agarwal decided to resign from LIC from where he was getting Rs. four

thousand (4000) per month. He submitted his resignation after taking his wife into

confidence. She assured that she would bear with him in all worst circumstances what

may come. Now there was no source of earning for bread and butter for six small




                                                                                       9
children except a small factory, which was not giving good returns. He started working

hard 12 to 16 hours to make the enterprise success. The fruits started giving by though

were not sufficient.



Meanwhile, his son grew and joined him in the year 1982 inordinately bringing strength

and the much-wanted faithful assistance that he looked for. Concentration towards

marketing segmentation started increasing. It was sooner realised that the market was not

in Lucknow but in areas and pockets, where packaging for liquids was required.

Limitations to move to the down south and North markets were visible but the financial

resources and strengths were near blocking. The enthusiasm had to continue and the

passionate understanding of the product and its relevant market steered them to enter into

New Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Bhiwadi. By Gods grace, which the MD reiterates, his

organisation is ever growing since then. His son has increased the production levels to 4

times through appropriate time tested techniques, while the MD; senior Mr. Agarwal has

taken up Sales as his additional forte. With one person, the company has increased to 100

(One hundred) persons and Rs. 120 million (One hundred twenty million) in sales

turnover as on 2005. The Sales growth has been approximately 20 percent every year.



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Insert-Exhibit 1

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The Company Profile

Metal Seam is now an ISO 9001-2000 Company, presently the pioneer manufacturer of

Steel Drums from 0.5 litres to 100 litres, as per the ISO certification. The company began

its humble beginning in the year 1964 with a capital of Rs. two thousand (2000) by then

Mr. S. B. Agarwal presently the Managing Director. His wife who is currently the

Chairperson of the company has been the biggest source of inspiration and success says,

the Managing Director Mr. S.B. Agarwal. ‘Like a captain of the ship, I had to travel some

times with the wind and most of the times against the wind. It mattered most that each

time I reached the right shore with my team for whom the responsibility was on my

shoulders’. ‘We may have reached a capacity of 4000 drums per 8 hour shift that can be

enhanced to 12000 drums in three shifts is what remains as our strengths!’, exclaims the

second generation leader, Sanjeev Agarwal who is the Managing Director’s son and one

of the Director of Metal Seam.



The company boasts of modern office utilities and is trying to engage into online

computerisation for the benefit of the larger group. The MD, who is better known to be

the father of innovative skills, owns the success factor; par above the killer instincts of

mapping one owns road map to performance. It is the innovation, hard work, honesty,

integrity and dedication, which stand as key features of the company. With this motto

Metal Seam has speared its presence as the number one company in its field in North

India.




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The Director, Mr. Sanjeev Agarwal is commerce graduate, young and dynamic

personality with a clear vision, which has been inherited, through his father, to excel in

the field of drum manufacturing. Quality is the driving force in this industry & has been

the focus of his presence in the company operations, which he closely monitors with

‘eagle eyes and wolf presence’. Rightly staffed, with adequate professionals at various

levels the company is engaged in the regular internal training modes & research and

development activities.



Product Details

The company manufactures from 0.5 litres to 100 litre capacity drums, which may have

spouts (sizes) as per required by the customers. They had initiated open mouth drums in

the late 1990, when it was the first move of its kind in India. An additional feature in the

product that was epoxy coated lacquer drums, which they started, manufacturing in 1996,

followed this.



The special features of their drums.

        Made as per I.S.2552 (1989)

   •    100 percent leak proof

   •    Drop test Pass

   •    Inside residue free

   •    Defence approved

   •    Smooth painting finish

       Very good in appearance



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      Stackable

      Painted and Printed




The Manufacturing Plant



A semiautomatic plant with latest technology to satisfy the customers is appropriately

utilised and deployed.



Resistance welding: Seam welding plays a very important role in the drum sealing

process and this is done through seam welding process. This process is through a PLC

control AC drive, with microprocessor welding control for providing the correct

amperage and pressure constant to get a near perfect leak proof seam of the drum from

the side.



Top & bottom seaming: This stands as their speciality, which provides them an added

edge over their competitors. A feat they claim is with tall order. They offer each customer

to drop the filled drum from a good height and experience the quality of the product with

no leakage and cracks. A time tested technique simple, but mastered through innovative

calibration and experience; a feature that protects their manufactured drums for passing

unforeseen tests, while being mishandled. Yet another technological innovation that they

have incorporated is the seaming compound, which does not enter the inside of the drum




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due to proper sealing. Thus the probability of any reaction with the filled material is

completely taken care off.



