Creativity & Innovation: Is it a secret recipe? by Superior Colliculus

Anirban DHAR and Mriraj KUMAR - Young ADOR leaders who led our projects.

Anirban DHAR and Mriraj KUMAR - Young ADOR leaders who led our projects.

Business leaders will wax lyrical about ‘creativity’ being the most valuable attribute an employee can have. Often, the sad underlying narrative of their message is how this fascinating little trait is frustratingly rare to find within most teams, that companies seldom use ‘creativity’ as a mechanism to promote talent and that ‘creativity’ is impossible to instill in people, – seemingly you are either born with it or not!

At ADOR we don't quite agree with this narrative. In this post about how creativity can be fostered within any team under the right circumstances, In this post, our chairman, Ravin MIRCHANDANI explains how we've fostered a creative environment at ADOR with a real life case study. Link: Read the article

Brutal Honesty: How to be one in a 7 billion by Superior Colliculus

Last week, one of our group companies, - Ador Digatron chose to honour a very special member of the team in a touching and poignant way. The entire company gathered to celebrate the career of one of our longest serving manufacturing shop-floor operators in Pune, India. This was not a retirement ceremony, nor a farewell, – just everyone taking 5 minutes off in the middle of the day to celebrate the career of a genuine human being, who is also a hardworking and cheeky colleague.

Govardhan DABHADE, or ‘Dabhade Sir’ as he is popularly known, joined us 28 years ago and has worked in every shop-floor of every Ador Group company in Pune during that time. The team chose to name the main conference room at the Pune manufacturing plant after him. It is now proudly called the “Govardhan Dabhade Conference Room” – or as I am sure it will soon be known, the “Dhabade Sir Room”.

Govardhan joined us as a gardener in the late 1980s, – back when we had a large rose garden that spanned over three acres at one of our factories. This was during the era when companies indulged in such wonderful luxuries like rose gardens and flower shows. We used to compete in the local Pune Rose show, often winning the annual gold medal competing against submissions even from the botanical gardens.

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To live the truth, we also must consciously remind ourselves to just say it as it is, without malice but with clear and positive intent. Respect will follow, so will success, confidence, happiness and the gradual lifting of that terrible tension of not being enough.


Watching Govardhan speak at this low-key ceremony reminded me of how times have changed and how we all now seem to dedicate less time and resources for the more beautiful things. Rather than stopping to smell the real roses, we seem to be doing that vicariously online instead. As I was watching the touching ceremony, the memory of the rose garden seemed to suddenly become a symbol of a time when people and things were far more real.

Govardhan was responsible for many of our Rose Show gold medals due to his uncanny green thumbs. But as time moved on, so did his challenges. The rose gardens vanished with the frenetic activity that came post the liberalisation of the Indian economy in the 1990s and Govardhan chose to move inside the manufacturing plant, working in the equipment assembly shop as a fabricator. He then moved to our power electronics manufacturing shop-floor, where he started earning his own medals – best contributor, most efficient performer, cleanest workspace, highest output, most skilled copper winding professional, the list is endless.

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Govardhan is one of those special people who live life with the brutal honesty that so many of us only aspire to. He is the same person in every sphere of his life – what you see is the real person, always. People like Govardhan always seem so content, so calm and happy because they live life by the rules of their own truth. Their own true north! No fake portrayed online persona that they constantly need to live up to, no tensions from not living up to the expectations of others. They are immensely at peace with who they are. I have occasionally come across such special people, some of whom are CEOs, directors, business heads, mad scientists in design teams, Uber taxi drivers and restaurant waiters, chefs, deep sea diving coaches and of course Govardhan. What they share is contentment, calm, clarity and confidence.


At Ador, “Being Brutally Honest” is one of our four core values. The other three are easy to understand and to live daily. But brutal honesty, quite like attaining moksha (achieving your inner calm after finding your true purpose) or finding nirvana (heaven), seems so ephemeral and elusive.


We spend between 70% to 80% of our waking hours at work and half our time back at home is invested in sleep and recovery. So, naturally our day job has an enormous impact on our well-being. The relationships we have with our work colleagues have an important bearing on our happiness as well as our mental, emotional and clinical health. Yet most of us chose to live behind a shield at work, in protection mode unable to be ourselves, resulting in an inability to develop long lasting sustainable and nourishing relationships at work.

The book Radical Candor has a wonderfully succinct description about “bringing your whole self to work”. It is important we find courage to be our real selves at work – embracing our weaknesses and strengths, living life for who we truly are.

