In an interview with FE, S Punnaivanam, assistant vice-president, head of Service, Hyundai Motor India shares why training is one of the most important parts of an automobile company’s operations.
Recently, Hyundai Motor India opened the India Quality Centre (INQC) in Faridabad near New Delhi. INQC is only one of the five Hyundai Quality Centres worldwide, and its focus is contributing towards manufacturing zero defect vehicles. The company also inaugurated its sixth India training centre for skill development within the INQC campus. “While the INQC will play a role towards improving product quality, our training centres are constantly skilling our manpower,” says S Punnaivanam, assistant vice-president, head of Service, Hyundai Motor India. In an interview with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he shares why training is one of the most important parts of an automobile company’s operations. Excerpts:
Hyundai has opened its sixth training centre. Will the company open more such centres?
This is the sixth centre and two more will be set up in Guwahati and Ahmedabad this year. We have trained more than 15,000 dealer manpower until now. In addition to training, we have taken an initiative under CSR for skill development. Currently, we have tie-ups with 38 ITIs pan-India, and we will increase it to 48 ITIs this year. In fact, we have a tie-up with an ITI in every state in India.
What is the number of ITI students to whom you provide jobs?
Each of these ITIs, per year, trains about 40 students in the relevant skill-sets we need. We place 95% of them within the Hyundai India network. With this, we not only provide jobs, but this trained manpower also positively contributes to both Hyundai India growth and the development of society. For more advanced manpower, we have tie-ups with five polytechnic colleges. This year, we will tie-up with two more polytechnics. We have provided all these institutes, both ITIs and polytechnics, pilot cars for their students to work on.
You might also want to see this:
How does your training methodology work?
We have divided it into three areas. One is the technical training area, which applies to our technicians. We currently have 7,300 technicians. Then comes soft skills, which is required for the staff that interacts with our customers, such as service advisors and customer care executives. We today have 3,300 trained service advisors. We also offer managerial training to the relevant staff. Apart from these three, we have started offering body shop training, because body shop has emerged as an important area in the overall dealer management. Currently, we have five locations pan-India where body shop training, such as world-class denting and painting, is being conducted.
How important is training for an auto company?
Until now, we have sold a total of 46.9 lakh vehicles domestically, and have serviced 4.29 crore vehicles. Last year, we serviced 53 lakh vehicles, courtesy our trained manpower. We have 478 dealerships and 1,253 workshops across the country. Our sales volumes are growing and we are bringing more high-end vehicles to India. This means we will need more and more manpower that is trained as good as the best in the world. Thus, training is a very important part of our operations.