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ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT Cases, 6(2), 2009: 135—156

SAGE PUBLICATIONS Los Angeles/London/New Delhi/Singapore/Washington Dc


DOJ: 10.1177/097282010900600205

MANAGEMENT OF MULTI ALLIANCES FOR INNOVATION:


SONA KOYO STEERING SYSTEMS LIMITED INITIATIVES
Shilpi Jam
Pallavi Srivastava
On a chilly morning of January 2007, Dr Surinder Kapur left his Delhi home to visit Sona Koyo Steering Systems Limited
(SKSSL), his auto component manufacturing plant situated at National Highway 8 (NH-8) Gurgaon.’ Dr Kapur, founder
and CEO of India’s largest steering manufacturing group was contemplating, ‘how his company could increase export sales
from the current 2 per cent to 45 per cent by the year 2010? What strategic changes and efforts towards innovation could
establish his group as a partner of choice” to its global customers?’ While sitting in the rear seat of his chauffer-driven car,
his thoughts took him twenty years back. Gurgaon then had been barren and deserted with only a small number of
industries. Today, he was driving through the same route but on an eight lane expressway, newly constructed between
Gurgaon and New Delhi. Glancing at world- class buildings on both sides of the road, he wondered how his organization
could grow and achieve high profitability through technology innovations. Should they invest heavily in research and
development for new products? How can they build an organization of engaged employees and what policies do they need
to build in order to serve their global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)?
He began reflecting on his group’s achievements so fat The thirteenth day of November 2003 was a special day for his
company. It was awarded the 2003 Deming Prize by the Chairman of Ibyota Corporation for excellence in Manufacturing
and Quality Systems, making it the first recipient of this award among the steering system manufacturers in northern India.
This accomplishment was followed by a remarkable increase in customer base. They even bagged an international order
from General Motors (GM) supplying them with 20,000 steering units per month. The dream that he had conceived twenty
five years ago had turned into a reality. He had come a long way and still had many more milestones to reach. As the driver
entered the porch of the company premises, he broke from his reverie to the present and called a meeting with his
department heads.

COMPANY BACKGROUND

Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd (SKSSL), the flagship company of the Sona Group, was tbrmed in technical and financial
collaboration with JTEKI Corporation, Japan under the entrepreneurship of Dr Surinder Kapur. Established in 1985, it was
the largest manufacturer of steering systems for the passenger car and utility vehicle market in India. The company was
involved in the manufacture and supply of steering systems and driveline products. Sona Koyo steering systems’ product
portfolio included manual steering, hydraulic power-steering, steering column and column-type electronic power steering
systems. Their products were supplied to passenger car and UV manufacturers. The company had three plants, one in 1-
laryana and one each in New Delhi and Tämil Nadu.2 In 2007, the company added the manufacturing capacity of 300,000
units of electronic power-steering systems at its Gurgaon plant in Haryana.
In 2007, the company set up an associate company, Sona Autocomp Europe, to provide logistics management services for
auto components sourced from India. During the same period, the Sono Koyo entered into a majority owned joint venture
with Arjan Auto Private Ltd to manufacture stamped parts for steering columns and seat recliners for the European market.
They also acquired technology from JTEKI Corporation and Fuji Autotech AB, Sweden for electronic power-steering
systems and steering columns, respectively. Sona Koyo’s customers included major vehicle manufactures in India such as
Maruti Suzuki, ‘Tbyota, Hyundai, läta Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, General Motors and MahindraRenault. The
company was exporting high quality precision products to USA, Europe and Japan (see Exhibit 1 for Sono Koyo’s
achievements).

1.Gurgaon, situated in the state of Haryana (India), has emerged tremendously as an IT outsourcing and development destination and
also as a real estate market.
2 All three arc states in India.