Inside cleaning: This section is a sensitive part and requires the most attention. Each

drum is washed in automatic washing machine, to avoid any residue left inside the drum.

This is being done by P.L.C control auto jet system with conveyor chain. The drums are

rinsed with solvent, which finally provides free finish to the drum.



Painting



Metal Seam has two pollution free booths of BULLOWS and a team of skilled painters.

This painting is done through H.V.L.P guns in a dust free chamber to enable a polished

surface finish. Cold phosphate done over the surface before painting leads to better

adherence of the paint. Shades are henceforth matched as per the customers’ requirement.



Epoxy



After the side seaming is done, the inside shell of the drum is being lacquered through

automatic spray guns. The special feature of this epoxy is that it covers equal coating

from corner to corner and no patching work is left. Tops, bottoms and lids are also epoxy

coated through spray guns while each epoxy passes 100 percent acetone rub test as per

the Japanese technology.




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Screen



Screen painting is done to make the drum look more attractive and presentable to the

client.



Travelling oven



This is a very long P.L.C control oven with a variable speed maximum temperature up to

300 degree centigrade from corner to corner. The baking capacity of the oven is 2000

drums per shift.



Overhead conveyor



Every operational place can witness the experience of conveyor passing over with smooth

transition and transactions. The quality of the drums is hence maintained and

repeatability an important factor in good engineering practices is maintained.



Top Bottom



This is enabled through a completely automatic process. While the pneumatic feeder feed

the raw material to the compound die, the process in one single stroke produces a

component. This die has been a result of personal engineering innovation by the MD.




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Packing and loading



Finally, each drum is packed in a thick plastic inordinately protecting the drum from any

scratches. The sealing is also done at the top to keep the drum from duct free zones till

they are finally put to use.



Unloading of C.R coils



Loading and Unloading is done with the help of crane while maintaining the shape and

size of the raw materials.



Quality statement



Metal Seam believe in,



    •   Quality of product

    •   Quality of commitment

    •   Quality of services



Their Mission stands as follows.



    •   To manufacture the highest quality of drums

    •   To work in a pollution free environment



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   •   To keep customers satisfied

   •   To keep the spirit of team high



While their Vision focuses on the following.



   •   To work for continuous improvement

   •   To maintain the highest professional ethics

   •   To meet the schedule of our valued customers by all means

   •   To incorporate the tin printing plant

   •   To incorporate the Barrel plant



The Business Environment & Opportunities



The manufactures of Tin and Drum products are nearly the same. But the kind of

automation undertaken by Metal Seam is praise worthy. This could be very well observed

by the jubilance of Mr. Ashwin Dani, the MD of Asian Paints, who has desired to visit

this plant and feel the uniqueness. Steel strips are being purchased from Bhushan steels,

followed by sizing that takes pace in their plant. This is followed by the process of

manufacturing the drum. This covers, the entire work study undertaken to cut the

appropriate size, roll it, spot weld, seam weld the bottom, shape the top, seam weld with

the main assembly, pressure test, wash and dry, pass it through the painting booths and

finally inspecting and stacking. This is done under the preview of ISI 2552 standards.

With market size growing they caught the eyes of Sicpa India a company from



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Switzerland. The parent company Sicpa being the largest manufacturers of currency ink

in the world was definitely an obvious choice to be associated.



For six months Metal Seam manufactured conical drums and then made shift to open end

drums, which they supplied to Sicpa India through Import substitution. Rs. one hundred

fifteen (115) was their sales price as compared to Rs. two hundred fifty (250) by their

competitors and hence the business had to take a favourable response for them. It

followed by an order from a company in Devas, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh. As of

now, they have gradually raised the competency in manufacturing and supplying drums

from cold roll sheet of thickness, varying between 0.40 to 0.55 mm. The sizes of drums

vary from 5 litres to 75 litres with 4000 drums being the present used capacity and out of

which 2000 drums per day are being sourced to Goodlass Nerolac Paints only.



Strengths



With the passage of time a detailed study of the market has been attempted. ‘Challenges

are a part and order of the day, which provide greater strength to one owns existence’ is

the claim this that father-Child team follows. The MD seems to have an inherent

capability of mapping profiles and duplicating them without major changes. This ability

as a God gift has enabled his engineering approach to have a better understanding and

transformation to usage. ‘I visualise a machine and then replicate it. While visiting many

such shop floors I had the opportunity to visualize and then finally transform the ideas

into a working machine back at my factory!’ says a smiling Mr. Agarwal. He is termed as




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“Master of conception”. Money is not the driving force but the continued passion to do

something unique from surroundings.



