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Advice Request
Dhananjay Kumar
Dhananjay Kumar

Dhananjay Kumar

Global Head (Engineering, Project 881984 Automotive Business)

KLT Automotive & Tubular Products Ltd.

My advice
Automotive is a very dynamic field and constant learning, innovation, ideation, interpolation & hybridisation is the key to remain vibrant and progressive, if one is selecting it as career. Besides undergoing extensive training with a specific OEMs which are limited to less than 30 globally, one should select the area where the strength and interest lies of an individual. Once you are selected for specific department while doing the regular chores, one must have the bird view of the entire functioning of the department. Further it is important to have shift in the department after 3 years, if somebody is envisioning to be at the controlling position after 12 years as inter department functioning is very important to have a functional experince of the whole product produced. This is the time one can look for Program management position where one is part of new product development to launch and this is the satge where you start thinking backward from the end customer to ideation.
Being different
All engineers are taught various other branches of engineering besides their own field of specilisation. Also all engineers are taught extensively of basic subjects like physics, chemistry & math. Besides we have various humanities and management courses. Subsequently one goes for higher education like MS & Ph.D. In every work assignments, I have tried to use all my learning to the fullest, used my education as fundamentals to solve the practical challenges of real world besides keeping my learning senses always proactively involved. Constant learning of all field of engineering with emphasis of new technology has made me not only out of th box thinker but also innovative and optimised solver of the problems. While leqading the TEAM, it is important to collaborate and channelise the positive energy of every individual and make them feel the stake holder of the entire project. making every team member feel important and passionate about their job is another important learning which I pr
My role model
Frankly, I don't have one role model as while pursuing the path of innovation, following any role model makes you a good follower and not an innovative engineer. But there are 3 people whom I consider them a very interesting and creative people who has brought tremendous changes and I have learnt a lot from them. To start with it is our ex President Dr.Abdul Kalam, his humble approach, great thinker and highly motivating team leader who has always encouraged his team member to feel important and his dedication for work with highly religious and perfectionist approach has always kept me motivated. Jack Welch is the another gentleman whom I consider a true leader and greater organiser with razor sharp thinking and ruthless execution which I myself have practiced in limited capacity. Steve Job, I consider is the greatest innovator and revolutionist approach is evry field of his interest is one of the most important guide as I also believe in WORLD is in CONSTANT CHANGE.
Current Trends
Energy efficiency, safety and ride & handling are three biggest game changer in coming years. IC engine has riched to its limit though still there is some options of improvement. Electric drive train is the future of automotive and 3D photovoltaic pwer generation on polycarbonate body along with using micro turbine for thrust recycling is the other area where energy recycling will make the vehicle self reliant to great extent. New ultra light material with very high impact energy is another changes going to be in vehicle architecture. Extensive use of communication with highly powerful onborad computers will be another game changer where man & machine interafce will become more convenient and user friendly taking least command and doing extensively based on the driver/user taste based on immense log data.
Making job easier
Better planning, real time exchange of information, data storrage on secured server and on top of it ego free easy accesibility of all pear groups help our job easier and productive. Besides clear delegation of work with complete authority on business decision with constructive collaboration with other peer group make the decision process faster. Transparancy is other important elements of our business which makes our effort authentic and fruitful.
Company and job profile
Dhananjay Kumar, Ph.D. has over 28 years of professional experience and out of the same nearly 18 years as profit centre head of medium to large corporate MNC across the globe. He has worked in highly diversified sector namely Defence & Aerospace where he was responsible for Advance Composite structural, new Gas turbine engine and also worked extensively in avionics, advance signalling and control system including counter warfare technique. Subsequently, he has lead one of the largest power electronic and joining technology company where he was also involved in diversification and strategy which has lead to 100% growth consistently for 3 years. Also worked with infrastructure, process, energy, environment and Special Purpose Machine (SPM) manufacturing company and successfully lead it from front for multi fold growth across the globe. For last 6 years, working with automotive giant where he was successfully developed the complete platform in MUV, LCV & HCV segment and set up the plan
Challenges faced in job
Right decision and the right time which is easier said than done. You are never sure of a success of a vehicle and that is the risk you always take. So, some platform are always doing better than the other and so paying the resources more flexible with tie-up with diverse OEMs mitigate our risk as higher capacity utilisation always have the winning mantra for automotive supplier. Other important thing is innovation and adopting new technology with cutting edge and doing the required &D which create enough gap with the competitors. Further efficiency, lean and capacity utlisation is also equally important. Tieing up for new business at the right time is very important. Risk mitigation with OEMs for investment sharing is another important strategy which we leverage for better risk mitigation.