This case study was written by Shilpi Jam and Pallavi Srivastava, Doctoral candidates, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon,
India. The authors are grateful to Dr Ajay Kumar Jam, Associate Professor, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India for his
valuable inputs in writing this case.
SETTING AN AGENDA FOR FUTURE GROWTH

As a result of heated discussions and analysis, major plans of expansion were laid out in the meeting called by Dr Kapur
These included incorporation of 3 million pieces of manual steering gears, 250,000 units of hydraulic power-steering and
increasing the capacity of steering columns from one million to two million parts. It was decided that the organization would
invest US$3 108 million to achieve a turnover of US$ 270 million by 2010. It was expected that by 2010, the company would
earn 45 per cent of its revenue from exports.
The foremost aim of the organization was to become a partner of choice’ to global auto manufacturers, which would be
possible only when SKSSL could deliver new technology to its customers at a reasonable cost. For this, the company needed
to innovate and have their own registered patents and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
During the meeting, Mr Kiran Deshmukh, the Chief Operating Officer of SKSSL acknowledged that:
If Indian companies want to build their outsourcing business, it is imperative for them to build on their technological
strength. It is not just about using low-cost labour; it is about using technological strength. Therefore, they need to develop
innovative manufacturing technologies and processes suited for India.

Scenario in the Indian Automobile Sector

In 2003—04, at the same time when SKASSL management was planning its strategic goals, the Indian government
liberalized the norms for foreign investment and import of technology. This appeared to have immense benefits for the
automobile sector in India and resulted in an increase in the production of total vehicles from 4.2 million in 1998—99 to 7.3
million in 2003—04 (see Exhibits 2 and 3). It was perceived that the production of such vehicles would exceed 10 million in
the next few years. Global leaders in the industry were keenly looking towards India as a potential market for their vehicles
and also as a manufacturing destination. The auto component sector posted a significant growth of 20 per cent in 2003—04
to achieve a sales turnover of US$ 6.7 billion. The manufacturers also realized the potential for higher growth as a result of
outsourcing activities by global automobile giants.
The global manufacturing trend had spread to developing countries with large populations because of lower cost of skilled
manpower and design capabilities. It was expected that the automotive sector would contribute to 10 per cent of the
country’s GDP and approximately 30 per cent of the industry. About 3.1 billion dollars were invested in the auto
component industry for manufacturing world-class auto components.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES AND ALLIANCES

Certain immediate actions were taken by SKSSL to not only move up on the value chain but also broaden its customer base.
The organization decided to adopt a multi-pronged approach. With a long product development cycle, SKSSL felt the need
to upgrade its engineering side as well, They automated their engineering functions after a thorough evaluation by the R&D
team. As a result, many auto majors such as Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL: renamed Maruti Suzuki India Limited on 17
September 2007), Hyundai Motors, Tata Motors, ‘Toyota Motors, General Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra were added
to the company’s client list. MUL continued to be the single largest customer accounting for 45 per cent of SKSSL’s
revenues. The company supplied Electronic Power Steering (EPS) systems to MUL and Hyundai. For the first time in India,
a hilly functional EPS was assembled on Indian production lines. They also became the sole supplier of manual steering
wheel for Toyota Motors.

SKSSL’s Initiatives Towards Innovation

Under the umbrella of strategic decisions, the organization first focused on its research and quality systems because the
requirements of the customers (vehicle manufacturers) were becoming more complex and demanding. For example, the
earlier demand for a 40,000 km warranty was now increased to 100,000 km to provide vehicle owners with a hassle-free
driving experience. Such warranty liabilities needed commitment from manufacturers and could only be achieved if the
organization trusted its research abilities, production processes and quality systems from conception to implementation. This
was true with SKSSL. It also had the advantage of being competitive in its prices, because of lower production costs in
India.
The second step was to have an efficient production system. They implemented Toyota Production System (175) across the
board. TPS laid stress on kaizen teams, kanban, and jiorka (see Exhibit 8 for background note on kaizen, kanban, and jiorka).
Self- study groups and visits from experts were integrated into the work ethos at SKSSL. TPS streamlined operations at the
manufacturing end, reduced costs, eliminated waste and improved quality. The company also expanded its capacity at its
Chennai plant, which placed it in a better position to serve car makers such as Hyundai and others based in south India.