Marketing Strategy



For any business to strive in the present complex scenario marketing plays an important

role and cannot be ignored. Many such gains in the business have been as a result of

innovative pricing and best practices in engineering. This has been only plausible through

cost control, cost cutting, appropriate sheet metal cutting techniques, control over

logistics and the good will they are enjoying as a company of ethical business. To be

precise, the sheet metal cutting techniques have yielded 20 percent gain in the extra sheet

for manufacturing, while it has also made the scrap neat and redeemable for hard cash.

Subsequently machining time, handling cost, space management and activities that could

be cost centres have been well controlled; as a result, the pricing has been very strategic

in nature. There have been many instances where he won orders in his favour because

his company could price a product Rs. one (1) less (always) than the landed price by any

manufacturer, offering similar products. This was very relevant in tenders and

negotiations where he could manoeuvre his desire wishfully. One such great order was

won from Flex industries for 20,000 drums per month through innovative pricing. In yet

another incidence, he demonstrated to the MD of Unitech rubber from New Delhi,

whereby he almost threw his drum filled with water from a height of 15 feet. The courage

was fairly explicit and confidence that effaced had no jargon and this immediately led to




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a business decision in his favour, amounting to 700 drums of 20 litre capacity. A

remarkable feat of self-confidence and approach, for strategic marketing was applicable.



Since Metal Seam has started doing epoxy-based coating at 200 degree Celsius for

providing additional corrosion resistance, it has opened up newer horizons. All the

chemical companies are now falling to be its prey for added business. Its nearest rivals

Dimple & ABC from Mumbai manufacture Epoxy coated drums but not like Metal Seam,

who do it 15 microns deeper, without creating and disturbing any joint. This is a

technological revelation that they have presently mastered, without any major support

from outside. Self sufficiency and learning the harder way, is what they practice.



The first major order for the company was from Tata soap in the year 1990. Flex, Coats

and others followed this feat. Today some of their esteemed customers have been fairly

chosen from diverse fields, inordinately giving them a facelift both for a new market

presence and at the same time diversifying their thinking towards business expansion.

Bharat Insecticides, Goodlass Nerolac paints, Coats Hindustan inks, Jenson & Nicholson,

Sicpa India Ltd., Sakata Inks Ltd. etc. are few of them.



They have even ventured supplying to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation of India with

50,000 drums of 20 litres each, which was used for stocking lube oil, in the year 1996.

This was through an open tender in Mumbai and as Mr. Agarwal remembers, ‘Bansals of

New Delhi were the runners up, and there was a share of business, which we were




                                                                                       20
appropriated based on supply strengths in volumes’. To Indian Oil they have supplied

200,000 thousands of one litre capacity.



Imagine an LIC agent turning to an engineering business. The model was fairly simple, as

failure was never an option.



Today he boasts of expansions by supplying his products to industries in the syrup,

pesticide, honey, and petroleum products etc. area. Presence in Lucknow may be a

business constraint but its cool, with cheap and controllable labour. As Mr. Agarwal

affirms, Industry implies to In-dust-try! Cool isn’t it in approach and visualising the

openness to all challenges, which has never deterred his radical thinking. With no regrets

in life, he poses in front of his collection of books varying in technical areas that have

supported him always. A 16-hour day schedule is the tall order he claims even till date.



Some add on experiences have elevated his taste for engineering. In 1970 he had

purchased a seam-welding machine from Tejender electric. In a small fire the machine

became in operational within 3 months of purchase. The losses because of its in-

operability could not be accepted as its manufacturers showed signs of little recovery.

Cash starved, Mr. Agarwal disassembled the entire machine. Re-assembled the destroyed

portion of the transformer and did the windings himself. He deployed his innovative

approach of coating the wires with epoxy coating. This time flat wires were used and the

additional epoxy coating provided the cooling strength. The recovery was done with just

Rs. five thousand (5000) spent and till date the machine has not stopped, a conviction par




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above excellence that this man of steel has demonstrated repeatedly. All this happened

while was in bed suffering from typhoid. All this happened in a gap of three days. Its 33

years and the machine steams work, though advanced machines have been deployed to

assuage the production presently.



