Prof. Shoji Shiba is an international expert in Total Quality Management (TQM) and Breakthrough Management. Globally he is best known for developing the “Five Step Discovery Process” for Breakthrough Management. Awarded by Padma Shri Award in 2012 by Government of India, Shoji Shiba has been guiding the transformation of the Indian manufacturing industry in recent times. He is the Chief Advisor to the Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing Programme (VLFM) in India. It is an innovative management transformation programme being implemented in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency, to create a critical mass of Visionary Leaders to lead India’s manufacturing sector in to future growth.
Japanese word “kaizen” simply means “good change”, for “improvement”, or “change for the better”. It refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management. Thus, Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvements in processes, credited for its phenomenal economic resurgence after the Second World War.
The Village Buddha
The Companies Act 2013 has mandated spending targets for Corporate Social Responsibility. Recently, the Indian Companies have zeroed in on the Village Buddha Concept for mandatory CSR spending. Japanese government has agreed to fund this unique new model developed by breakthrough management specialist Shoji Shiba. The Village Buddha model involves stationing change leaders, in Indian villages to spur the social and economic development of local communities by implementing thousands of kaizens.
The Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CII) and Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) will launch this programme called ‘Champions for Societal Manufacturing’. On this Prof. Shiba says that “Economic development needs to be accompanied by social and environment development at the grassroots level. This new concept has been developed keeping in mind India’s inclusive growth agenda”.
The Village Buddha Concept
Village Buddha will help companies spend their CSR budgets more productively and improve the quality of life and incomes of villagers. It is designed to transform some villages into role models for others by implementing several kaizens. This will also help companies appreciate the needs of rural markets and develop business models to tap opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid. Besides, the concept envisages firms working with the villagers and panchayats to identify breakthrough projects around community needs such as clean water or self-sufficiency in energy and education.
While the Village Buddha will address rural India’s social and economic development needs, Japanese experts will work with a cluster of producers to help them adapt to green and energy-efficient manufacturing technologies. Learnings from a pilot project with one such industrial cluster will be distilled into clear recommendations for India Inc to improve its environmental footprint.
The Japanese grant will also aim to adopt and transform 1,000 small and medium enterprises to meet its economic development goal. “We have already helped 100 companies, including Tata Motors, improve their supply chains. We would like to now help smaller firms move up the value chain and grow bigger with an eye on job creation,” Shiba said. (Inputs: Times of India)
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