Success through Progressive Workplace Empowerment
Success through Progressive Workplace Empowerment

Aug 29, 2019

When we talk with OEM client prospects about our world-class EMS facilities and success, the initial feedback we often receive is a wariness about India’s dubious quality standards. This stems from India’s long-held cultural reputation for “chalta hai,” loosely translated as “it’s okay” or settling for the status quo, often interpreted as inattention to detail. For nearly four decades, the Tandon Group has worked tirelessly to dispel that stereotype, providing top-quality products at reasonable costs.

When M.L. Tandon returned to India in 1967 after completing his MBA at Santa Clara University, he spent 6 years as an engineering manager at IBM India. He observed firsthand the day-to-day corporate efficiency and flawless quality that positioned IBM atop the global computer market. When he envisioned eventually starting his own electronics manufacturing company, he knew striving to meet those benchmarks would set his company far ahead of the rest of the pack. Tandon’s original Mumbai facility opened for business in 1978; his top priority would be establishing a pervasive company culture that would represent the absolute antithesis of “chalta hai.”

As his workforce rapidly expanded, M.L.’s favorite slogan on the production floor was “Chalta hai, nehi!” or “chalta hai isn’t okay.” Quality meant constantly trying to improve upon the status quo. And the best way to inspire such continual progress was to instill a sense of empowerment in his workers, that this was more than just a 9-to-5 job; it was their company too. And the company’s success would reflect favorably upon their character as well.

Every Syrma Worker Matters

Tandon’s IBM model revered the value of the individual, rejecting the rigid British-inspired corporate structure that dominated most Indian companies. There were no separate lunchrooms for executives, managers, and employees. From the bottom upward, every role was recognized for its contribution to the overall organization. When line employees fell short in their tasks, it became their manager’s responsibility to improve communication and clear up misunderstandings rather than crack the whip with harsh discipline. M.L. Tandon was among the first top executives of an Indian company to maintain an open-door policy, allowing any employee to share ideas or voice concerns directly to him.

Such progressive business practices were far ahead of their time in Indian culture, and they quickly brought about a noticeably different workplace. From the Tandon factory, product shipments for international destinations had to be dropped off at the shipper’s facility no later than 4:00 pm every business day. Thanks to their newfound empowerment, they began skipping their breaks and lunchtimes to meet their daily shipping deadlines.

Where employees at other companies would literally drop everything and go home at quitting time, the Tandon workforce’s company pride and strong work ethic focused on doing whatever was necessary to get the job done right. At Tandon, “chalta hai” became little more than a quaint anachronism. As the Tandon Group expanded into other electronics manufacturing, from power supplies, motors, and their landmark floppy drives, to their current state-of-the-art EMS facilities at Syrma SGS Technology, M.L. Tandon’s original “Chalta hai, nehi!” philosophy has remained the cornerstone of their success.

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets. We look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs in entering the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport. Additional road and rail connectivity links to the rest of India and beyond and infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force flexibility, both technical and manual, to scale to demand rapidly.

To learn more about this topic, please contact us.