3.US$ 1 = Indian Ps 39.12 as on 1 February 2008. The market rate exchange to the US dollar fluctuates marginally.
Lastly, SKSSL understood its limitations in investment in indigenous technologies. It was realized that in order to expand
exponentially, the organization needed to identify and form strategic alliances with technology leaders.

PARTNERSHIP WITH ACADEMIA

Under the visionary leadership of Dr Kapur, the team expanded its research capabilities to attain excellence and meet
customer expectations at a lower price. A consensus was achieved to emphasize industry—institute interactions for
enhanced technological innovations and developments to provide India an edge over other countries.4 As a result, the
company entered into many parallel partnerships with technology institutes such as:

 Indian Institute of Technology (lIT), Delhi—to build advanced steering column applications.
 Indian Institute of Technology (lIT), Mumbai—’to build a prototype for ‘steer by wire’ steering, a futuristic project.
 Innosight—A project on the development of the new ideas conceived by SKSSL employees.
 University of San Diego—Working on Driverless Driving’ project with US scientists and manufacturers.

Indian Alliances

IIT Delhi -
Instead of underestimating their capabilities, the management decided to exploit available resources. SKSSL engaged in
strategic alliances with Indian research institutes to strengthen its research capabilities. At first it partnered with Indian
Institute of’ Technology (LIT),5 Delhi for new steering column applications. There were plenty of supporting factors for
choosing lIT Delhi. The prominent ones were: (a) availability of expertise within the institute and (b) absence of immediate
competitive threat identified with academic alliances.

Mr Ashish Singh, Manager Design & Development (D&D) at SKSSL mentioned:


We do not have these specialized skills. Those skills cannot be attained in a small fraction of time; it is also difficult to
acquire them since such information is not available within the industry. We are working in collaboration on a futuristic
project. The idea is to have that know-how and then our internal R&D can help to employ some of that learning in our
existing products. We don’t work with the aim of immediate commercialization. We are working together to develop a
concept. Once the concept is proven, then internal R&D can go a step further and develop products to get commercial
benefits.
Such an alliance was a sure shot practical example of application engineering and systems engineering. The project was
funded by SKSSL and the technical expertise was provided by IIT Delhi. The review committees met periodically to
monitor the progress of the project.

lIT Mumbai -
SKSSL and Indian Institute of’ Technology, Mumbai agreed to work jointly for two years, the period could be extended, on
the development of steer-by-wire’ prototype. The futuristic technology ‘steer-by-wire’ already existed in military jets and the
latest civilian airplanes but it was hard to implement it in cars because of costs, reliability without maintenance and the
required steering precision of less than one centimeter. Once successful, it was considered to be a major breakthrough in the
passenger cars segment. In alliance with lIT Mumbai, SKSSL closely monitored the growth of this project.
Jobs and roles were well defined in the alliance. SKSSL was responsible for providing funds for the project. In different
phases, it paid approximately US$ 68,000 to the institution. It also agreed to pay the institution US$ 80,000 towards transfer
of technology on completion. Besides this, all of the electronic Research and Development work and simulations were the
responsibility of lIT Mumbai to whom SKSSL was supposed to provide mechanical and integration support. A full-time
electronic engineer was also deputed by SKSSL to provide support and necessary assistance to both the parties. Funds
towards expenses were provided by the organization. However, intellectual assistance and experimentations were the
institute’s responsibility. Any title to inventions, copyrights, patents as an outcome of the project was to be in the joint name
of SKSSL and lIT Mumbai. Moreover, SKSSL could have exclusive rights to commercially exploit any development resulting
out of the research. It had to pay a royalty of 10 per cent of the net sales value of the product(s) for a period of six years,
from the date of the first unit sold, to the leading academician of the institution once the patent was granted. People at
SKSSL were very excited about this partnership. Dr Ravindra Sharma, Director Research & Development at SKSSL was
optimistic in his statement as follows: We will be able to exploit and explore new resources through the esteemed faculty of
the institution. lIT professors are world renowned for their excellence in knowledge and access to theory and information. If
we work in close association with these institutions, we are more close to innovations.

