The Confederation of Indian Industry – Southern Region (CII-SR) on Thursday launched two initiatives – Business Mentoring Service (BMS) and Senior Expert Advisory Service (SEAS).

While CII-BMS offers mentoring services to senior management executives, SEAS would provide mentoring and handholding services to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to improve their competitiveness.

As per the proposal, CII-BMS forum would consist of ten members of non-competing businesses. Each forum will be chaired by an experienced coach mentor of Coaching Foundation of India (CFI) to facilitate peer learning as well as to solve problems. The members will meet once a month for two to three hours for 12 months. Besides, members will be imparted one-on-one coaching and business advisory services. Agenda would be driven by forum members by taking up real-life issues for discussion.

To give effect to this proposal, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by CII-SR Chairman T.T. Ashok and CFI co-founder and Vice Chairman Ganesh Chella.

Addressing the members, Mr. Ashok said that it was a two-fold strategy — providing mentoring support to their members to enable them to move on to the next level of growth and enhancing business leadership capabilities through peer learning.

Mr. Chella said that the first forum would start functioning soon and their idea was to have at least five forums running in the Southern Region. BMS would be rolled out nationally next year. Six firms have already signed up for the first forum.

Mentioning that they have been using BMS for four years now, Vellaiyan Subbiah, Managing Director, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance urged the members to choose the right mentors to have good relationship with them to get expert guidance, identify strategies and opportunities for growth.

G. Venkatesh, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Sasken narrated his experience and said that a selection of appropriate coach would be the key to stay on the course.

Bridging gap

Launching the SEAS, S. Nagarajan, TAFE advisor, said that the idea of SEAS was to bridge the gap and compliment various efforts taken by CII through its Centres of Excellence to ensure quality technical consultancy to its members in tier-II and tier-III cities.

Modelled in the format of Senior Experten Service of Germany, SEAS would act as a stepping stone to enable SMEs to avail advanced support to become truly competitive. Experts will guide the SMEs in TQM, lean manufacturing, green technology, energy efficiency, competitiveness, quality, 5S and international quality, he said.

According to a release, CII will identify and empanel a list of expert advisers. This service will be hosted online as part of Mycii.in. CII district and zonal offices will organise workshops and seminars on various technical issues.

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