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How Small Industries Blossom in Rajkot

At present Rajkot is the city of 1.7 million population. It is highly industrialized city having hundreds of foundries, thousands of machine shops, many fabrication shops and many specialized machine shops for gear cutting, plate bending, heat treatment to anything required for making machines and equipments. Main products are diesel engines, machine tools, ball bearings, submersible and centrifugal pumps, electric motors and so many industrial products.

Rajkot was a small village of 10000 population before 100 years and a small town of 0.15 million population before 50 years. It has spread into a big industrial city because of migration of farmers from villages for doing some business and industry. Farming community have small farms in villages and toiled there labour for the whole year but hardly meeting two ends together. They found that in Rajkot city it is very easy to earn money in industries without making hard physical labour which they were doing in the farms. So they started migrating to Rajkot. New migrants started with a very small industry in a room or in a very small shed. Even after expanding into big enterprises, real rural human honest culture is prevailing in industries as they were living in villages.

 For establishing or starting a tiny industry, one has not to think what to manufacture and where to sell. Just a little skill to operate the lathe or machinery or fabrication shop etc is required. Purchase one or two lathes, drilling machine, hacksaw machine for metal cutting, some workshop tools, hire a small shed and start the industry. You have not to think at all what to manufacture and how to market it. Once you establish such a small machine shop, you will get some items to be machined in hundreds of quantity. Hire the lathe operators and a little staff, helpers etc and factory is started. You have not to think how to calculate machining charges of the components coming to your newly established factory. Machining charges for the particular component prevailing in the market will be paid to you honestly. Raw material in the form of steel will be dumped to your factory or casted components will come from the foundry which you have to machine in the finished components.  There is no business secret in Rajkot city. Anybody can go to anybody's factory and inquire what he is not knowing. He will be welcomed, greeted and will be replied happily to teach him. There will be humanitarian cooperation everywhere, no jealousy anywhere, no fear of competition anywhere. On the contrary there will be full sympathy for new comers. So in a short time, he will be absorbed  in a class of established manufacturing enterprises. He is not expected to be a expert in the machine where this component is to be fitted. He is expected to machine the component correctly within the tolerances explained to him. Lathe operators are quite clever in maintaining close tolerances. If they make any mistake and component is rejected, they have to pay the cost of the material also. So they remain very much vigilant not to make any mistake in machining.

Thousands of such machine shops are working in Rajkot, most of them are specialized for one particular component only. But every machine shop will be machining hundreds and thousands of quantity daily. All such diesel engine components are manufactured on job work basis in this way. Machine shop owner has not to invest anything for raw material and he has not to worry about marketing of the component he manufactures. Factory owners who produce diesel engines have not to invest anything for construction of a big factory, has not to recruit man power, has not to invest anything for machine shop. He has to simply invest in raw materials and finished products will be dumped to his factory just by a phone call.

So diesel engine manufacturer is only the assembler, not manufacturing any component. He purchases all the components from different manufacturers simply by phone call. No written purchase order is necessary. After he receives all the components and inspects it properly, he will sign the cheque for the invoice of the components. If he desires to purchase steel,round bars,  angles, channels, plates, sheets etc, it comes just by a phone call. No written purchase order. Even if you want in truck loads or a few kg, just one phone call is enough. If you want to assemble 100 diesel engines in one day, it can be done just by a phone call! Various gangs of expert assembling technicians are available and they will perfectly assemble the engines and they will charge only 2 US$ per engine. No factory staff required. If you want to pack your 100 or more diesel engines in wooden boxes, only one phone call will be enough. Specialized wooden box manufacturers will do the job on the same day and you will get all the machines duly packed into export worthy wooden boxes. If you want to transport something to somewhere in the city or even to port, just one phone call will be enough.

If you want to make any special component or any pressure vessel by doing fabrication, just contact relevant fabrication shop or make a phone call, explain everything on phone or at the most rough sketch on waste paper will be enough. Purchase plates etc by phone call to dump at fabrication shop and pressure vessel will be ready for you. Then you have to make payment for it.  If you want any forging component, go to the forging shop with sample, he will work out the rates for thousands of pieces. Once you approve the rates on telephone, he will forge thousands of number as per your phone call and will dump to your factory. Then you have to sign the cheque for his invoice. No written purchase order is necessary. Such business relations are almost 100% honest.

Recently many machine shops with CNC and VMC expensive machines have come up in Rajkot city. Some people have 5 or 10 CNC or VMC machines costing millions of Rupees. They also never think what to manufacture in it or where to sell that item. They simply establish small factory with CNC machines and manufacturers approach there for machining of their components. In CNC machine, perfect drawing of the component is essential. But if there is no drawing, machine shop owner will make it or will help to make it on request and will get your approval. All such specialized CNC and VMC machine shops are also working on job work basis i.e. per hour basis say 5 US$ per hour.