Motivational Practices

‘Workers are like my son’, is a remark reciprocated each time he is asked about the

welfare of staff. Every ‘Viswakarma day (an auspicious moment for workers in the

engineering industry)’, is funded by the company and that they spend Rs. fifty thousand

(50,000) towards the celebrations. The company MD hosts grand lunch, while the

workers and their family members are invited over. The servings take place by the MD

himself after the regular ‘puja’ (worship) is made to the respective God. A cultural

evening, distribution of sweets and gifts ranging from music system, cycle, dress etc

follow this. Small-scale industries are acceptably one-man show. He laments further, ‘I

am the CMD, director, supervisor, worker and at times the guard’, always trying to be

innovative in bringing change to the existing system, from its present format. Today he

focuses on standardisation and controls most of the activities from the cubicle, which is

retrofitted with tech-savvy products, to aid him towards decision-making.



Now to invoke fresh blood, regular interviews are conducted in raising the expertise level

of the organisation. Knowledge management is practiced. From a 386 computer in 1993

the company possesses 6 advanced computers that are scheduled to be used for

optimisation and production facilities, apart from the regular accounting and




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documentation keeping. ‘If labour management is improvised as in China, our country

can do wonders, as this has become the biggest bottle neck in the industry management’.

He propounds this theory with full vindication and authority. There are chances of an

expansion to a near by shed, which was allotted to him but has run into rough waters, due

to a court battle between few agencies involved in the disbursement. Quiet eclectic, he

expects the High court to go in favour of the decision made by the Supreme Court, in

awarding him the shed, for which he has already paid!



Indian Industry Association (IIA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Talkatora

Industrial association (TIA) has proved to be boon as far as shaping towards modern

economy. This is the golden period where business can be capitalized. Liberalisation has

opened up doors to market products in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and south Asia,

which he is targeting. There are no further capital costs, which he envisages and it can be

done after strengthening the marketing team.



Growth vectors as seen by his son as future, are in the areas of Plastics, packaging with

foreign technology collaborations, which he is hunting and zeroing down. The success

factors as mapped innovatively by this young second generation entrepreneur, is by

increasing volumes and scales of production. He even believes in stocking additional

inventory with reasonably lower negotiated prices, which has hedged them against the

fiercest competition. This makes the business game different and the good will that the

company enjoys is pertinent to success factors. Modern management techniques are

practiced from delegation to rotation and enrichment of ideas with experience, while the




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salaries have been decently compensated. 1988 was the year when the company was

virtually closed due to starved funds, but the big bang happened and the success

ballooned with wisdom. The contributions by the wife of the MD have been tremendous

through collective perseverance, modesty, building survival techniques and moderating

heated moments while the business was passing through an extremely volatile phase.

‘She has been the currency of valour and persistent exponential support, each time one

new problem surfaced’.



Introduction of the Value added tax is in support by the IIA however the traders are

relenting. This is because of the bad and corrupt practices being adopted to evade tax as

billings are being done out of records. Possibility of controlling the problem can be

countered through joint distribution systems, which could counter the traders’ unwanted

perverse dictation is a thought, which the MD and his son have conceptualised.



Summary:

The success of the firm is endorsed by regularly accepting challenges. A typical case of

entrepreneur into a sector where certain level of competency is desired is in self a radical

innovation. The efforts by the founder manager have helped in transiting the firm in to a

centre of characteristic performance, via innovative practices. Even in this case the

leadership style, his transparency and competence to take risks, cash on opportunities and

re orient to the new ones have been closely observed.




                                                                                         24
The Firm has confirmed the combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The

intrinsic were more powerful than the extrinsic or the desire to create wealth, because the

founder entrepreneur (innovator) was trying to pursue his passion. Opportunity

orientation and its recognition became the factors to its augmentation. The company has

also been able to demonstrate that barriers to change, both internal and external, did not

dissuade the firm to be innovative. They have been successful in customer orientation.

Their success has been attributed to the radical changes brought in the product

modifications to suit the purpose of its customers. This was only possible through radical

changes brought in the processes too. The start-up case is a true reflection that innovative

practices can start from the seeding time of the firm. Uncertainties and risks are always

associated in the game of business. It is the successful leader aided by innovative

thinking, will be able to bail out the firm from competitive or any threats to its existence.

The MD terms that Industry means ‘In, dust, try’ i.e.; try in dust and if you find a jewel it

is all right otherwise you would be in dust.