I feel fortunate to work for a company that has brutal honesty as a core value, yet also recognises that we are all imperfect beings who are not able to live this 24/7, sometimes failing and other times forgetting. A company that consciously rewards this core value within its teams.


It struck me that this is exactly what Dabhade ‘Sir’ has done all his life and perhaps that is what made this low-key event so special. A room at our workplace was being named after a special individual who had figured out the road to success and happiness, as defined by him.


What a lovely gesture by the team which will also remind us daily that the secret of success, happiness and our wellbeing rests in being brutally honest and living our own truth daily.

Ravin Mirchandani is the Chairman and Director at ADOR

ADOR THIRD EYE CAMERAS IN THE NEWS IN ANDHRA PRADESH by Superior Colliculus

Ador CCTV Cameras were in the news recently after the Hyderabad Police installed them to monitor the large crowds on the occasion of the Ganesh festival.

ADOR THIRD EYE CAMERA FEATURED ON SAKSHI NEWS IN HYDERABAD

Made in India and designed for the unique weather conditions (extreme temperature both high and low) as well as the impact of dust and heavy rainfall, the specialised long distance cameras by ADOR are also being deployed in critical defence and surveillance applications.

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On Passion & Candour: My Crusade for Excellence by Superior Colliculus

It all began in 1989 when I joined here as a Trainee Engineer. A fidgety curious student, my very first role had to be a testing-cum-customer-care engineer; and it went on for 3 whole years. Arming me with technical, industrial and professional expertise; what I learnt in those years no words could ever convey! Like a true tenderfoot, I rolled from department to department, function to function and across various levels; beginning from Panel Engineering and gradually moving onto Transformers as well.

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For about almost a decade, HVR Engineering was my home and final inspection and testing my forte. Come 2006 and HVR Production beckoned me this time! Taking me from just-an-engineer to everything that I could lay my hands on, I was feeling pumped-up, alive and kicking! I mean, I was getting paid to play, experiment, learn and grow in the verticals that I chose to work in and was allowed to shift whenever I wanted. How cool is that?

It definitely made me the man I am today. I'm now showcasing my skills in the traffic sector - a whole new exciting world for me. I'm often asked by my kin "What does Ador mean to you?"; Ador still means family to me! It's the people that makes an organization and Ador is made up of eternally youthful people who make me feel at home! But there's a difference now. Even though I've worked here for ages - today it feels like I am truly helping to Change the Face of India.

This being my very first job, there are so many factors which made working at Ador special for me. Apart from an excellent atmosphere to learn, there's no such thing as a hierarchy here. The bosses are professional yet amiable and excellent mentors at the same time. Every single person is easily approachable and we gel so well together as a team.

Working as a Leader Engineering - Traffic/Clean Air, there are two words I'd like to use to describe my job profile - Open and Flexible. I've been shifting my roles across verticals and rotating my job (which is quite rare in the industry); and I feel that I've got immense learning exposure and potential to perform whatever the task thrown at me. The hallmark of my profile are challenges and variety which provided me tremendous satisfaction and an adrenaline rush like nothing else.

"Throw me to the wolves and I'll come leading the pack. I'll surely make a comeback, As a leader of the whole pack! Cuz there's a secret of yore, That strengthens me evermore -By the name of Ador."

Despite being an electronic engineer, I handle the mechanical part too, due to which I'm compelled to go back to the books! The curve goes like this: learning - satisfaction - new opportunities - excitement and then learning again!

CHANGING THE FACE OF INDIA

Everyone dreams of it but here at Ador I get to do it hands-on! It's a nascent concept and we've just scratched the surface, but the pace and the path of our work makes me swell with pride! Ensuring that every citizen reaches home safely, I feel captivated of the enormous help we're providing the government through the Smart Cities Project.

Deploying our VMS products is just the start. I have a magnificent vision for Ador. Concentrating more on innovative solutions, I believe we should probe deeper into effective road safety and corporate social responsibility. I aim towards Ador being invited by the Road Congress and achieving such a recognition that Ador becomes synonymous with Road Safety!

Apart from growing on completely indigenous resources, we should encourage greater employment too. Working at Ador has impacted my life in a wonderful way! I look into the mirror every morning and ask myself one question: " Would I like to switch this for anything else?" And the answer is No!

I have a well-balanced personal and professional life, I have an amazing job. What more could anyone possibly ask for?

