First IPF Industrial Excellence Forum (IIEF) lauds innovations in 5 categories

  • Industry News
  • Jan 30,21
The first IIEF hosted conferences for discussing relevant topics like strategies to move ahead in the new normal and deliberated on SME readiness as manufacturing is growing in India due to the global move from China to India. While during the IPF Awards, the IIEF recognised new product innovations to upholding ‘Make In India’. The IIEF was hosted virtually and received favourable industry response
First IPF Industrial Excellence Forum (IIEF) lauds innovations in 5 categories

Industrial Products Finder (IPF), India’s largest circulated industrial magazine in its 49th year, hosted First IPF Industrial Excellence Forum (IIEF) which comprised of two major segments— Conference and 5th IPF Industrial Excellence Awards, on January 15, 2021 virtually. During the event, 26 awards have been presented, from 5 categories in various segments, in recognising their achievements during the year.

IPF Industrial Excellence Forum 2021 was held in the grand presence of Devendra Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner (MSME) Ministry of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises, Government of India and Dr Ravi P Singh, Secretary General, Quality Council of India and Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings Ltd.

Every year IPF Awards are presented in categories such as “Fastest Growing Manufacturing Companies” (under Rs 500 crores turnover) and “Promising Start-up of the Year” and “Entrepreneur of Year (Female and Male)” - to recognise and appreciate the contribution of start-ups and entrepreneurs in job creation and economic growth. Interestingly, this year a new category of “Product Excellence” to laud product innovations was added.

Meanwhile, Smita Yashvant Ghaisas, Chairperson and MD, Minilec India Pvt Ltd was the winner of the “IPF Female Entrepreneur Of the Year”, Ramesh Arora, Managing Director, Kwality Pharmaceuticals Ltd was the “IPF Male Entrepreneur Of the Year”, and Sheetal Talati Mehta, Owner, Pushpa Industries was selected as “Promising Female Entrepreneur of the Year”. “IPF Promising Start-up of the Year” awards were presented to C And C Laser Engineering Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, and Dhruv Agro Industries, Dhule (Maharashtra).

The winners were selected by a jury panel comprising eminent personalities from the industry and engineering institute.

In his address, Guest of Honour, Devendra Kumar Singh conveyed his gratitude for supporting government amid this Covid crisis in whichever way possible, He expressed, “If we look back at last 8 months, it gives us a sense of satisfaction as the way the industries have responded well through manufacturing key safety products during the crisis of Covid 19. Thus, there is a need to recognise new talent and innovations. Forums like IIEF are always a welcome initiative and I compliment IPF for their good work of recognising entrepreneurs and MSMEs.”

Speaking about technology adoption and assuring support to the MSME sector, He informed “Today adoption of technology is inevitable for companies in their various processes. Fields like product design and compliance demand advanced technology. Ministry of MSME has also taken a few steps to empower MSME sector such as Udyam Registration after the adoption of the new criteria of classification of MSMEs. There is a tremendous opportunity to grow with the scope for ideas to investments. MSME sector can seek benefits from the schemes such as Incubation & Design Schemes, Schemes to support Capital Subsidy in Investment & Interest Subvention Scheme. Further, according to the newly announced schemes under AatmaNirbhar Bharat, schemes like Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), Fund of Funds and Subordinate Debt scheme.”

The second Guest of Honour, Dr Ravi P Singh, Secretary General, Quality Council of India deliberated on the significance of quality of products and current quality trends. Enlightening everyone on the quality, he said, “It is very much evident that the countries in Europe, the US and Japan have helped their industries to invest on quality are today known for their products globally. In India, there has been a long-standing myth of cost versus quality. The industry has not realised so far that quality helps you sustain in the market for a longer term. In India, quality consciousness is changing and consumers are embracing the quality products. India has been able to buck the trend of import substitution through its own products in the industries like Pharmaceuticals, Automotive, PPE or textile, LED among many others.”

