One of the earliest ambitions of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister was to increase India’s prestige further in the global arena. It now seems that the aim has taken a significant stride towards fulfillment with Mercedes-Benz using India as a major training hub. The luxury car manufacturer from Germany recently used the Chakan facility, located in Pune, to train its Brazilian employees in processes related to production. Mercedes-Benz has recently opened a plant in Iracemapolis, Brazil, and it sent 30 workers from the said facility to Pune for training. The factory is supposed to start with C-Class cars, and then move on to GLA Compact SUVs. It is supposed to have a capacity of 20,000 cars per year to start with.
India’s status in Mercedes’ plans
As far as Roland Folger, the CEO and Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz, is concerned, India is a leader among the various assembly plants that the organisation has around the world. The Mercedes-Benz facilities in India have previously been used to assist the plant at Vietnam – a fact, which speaks volumes of the progress made by India and Indian professionals in the company’s context. In fact, India has also been a local manufacturing centre of luxury cars for the German companies 20 years before Brazil. It is expected that in future too the Indian facilities will be used by Mercedes considering its importance in the global chain.
Why was the training done in India?
The Brazilian workers have already been trained in other global facilities of Mercedes. However, the training in the Pune facility was important since it produces C-Class cars as well. As has been confirmed by Piyush Arora, the Executive Director, Operations, for Mercedes-Benz, India, the training sessions were done with the aim of helping the production process in Brazil get on track without any hiccups whatsoever.
What did the training cover?
For training the workers from Brazil, the professionals at Mercedes-Benz India developed a module, which basically covered all the areas related to making cars such as the ones mentioned below:
- Body shop
- Paint shop
The global network of Mercedes-Benz
The German automobile giant’s global production network is made up of 26 different locations that are organised in the form of production compounds. Apart from India and Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam are some of the other locations. The organisation aims to strengthen its position in these markets and thus gain a greater foothold in the automobile industry around the world.
How will this exercise be helpful?
At a very basic level, this will be great for the organisation because such sessions normally enhance the levels of trust among workers from different countries and make things smoother from an operational point of view. As Folger has stated, this session has evidently strengthened the bonds between Indians and Brazilians and also shown how effective collaborative working can be. Perhaps, as a ripple effect, such sessions can generate more jobs in India as well. India is a country known for its skilled workforce and with more such sessions being organised by other global automakers in India, more automobile engineers and professionals will be hired in order to provide effective training – a very bright prospect for the skilled workforce in India, which lacks sufficient work opportunities as it is.
What light does this show India in?
A common conception about India is that it is a hard place to work in, especially for companies outside the country. Many reasons are cited such as corruption and a tough system of taxation. While, admittedly, India has miles to go in these areas before it truly becomes the superpower that it aims to be, the faith shown in it by the top and most identifiable brands of the world like Mercedes-Benz shows that perhaps not everything is wrong – a few things are being done and dare it be said, properly so!
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