For the greater good
On any given day, if you go to Auto CNC Machining Limited, situated in a surprisingly green corner of Peenya and ask for a certain Harish K M working there, a quiet, confident young man will walk up to you. His modest workstation might not say a lot about what he does, but here's a glimpse of what fills up his usual day at work: drawing, creating control plans, tooling layout, setup instructions and work instructions, calculating Overall Equipment Efficiency and Production Efficiency, looking into rejections and working on preventive analysis. Having worked with Auto CNC for the last six years, Harish now divides his work time between the Process Engineering Department and Management Information System. But why of all people Harish, you may ask. Here's why.
Harish is an Ace Micromatic Technology Centre product. Technology Centres were started by the Ace Micromatic group of companies about six years ago. And almost as soon as the initiative was in place, Harish's brother, who was working for Ace at the time (and continues to do so), informed him about the opportunity. Harish, who had just finished his Second PUC, took the plunge readily. “I knew some measurement methods before I joined the classes but they weren't enough to be considered valuable. Learning at the Technology Centre gave me a chance to further my knowledge about measuring techniques, calculations necessary for inspection, instrument handling and CNC programming”, he elaborates. At the end of the course, which was spread over two months, Harish was absorbed by Auto CNC after a test and brief interview.
In the scheme of things where people have found a sustainable existence through the Technology Centres, Harish is not the only one. Talk to Jayalakshmi, who like Harish has been with Auto CNC for six years, and you'll know. “After I completed my Second PUC, I enrolled for a teacher's training course. But before I could go along that path, I got to know about Ace Micromatic's Technology Centres from my husband and both of us saw a lot of merit in them”, she says. And after all these years in the company, Jayalakshmi's certainly a happy soul. “I am responsible for multiple factors including inspection reports, test reports and dispatch and packing needs. That apart, I directly look into client requirements and accordingly give feedback to my company”, adds Jayalakshmi. She is completely in charge of an export customer that gives the company annual business of USD 1 million – from conformance to delivery, Jayalakshmi is at the helm of things.
How the Technology Centre idea was conceived is another interesting story. When the of the Ace Micromatic group were evaluating operations from a Business Excellence point of view, they realised there is a need to do something substantial for the society. “Our idea was to give back to society without expecting immediate returns”, says TK Ramesh, CEO, Micromatic Machine Tools. At the very start of their background research, the leaders decided to look into what customers had to say - what their pain points were, what changes they required for efficient operations.
“The first thing we discovered was that customers were facing difficulty in finding people who could operate and maintain machines. The IT boom was pulling people away from the machine industry and the worst affected were SMEs”, he adds. That's when the group landed on the big idea - that there would always be people out there looking to have a sustainable income without really having access to the right opportunities. “School and college dropouts, people stuck in jobs that don't promise growth, ragpickers... there were so many people looking to sustain themselves. That was our inspiration to devise a basic course that could give these people a livelihood”, reminisces TK Ramesh.
In the last six years, training offered through these centres has gone places. It has been offered across various schools, a couple of colleges in places like Lucknow and Chennai and some ITI institutes. The programme has also encouraged learning among faculty members through 'Train the Trainer' sessions. And even after 42 batches, Ace Micromatic Technology Centres are ready for more.
It is not often that we think about how the not-so-privileged go about their lives. But the need to be part of change is there in all of us. “Initially, I was afraid to even go near the machines. But now, I feel confident and responsible – so much so that I'm ready to train youngsters who become a part of my company. I'm skilled and I would be more than happy to be able to pass it on”, signs off Jayalakshmi.