Parag PENDSE is the Leader-Engineering for the Clean Air & Traffic business lines of Ador. Parag has been part of the Ador team for over 28 years in various roles. Today, he is a crucial member of the strategic decision-making team (Team Shillim) at Ador. Parag is responsible for a group of engineers that has constantly & successfully innovated to help lead the change within the industries where Ador participates. www.adorpower.com

Parag PENDSE is the Leader-Engineering for the Clean Air & Traffic business lines of Ador. Parag has been part of the Ador team for over 28 years in various roles. Today, he is a crucial member of the strategic decision-making team (Team Shillim) at Ador. Parag is responsible for a group of engineers that has constantly & successfully innovated to help lead the change within the industries where Ador participates. www.adorpower.com

Made in India. Made for India by Superior Colliculus

The significant economic growth that India has experienced over the last ten years has led to an enormous strain on the traffic infrastructure, often causing congestion and peak hour stress. Ador's world class traffic VMS systems help city and highway authorities communicate critical messages that allow commuters to preempt, prevent and prepare for traffic congestions.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE
Every day about 53700 vehicles are registered on Indian roads. Continuing economic growth and prosperity has resulted in more vehicles and consequently bottle necks and traffic congestion in major cities. Infrastructure investment challenges and unique cultural implications (extreme weather, literacy, inadequate infrastructure, safety) have posed unique obstacles in the way of seamless traffic flow in India.

TRANSFORMATION
Ador has indigenously developed an VMS product line which can be mounted on road gantries as well as mobile-trailer based units that can be often moved between various areas prone to congestion.
The VMSs are used by city and highway authorities in various parts of the city to communicate traffic congestion, planned or existing road closure, road works, PWD works, religious processions impacting road traffic, accidents, flood warnings etc.

Read the complete case study

ADOR launches it's own channel on YouTube. by Superior Colliculus

This video in Marathi with English subtitles is part of a series of four films on our Core Values @ Ador and covers the journey of one of our team members - Anil PAWAR, describing how "Fighting for Every Inch" has allowed him to find success. Don't forget to follow us on YouTube.

British Airways Says IT Collapse Came After Servers Were Hit by a Power Surge. by Superior Colliculus


Reuters

A huge IT failure that stranded 75,000 British Airways passengers followed damage to servers that were overwhelmed when the power returned after an outage, the airline said on Wednesday.

BA, part of airline group IAG, is seeking to limit the damage to its reputation and has apologized to customers after hundreds of flights were canceled over a long holiday weekend. The airline provided a few more details of the incident in its latest statement on Wednesday.

While there was a power failure at a data center near London's Heathrow airport, the damage was caused by an overwhelming surge once the electricity was restored, it said. "There was a total loss of power at the data center. The power then returned in an uncontrolled way causing physical damage to the IT servers," BA said in a statement.

"It was not an IT issue, it was a power issue."

Investigations were continuing into the cause of the power surge, it added.BA had already spoken of an "exceptional power surge" in a statement on Monday, which had been so strong that it rendered the back-up system ineffective.

BA Chief Executive Alex Cruz has also rejected criticism from trade union GMB that the outage could have been avoided had it not decided to outsource IT staff to India.
IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh, who had been silent in the media in the immediate aftermath, admitted the fiasco had damaged BA's brand but denied that its IT centers were too old.

"We invest billions in new equipment. If investment is required, we make the investment," Walsh was quoted as saying by the Times newspaper. Experts have questioned how a power surge in one location could knock out both a main IT system and a back-up system. Rival airline Ryanair has said it has IT systems in three different locations to minimize the risks of a similar outage.

"It is unfortunate that an established airline such as British Airways has proven to be so vulnerable," said Nadejda Popova, a travel project manager at Euromonitor."It's shown that they have poor risk management—this was an illustration of what not to do."

To learn more about how enterprises can avoid catastrophic breakdowns check out ADOR's Power Backup Solutions.

CAN CAPITALISM & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CO-EXIST IN A FOR PROFIT ENVIRONMENT? by Superior Colliculus

(This post is an abridged version for editorial purposes)

In the two investment projects that I have been fortunate to lead in the developing world, one of the major problems we faced was attracting and retaining the right manufacturing talent (machine operators and welders). This can be challenging in all parts of the world, however in a fast developing economy it is easy to be constantly challenged with a revolving door of people.

The cryogenics and industrial gas world requires products to be manufactured by a team that is highly skilled in fabrication and metallurgy, manufacturing products that have a high inherent level of quality and safety.

