Godrej Appliances is one of the first refrigerator manufacturing companies in the country. Can you please tell us about the company’s journey since then?
Godrej Appliances started its operations in the year 1958 with the setting up of a manufacturing facility for Direct Cool refrigerators in Mumbai and became the first company to manufacture refrigerators in India. It further added Frost Free refrigerators to its product range by adding another plant for Frost Free refrigerators and in-house compressor manufacturing to promote indigenization. In order to cater to the increased market demand and also optimise operational cost, it expanded its operations in the year 1996 by setting up new manufacturing facilities at Shirwal (Maharashtra) for washing machines and air conditioners, and Mohali (Punjab) for Direct Cool refrigerators. As the cost of operation in Mumbai was continuous rising, in 2005 Godrej Appliances shifted its complete manufacturing operations from Mumbai to Shirwal and Mohali.
This strategic initiative not only controlled the operational cost but also helped in increasing utilisation of both the off-site plants. It has truly evolved since then and made us realise what “Big M” is all about. Where manufacturing is not restricted to just production but also encompasses the process of supply chain & suppliers, R&D and design and after sales service & warranty. It also includes external factors such as global changes, environment changes, technology changes, regulatory changes and societal changes.
The manufacturing strategy of Godrej Appliances is four pronged: Operational excellence, Employee involvement, Supplier development, Sustainable growth and contribution to society. This strategy was formulated out of the learnings of the VLFM program mentored by Prof Shoji Shiba and executed being part of the CII led Manufacturing Excellence clusters. The cluster journey followed a tailor made roadmap and was based on Total Employee involvement, which helped the locations transform physically and culturally, whether it be 5S, OEE improvement, inventory reduction, quality improvement or space optimization. Godrej Appliances has now embarked
on the TPM journey to strengthen and build further on these fundamentals.
Please tell us about Godrej’s manufacturing capability and capacity with regards to consumer durables.
Godrej Appliances’ manufacturing facilities at Shirwal and Mohali are designed and continuously upgraded to deliver products of long lasting quality, latest relevant technology and style to suit today’s lifestyle needs and expectations. The manufacturing team focuses on zero impact to environment by innovating and improving to ensure that Lean and Green co-exist. Today, the plants are benchmarks for green operations and are close to benchmarks for lean operations.
We at Appliances Manufacturing believe in continuously exploring what’s happening around the world in the appliance industry. Starting with PUF in our refrigerators, the journey never ended. We were the first to introduce a completely green refrigerator and an HCFC / HFC free foaming and refrigerant material. We have been the first to introduce lokring in India a method used for joining sealed system joints without using any heat or flame. Now, practically everyone in the industry uses lokring. We have been first in introducing stretch hood packing, a solution which not only saves cost but is environment- friendly.
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