4. In his lecture at 11th National conference on Machines and Mechanisms (NacoMM-2003)


5. IIT Delhi is one of the India’s best technical engineering institutes.
International Alliances

A tie-up with JTEKT Corporation (erstwhile Koyo Seiko) of Japan worth US$3 billion helped SKSSL to have access to the
strong Research and Development base of its parent organization that owned a 20 per cent stake in the Indian company.
They enabled SKSSL to work in close association with the Japan Institute for Plant Maintenance, Tokyo to implement Total
Quality Maintenance (TQM) and Breakthrough Management.
To have global competence and excellence in the development of new products, SKSSL signed a technical collaboration
agreement with two Russian institutions namely, Institute of Power Electronics at Siberia and Sibtehnomash to conduct
joint research on steering applications and electronics with a focus on control systems.
To develop a new concept, they also tied-up with a US-based firm Innosight. This entity was conceived by Prof. C. M.
Christensen.6 They provided concepts and mechanisms to evaluate innovative ideas. Based on their rating, the ideas were
selected for further development. The management at SKSSL showed interest in these ideas and agreed to provide funding
for the development of these ideas.

Innosight -
Innosight was using Professor Christensen’s research as a foundation. The organization had customers as varied as
multinationals like Procter & Gamble (P&G), start-up firms like Vanu Inc. of India and even governments of different
nations. They determined the causal factors behind successful and failed innovations for their clients. Innosight helped them
apply critical thinking to real practice, thereby finding new growth.
SKSSL approached Innosight to understand the process of ‘how to evaluate new ideas?’ The Research & Development and
D&D departments of SKSSL had a system in place where a register was maintained and employees were invited to write
their ideas, irrespective of their designations. All those ideas were discussed in formal meetings and some potential ones
were selected for further discussion. SKSSL approached Innosight with the list of such selected ideas for evaluation. After
the evaluation, ten ideas were chosen by the team members of both the organizations for further development. Since this
was just a beginning, SKSSL management initiated the process to develop one idea from the top ten by providing resources
in terms of money and manpower
The partnership between SKSSL and Innosight was crystallized in March 2007. A separate company in Singapore was set up
with each party having a stake of 40/60. The entire development was to be monitored and reviewed in three phases. SKSSL
had an option to be released from the agreement after any phase, in case they were unsatisfied by the outcome of the
project. In fact, SKSSL could even take control of the entire project.
Jobs and roles were well defined for both the parties. SKSSL was to provide project funding close to US$ 100000 in phase
one and then US$ 200,000 to 400,000 depending upon the progress of the business. Sona Koyo also agreed to provide
relevant technical and engineering skills. On the other side, Innosight was responsible for judgments regarding the design
and set-up, the vendor management system, vendor negotiation, programme management skills and capacity, commercial
development in terms of customers, advertising, promotions, sales, gap-filling technical skills, and management recruitment
skills.

In-house Initiatives –
In the annual meeting of SKSSL, Dr Surinder Kapur addressed his team:
I have been stressing on the imperative need of building in-house technological and R&D capabilities to transform from
being a manufacturer of components to a full service provider and becoming a critical partner for OEMs in the product
development process.
While encouraging partnerships for outsourcing R&D, Dr Kapur also felt the need for an in-house R&D team for the long-
term sustainability of the organization. Thus, the foundation for SKSSL’s first fully-equipped research centre for
technological innovations and development was laid in Gurgaon in 2004 under the supervision of Dr Ravindra Sharma and
four new employees. According to Dr Sharma, ‘Some employees had apprehensions and doubts on its success, but ultimately
everyone was proven wrong.’