Countries that have benefited from new foreign direct investment in manufacturing like Vietnam, Indonesia and India all face similar problems with tremendous resources and investment being made in training and up-skilling manpower, only to be faced with high labour turnover in the months that follow. In India this tends to be particularly acute as trained welders and skilled equipment operators are in high demand in the Middle East / GEC region. Companies end up recruiting and training human resources only to quickly loose them to lucrative jobs in the Gulf.

"We began recruiting local disadvantaged women, defined as living within 35 kms from the plant, who were the only bread winners in the family as their fathers, brothers or husbands were infirm, unable to work or otherwise absconding (a surprisingly not too uncommon phenomenon). In India, typically women in this predicament are forced to work at construction sites earning less that $2 per day."

We decided to actively recruit such candidates with the minimum requirement being that they pass the health test and are able to read and write in any language. We spent six months training these wonderful new high energy candidates on reading P&I diagrams, reading and understanding work instructions, and also in numerous highly skilled forms of welding such as Mig, Tig, Submerged Arc and stick / electrode welding. Within six months, many were able to pass certification in complex operations such as 6G welding.

Later, when I became a part of Mack Valves – we followed exactly the same philosophy when establishing our new manufacturing plant in India. The only difference was that whilst the overall number of candidates was lower due to the smaller size of our operation, we were even more aggressive in the ratio of disadvantaged women we recruited compared to those employees who came on board with previous experience and qualifications.

Our intent was to ensure that any investment we made directly also contributed back to the company immediately, whilst facilitating local communities to become financially independent. Consequently, we also were able to support a nascent women’s empowerment program in India by facilitating true economic independence for our teams. They now earned a wage paid by MNCs, no different from their skilled male colleagues.

Perhaps, most importantly, we offered a dignity of labour unavailable to a day wage worker. In both manufacturing plants we put in place showers with hot and cold water and rest room facilities for our new female workforce, many of who had to wake before dawn in order to be able to complete daily ablutions and could only bathe fully clothed in the dark.

The payback to the company was immediate. Our teams shared an implicit bond with their workplace and colleagues and our quality and output was higher. Importantly, such candidates typically chose not to migrate to other areas for new work due to family commitments. This helped ensure a reduction in the long term training costs incurred on continuously skilling new workers, allowing the introduction of a performance based incentive bonus. Further, the quality and safety culture that companies strive so hard to create became an indelible part of the DNA of the team.

We worked towards ensuring that the work place is geared towards promoting our newly skilled female workforce. We ensured there was no male/ female bias in policies and attitudes and that our employees were safe from the moment they left their homes till they returned every day. Work instructions were written in a language the new team could read and understand. More importantly, – given the reduction in employee turn-over, in order to ensure that Keynes’ reference to the wickedness of capitalists does not hold good, our HR systems were geared towards justly rewarding employees based on tenure, efficiency and output.

It has worked exceptionally well for us at Mack Valves, demonstrated by not only our low turn-over but also the quality of the products that we are now able to manufacture at our new plant in India. For me personally, it makes coming to work every day all the more rewarding.

(This post is an abridged version for editorial purposes)

Ravin Mirchandani is the Chairman and Director at ADOR

ADOR AIR: HELPING REDUCE GLOBAL POLLUTION SO THAT WE CAN ALL BREATHE EASIER. by Superior Colliculus

Energization solution to reduce particulate emissions from Electro Static Precipitators.

India faces a unique situation at present: high economic growth and yet an abundance of manufacturing capacity due to the high capital spending prior to the Global Finance Crisis.  This has led to a proclivity to curtail further capital spending on non-core activities due to the lean demand witnessed post 2008.  Achieving emission reductions without the need for significant capital spending is the need of the hour. 

The Ador team worked together with the expert team of Redkoh, based in New Jersey, USA to develop a unique solution which allows existing ESP transformer/ rectifiers sets and control panels to be retrofitted such that the main equipment does not need to be replaced, and yet is able to provide results far superior in terms of emission control.

The main technological change is a transition of thyristor based power supply to a Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS) based technology.  Whilst the transformer rectifier stays in place, the control panel and software are upgraded, resulting in emission reductions over 50%

 The move from low frequency to high frequency based pollution control has now been tested at many locations across India in the power, cement and paper industry. The Ador Redkoh innovation has been successfully tested at NTPC Dadri, Ambuja Cement, International Paper, Aditya Cement, Aditya Chemical & various other industries.