Elaborating on the current quality trend, he said, “MSME, a backbone of developing India’s manufacturing story, has embraced ‘Zero Defect Zero Effect’ in their manufacturing in a manner we have not seen earlier. Consumers are also demanding precision equipment over basic equipment. We have to keep up with this trend as soon as we will have to create a system to build digital factories.”

Dialogue for future

2020 was certainly an unusual year for industries across the world (including India). There is no question that these unusual times will carry over into 2021. Unusual does not necessarily mean bad; it just means different. Often hidden within those differences are opportunities. IPF hosted an engaging Panel Discussion themed at “Board room Strategies to Face New Normal”.

The panel discussion was moderated by Subodh Jindal, Global CEO, STEER Engineering. The panellists – comprising S Sunil Kumar, Country President, Henkel India; Dr Babu Padmanabhan, Founder & MD, STEER Engineering; Indradev Babu, MD, UCAM Pvt Ltd & President, IMTMA(Indian Machine Tools Manufacturers Association) and Biswajyoti Mandal, VP & Head- Technology, Schaeffler India.

In his opening remarks, Subodh Jindal expressed, “While the economy is showing signs of revival in Q3 and Q4 of 2020, the circumstances are not the same like before. We continue to have issues like uncertainty in demand, supply side tantrums, labour availability, financial constraints to name a few. It all depends on how the top management of the companies deals with the same?’ 

S Sunil Kumar shared the new way of approach that Henkel India experienced during the last 8 months. He stated, “Our whole process and operations changed. 8 months earlier, we were a company, primarily dependent on face-to-face meetings to build a healthy relationship with all our clients. Moving completely to the online platform was difficult but we have managed to now move to the new normal of online or virtual communication.”
He also informed that the Henkel India invested in training its employees heavily so that they are able to understand new systems and platforms to exploit them well to reach their targets.

Indradev Babu, opined that companies applied all that they have learned in the first 6 months after the first lockdown. He stated, “There is a huge consumption of materials like steel, copper, aluminium and is believed that it majorly accounts to China. While it is also leading to a global cost increase. Further, it is also putting a spanner in the works of the companies who want to supply and make up for their previous losses.”

“The market is very fluid and changing. There is an opportunity for India to global,” he added.

Dr Babu Padmanabhan believed that the companies are moving from effort-based performance management to outcome(result)-based performance management. While sharing Talking on the automation scenario being a threat to low-cost skilled labour in India, Dr Babu Padmanabhan, believes, “The banking sector is the best example to this scenario when 20 years ago the sector went to automation. Employees were then concerned about losing jobs. Today it has proved to be win-win for both banks and even customers. There may be a short-term effect but it will have a positive impact among industries.”

“In the per capita nominal GDP of India is about $ 2100 per year per person which comes to about eighth of the world average. This reflects that we don’t have enough money to pay for each other. This is the result of our mundane jobs that can easily produce more productivity and quality. With automation, if we can increase the food industry’s productivity by 10x the unskilled labours can find lots of jobs. Thus, automation is not an enabler rather than an impediment,” he added.

Speaking on automation in Indian industry Dr Babu Padmanabhan stated, “It is a very complex situation on the ground to imbibe automation. We are a developing nation surrounded by issues like population, resource constraints to move up the ladder. In order for automation to move up with the pace, human resources in India needs to be prepared for this. Upskilling and training of the workforce by industry-government partnerships will help to hasten human resources to be more ready for automation. A government policy framework to help capital investment needed for automation will have a far-reaching the effect over the industry.”

Dr Babu Padmanabhan also believes that India needs more of ‘Develop in India’ coupled with ‘Make In India’. Competing Indian products on a global level mean reaching the competency of product development and quality which will come only after rigorous product research and development in India.