Rural people working in their farms have migrated from villages to Rajkot and established all such businesses intuitively. Mostly all the farmers are potential entrepreneurs. Even though they are not much educated, they run the business of millions of Rupees, go on making progress and establish big factories also and run it profitably. The first generation migrated from villages to Rajkot between 1960 to 1970 have become big industrialists without much education, but with inherent skill in their minds. They are more than technicians. over and above they understand the technicality of the product, they are highly enterprising having self confidence to run the calculated business risk of millions of rupees and millions of dollars. They have never heard of management schools ( where only exploitative management is taught) and no knowledge of English language, but they have their own inherent indigenous management skill and innocent benign culture and traditions for cooperation to everybody by which they have developed thousands of industrial units in Rajkot which are blossoming day by day.

Total sum of this activity is unimaginably cheap production. Diesel engines are available at throw away price. Just by one example you will understand this. In a diesel engine 400kg of cast iron and steel is used which cost Rs 20000/-. Then all components are machined. Fuel pump and bearings are added as costly components. Then engine is assembled, tested for many hours and then painted and packed in to wooden box. Such finished diesel engine is also available at raw material prices of Rs 20000/- !! Then what about added cost of machining, bearings, fuel pump, assembling cost, testing cost, packing cost etc? Seems impossible? But it is hard miracle. secret is that while machining of components, some scrap is generated. the value of scrap is more than machining cost, assembling cost, testing cost painting cost and packing cost all added to gether! So labour cost is extremely low. Profit margins are extremely low. Nobody in the world can make sophisticated diesel engines at such a low cost. This miracle is achieved not by cut throat competition - nobody will think  here to cut somebody's throat for the sake of money. It is achieved by throat saving cooperation which we learn from our inherited culture and traditions. We always love to live peacefully with entire world as one family. VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM which means entire universe is family for us. Rajkot is the city of mahatma Gandhi. But honesty, integrity, humanity, cooperation and virtues prevailing in industrial atmosphere is not because of Mahatma Gandhi. It is inherent in our blood. On the contrary, all these virtues prevailing inherently in our people have culminated in to Mahatma Gandhi.

This inherent skill and human culture is not limited to Rajkot city only. You will find same picture at surrounding centres such as Jamnagar  ( biggest brass parts centre of India) , Jasdan ( Very small town famous for threshing machines), Morbi ( famous ceramic city of India) and if we go farther, Bhiwandi for small power looms, Coimbatore Tirpur belt for spinning mills and knitting, Ludhiana Jullundhar Amritsar, Delhi Ghaziabad Ahmedabad and many such specialized industrial centers have come up with special inherent skills of the common people. This inherent skill works not only for small things but also for entire process plants also. If you want oil mill or oil refinery or ice plant, or solvent extraction plant,  you need not have any drawing of any component. Expert technicians with inherent skills can make refinery with all vessels and complicated integrated pipe lines or ice plant or solvent extract plant or even a huge project of vitrified flooring tiles costing millions of dollars. Everything will be at heart and at his memory. No drawing is required. It is impossible to think for engineers or European people, but it is reality for Indian people. Hundreds of vitrified flooring tiles projects established in Morbi town, each project costing Rs 600 million have been established by such farmers entrepreneurs, who had never gone beyond high school in education and they are running very much successfully.This is our indigenous management without learning into any management school. So Indian people have developed various types of industries by themselves without any support from government.

It will be interesting to know, what is the role of government for such industries. The government has very clear policy to crush and kill such industries to pave the way for huge multinational corporations. So called industrialization imposed by Europe is horrible and terrible for our country. Gandhiji opposed it and cautioned that it will result in to automatic killing of entire population in the shortest time MOST PROFITABLY which even Changis Khan ( who wanted to kill entire India) could not conceive.  In reality government considers entire population as thieves and thugs and so government formulated various kinds of repressive laws to control these people as if they are thieves and thugs. So every person running a small industry fears of government. Almost 35 types of inspectors from Income tax, VAT, municipal property tax, labour laws and so on may come to harass the factory owners. They have vast unilateral repressive powers to investigate books of accounts, to make huge penalty,  confiscate any property and send the entrepreneur to jail. They understand to some extent that laws are unjust to industrialists and not practical. So they use their own discretion and do not become so harsh to send any person to jail. But they threaten to take actions against entrepreneurs or industrialists and they accept the big bribe for not taking actions. Every law is meant to bring the entrepreneurs under slavery. Every entrepreneur understands that laws are against him. So he has to submit anyhow. So practical way is to give bribe and settle the matter and save from the harassment. So every entrepreneur entreats all types of inspectors and sometimes their higher bosses as if he is the slave. Thus every person running such industry has to accept the slavery of government bureaucracy. In spite of suffering such inhuman harassment, people are developing by themselves because of our own humanitarian culture.

But political leaders running the government never miss any opportunity to claim the credit of all such developments as if they have made entire development. No any political leader has any capacity to remove repressive laws and harassment of the Government bureaucracy. Swaraj (freedom) is millions of miles away for all such entrepreneurs even though billions of Rupees of tax revenue is paid by this industrial community. Alas! Alas! Alas!

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