Mafatlal Industries – A “Quality” Ad Campaign

Mr. Hrishikesh Mafatlal, Vice Chairman, Mafatlal Industries Ltd., addresses the company’s shareholders at the annual AGM. He presents to them the Quality Policy, and the thrust adopted by the company in line with its CRM policy in Marketing and Production facilities, at the Head Quarters and plants in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Dear Shareholders, Fellow Employees and Friends,

I extend a warm welcome to you all, and appreciate the time you have given us to  attend this Annual General Meeting.

As we all are aware, liberalization of the Indian economy has brought in its wake many opportunities and challenges. The entry of the Multinational Corporations (MNC’s) has intensified competition in almost all sectors that have been opened up. Competition is intense to service the large consumer market in our country, especially in the field of textiles. Consequently, meeting consumer needs and wants is of primary importance. The concept of a seller’s market is long gone, it is the buyer’s purchasing power that pervades today in the market, and hence the consumer demands the best Quality at the lowest price. With complete access to the best and most efficient technology and methods, the need of the hour to succeed is QUALITY. Quality is a right and not a privilege that you offer to your consumers.


Quality Culture
However, Quality is not just an initiative or a programme that can be implemented in a straightjacket kind of fashion. Quality is actually the result of a carefully crafted corporate culture in any organization. To create and weave this fabric, managers and employees of the company need to be quality-friendly and consistently work towards the Quality goals.

Gentlemen, Think big. Start small! is a wise adage. Experience has however shown us that improvement initiatives often fail because they attempt to do too much or too little. Identifying the game plan and then proceeding so each improvement links to an overall larger change is the philosophy that has driven Mafatlal to success over the years.


We at Mafatlal Industries (MIL) are growing to be a Rs. 2000-crore Group. Not only expanding in the traditional areas of cotton and blended textiles, petro-chemicals and CFC chemicals, but we have also entered new product areas such as Denim Fabric, Garments, Medical IVP products and Electronic Components.  As you will have observed, we have taken various steps to promote ourselves as the Arvind Mafatlal Group (AMG), with MIL (textiles) as the flagship company.

The able management at MIL identified certain key thrust areas which needed concerted efforts and which were in sync with our overall growth objectives as a multi-faceted and multi-product organization. One of the key thrust areas has been Quality of its products and services. Not just the usual quality assurance and improvement for which Mafatlal was already well known, but a “Quality Culture” at all Group companies, and all levels within each company.


Mafatlal has been producing Quality products for decades, but has never boasted of this fact. Mafatlal philosophy has always been down-to-earth, credible, yet novel in its approach.  However, today there is a different and planned transformation taking place within our organization, wherein the basics are being looked at afresh – especially in the area of product quality and quality of service to the consumers.

 We aim to achieve market leadership and be known as producers of quality products. Being a consumer-centric organization we would like to be known as highly responsive to consumer needs. In this it is a well-documented fact that only when the Company treats the employees well will they in turn treat the consumers well. So our primary focus too is on our employees as well. We wish to be known as a company that cares for its employees who in turn care for the consumers and community.

I am convinced that Mafatlal will be a truly World-Class Group, and we are trying to imbibe World Class Quality culture in every part of our organization. Our values are shared and enthusiastically embraced; our employees are encouraged to make decisions that positively affect the organization. With employees adopting Quality consciousness for leadership, today at Mafatlal, we all have come to believe that Quality means doing things right the first time, every time. Quality is not a destination that the top-management forces upon the company, instead it is a journey that we are committed to!

Leadership through Quality
Our commitment to Quality thus is not a mere lip service. We have put in place Quality infrastructure to support our initiatives. Towards this our ISO Certification efforts commenced a few years ago.  The ISO 9002 system at MIL has increased the commitment of our employees, improved traceability in case of problems, and introduced a disciplined approach to manufacturing and marketing.  We realized that getting the certification was just one step forward in Quality management. We then directed our efforts towards measuring cost of poor quality (COPQ). The findings were astonishing and costs were staggering! This helped us pinpoint areas that needed improvement on a priority basis, and the gains from this initiative today are visibly reflected not only in our products but also consumer satisfaction and bottomline.