Biswajyoti Mandal deliberated on having an automation plan as a long term process and not a short-term process. This will be based on the processes of the company, which processes to be automated first to seek benefits right away. He stated, “Automation has been in the industry for long. The pandemic has pushed automation as a matter of top priority in the business plans. While you look at bringing automation into business processes and factory operations, every company should evaluate the socio-economic impact of job losses and unemployability of unskilled labour and also should consider the cost of installation. Upgrading your systems can be managed in a phased manner where you will try to address the low-hanging fruit fast and then slowly migrate towards the journey. This comprises of a 5–10-year plan for any company.”

The opinion poll also observed hurdles to Make In India Scheme. Almost 50 per cent attendees believed that ‘Less focus on R&D and innovation’ is a major hurdle to the scheme.

Two engines are not firing

India has seen some hope of revival in the late 2020 but has the challenge to continue such stride to reach pre-Covid level. The manufacturing industry has been hit due to lower production and drop in demand. Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings Ltd, delivered a special address on the Indian economy and upcoming budget. He stated, “For the first time Indian economy is shrinking after a long time and has registered negative growth. Except for agriculture, all other sectors have suffered in their production. Two major engines of investment and consumption are not firing. This has fractured SMEs leading to rising unemployment bringing down consumption impairing investments.” 

“Through investments are taking place, CMIE data shows that it is down 30-40 per cent compared to last year. These investments are mostly localised rather than being broad-based. We are looking at broad-based investments to come.”

SME Dialogue

Every crisis also brings with it opportunities. Covid 19 has exposed supply chain vulnerabilities of global firms due to their over-dependence on one country for manufacturing requirements. As a result, MNCs are forced to look for an alternate manufacturing destination to diversify their procurement. India - with its large domestic market and strategic location - has the potential to attract big firms looking to relocate manufacturing or diversify sourcing. At the same time, the Government of India with its schemes like PLI and Ease-of-Business proposition is looking to attract these foreign companies. If this happens, then how small & medium enterprises (SMEs) - who are the backbone of the Indian manufacturing sector - will benefit? The second Panel Discussion, with the theme of “Are Indian SMEs ready for the future?”, deliberated on issues like challenges & opportunities before SMEs in the changing world, tips to be a part of the global supply chain, benefits of government policies, etc.

The discussion was moderated by Saikat Roy, Director - West, CARE Ratings while having on board eminent panellists such as Anil Saboo, President, IEEMA (Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers Association) and MD, Elektrolites Power Pvt Ltd; Ashita Gupta, Chairperson SME Chapter, MAIT, and COO, Smile Electronics Ltd; Mahesh Desai, Chairman, EEPC India (Engineering Export Promotion Council of India), and MD & CEO of Meera & Ceiko Pumps Pvt Ltd; Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice President, TeamLease Services.

The discussion flagged off with a poll which observed ‘inflation in commodity prices is the cost of concern’.

Saikat Roy took everyone through some key stats on the status of various sectors. According to him, “Before the outbreak of pandemic, Budget 2020 had a fiscal deficit of 3.5 per cent of GDP. Based on the first advance estimates, CARE Rating has suggested that the fiscal deficit will move to 7.8 per cent of GDP. Further on adding 1.1 lakh crore that accounts to GST shortfall and borrowing on behalf of states, this number will look like 8.4 per cent of GDP.”

He also shared current status with 15 key data points. There are mostly year-on-year numbers while some are based on April to November and April to October.

Current status of production in India
(Till Dec 2020)

Commercial Vehicles


Passenger Vehicles


Air Conditioners


Cotton Yarn










Agro Chemicals


Printing Machinery


Textile Machiney


Generators & Actuators


Cumulative cargo handled at ports


Broadband Subscribers


Bank Credit to Manufacturing industry (Nov 19 to Nov 20)


Power Consumption (Dec 2020)


Keeping a long-term goal of 5 Trillion economy, Indian SME sector has to be pulled out of this setback. There is a lot to learn from economies of Japan, Thailand and China as all of them have around 60 per cent of their business driven from SMEs which led to a boom in their GDP. Ashita Gupta stated, “The 20 lakh crore package rolled out by the government, only 50 per cent of the SME sector availed that credit availability and benefit. Reason being 99 per cent of the industries in India are micro industries These industries are not fighting for sustainability but for scale. NBFC cannot merely reach all such industries and to develop that reach all banking sector should aligned for making credit available for building scale.”

