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July 27, 1998

4 Min Read
Benevolent Management Fosters Growth in India

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The Brite Group of companies invests in systems to improve
the production efficiency of automotive products, like
instrument panels. But it also invests in a commitment
to quality in its people, which management
counts on to ensure that customers will find
that Brite Group is dependable.

The name "Brite" is synonymous with the word "plastics" in India. Since opening its doors in 1947, the Brite Group of companies has grown to become a diverse organization with sales of over Rs 1 billion (US$ 25.8 million). It operates five factories in India--in Mumbai, Tarapur, Sohna (Gurgaon), Pithampur (Madhya Pradesh), and Pondicherry, four of which are ISO 9002 certified, with some 45 injection moulding machines, ranging from 350 to 2,200 tons. The largest, a Windsor model HSI 2200T, is said to be the biggest moulding machine in the country.

Industry experts say the automotive industry in India is poised for substantial growth (see November/ December 1996 IMI, p. 43). The Brite Group is ready to meet this growing demand, thanks to a core philosophy that has driven the company's success for more than 50 years. Indru Advani, executive director of Bright Brothers Ltd. and director of Brite Automotive and Plastics Ltd., says that the core of this philosophy is something he calls "benevolent management."

Long-term Relationships

"The ethos of our group of companies is quite famous here in India. It comes from our founder, T.W. Bhojwani, and it involves building long-term relationships with our customers through integrity of supply, consistency of quality, and qualified JIT deliveries. But only our people can bring this to life," Advani explains.

The Brite Group services many markets, including consumer durables, consumer electronics, household products, crates and containers, and office furniture, but the automotive market represents 40 percent of its total turnover. Seventy percent of its production is for original equipment manufacturers. The remainder is in proprietary products.

Customers include the like of Maruti Udyog (Suzuki), Telco, Whirlpool, Kinetic Honda, Onida Group, Bajaj Auto, Gorej-GE, and Singer, and the products it makes are exported worldwide. In many cases, Brite is a single source for its customers' products. That takes integrity and reliability. And says Advani, that takes benevolent management.

"I'm not talking about charity, mind you. Our people have to work. But we build on our relationships with our employees to earn their trust, just as we do with our customers. It is an emotional thing. You have to bring programs in to help people." Basically, all Brite employees are taught that the goal of their activities is to meet or exceed a customer's requirements and expectations. They are taught to identify potential sources of error and they are empowered to eliminate them. Though the core philosophy has remained in place, the quality paradigm practiced at Brite has evolved through the years, influenced by the Kaizen program of continuous improvement, for instance.


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Instrument panels are a specialty of Brite Automotive
and Plastics Ltd., Mumbai, India.

Growth Patterns

For three years prior to 1997, Brite was growing at 30 percent per year. Growth slowed a bit in 1997 as Brite Group retrenched and made investments to add additional capacity in anticipation of the growing automotive demand. "We may have sacrificed a bit in growth to maintain our relationships with our customers, but we have no regrets. Growth does not exist in isolation. We cannot rest on our laurels and have to constantly work harder. There is a lot of competition. One cannot lose sight of that fact."

Advani says the accent of his company is on manufacturing efficiencies. The Brite Group continues to expand and replace its machinery with the latest models. It also practices customer-aligned production, that is, building factories in close proximity to key customers and synchronizing the production schedules of its facilities to match those of its customers.

It invests in the best to put the best tools available into the hands of its people, its greatest asset. Its engineers, designers, marketers, office workers, and technicians on the shop floor see management's commitment to them. They respond with a commitment to quality that translates into product excellence and delivering more than what is expected. This builds long-term relationships with customers who feel they can depend on the Brite Group. And that fosters growth. "We don't think any management system here is perfect," Advani concludes."If so, then we would feel we cannot do any better. Quality is a given in the world market today. But, we need a system in place to allow for growth."

Contact Information

Bright Brothers Ltd.
and Brite Automotive and Plastics Ltd.
Mr. Indru Advani
35-C, Pt. M.M. Malviya Road
Mumbai 400034, India
Tel: +91 (22) 494 5775
Fax: +91 (22) 495 0596
e-mail: [email protected]


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