As you know, close to half our textiles' production is exported to the developed world, particularly the US and
Europe. Customers there lay special emphasis on our factory and office environment, besides product quality. We now, therefore, also lay much focus on the environmental concerns like the level of permissible effluents and dust and noise levels at our manufacturing units. We also emphasize on our supplier’s quality. Our Quality efforts are not restricted to our manufacturing only; we have established an in-house Consumer Satisfaction Index, which is a composite measurement of all that we do to delight the consumer at the market place.

Having undertaken all these initiatives, we felt it was necessary to test our strategies by benchmarking all the functions of the company against certain pre-defined excellence criteria. So we opted for entering the IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Competition. We have assessed the organization against their criteria and have further identified improvement areas with a time-bound action plan. I am personally leading this effort. The enthusiasm of our top management in making this a success is also palpable. We are in the thick of actioning the improvement. I am sure MIL will be overall a more proactive and dynamic organization at the end of this effort.

Quality Policy
These initiatives highlight Quality at Mafatlal is by design, not by default.  For us today Quality is the way of life. Thus it is by design that we have formulated our Quality Policy. This policy not only focuses on our core philosophy, but also the objectives that we are following in our journey towards becoming a World-Class Group.

Our Quality Policy is even more relevant in the current market scenario where textiles, our core business, is in for a radical change in the marketplace with the impending phase out of International Quota Restrictions and the Multi-Fibre Agreement by the Government. Further, the developed countries, especially the European Union, are increasingly resorting to non-tariff barriers to blunt our export competitiveness. In this situation, our efforts to constantly reduce costs and raise our Quality to world standards are even more critical in sustaining our competitive advantage in the global markets.

 

MIL : QUALITY POLICY

We have dedicated ourselves to providing our customers in the National and International markets, products and services of agreed standards. We also commit to extend the Quality concept to all phases of our business by strengthening partnership with our customers and suppliers.

We shall continue our endeavors to develop new products and markets, especially for exports.

We shall further develop our information systems to receive regular feedback on our product quality, performance, and acceptance from our external customers to prepare ourselves to meet the future requirements.

We shall continue to upgrade our manufacturing facilities to achieve improved
 


We strongly believe in creating value through the best and most contemporary Quality and related management practices. We have even adopted some of the critical elements of the famous Six Sigma Practice. We strongly believe that improvements in our product quality are defined by their impact on consumer satisfaction, which we have instilled in all our operations. We have consciously incorporated the Six Sigma practices in our processes - whether it is designing products, measuring performances, improving efficiency or gauging consumer satisfaction. We aspire to drive for perfection by learning through our mistakes and making sure they are not repeated, and in this we vouch by the Six Sigma principals that say, “Push to be ever more perfect, while being willing to accept and manage occasional setbacks.”
 

SIX CRITICAL THEMES OF SIX SIGMA

1. Genuine Focus on Customer                     4. Data and fact driven Management

2. Processes are where action is                   5. Proactive Management

3. Boundary less Collaboration                      6. Drive for Perfection; Tolerate Failure 

Six Sigma provides a scalable, repeatable framework for managing and improving business processes, and is based on a disciplined use of phases, tools, deliverables, and roles. Six Sigma originates from quality assurance practices in the manufacturing environment, where heavy focus is placed on the use of statistical methods to reduce error rates and to provide continuous incremental improvement.

Some of the buzzwords in it include: Black Belts, Green Belts, DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control), CTQ (Critical to Quality), VOC (Voice of Customer),  COPQ (Cost of Poor Quality), Pareto Analysis

 


With these activities, a need was felt all across the management to reach out to our consumers, suppliers and employees and make them aware about the various initiatives that we had undertaken. With this intention a specially designed Quality Campaign and PR initiative was also launched by the Company.  This Quality Campaign focused on the Quality inputs and efforts at Mafatlal as a culture, which will result in all-round improved Quality and profitability.

