Much can be said about China being the factory of the world. Make no mistake, however, that it is also on its way to becoming a technology and an innovation leader. The ecosystem is there and there is a discipline in its method.
Several things could astonish one about the factories in China. It could be the organization at the floor level at even mid-sized factories or they being spotlessly clean or their innovative loading and unloading facilities or their simple yet effective solution to problems.
But to me the most astonishing is the camaraderie the bosses and the workers enjoy.
Cigarettes along with warm handshakes are exchanged yes even with the workers.And this seems ingrained rather than feigned or practiced. This camaraderie to me is their secret ingredient of their success in manufacturing. I don`t seem to feel the envy of the workers towards the bosses and their BMWs (incidentally Chinese love cars). If you are at lunch time, you can often see food trolleys moving across the shop floor with warm rice and vegetables.....may not be a fancy lunch but it is definitely nutritious and filling.
Also don`t be surprised if your driver joins you when the managers take you for lunch to a restaurant. Or join you for a game of ping pong and even demolish the boss with some sizzling smashes.
Maybe we in India lack this camaraderie (you can call it teamwork in manager speak) and are burdened by our legacy of class and caste. Maybe our managers need to walk the factory floors more and build a sense of camaraderie down the line instead of filling newspapers with their strategies and talk. And the CEOs need to spend a little less time glued to the computer screens following the sensex and more time with the ears and feet on the ground.
We cannot remain a country with islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity. We have to pull together and develop a shared vision right down to the floor level. We have to pay attention to details because opening containers from India at a factory in China can be a gut wrenching experience. The worst packing and loading will invariably be from India