Engineering exports were hit badly due to the pandemic. Mahesh Desai believes, “Indian SMEs suffered the most due to supply chain disruption and economic lockdowns as they were already facing problems and constraints for their growth. Atmanirbhar Bharat addressed various ruptures, a result of Covid pandemic. This is a very commendable endeavour from the part of the government.”

“EEPC is expecting the government to support for skill development and adoption of automation with digitisation. The new mantra for SMEs is to produce quality goods and services in quantity for local and also for global markets. They have to go Glocal (Global+Local). We need more liberalisation with policies to attract FDI. To ease out norms for FDI like lowering interest rates. Today, a huge base of containers are lined up at ports and airports for transportation which is a matter of huge concern. Projects like Sagarmala will help to build better and faster logistics.”

Certification of Indian products by international agencies will help find better global markets for exports and will build better markets for Indian products, believes Desai.

Anil Saboo observed 2020 as a year of transformation and learning. “With Atmanirbhar Bharat, it a great opportunity for the Indian industry to ride this initiative for decades together. Privatisation, freedom and competitive market are key focus areas in 2021. IEEMA is focussing on 5 pillars such as localised manufacturing, digitalisation and innovation, global penetration, enhancing capability by international collaboration and focus on quality and productivity. Globally the electrical market is worth the US $ 500 billion while India’s share is just less than 2 per cent. Adopting the above practices, India can increase its share by 2.5 per cent foreseeing a tremendous growth for SMEs.”

According to Saboo, India needs to have a cluster approach for better bulk sourcing and for better products at a competitive price. India needs better reforms in labours, need to utilise women population will help Indian markets to grow.

Neeti Sharma speaking about the labour migration, informed, “Labour shortage issue is on its verge of recovery. Industries have face challenges due to migration but remember Covid is not a passing shower rather a climate change. This change will bring structural reforms for productive and better paid jobs.”

Speaking about upgrading workforce, she shared, “69 per cent of the jobs that exist today will not exist after automation and digitisation enter industries across. Training is needed to make the workforce ready for the future. It is not that machines will completely replace jobs but will create jobs in some other industries.”

Gagandeep Singh, Manager – SME, Western Regional Office, National Stock Exchange of India Limited in a Special address deliberated on’ Advantages of Listing for SMEs to raise funds’. Singh observes, “Promoters of the SMEs are regarded as ‘one man army’ while with time Indian SMEs should consider decentralisation. Decentralised way of operations is a beautiful way which many listed SMEs have realised and have become successful listing at NSE and BSE. SMEs should also leverage capital markets through listings. An SME can reach global investors and a small business located at remote locations can also source capital for their business. Around 500 companies have been listed on NSE and BSE and have raised Rs 5000 crore on both platforms.”

This was followed by welcome address by Pratap Padode, Editor of IPF and Founder & President, FIRST Construction Council, and Unveiling of IPF Annual 2021. “We are very pleased to inform that Industrial Products Finder has entered in its 50th year, since its establishment in 1972. India has close to 6.8 million Udyog Aadhar registered MSMEs and another 63 million MSMEs. This constitutes to almost 45 per cent of the manufacturing output, 95 per cent of a number of industrial units, 48 per cent of exports, 35 per cent of GDP and employ around 110 million people, making MSMEs largest source of employment after agriculture sector.”

Pratap Padode also unveiled 49th Annual issue virtually during the evening.

