‘India offers huge potential to take Six Sigma advantage’

March 20th, 2008 - 12:22 pm ICT by admin  

By Nayanima Basu
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) India is definitely booming but in order to sustain the competitive edge globally, its industry needs to effectively implement Six Sigma-based quality measures across all sectors, says an expert. “India’s economy is growing rapidly and the shift from a controlled to an open, globally competitive environment is offering both great opportunities and huge challenges,” Pete Pande, president of US-based global consulting firm Pivotal Resources Inc, said here.

“To survive and grow in these circumstances, organisations not only need to learn best practices like Six Sigma, but also how to adapt them to the Indian environment and to each business’s needs.”

Six Sigma is a business management tool or measurement of quality that seeks to eliminate defect from an organisation. Theoretically, to achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

“Six Sigma initiatives started six or seven years ago in India, and most are really still in the early stages, so there’s still significant potential to take advantage of six sigma approaches,” Pande told IANS in an interview.

Pivotal Resources Inc. provides training in Six Sigma and business process management that helps businesses reach the desired level of success by taking certain critical initiatives.

Pande was in India to conduct management skill sessions for the Hero Honda Group, Microsoft India and Maruti Udyog among others.

“From what I’ve observed, a lot of the emphasis in India has been on Six Sigma’s statistical tools. These methods are helpful, of course, but can easily become overused and detract from management principles,” Pande highlighted.

“For those focusing on the tools, there’s a strong tendency to over-analyse every problem, when often it’s possible to get a good answer, faster, with simpler analytical methods and some common sense.”

Pande has provided senior executive training, deployment and consulting services in business improvement and Six Sigma efforts for global firms such as GE Capital, Sun Microsystems, Cendant, Cisco Systems, Starwood Hotels, Honeywell and Carlson Wagonlit Travel among others.

“I’d say the opportunity is still there for many companies in India to demystify Six Sigma methods and concepts and make them more accessible to a broader array of business people and processes,” Pande averred.

“The executives of Indian companies should be willing to look for ways to apply Six Sigma principles to how they lead. The challenges of leadership in business today are growing rapidly, and new knowledge and skills are critical.

“Indian business needs to concentrate on becoming good at driving change, not just fixing manufacturing problems but across supply chains and markets,” said a concerned Pande.

He has also written the book “The Six Sigma Leader” and has co-authored several other popular books on Six Sigma - “What is Six Sigma?” and “The Six Sigma Way” - which was named one of the most influential business books in the past 20 years by Forbes magazine.

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