PM has pitched for ‘ZED’ strategy that can be a win-win situation for both customers and society
Dr. Palakh Jain, Dr. Chavi Asrani and Dr. Tinu Jain | June 11, 2020
In India’s pursuit for becoming globally competitive, prime minister Narendra Modi has pitched for ‘Make in India’ with ‘Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED)’ culture with twin focus – on customers and on society. By zero defect, he means that the quality of the products has to be very high and by zero effect he means that there should be no adverse effect on the environment by manufacturing. This highlights the government’s ardent desire to pay particular attention on manufacturing as a means to sustainable growth in order to transform the course of economy.
Also, with the arrival of Industry 4.0, the ZED strategy is aptly timed. Automatic manufacturing will have to build its reputation by adopting the best quality global standards.
In theory, ‘zero defect’ is a term propounded by renowned management expert Philip Crosby in his book ‘Absolutes of Quality Management’. ‘Zero defect’ is a concept of pursuit of perfection in order to enhance quality. Though it is difficult to attain perfection, at least the pursuit of perfection will pave way towards quality improvement. As defined by the Working Group on Quality, quality is synonymous to continuous improvement (‘kaizen’), optimum practices and exploiting the full power of knowledge. The zero defects theory aims to make a project waste-free. Waste here refers to all fruitless and superfluous procedures, processes, policies, tools, employees, etc.
In India’s journey of becoming a world leader, the role of quality cannot be underestimated. Last year, Rajeev Kher emphasised the same in an op-ed article. According to him, a high-quality product not only helps in absorption of technology and use of advanced skills of production by domestic industry but also prepares the domestic industry for connecting with global supply chains and acknowledges the discerning customer.
While suggesting ways in which India can contest its present low competitiveness in the global markets, Kher has restated some of the recommendations of the Working Group on Quality. He is right in mentioning that Indian industry has not been able to adopt a global quality ecosystem. According to him, this has been primarily due to resistance from industry as the present system is marked with inconsistency and incoherence.
As a policy recommendation, he has suggested to institutionalise a ‘National Mission on Quality’. The Working Group on Quality had made suggestions on similar lines in earlier years. As can be seen in the table below, there is a considerable overlap in the issues and recommendations of the WG and Kher’s article:
|R. Kher’s article||Working Group report|
|Issues||Lack of standards architecture||Multiplicity of Regulatory/Standardization/Conformity|
|Lack of physical infrastructure||Laboratory Infrastructure|
|Inadequate Attention||Lack of regulation|
|Presence of multiple agencies||Lack of information on standards|
|Organizations’ different ecosystems||Lack of awareness in industry|
|R. Kher’s article||Working Group report|
|Varying approach of sectoral ministries and industries||Lack of awareness about impact of standards|
|Varying degrees of global integration||Inadequate skills|
|Varying degrees of SSI involvement||Absence of regulatory pressure|
|Manipulable and weak system||Need for organizations to change their way of thinking|
|Recommendations||Institutionalization of a ‘National Mission on Quality’||Create a national regulatory authority|
|Empowerment of Industry|
A zero-defect approach in design and manufacturing operations will pay off India in the long run. In this regard, the government should focus its energies on:
Dr. Palakh Jain is Assistant Professor at Bennett University.
Dr. Chavi Asrani is Consultant at ICRIER.
Dr. Tinu Jain is Assistant Professor, IMI- Kolkata.
Kher, Rajiv (2017). Towards a zero-defect India. Retrieved from https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/gcytvkDvrNBDDMBjimtWvI/Towards-a-zerodefect-India.html on March 29, 2020.
Crosby. Philip (1957). Theories on ‘Absolutes of Quality Management’. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/38523531/PHILIP_CROSBY on March 29, 2020.
Rao, Rakesh (2015). Zero defect, zero effect: A myth or a reality? Retrieved from https://www.business-standard.com/article/sponsored-content/zero-defect-zero-effect-a-myth-or-a-reality-115060400462_1.html on March 29, 2020.
Mohan, Vishwa (2014). Ecologists cheer Modi’s ‘zero defect, zero effect, slogan. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/environment/developmental-issues/ecologists-cheer-modis-zero-defect-zero-effect-slogan/articleshow/40312809.cms?from=mdr on March 29, 2020.
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Saboo, Rohit (2017). Building a world-class manufacturing hub by focusing on ‘zero defect and zero effect’. Retrieved from https://auto-v2-stage.economictimes.indiatimes.com/autologue/building-a-world-class-manufacturing-hub-by-focusing-on-zero-effect-and-zero-defect/2076 on March 29, 2020.
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Parashar, Shikha. Parashar, Anil Kumar. (2015). Goal of Modern Industries: “Zero Defect, Zero Effect”. Retrieved from http://pnrsolution.org/Datacenter/Vol3/Issue2/46.pdf on March 29, 2020.
Porter, M.E., & Linde, C. van der. (2011). “Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship”. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(4). Retrieved from https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.9.4.97 on March 29, 2020.
Venugopal, Vasudha. (2016). ‘Manufacturing to move into ‘zero defect, zero effect’ category.’ Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/manufacturing-to-move-into-zero-defect-zero-effect-category/articleshow/50664212.cms?from=mdr on March 29, 2020.
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