The Indian Society for Quality (ISQ) awarded K.Mahesh, Chairman and Managing Director, Sundaram Brake Linings (SBL), the Jamshetji Tata Award in recognition of his outstanding role in promoting quality management in his company and industry at large.

The ISQ recognised Mr. Mahesh’s leadership in the Automotive Components Manufacturing Association of India (ACMA) and his initiative in promoting the cluster approach, first through ACMA and then through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) project, which benefited hundreds of organisations to improve quality.

ISQ is a not-for-profit society formed to promote the networking, development and recognition of quality professionals and is the face of India in the world of quality management in international forums.

The Jamshetji Tata Award was instituted in 2004 and earlier recipients include Venu Srinivasan, Jamshed Irani, Arun Bharat Ram, Surinder Kapur and B. Muthuraman.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Mahesh said, the biggest asset for his company was his workers. He said SBL was the first friction material manufacturer in the world to win the coveted Deming Application Prize for practising Total Quality Management (TQM) in 2001.

“SBL was the first company in India to introduce asbestos-free brake linings in 1986,” he said, adding that the product was widely accepted in the automobile industry in spite of being marginally more expensive.

SBL products are extensively used in commercial vehicles, passenger cars, tractors and motor cycles. It exports products to over 69 countries catering to the after market needs of international applications like Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Scania and Renault. It is also the preferred supplier to some well known axle manufacturers as original equipment.

Arun Bharat Ram, Chairman, SRF, who presented the award to Mr. Mahesh said, “it is heartening that 16 Indian companies have so far won the Deming Application prize. The TVS group has been in the forefront of implementing quality management programmes.”

Krishan Kumar, Director, Maruti Centre for Excellence, was presented the Ashoka Award, which recognises leadership in companies and in the country.

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