VLFM: A Unique Initiative supporting Make in India

11 Mar 2019

A joint pact between the Prime Ministers of India and Japan, this flagship program was started in 2006 by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Government of Japan, and National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), Government of India.  The Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing (VLFM) program, currently known as Champions Societal Manufacturing (CSM) is recognized as one of the Make in India initiatives towards supporting the growth of Indian manufacturing. It is a unique example of government-industry-academia collaboration, wherein CII and academia, represented by IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras and IIM Kolkata are working together to build a pool of visionary leaders to take India’s manufacturing sector to the next leap of growth.

Since 2014, the Government of India, through Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) provides support to this initiative through regular guidance. This initiative is one of the flagship initiatives for developing human resources (Visionary Leaders) to support the Make in India Mission.

India is at a juncture where it needs senior managers capable of leading the manufacturing industry in a world which is undergoing a multidimensional change. The basic objective of CSM is to develop competencies for identifying and implementing breakthrough projects for the manufacturing sector by building champions for societal manufacturing who can support the Make in India initiative of the government.

This initiative aims at producing managers who can effectively solve current problems of the organization. Visionary leaders have the ability to pre-empt futuristic issues and provide solutions to these. VLFM/CSM focuses on skill building rather than disseminating knowledge through classroom lectures, in order to produce such leaders.

JICA supports the Industry as well as the Academia by dispatch of technical experts and by hosting the Japan Visit.

VLFM offers 5 different programs:

CEO Course, which is a foundation course for CEOs of the companies that are nominating participants to the Senior Managers Course
Senior Managers Course, which aims to shape senior managers into industry visionary leaders of tomorrow
Middle Level Managers Course, which fulfils the current industry’s growing demand for techno-managerial leaders who shape the neo-industrial revolution
SME course, which drives the transformation from the customer of an OEM (large company) by transforming supplier relationships along the value chain. This course over a period of one year transforms the customer-supplier relationship to a win-win, by improving productivity, profitability and synchronization for both, leading to growth.
‘Village Buddha Program’, which aims at building a strong relationship between Business and Society. This unique program promotes the concept that business and society are integrally inter-connected and inter-dependent. A first of its kind, it developed under the aegis of CSM and addresses opportunities arising out of the rapid changes taking place in India’s villages. Some of these changes have been triggered by an almost 100% penetration of mobile phones and TV. Over 90% village children have access to basic education.

Principles followed by VLFM:

To teach is the word of arrogance
Change three attitudes; TTT (talk, talk, talk), MFA (me first attitude) and PTB (pass the buck), to CFA (customer first attitude), LLL (listen, listen, listen) and BSH (buck stops here).
Use scientific approach such as FSDP (five step discovery process) for future problem solving and new concept creation.
Jump into the fishbowl. In order to learn the context, it is required to be in that environment too. This analysis provides new perspective and unknown needs of the customer.
Focus on skill, not knowledge and understanding
Do and demonstrate, practice what you preach.
Make it important to achieve small visible success at first. As in a snowball effect, this smaller more visible success will grow into something larger.

VLFM is the beginning of a unique journey of nation building through human resource development at diverse levels of management in the manufacturing sector.