The chairperson of Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) Osamu Suzuki has always highlights on and teaches his Indian managers that cost reduction and improvements in incessant process. This is the cause behind the growing popularity and the rapid growth of Japan as the lowest-cost manufacturer of cars in the world. He told RC Bhargava, the present chairperson of Maruti Suzuki India, on a particular occasion, that back home in Japan, they were veritably wringing water out of a dry towel. By comparison, the Indian towel, he added was dripping!
The dripping towel symbol for the manufacturers of India is possibly appropriate. We are now near benchmarks of Japanese on costs, their unique approaches to doing things, their shop floor practices, hard work, perfection, decision-making and discipline. The president of Pune-based Indo-Japan Business Council (IJBC), YH Gharpure says, “They will invariably nudge and push any activity to the nth degree of excellence.”
Ravi Kamat, managing director of Softbridge Solutions explains, “Suzuki has invested money for a return they are expecting.” Further, he says, “And if they know the market is capable of giving them those returns, they will keep pushing, relentlessly. That is, till people across the table say: thus far, and no further. There’s a very different way of looking at, and executing opportunities.”
The societies of Japan continuous to battle deleterious issues related to the workers and the workplace. This solution has given birth to a serious condition called “karoshi”, which means, death by overwork and “karojisatsu”, which means suicide due to stress and overwork. As per the old order, a Japanese worker was ensured lifetime employment and was expected to be loyal to his boss. Difficulty was seen as shameful and there was a little idea of any life bound work.
This was only now, reacting to the crises at the workplace. This tradition, giving way to the new generation woo do not subscribe to wrapped ideas of loyalty and sacrificing oneself of the employer.
The Japanese MD of a large Japanese electronics company in India agrees and maintains that people like him with thirty years of service in the same company will be difficult to find. However, he also attributes the painful churn in society to the long economic downturn in Japan and this is the reason why trouble of labour has been provoked.