MILESTONES ACHIEVED

In 2006, believing in continuous research and innovation, the team of scientists and engineers at SKSSL made the first
electronic power steering prototype, indigenously developed in their laboratories (first time ever in India). The company
filed a patent for it in India and in the US and registered it as EPAM (Electric Power Assist Module).
SKSSL continued to harness its in-house design capabilities in concurrence with institutional alliances.

6. Professor clayton. M. Christensen is the founder cEo of Innosight and also an author of the famous book ‘Innovator’s Dilemma’. The
author introduces theories on disruptive innovation. Innosight was founded in January 2000 to help companies understand and
overcome the challenges of disruptive innovation.
In 2005—06, it invested Rs 15.7 million in R&D that had a positive outcome. In the same year they filed six patents
compared to the cumulative four patents in the previous years. Besides this, other incremental innovations were coming up
simultaneously in the Department of Design and Development (D&D) under the supervision of Ashish Singh (Manager
D&D)..All of the new design and development processes were contributed by the international partners. The department
attained skills to reengineer existing products to save costs. For example, it redesigned the steering system for a small car
produced by Suzuki’s Indian venture the Maruti Alto (an economy car for Indian households available in the market for only
US$ 6,000). The rework combined three components into one and reduced the weight of the system by 15 per cent.
The list of innovation initiatives did not end here. The company further entered into a partnership with US based
manufacturers on a project called ‘Driverless Driving’ with the University of San Diego. They teamed with international
manufacturers and US scientists. With these two core coordinators, the role of SKSSL was to provide a 500 metre platform
for testing in India, besides the steering testing tools.

Achievement from Multi-Alliances

The result of having in-house R&D centres and alliances helped SKSSL to achieve many business goals, It successfully
rolled out ‘Total Quality Management TQM) and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) practices throughout the
organization, including the shop floor under the supervision of Dinesh Sharma, General Manager, Quality Assurance at
SKSSL He believed that after getting the production process right in India, gaining acceptability in other parts of the globe
would not be an issue.
In 2002—03, sales had increased by only 6.4 per cent whereas in the next calendar year they showed a significant growth of
23.74 per cent [see Exhibit 4] which was close to four times than that of previous years. Since then there was no looking
back.
The proposed expansion plans were aligned with their vision ‘To become a world class quality supplier of auto components’ as well as
abide by contracts with technology partners. SKSSL identified a need to create a niche to introduce and promote steering
innovations in the global market. In order to achieve this second goal they planned to diversify significantly. Dr Ravindra
Sharma was clear about his strategic intent:
We are not willing to poach in our partners’ market segments; also we have clear agreements and their consent on our
diversification.7 The aim is to provide hassle free steering systems to consumers in their lawn mowers, golf carts, garden
tractors etc., so that they can have leisure time on weekends working in their gardens, playing golf A conventional global
auto component manufacturer might not be interested in supporting these niche market segments. However, SKSSL
foresees huge opportunities in such markets. We are ready to undertake the entire design work as well as the development.
They also bagged a contract with Case New Holland (CNH)I US in the off-highway segment. As a small vendor, SKSSL
started with a portfolio of three products in 1988. By mid-2007, they had developed a portfolio of fifty-seven products, as
well as the skills to re-engineer existing products. With an Indian market share of 50 per cent, the company became the
largest manufacturer of steering gears in 2007 and became the leading supplier of Electric Power Steering Systems,
Hydraulic Power Steering Systems, Manual Rack and Pinion Steering Systems, Collapsible, Tilt and Rigid Steering Columns
for passenger vans and multi-utility vehicles.
The strategy of having their own innovations (initially incremental and then radical) helped to reduce the risk of SKSSL’s
domestic business with an increased focus on exports as well. It demonstrated a 100 per cent growth in export revenues
from US$ 5.5 million to US$ 12 million. This contributed significantly in registering a revenue growth of 14 per cent while
the domestic passenger car industry registered a growth of 7.5 per cent. Customer rejection came down from 90 pieces per
million (ppm) to 57 ppm as shown in Exhibit 5. It was proposed that customer rejection would continue to be maintained
below 50 ppm. Supplier rejection from last year’s 1,368 ppm was reduced to 537 ppm. It was in the process of being
reduced even further The World Economic Forum named SKSSL as a Global Growth Company in 1997. In 2007, SKSSL
was upgraded by ICRA (Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited) and was given the rating of Al
+, indicating the highest investor safety level awarded by the agency.
SKSSL’s partners were interested in multi-faceted relationships, though the expected outcome was yet to come, because the
technologies they were working on, were all futuristic and could not be immediately commercialized. However, there were
some intangible benefits which both the partners were already aware of and many that were yet to come. Institutions needed
funds to continue with their research initiatives while organizations engaged with universities to make greater use of
exploratory university-based research alliances. Such alliances emphasized exploration, tapping external knowledge to aid in
investigating trajectories that were new to the firm. These alliances would help SKSSL in enhancing competitiveness
compared to their competitors. They could present themselves as a full solution provider to their clients, from proposing
newly designed technical solutions to actually developing a product.
According to Dr Surinder:
The emerging scenario in India’s small car industry holds promise and excitement for all involved. The growing liberalized