                                                                                          25
                           Exhibit 1
                     The Innovation Model



1.   Environment        Sub Conscious &            1. Professional
2.   Opportunities         Conscious                  Update
3.   Risk Taking                                   2. Challenging
4.   Persistency                                   3. Meet customer
                                                      expectations


                        Idea Generation


        Experience                          Child hood dream




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                                     Teaching Plan

Brief Synopsis of the case:

Entrepreneurs from the Small enterprises have always demonstrated the strength, wisdom

and courage, while establishing their venture. Thus the importance of such Small &

Medium type enterprises cannot be uncared for in a budding economy. The founder

Manager of Metal Seam Co Pvt. ltd, Mr S B Agarwal has proved that dreams could be

curved into important ventures by utilising the instinctive quality. The challenge imposed

by uncertainties within the family living, cannot deter but compel the thinking towards

the survival process and raise the spirit of the leader. It is the understanding of the

business environment, knack of appreciating opportunity, hard work, dedication and

tireless efforts topped by Innovative practices that makes the difference form the crowd.



Mr Agarwal during his sojourn and journey to find an answer to his dream came across

numerous hurdles. Most of them were connected with the poverty of the family that it

was going through for its existence. The second was that he was cash drought to carry

forward his passion and had little or no support to facilitate his career. He was left with

intrinsic motivation and a burning desire to do something that had not been attempted

before. It is here he derived the maximum satisfaction by exposing himself with what

ever opportunity that came across for him and inordinately took him to the horizon of

constant learning by doing. This is how the birth of his firm came true when one of his

friends responded to his query for being an entrepreneur, to set up a drum manufacturing

company and that the friend would be the first buyer.




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This is where he succumbed to his passionate desire for being the founding owner of an

enterprise and the Metal Seam Co Pvt Limited was born with what ever little finance he

could muster within his family. The growth was painful yet interesting and he challenged

the very debate of being handicapped with formal technical education. It is here that his

learning’s from the past made him endeavour and translate the creativity into practice, via

radical innovations. The entire machines, processes and auxiliary equipments required to

manufacture the product were entire designed and commissioned by Mr Agarwal. From

the very supply he never looked back.



The success of the firm is certified by regularly accepting challenges. A typical case of

entrepreneur into a sector where certain level of competency is desired is in self a radical

innovation. The efforts by the founder manager have helped in transiting the firm in to a

centre of characteristic performance, via innovative practices. This case demonstrates the

leadership style, his transparency and competence to take risks, cash on opportunities and

re orient to the new ones have been closely observed.



The Firm has confirmed the combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The

intrinsic were more powerful than the extrinsic or the desire to create wealth, because the

founder entrepreneur (innovator) was trying to pursue his passion. Opportunity

orientation and its recognition became the factors to its augmentation. The company has

also been able to demonstrate that barriers to change, both internal and external, did not

dissuade the firm to be innovative. They have been successful in customer orientation.

Their success has been attributed to the radical changes brought in the product




                                                                                         28
modifications to suit the purpose of its customers. The start-up case is a true reflection

that innovative practices can start from the seeding time of the firm. Uncertainties and

risks are always associated in the game of business. It is the successful leader aided by

innovative thinking, will be able to bail out the firm from competitive or any threats to its

existence. The MD terms that Industry means ‘In, dust, try’ i.e.; try in dust and if you find

a jewel it is all right otherwise you would be in dust.


The case study demonstrates how an individual dares to traverse to an unknown field and

with the gut feel supported by intrinsic motivation can do wonders in establishing a

profitable enterprise. It also highlights the passion to learn, radical innovation, business

orientation and the operational strategy of a small time drum manufacturing enterprise.




                                                                                          29
Teaching Objectives:

   1. To understand how the enterprise was seeded?

   2. To understand the importance of Opportunity recognition and its orientation to be

       a successful entrepreneur

   3. How does a Start-up happen despite the unfamiliarity of the entrepreneur in the

       field he endeavours?

   4. The importance of recognising quality in a small enterprise



Identification of intended course(s):

Innovation (Innovative practices), Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Strategy


Suggested Student Assignment:


   1. Study the case carefully and explain the process by which the existing Director of

       Metal Seam was able to establish his enterprise.



   2. ‘Radical innovation exists in SME’s!’ comment



   3. Study a similar enterprise that is engaged in manufacturing and construct its

       practicing model.



Discussion questions:

   1. How does Opportunity recognition facilitate towards the formation of an

       enterprise?




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   2. How far it is true that ‘uncertainties’ propel towards innovative practices?



   3. How to expand aggressively into newer areas?



   4. Can this formula of success be replicated?




Suggested time plan:

   •   Initial class room discussions- 90 to 180 minutes



   •   General survey by researching students – one week



   •   Conclusive discussions on innovative practices with emphasis on incremental

       innovation- 90 minutes



References: (NA since it is an original case study comprising transcripts from interviews
with owner/manager/founder/customers/concerned entities within/outside enterprise.)




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