We will strive to accomplish our target under ‘India Business Strategy 2015’: Hitachi India MD

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Hitachi India Pvt Ltd Managing Director Ichiro Lino is eyeing bigger business opportunities in this country. The company has announced its plan for the Indian market, namely, “India Business Strategy 2015”. In an interaction with Bureaucracy Today, the MD chalks out his company’s plans to further develop social infrastructure systems, information and telecommunication systems, high functional materials, and logistics in India.

The history of Japan’s Hitachi Group in India began in 1933 with the export of its fans for household in this country. Hitachi India Pvt Ltd Managing Director Ichiro Lino says, “We expanded our business in a wide range of sector in the last decade in India. Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd acquired the capital of Telco Construction Equipment in the year 2000 following which Hitachi Home & Life Solutions (India) Ltd was set up in 2003. We also established an R&D Centre in Bangalore in 2011.”
 
He further says, “We demonstrated our commitment in December 2012 by holding a Board meeting in India for the first time outside Japan. After that historic Board meeting, the Hitachi announced its ‘India Business Strategy 2015’ aiming at a consolidated revenue of Rs 200 billion in the fiscal year 2015, approximately three times that in fiscal 2011. And the Hitachi will invest Rs 47 billion to promote various measures to achieve this target. We will stand by India and together fuel a big change of building a sustainable society.”
 
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS 
The Hitachi Group is active in many sectors in India, including those of construction machinery and air- conditioning systems, social infrastructure systems, information and telecommunication systems, high functional materials, and logistics. “We are expanding our business under our policy to contribute to long-term development of Indian society. This is through our social innovation business. India is an important region in our global strategy. we are, therefore, stepping up development of the social innovation business in India. It is an important step which will eventually help us achieve the target of tripling our overall India revenue from $1 billion in FY 2011-12 to $3 billion by FY 2015-16,” says the MD.
 
How was the year 2013-14 for your company? Could you please also brief Bureaucracy Today about your financials? The MD replies, “We cannot disclose the revenue in the fiscal year 2013-14 at the moment but for your reference, I can say that our consolidated revenue in India in fiscal 2012 was about Rs 67 billion (approximately 100 billion yen).  Our financials for the third quarter ending December 2013  (the operating income of the company) were $ 1,162 million while our earnings before interest and taxes were $ 1,617 million. The net income of the company was $ 1,198 million.” 
 
MERGERS AND ACQUISiTIONs 
In 2012-13 the Hitachi Group expanded its business in India by entering into the Chemical and Allied friction segments. The company has also set up new automotive powder metallurgy and friction materials plants in Neemrana (Rajasthan) and automotive components plants in Chennai. “In terms of mergers and acquisitions in the Information & Telecommunication Systems we have acquired a 100 per cent equity stake of Prizm Payment Service for about Rs 1,540 crore. In February 2014 Hitachi Systems Ltd. acquired a 76% stake in an IT firm, Micro Clinic India Pvt Ltd, in order to expand its IT service business in India. Post-acquisition, the Micro Clinic will be renamed as Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic Pvt Ltd,” discloses Lino.
 
EXPANSION PLANS
The MD says, “Under our Social Innovation Business policy we provide solutions and social infrastructure systems that combine products, services and highly sophisticated IT. Our strategy is set along with this two-fold policy.”
 
He further says, “First, we will accelerate the expansion of businesses to support infrastructure in India by (1) Bolstering production for consumption in India through increased  localization, namely, made in India and made for India; (2) Cementing partnership with Indian companies and expanding the business base strongly connected to Indian market and (3) Further expanding our business in Africa and the Middle East by employing India as a base. Secondly, we will enhance our corporate functions of the Hitachi Group in India in terms of (1) Expanding the R&D Centre in Bangalore; (2) Strengthening the human resource management system; (3) Also strengthening our finance arrangement functions;  (4) Accelerating Hitachi brand activities and  (5) Expanding shared services.”
 
Ichiro Lino opines, “we will strive to accomplish our business target as outlined in our India Business Strategy 2015 by the concerted efforts of the business unit and corporate functions in the way I explained.”
 
The Hitachi recently introduced Social Innovation Initiatives through effective use of IT in Healthcare, Agriculture, Banking, Energy, Business Management and Manufacturing. Could you please throw light on it? The MD replies , “In Healthcare, we implement the Proof of Concept project with NHS GM (National Health Service England Great Manchester. (improve disease-prevention services), while we cooperated with Mitsui & Co Ltd in precision agriculture. This trial was conducted in Brazil by using the satellite image analysis to ascertain the growing status. In Banking the company has shipped over 1,000 ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in India.  In Energy we provide energy saving as a service in North America. This service enables customers to reduce their total energy cost. The Hitachi provides one-stop service consulting and system integration, operation and maintenance. The company’s business approach changed recently from cost reduction to the creation of a new value.” 
 
Shalini Singh, Bureaucracy Today
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Modifying bureaucracy…

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Can half-an-hour of interview be the basis of a person claiming superiority over others? Is it fair to give preferential treatment to officers belonging to a particular Civil Service? 

Again, is it logical to appoint a person at the helm of affairs of a Government department even if he has no knowledge or expertise in that particular discipline? The answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ if you are a part of the Indian bureaucratic system. But there is a growing resentment among non-IAS officers who allege that the prevailing Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) is biased and heavily tilted towards IAS officers. 

As per the Centre’s policy, the IAS officers have an edge vis-à-vis other Civil Services officers. Compared to other Civil Services officers, those from the IAS have the smoothest career progressions and easy accesses to levers of power. IAS officers occupy almost all senior-most posts at the Centre and in States. 

Strangely, the policy undermines the calibre and expertise of non-IAS officers in their respective fields and instead an IAS officer is appointed to the top echelons of a department even if he or she has no knowledge and experience of that particular discipline. However, the situation might change if the BJP-led NDA comes to power at the Centre. 

Credible BJP sources inform Bureaucracy Today that if Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister, there is a strong possibility of a revolutionary reform in the bureaucratic system which will “end the hegemony of the IAS lobby” and will bring All India Civil Services officers on a par. Our Cover Story brings to light India’s flawed bureaucratic system and how the career growth of non-IAS officers is trampled by the IAS lobby through the highly skewed process of empanelment under the Central Staffing Scheme. 

Also in this issue, BT brings its readers an exclusive report on the ONGC which tells a sordid saga of the largest integrated petroleum company in India. Confidential documents in possession of Bureaucracy Today reveal that former ONGC CMD Sudhir Vasudeva, who retired on February 28 this year after Oil Minister Veerappa Moily’s recommendation for a one-year extension to him was rejected by the Government, has left behind him a legacy of failure and a severe compromise of efficiency, neglect and cost overruns in the nation’s largest oil PSU.
 
CBI Joint Director (Policy) Javeed Ahmad who is known for his honesty and integrity shares his experiences with Bureaucracy Today and is candid enough to admit the loopholes in the policing system. The professional journey of the bureaucrat who believes that a police officer gets “an opportunity to wipe the tears of a person everyday” is an inspiration to the new generation of IPS officers who strive to bring a change in the police-public relationship. 
Suhaib Ilyasi