My strongest Skill
Innovation with hibradisation of diverse technology along lean approach in team building, maintaing better capacity utilisation and managing the program within cost, foresight and vision and simulating almost all aspect of business using the best technology vaialable in respective field are some of the strength which makes a winning combination for me. Natural leadership with inculcating enough passio nis another strength area which helped me in keeping the team tied up for better performance and result.
Family Background
My wife who is a mechanical engineer with specialisation in robotics is my biggest strength. My eldest daughter who is going to USA for Ph.D. in Physics while other two young daughters are in calss VI & III respectively, so in way we are small knight family with considerable importance on accademics. Our hobby are more around children though I enjoy playing Golf. We have very frank discussion on various scintific topics and use computers extensively to serach out the facts not known to us. Discovery and Science channel are the most watched program on TV and Mahadev serial on Life OK is spiritually most enlightening. We are religious rational group and won't leave home without morning Puja as our worship room plays an important area in our house. My wife is more a no-naunsence personality and we try to improve everyday about our behaviour.
Goals and Ambitions
I would like to become Managing Director/President of a large MNC so that I can exhibit more of my caliber for the growth and advantage of the company which at time feel constrained in my ptresent role. Prallely I would like to give more importance to innovation and product development for better market share and value for the share holders. In fact my dream is to create a middle size company to top 3 in its chosen field and create a niche of its own through pioneering innovation.
Views about 'Tech product Introduction is weak among Indians'
Our education system is more theoretical and also in business we are more risk averse. Failure is take in greater disdain than a creeping growth and it is important socially to give more importance to innovation and new start-ups. Our financial system is more supportive to conventional mind set as we don't promote risk. If anything is more promoted that is corruption as we give more importance to wealth irrespective of what means it has been earned. Corporate world is less transparant and it s more oriented around family in final decision making process though it might have been created from public money. Our accessment system is also more inflenced by peer groups whms and fancy and not on merit as we give higher importance to mediocracy rather than to brilliance. Moreover we invest more energy on monitoring others failure rather than putting sincere effort towrads our own success.
Managing professional as well as personal life
I am frank enough to accept that my professional and personal life are all the same and interdependent. I discuss all complex issue with my wife and always comes on some conclusion before start a fresh day. I avoid carrying too much Ego and try to have simple answer to complex business issue. So, I can safely say that I operate 24x7 for all 365 days and my family supports me in this endeavour as we all take interest in each other activ ities and try to help each other from our own experince. So, I brief, I can say that we all of us in family take our professional and personal relation together. At time we all do considerable sole searching but we all value greater importance to networking which starts from home. Further as we try to live a value based life and so we hardly finf conflict between pesonal and professional life.
My important career decision
In my career, I have moved from one engineering sector to another namely Project, energy, machine building, process and automotive and every time I moved from one sector to another I was largely successful in my previous sector and so I brought immense amount of knowledge which was hitherto unknown, untapped or not thought off which have given an advantage though I trued to learn the basics of respective sector as fast as possible.
My achievement
While working indefence sector I not only deve;loped some of the cutting edge technology but also developed the complete product out of it which has given a tremendous insight and confidence in developing new product. When I moved on, I also carried the challenges and tried to solve the problem differently which is also happen to be optimal and this has given opportunity of innovation and extra ordinary growth in the next industry I have adoipted. As for last 18 years I am a leadership role and so my decision has greatly influenced the fate and growth of the company who has adopted me. In the process I learned from people of diverse group and helped my in doing things better. I have also invested enough time to stay updated about all new technology which has further chisseled my decisions to me most contemporary
Books recommended
Besides reaqding the fundamental books, we also read about the latest development in our field from journals/conference proceedings. Infact we must have the habbit of attending1 or 2 conferences of our field and 1 conference of related field. Also, we must have the habbit of publishing our own innovations/thinking in couple of jouranals/conferences every year. Further networking with people of our group and some of the diverse group with virtual bran storming always keep our innovative prank going. We should always map our carrer on longer scale rather than planning on smaller scale and ultimately we must enjoy what we do. On job education is always helpful and cademic excellence should get higher priorities. Staying stress free and reading some lighter books are also recommended though not loosing the focuus is very important for excelling in our chosen field.
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