Quality Campaign
The Quality campaign launched through a unique blend of the theme, copy thought, visual content and focus was around Mafatlal going about "Redefining the Fundamentals." We wished to highlight the Company’s line of thinking and focus on Quality and having World Class Quality standards. The campaign consisted of a variety of initiatives, which I shall now take you through one by one.

Gentlemen, the Quality Campaign and PR initiatives taken by us, wherein we came up with a series of five advertisements, were to let the world know how we have redefined our fundamentals by restructuring the Quality parameters across the organization, with a focus on the right mindset and excellence. These ads, in colour, were released in the leading Business Newspapers and Magazines to reach out to our potential audiences: consumers, suppliers, trade and employees.  Our indirect target group for it also included the Government, Financial Institutions and our business associates.

TARGET AUDIENCE FOR THE CAMPAIGN

      PRIMARY                                                            SECONDARY

            INTERNAL                                                        -    Business Associates

-  Employees                                                    -    Government

            -    Financial Institutions

EXTERNAL                                                       -    Textile Industry in general

- Consumers and Buyers

- Trade

- Suppliers
 


The 5-advertisement campaign clearly presents the picture on where the Mafatlal Group stood in terms of its thinking on Quality. Each advertisement focuses on the core value and beliefs of the Group that give rise to the Quality culture, the right attitude, environment consciousness and keeping our word in delivering what we promise.

As you can see the visual of each ad is designed in a contemporary illustration style with the core message and imagery emerging in the visual, and supported by the copy thought. Thus, the communication we are trying to get across is complete, direct and self-explanatory. The theme that ran through all the advertisements in words and a signature was  “The Arvind Mafatlal Group. Redefining the Fundamentals”.

Ad 1 – Human Relationship
If we look at the first advertisement- it shows our focus on human relationship in Quality. It shows that the way we are defining Quality is different from the way others define it. This ad also emphasizes what we value the most - human relationship, which forms the core of our Quality fundamentals, which drive the company. Quality is thus, not just the outcome of well-defined systems for us, it is more of an outcome of the excellence in the human relationships at Mafatlal. No doubt systems need to be in place, but at the end of the day it is the people who need to run the systems. Unlike in other organizations where systems run people, at Mafatlal it is our employees who manage these systems. This goes to show the amount of empowerment our employees enjoy, and how they use it sensibly in the organization.

Ad 2 – Keeping your word

In the second ad our focus was to convey that the most common Quality rule at Mafatlal is actually an uncommon business principle that is keeping your word. We believe in delivering what we promise. The ad also shows that irrespective of the position you hold in the organization "keeping your word" is of prime importance. Where else would you see this unique business principle? At Mafatlal we honor our promise to our consumers, who place their trust and faith in us. This credo has stood us in great stead always, and it shall continue to be our philosophy and mission in the years to come.

Ad 3 – Quality as Culture 
The Third ad redefines Quality yet another way. Here the focus is on the fact that Quality does not end being just a science and art, it is infact a Culture.  This is now our guidepost for excellence. Culture is the glue that holds an organization together. Culture, at Mafatlal, as understood by us, is the present manifestation of the past: the challenges, successes, mistakes and lessons learned. All our formal and  informal values, philosophies and norms knit and overlap to create the fabric we term      "Culture". And indeed we are proud of this.  


Ad 4 – Right Mindset

The Fourth ad depicts one of the special “Thinking Hats” (of Edward De Bono), which needs to be worn to produce Quality is infact the right mindset. We believe that the right attitude goes a long way in achieving Quality. Our mindset is one of our strengths, which has led us to create and meet world-class benchmarks in Quality. Thus, at Mafatlal we not only carry out initiatives towards Quality, we also sport the attitude for Quality and excellence in all our endeavours. Employees at Mafatlal have not only adopted this, but are also now openly communicating this to the external world.  