7.SKSSL’s outsourcing biz is built on technical prowess article downloaded from Auto Monitor in July 2007.
economy, favourable demographics, healthy environment for investment, will help propel the growth of the automotive
industry in India.
The company had a planned capital expenditure of US$ 22 million. It also planned an investment of US$ 4.5 million to set
up manufacturing facilities for electronic steering systems and another US$ 9 million to increase the capacity of its existing
facilities. Dr Surinder continued:
The automotive industry (OEM and auto components) is poised to become the third largest market by 2050 We are at a
historic juncture, where the exports revenue of some Indian suppliers will exceed their domestic revenues and their outlook
will transform to be a global supplier of the automotive industry SKSSL employees believe that ‘we are well on our way to
achieving our vision of being a ‘Supplier of choice to global customers’.
Strategic issues such as enhancing competitiveness and the value of the firm motivated this growth in alliances, rather than
focusing on only short-term cost efficiencies. SKSSL was helping Management Development Institute (MDI),8 Gurgaon to
develop a centre for innovation excellence and promotion of entrepreneurship. It also sponsored an Incubation Centre for
Innovation and Entrepreneurship which was inaugurated in February 2008. The group allocated funds of worth US$ 400000
to develop a support structure for entrepreneurs and research and development. According to Dinesh the whole idea was to
encourage young minds to innovate because innovations could transform a nation and give it better global positioning.

THE ROAD AHEAD

In 2007—08, the Indian auto components industry witnessed a turnover of US$ 18 billion. Between 2002—07 it grew at a
compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.2 per cent and according to the Auto Components Manufacturers Association of
India (ACMA), it was likely to grow at a CAGR of 10.5 per cent between 2007—15 to touch US$ 40 billion by 2015—16.
Investments in the Indian automobile components industry were witnessing continuous growth. Investments grew at a
CAGR of 21.7 per cent during 2002—07 and were worth US$ 7.2 billion in 2007-08. ACMA expected investments to grow
at a CAGR of 14.2 per cent during 2007—2015 and reach US$ 20.9 billion by 2015 (Refer to Exhibits 6 and 7 for the
growth in the automobile sector).
With the burgeoning potential in the Indian auto component sector, industry leaders saw a huge latent opportunity; Dr
Surinder Kapur had some pertinent issues hammering in his mind. Should his organization expand its research initiatives
and diversifr from auto parts manufacturing to other fields? What should be the level of indigenous R&D infrastructure at
SKSSL? Should it be 100 per cent R&D, indigenous R&D with technical collaborations or non-indigenous R&D with total
dependency on technical collaborations? Dr Kapur knew that heavy investments in R&D were not feasible. Hence, should
his organization go for collaboration with technical academic institutions with no equity, collaboration with international
auto-component companies with equity stake or purchase technology from international auto-component companies with
no equity stake? However such tie- ups with academic institutes may complicate things further.Would collaboration with an
academic institution lead to impractical innovations that could not be applied?
Dr Kapur was also concerned about the balance between new product development and improvements or improvisation of
existing products so that the focus on new product development may not lead to neglect of existing products. How could he
ensure this? Did he make sound investments in improving the production processes and quality systems, in R&D for
existing product improvisations, and in alliances with institutes for new product or process development?

