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HomeBUILDING SKILLSSultans of Skilling

Sultans of Skilling

Their initiatives are helping the industry overcome the disparity in supply and demand for the adequately trained human resource, and simultaneously boosting their organisations’ bottom lines.

By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee

Satish Kumar, country manager, Deceuninck Profiles 

Initiatives

Deceuninck runs skill development programmes on two fronts – on the shop floor for operators to learn the right way to make UPVC doors & windows, and for channel partners and their sales teams on the right way to sell. In 2017, it was among the key sponsors for a series of roadshows aimed at educating window producers on the right costing ‘The Cost Factor’. In 2018 it helped UWDMA in setting up a training centre at ITI Bhiwadi to run a six-month non-residential hands-on training programme for a 10th pass and ITI students. The entire programme is funded by Deceuninck and a few other UWDMA members.

The students will be absorbed by UWDMA members on course completion. This year the company has started an initiative in Delhi and Bengaluru, to educate channel partners and their sales teams on sales techniques with a programme called DE-Ways.

Goals 

The company will continue its support to UWDMA and have more sales training workshops.

Budget

Spent close to Rs 1 million on initiatives, and will increase as business grows.

Skilling for Business

Skilling will bring in quality workmanship, reduce rework, and enhance value to the company’s channel partners and customers. Sales skilling helps in value and brand building. Top line growth combined with quality production has already started to yield results. It also helps in reducing manpower and control costs.

Industry Impact 

The government has launched a number of schemes, like the apprenticeship programme, and STRIVE – Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement. This programme is being funded by the World Bank to improve the facilities of existing ITIs and broaden the apprenticeship programme. Further, the government has appointed State Apprenticeship Monitoring Cell – SAMC to regularly follow up with initiatives at the state level. These initiatives need to be communicated to all players in the industry. It is taking time, but we are sure that once people understand the advantages of the apprenticeship programme, a number of industry players will go for it.


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Manish Mishra, country business manager, Corian Design, E I Du Pont India

Initiatives

Skill development training for fabricators, carpenters, and painters since 2008 through the company’s dedicated facility at Hyderabad, and multi-location workshops with subject-specific modules. DuPont Corian Design has trained more than 700 semi-skilled fabricators to the proficient, skilled and advanced expert levels in the past 10 years.

Goals 

As an industry leader, we have an accelerated annual goal to develop and train approximately 500 more fabricators in 2019.

Budget

We have sufficient resource allocation to continue and accelerate skill development initiatives for India region.

Skilling for Business 

As an industry leader, E I Du Pont has a growing need of such skills in its trade. Most of the company’s products are heavily service-oriented and need expert hands for the best customer service. Skill development is not only our social obligation but also a profitable initiative for the whole industry in the longer run.

Industry Impact 

The focus of the government has helped us in accelerating our initiatives; we are now speaking to the potential talent coming from far and interiors of the country. Many such avenues were difficult in the past, but now ‘Skill India’ programme is connecting the demand and supply dots all across the country as well, and that’s very helpful.


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Dr Rajendra Kumar Somany, Chairman & MD, HSIL

Initiatives

HSIL has supported many vocational training and skill development programmes to upskill youth. Started the skill enhancement programme Kaushal Vridhi, to skill villagers of Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar and Kaharani, Bhiwadi located in Rajasthan, to boost their employment prospects. Also, enabling the country’s plumbing community through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) project. The programme offers training for improving workmanship and earning potential after evaluating the existing proficiency of the artisans.

Budget

Spent Rs 3.46 crore during FY 2017-18

Skilling for Business 

We believe that the marketing of sophisticated building products needs to be complemented by the availability of skilled professionals who can install, maintain and service these products. Over the years, we have evolved from being focused product sales to providing solutions – a blend of quality products and timely service. This combination has strengthened our brand. The strong word-of-mouth as a consequence of our solution focus has in turn sustained product off take – a virtuous cycle.

Industry Impact

For a developing economy like India, accelerated skill development is a priority. The Government of India’s ‘Skill India’ programme underscores the urgency aptly.


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Sandeep Shukla, GM & head marcom-global relations, Jaquar Group

Initiatives

Over 30 ongoing plumber training projects in association with state technical education departments, including ITIs in Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Assam, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Odisha. Unemployed youth are trained in specialised skills and developed as trained plumbers.

Training is provided through on-ground teaching and execution of mock instances. The training content consists of 20% theory and 80% practical knowledge. It encompasses teaching on safety measures and fittings of high-tech bathing fittings, including showers and wellness products. The programme helps plumbers generate livelihood and supports the ‘Skill India’ initiative.

Goals 

Open 30 more skilling centre across India; Approx Rs 6.50 lakhs will be spent on each skilling centre. Electrician and mason training is also being provided along with plumber training, starting October 2018.

Budget

Approx Rs 7.20 crore for 2017-18, Rs 6.00 crore for 2018-19

Skilling for Business 

As our nation is facing a shortage of skilled plumbers, we are contributing by filling up this gap through our training initiatives. We are not only empowering the youth through training, but also offer them the opportunity to be part of the Jaquar Group community.

Industry Impact 

Due to growth in the areas of design and manufacturing, the demand for skilled manpower has increased in the country. Therefore, the government’s Skill India programme not only has increased employment but also improved productivity, knowledge, and confidence among the youth. Moreover, it has helped the youth understand industry expectations vis-à-vis technical and soft skills, career growth, organisation structure, health, and safety, among others.