Ad 5 – Environment Consciousness

The Fifth ad shows our concern for the environment. For others it seems Quality initiatives end with just being environmentally consciousness. However, at Mafatlal, this is where Quality standards begin. Since we cater to both the national and international consumers, our products and processes meet up with superior Quality specifications and procedures of each of them. Mafatlal has also strives not only to be the best corporate group, but also a good Corporate (Social) Citizen. This commitment is visually represented in the advertisement.           

This ad campaign lent itself ideally for rendering into other support promotional material.

Five attractive individual posters in color (20" x 30" size) were developed and displayed within allour offices and factories. Furthermore they doubled as publicity material, which was sent out to Clients, who were therein reminded of our commitment to “Redefining Fundamentals” and the way we understood Quality. Needless to say, our clients, especially in the UK, appreciated this effort. Quoting the Chief Quality Officer at Marks & Spencer, the leading department store chain wrote to us saying: "Very innovative campaign, I truly enjoyed it. It reflects Mafatlal’s commitment to Quality. Moreover, it reassures us to know that our Supplier Partner is as committed to Quality as we are!"
Production Officer at J.C. Penny, another retail chain in the UK said: “Mafatlal has renewed its commitment towards Quality through this effective campaign. I am sure this will have far reaching consequences for the Group. It is a pleasure to be associated with such a company."

We also had a special a 10-page pullout as a
Quality Supplement in our Mafatlal house journal 'CHAITANAYA'. The supplement highlighted the history of Quality efforts at Mafatlal, the Quality Policy and the mission, which lead to the ISO 9002 certification, and the current Quality campaign and PR activities. This pullout besides being circulated to the 3000 recipients of the house journal, was also separately mailed as a Direct Mail Shot to our consumers, business associates and key suppliers.  The idea was image building and communication of Mafatlal's Quality objectives and philosophy to people who mattered to us.

Besides this, we prepared a pocket
Quality Policy Folder,
which became a pocket-size handout, and a guide and reference item for the employees to use and distribute. This was of special relevance, since it enumerated our Quality Policy as well as our commitment to ISO 9002 standards that we had incorporated at MIL.
 

We also developed Gift Items and reminder pieces, which were essentially adapted from the ad and poster designs, to spread our message across further wherever possible.

A Pocket Telephone Index
was developed, with the front and inside cover containing the Mafatlal Quality message and policy. The first four ads acted as dividers within the index pages and were visible whenever the index was used.
 

A 4-Sided Plastic Pen Stand was developed. The 4 sides had one ad on each side, visible when placed on the office desk.

Quality Feedback

I am proud to tell you that the feedback on our Quality campaign was indeed excellent. It was considered to be unique and distinctive by one and all. It worked excellently within the overall objectives of bringing about an image change of our Quality at Mafatlal. The positive feedback we have received has indeed been a morale-boaster for us at the organization, and we hope to carry this campaign forward with communications which will be based on the relevance of the situation and future needs.

As part of an internal audit conducted separately after the campaign, it was found that employee motivation was at a high pitch. Employee commitment had been renewed and this positive feedback from them came on all fronts. I quote one of the employees who is a part of the Quality Teams at Mafatlal as having stated: “We made it!" Expressing his sense of achievement and pride after receiving the ISO 9002.

This campaign also drew a fair amount of coverage in both electronic and print media.

This campaign was the talking point among our external consumers and stakeholders.

Today, as Vice Chairman of MIL, I am delighted to state that Mafatlal is seen as a professional and dynamic organization not only among its employees, but also among the external target groups.  And as we move towards being a Rs. 2000-crore Group, your renewed support and commitment will make a great difference in our thrust forward for greater profitability through our mission “Redefining the Fundamentals”.


I sincerely thank you all for your patience and time. Thank You.