Business Schools today must develop students to become global citizens. With economies across the world posing competition, one can no longer be content with knowing just our own. This requires for students to learn from the workplace in different parts of the globe. Global internships are one such initiative. This year 107 students from Welingkar successfully completed their Global Internships in Germany, Japan, Dubai, Kenya, Ghana, and Tanzania. Some of their experiences are as follows -
Kaizen Study Tour of Japan
About the Visit:
The main purpose of the Japan tour is to study Japanese Production Techniques and inculcate a keen sense for learning through observation apart from developing a questioning attitude among students. Initially students are exposed to the manufacturing processes of Small & Medium Scale companies & then they visit large scale companies like Toyota manufacturing Corporation.
Some of the companies that Students visited in the last year’s trip were
Small Scale companies- Morita Enterprise, Iwako Co. Ltd, Hakuyosha Laundry Company & Co-op Tokyo.
Medium and Large Scale companies- Nippon Wiper Blade Co. Ltd, Asahi Breweries, Nippon Steel Works, Togo Garbage Disposal & Recycle, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Denso Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation.
Institutes & centers- Tamagawa University, International design Centre, Nagoya ,Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology & Retail Outlets.
Last year ,In the first 2 days, students visited small scale companies like Morita and Iwako Rubber Company. Everyone was astonished to see how intelligent use of technology helped increased the efficiency & productivity of employees. For example in Morita enterprises a single person operated 4 machines just by using the andon lamps which could tell him even from a distance if the machine was working well or having any problems. While studying about the companies, students also noticed the dedication & the sheer passion that Japanese Companies portray to make something for the customer exactly as per his needs. This strong focus on being Customer Centric seems to be followed everywhere.
Focus on making what is required and zero wastage seems to be deeply embedded in each and every part of Japan. For eg: In Co-op Tokyo, which is a cooperative that supplies groceries to its members, students noticed that it exactly orders that much what is required by its members and at the end of the day their shop floor is spick and span. All the material that they get is 100% utilized.
Another thing which impressed students was the focus on cleanliness. All the factories were totally spick and span. Be it a brewery like Asahi or auto manufacturing unit lie Mitsubishi, Toyota, etc. Everything was clean and in its rightful place with proper markings. Though so much of work was happening but never could any material or any waste lying haywire in the shop floor was to be found. In fact students were given a challenge to spot if there was any mess or anything out of place lying in the companies and all failed in it as this is something difficult to see in Japan.
Apart from visiting companies students also visted institutes like Tamagawa University, Retail Outlets & International design Centre. At Tamagawa University, Students got an opportunity to interact with many Japanese students which helped them to better understand Japanese society & culture. As a result some of the students became their very good friends and are still in contact with them.
Visits to various Retail Outlets of different formats provided students a chance to study the retail scenario of Japan. Students also visited International design Centre in Nagoya and studied the various products made from design centric philosophy.
Last but not least , food in Japan. The food in Japan is one of the tastiest foods that all had come across.
It was a lot more fun when they used chopsticks to eat. Though it was difficult initially, but with practiced they were able to manage it. So in the end of the tour when Toyota Company invited them for a dinner in their Company, all of them proudly showed them that they can enjoy the Japanese food by having it with chopsticks without the need of fork or spoon to have the food.
All said and done, experience of Japan is simply unique and no amount of words can explain it. One must go there to experience it. People in Japan were very helpful and came forward to help whether it was to locate a place or to inform as to where you are. Though Tokyo is supposed to be the busiest city and people their seem to be not having time but Japanese played the perfect host and gave all the necessary time to help anyone.
