Saturday, 6 April 2013

Must read, Respect - All women employee plant in Tamil Nadu for Kirloskar pump factory

The award winning, Toyota Kirloskar pump manufacturing plant at Tamil Nadu has all women except 20 men working in the factory including 2 drivers, persons for loading and unloading of stuff and some office staff along with divisional head manufacturing, Mr. RV Raj Kuumar.

Interestingly, Mr Kuumar says, soon you will see all women working in the plant. He says we are about to put up the advertisements for hiring women drivers and conductors and is also looking for a suitable replacement for himself.  "Very soon you will see 100% women here," he said.

The plant was set up in 2011 by the 125-year-old Kirloskar Brothers as an "experiment" on a 4-acre plot at a cost of Rs 11 crore. It now employs about 70 women who assemble one pump every 20 seconds.

Sanjay Kirloskar, chairman and managing director of Kirloskar Brothers, said the plant makes 20,000-25,000 pumps a month, and the quality of output is of such high standard that customers are now specifically asking for pumps manufactured at the Coimbatore plant. Pumps made here are also exported to Nepal and South Africa.

Mr Kirloskar says, in total there are 25 Lakh pumps sold every year and out of these 65% are being manufactured by organized players and rest by unorganized players. The two big players in market include Kirloskar Motors and Crompton Greaves.

The women also feel that after working, getting job, their standard increased and have a certain level of respect in the society.  One worked cited, "My landlord had some problem with the pump at our house and I managed to set it right. He now respects me much more after that." But the plant has its own problems. The attrition rate is about 15-20%, especially with the earlier batches, and absenteeism is high.

"Women have to stay back at home if their husbands or kids are not well," said Kuumar, who pointed out that the rate of attrition is falling and there is enough talent coming in to replace those leaving. "In case they get married, they have to move to other places. When you have women employees, these things are unavoidable."


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