8.MDI is one of the premiere management institutes situated in the state of Haryana in India.

REFERENCES

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07/ann_rport_pgl .htm on 16 October 2007.
Annual Financial Report 2004-05. 2006. Retrieved from the Sona Group Website: http://www. sonagroup.com/Annual Report 2005.pdf on 5 June 2007.
Annual Financial report 2005-06. 2007. Retrieved from the Sonagroup Website: www.sonagroup. corn on 5 June 2007.
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November 2008.
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2007.
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Sona Koyo bags Order from GM India. 2005, 29 November Retrieved from The Financial Express Web site:
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The Deming Journey. 2004, 27, 29 November Retrieved from Domain-b Web site: http://www. domain-b.com/managernent/quality/20041 1 27journey.html on 12
November 2007.
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EXHIBIT 8 — BACKGROUND NOTE –

Company Profile—Sona Koyo Steering Systems Limited (SKSSL) consistent quality, constant innovation, value engineering, process
(Source: www.sonagroup.com) improvement and customer orientation.
Sona Koyo Steering Systems Limited (SKSSL) is a technical and financial joint Company Profile—Innosight
venture company of JTEKT Corporation, Japan and the global technology (Source: www.innosight.com)
leader in steering systems. With a market share of 50 per cent, the company is To help companies understand and overcome the challenges of disruptive
the largest manufacturer of steering gears in India and is the leading supplier of innovation, Christensen and Mark Johnson formed Innosight in January 2000.
Hydraulic Power Steering Systems, Manual Rack and Pinion Steering Systems Professor Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School shook the
and Collapsible, Tilt and Rigid Steering Columns for passenger vans and business world with his 1997 Kanban best-selling book, The Innovator’s Dilemma,
MUVs. The company’s product range also extends to Rear Axle Assemblies which introduced the theories of disruptive Just In I
and Propeller Shafts. Named as a Global Growth Company in 1997 by the innovation. Christensen’s follow-up book, The Innovator’s Solution, shed more
World Economic Forum, the company is now well positioned to lead the light on what companies could do to overcome the challenges of disruptive
Indian Automotive Component Industry to global standards in the coming innovation and provided managers with key insight into the business conditions
millennium. that could be shaped to enable great growth. His most recent release, Seeing
It is surging ahead in the journey of ‘Ibtal Quality Management (TQM). It is What’s Next, coauthored by Innosight uses car
also developing its core competence and aligning objectives at all levels so as to Managing Director, Scott D. Anthony, uses the theories of innovation to
realize synergy in operations. An initiative of improving the most important predict business improve growth and industry change.
resources, the Human Resource, as well as the plant equipment has been Using Christensen’s research as a foundation to explain the causal factors
initiated. This technique, Ibtal Productive Maintenance (TPM), has been behind successful and failed innovations, Innosight was created to apply that
adopted to improve performance through the philosophy of prevention. thinking to real practice, helping companies find new growth. Over the last six
SKSSL aims to achieve: years, Innosight has worked with numerous companies in a wide range of
• Zero accidents. industries, from leading corporations like f’&G to start-ups like Vanu, Inc. and
• Zero defects. even national governments. Through field work, Innosight has uncovered key
• Zero breakdowns by using the Koyo Production System as the foundation of principles to recognize patterns of success that lead to better connection with
all change programmes. consumers and reduced competitive threats. Its pattern recognition tools build
Customer satisfaction continues to be of utmost importance to SKSSL as do internal processes and identify the right opportunities to reduce project time
and minimize required investment while increasing revenue potential.