Taking a note of some key concerns, he highlighted, “Government needs to take a substantial look at reviving the sector. Technology has come to the forefront in this pandemic and challenges in operations are served by technological adoptions everywhere. Digital platforms offer equal opportunities to everyone. The digital world requires 2 major components- knowledge and capital. Somehow, they have become obstacles today. Lowering the cost of digital platforms will help build the accessibility of these platforms.”

The eminent Jury for the IPF Awards 2021, who made the difficult task easier to select among top performers from diverse industries who made it through challenging market conditions. The Jury Panel comprised of B Sheshnath, CEO & MD, Walvoil Fluid Power India Pvt Ltd; Dr Sharmila Amin, MD, Bertling Logistics India Pvt Ltd; Prof. R Jayaraman, Head-Capstone Projetcs, Bhavan’s SP Jain Institute of Management and Research; Rajesh Nath, MD, German Engineering Federation (VDMA); Saikat Roy, Director-West, CARE Ratings, Srinivas Sirupa, Head-SCM, L&T Power; Subba Bangera, Director, Plastics Machinery Manufacturers Association of India (PMMAI); Subodh Jindal, Global CEO, STEER Engineering, Co Founder& CBO,; J Pande, Deputy Director General, Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA); Vijayanand Choudhury, Global Procurement Head, Tata Technologies and Vikas Bajaj, President, Association of Indian Forging Industry (AIFI) and MD and CEO of Bajaj Motors Limited. 

Winners of IPF Industrial Excellence Awards 2021

Fastest Growing Companies Awards



Agriculture & Food Processing (Large)

Nath Bio-Genes (India) Limited

Agriculture & Food Processing (Medium)

Cupid Limited

Agriculture & Food Processing (Small)

Oceanic Foods Ltd

Auto Ancillary (Large)

Precision Camshafts Limited

Electrical and Electronics (Small)

Ultra Wiring Connectivity System Limited

Engineering (Medium)

Thejo Engineering Limited

Engineering (Small)

Dhanaprakash Industrial Corporation

Fertilizer and Chemical (Small)

Chemcrux Enterprises Limited

Pharma (Medium)

Syncom Formulations India Limited

Plastic Paper & Packaging (Large)

Emmbi Industries Limited

Plastic Paper & Packaging (Medium)

Captain Polyplast Limited

Plastic Paper & Packaging (Small)

National Plastic Technologies Ltd.

Steel & Non Ferrous Metals (Small)

Captain Polyplast Limited


Product Excellence



Electrical & Electronics

Stellar Gastronom Private Limited for “Stellar Blast Freezer”

Electrical & Electronics

Washmatic India Pvt Ltd for “UV30 conveyor sterilizer”

Hydraulics & Pneumatics

M/s Mercury Pneumatics Pvt Ltd for “Air Booster (Model no AB160-10)”

Machine Tools

Maharashtra Engineers For “CNC operated Crank Shaft Re centering SPM”

Material Handling & Logistics

Jay Equipment & Systems Pvt Ltd for “Electric Pallet Truck”

Material Handling & Logistics

Nikka Instrumentation Pvt Ltd  / HBC-radiomatic India Pvt. Ltd for “Wireless automation of locomotive”

Special Mention

Johnnette Technologies Private Limited for “Johnnette NPNT U2.0, a hardware that ensures regulatory compliance of drones”

Special Mention

Surface Modification Technologies Pvt Ltd for  “Physical Vapor Deposited (PVD) coatings for Textile Industry”


Promising Start-up of the year

C And C Laser Engineering Pvt. Ltd

Dhruv Agro Industries


Promising Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Sheetal Talati Mehta, Owner, Pushpa Industries

Entrepreneur of the Year (Female)
Smita Yashvant Ghaisas, Chairperson and MD, Minilec India Pvt Ltd

Entrepreneur of the Year (Male)
Ramesh Arora, Managing Director, Kwality Pharmaceuticals Ltd


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