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Bijoy Mohan, CEO, Lixil Asia Pacific

Initiatives

Lixil has launched Project Nadee, its flagship skilling programme for India’s plumbing community, in a bid to strengthen its alignment with the government’s ‘Skill India’ initiative.

Goals 

Under Project Nadee, Lixil aims to up-skill and certify 20,000 plumbing technicians as commercially licensed plumbers, along and in compliance with the relevant qualification certifications as approved by IL&FS Skills Development Corporation Ltd.

Industry Impact 

By strengthening our alignment with the Indian government’s Skill India initiative, we have launched Project Nadee…While the business performance and strategy is important for any market, Lixil prides itself in doing more for the communities in which it operates. To this end, it has launched this project, which aims to transform the industry in a 360° way. This is in line with Lixil’s aim of transforming the end-to-end home solution experience to make it easy, enjoyable and of true value to the consumer.


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K E Ranganathan, managing director, Roca Bathroom Products

Initiatives

The company has been “deeply” engaged with skill development over the past decade. About 20,000 plumbers are already enrolled with Roca’s skilling initiative, under which 4,000 to 5,000 plumbers are being trained every month across the country. Most recently we have trained 1,200 plumbers in Surat, Gujarat.

Goals

To step up our training programme, we are working on a project to launch a non-profit training centre, whereby we will be able to train plumbers in a live environment. The centre will provide experiential learning for them. It will span an area of 5,000sft and will be equipped with modular bathroom and plumbing products. We will train them on the installation of the products and understanding of water flow and pressure. We will also provide them with the tools to handle high-end products, electronic toilets, bathtubs, whirlpools, shower panels, etc. Roca’s new initiative will help in raising the standard of living of plumbers, and will significantly contribute to the growth prospects of the industry and the company.

Impact on Industry

The younger generation does not want to pursue the plumbing profession. They are happy to be delivery boys for Flipkart or Swiggy rather than being a plumber. Their dignity is also challenged; people feel odd to say that they are a plumber. The situation should be corrected fast as the industry is in a dire need of certified and trained plumbers who can respond to the advent of sophisticated products which require a profound understanding of installation and service. The plumbing community needs constant education and motivation, to be able to keep pace with the changing times. It is our responsibility to ensure that it happens.


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Mario Schmidt, president, uPVC Door & Window Manufacturers Association (UWDMA)

Initiatives

Started ‘The Glass Academy’ initiative for the ‘Train the Trainer’ programme at ITI Bhiwadi, Rajasthan in August 2016. In association with GIZ’s Indo-German Programme for Vocational Education & Training, it explored options with Government of Rajasthan for setting up a skill development centre at Bhiwadi in September 2016. It started its basic training centre at Bhiwadi to train candidates in fabrication in July 2018.

We have been moving ahead steadily in our endeavour, by first getting our curriculum approved by the government bodies, setting up the training centre at ITI, organising Training of Trainers programme for supervisors of companies, participating in road shows organised by GIZ, and working to finalise an all-encompassing study material with the help of national and international experts. The trained students will be engaged by uPVC companies as skilled craftsmen. Such trained personnel have been the need of the hour for our industry.

Goals 

To work as a third-party agency under the dual education system, a scheme by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. UWDMA is yet to finalise the theoretical educational material and set up a formal examination process. This is work in progress and will become a reality very soon. The third batch of students is undergoing training at U-SDC (UWDMA Skill Development Centre) in Bhiwadi; they will subsequently get hands-on training at UWDMA member factories.

Budget

Our members have supported us wholeheartedly and we have been able to appoint a coordinator and trainer at our centre. Besides, the insurance premium and stipend for trainees in on-going batches is being paid by UWDMA. When we start the DUAL education concept, the apprentices will be employees of companies and we will then adopt the role of a TPA to create a bridge between factories, the training centre, and the apprentices.

Industry Impact 

Our skilling programmes are a boon for those families whose kids are not able to attend college and university for higher education or professional degrees. These people can join us straight out of school, to help us at factories after learning a skill set. Our courses allow them the opportunity to learn a trade professionally, become a skilled worker, and improve the livelihood of their family. Fortunately, our skilled helpers and factory workers are getting paid as much as, or higher than, degree holders working in offices on computers!


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Bantwal Ramesh Baliga, chief operating officer, Watertech India

Initiatives

Watertech conducts as many as 300 plumber skill training meets a year with 30 participants in each meet. The company has skilled almost 50,000 plumbers in the last 8 years; and trained them on dos and don’ts of installation of faucets and other plumbing products. The focus of this initiative is on tier-II and tier-III cities, where skilling is the need of the hour.

Goals 

To provide skill training to at least 10,000 plumbers in rural areas in the next three years across the country.

Budget

Earmarked Rs 1.00 crore for 2018-19, Rs 2.00 crore for 2019-20, Rs 3.00 crore for 2020-21.

Skilling for Business 

If a trained plumber installs our products by following prescribed procedures, complains about the working of the product would be reduced by 80%. In the absence of customer complaints, overall sales are bound to go up. We have observed enhanced levels of brand mileage due to our direct interaction with the plumbing workforce.

Industry Impact 

The best products are ruined by poor installation and the resultant defective plumbing. The Skill India programme has improved the morale of plumbers. They are learning more about products and installation. This has given a lot of confidence to our customers also. By providing an effective platform to train a large workforce on our products and installation, we have been able to install products in a proper way and reduce the cost of maintenance. Each plumber receives a Skill India certificate, thereby gaining formal recognition for his skills, which will help him get quality projects and improve his working life.


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