Click here for more on Japan - the Land of Innovation
"Every factory we went, we saw that the workers' safety was always given first priority. While working at Nabeya Bi-Tech Kaisha, we were using heavy iron raw material. On my first day at the shop floor, one of the department heads touched my feet himself to check if my shoes had adequate padding! They were always observant to see if we had taken adequate safety precautions. Humility and concern for colleagues is one of my biggest learnings from this experience." - Smruta Sawardekar, PGDBM 2004-06
"We worked at Nabeya Bi-Tech Kaish. NBK manufactures pulleys and
couplings. The first thing you see when you enter the company is the
President's desk. He has no fancy cabin, no secretaries waiting on him
and wears the same uniform worn by other employees. In fact when we
arrived, he along with other senior members served us refreshments. It
is wonderful to see everyone do their own work irrespective of their
designations. They have a 15 minute break for tea and it is remarkable
to see them return to their machines in the 14th minute all geared in
their safety equipment. They are truly disciplined in their work and
always respect time." - Melissa D'costa, PGDBM 2004-06
My Experience at BIDCO Oil & Soap Limited Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; by Rohit Bagga (WCM, Welingkar)
BIDCO is one of the largest outfits running in Eastern Africa Continent, with its plant in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
While leaving Mumbai, we had a premonition about the country and its whereabouts. When reaching there all the premonitions were settled as Tanzania is not only a very beautiful country but also a safe country.
Working with BIDCO Oil & Soap Limited, Tanzania for last 2 months has been a great Learning experience. Support given by CEO Mr. Sunil Nair for Gemba Kaizen activities has been wonderful.
BIDCO, Tanzania manufactures Cooking Oil and Laundry Soap. The capacity for Oil Production was 400 metric tons per day and for Soap 160 tons per day.
We started our work with Soapery. We implemented various Japanese Techniques we had learnt back in college and were able to increase productivity. Infact, in one of the projects we were able to reduce cost equivalent to 2.2 Million Tanzanian Shillings. We were also able to increase the Finished Goods Storage area by 100% by using the Air Space and with no Investment.
We also got an opportunity to work with Kaizen Institute consultants at BIDCO, Dar Es Salaam. We saw the actual implementation of the various Japanese Management Techniques we had learnt; in a real life situation.
Abhishek Jain and Rohit Bagga, WCM 2004-06
We, Aditi Mani, Avinash Mishra, Mayur Lalith Raj and Mihir Shah, did our two month summer internships at BIDCO Oil Refineries Ltd., Kenya. We learnt how to apply our theoretical knowledge in the practical arena. At BIDCO, we were always a part of the BIDCO family. We attended meetings and workshops along with the other employees and we were all involved in the day to day working of the company. All our projects are being implemented currently. Working at BIDCO for 2 months gave us an insight to the corporate life in a country other than India. It was truly an enriching experience for all of us.
My summer project at BIDCO was to do a feasibility study of setting up BIDCO Oil Refinery at Mombasa port. It gave me a phenomenal exposure from studying the EAC and COMESA countries to understanding the refinery processes and costing, and applying my financial concepts to determine the feasibility of the project. The project was in line with BIDCO's goal of "Attaining No.1 market share in Africa by the year 2030" and also helped in BIDCO's long term investment decision making.
- Mihir Shah, PGPeB 2004-06
At BIDCO I was with the Integrated Marketing Communications team and was given Strategic Marketing projects from the department's Hoshin Kanri. My project involved formulating strategies for leveraging and increasing brand equity. I also developed and implemented the concept of e- marketing, which was done for the first time in BIDCO.
- Avinash Mishra, PGPeB 2004-06
Germany student exchange
As a result of a cooperation agreement with the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg, twenty six students of the Welingkar Institute of Management were sent on a twelve day program to Bamberg, Germany. The organisers at the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg made the visit an exceptional experience. A comprehensive program of professional and cultural visits was put together which began and ended with a series of lectures in English at the University. As well as visiting business companies, the students were able to see the wonderful Franconian countryside and learn something of the history and culture of Bavaria.
The first company visit took the group to Siemens AG in Erlangen, where the students gained a fascinating insight into the field of Medical Solutions. During a later excursion to Audi AG in Ingolstadt they visited the Automobile Museum before learning something about production processes, and in Dresden they received an informative tour through Volkswagen AG's impressive Gläserne Manufaktur (factory made of glass). A special surprise awaited the students when they visited Bosch GmbH in Bamberg - among those waiting to welcome them were two employees from India, who not only showed them round the factory, but also gave them an interesting insight into the differences between the Indian and the German business worlds. The GfK Market Research Institute in Nuremberg provided yet another experience by giving their Indian guests excellent presentations on challenges and solutions in the field of international market research. The students did not have to brave the cold for long for their last visit which was to the company Brose GmbH in nearby Hallstadt. Here too interesting presentations were rounded off by a tour of the factory.
In all, the Welingkar students and professors learnt a great deal about German productivity.