The Chennai-headquartered, National Institution for Quality and Reliability (NIQR), the premier institution for the promotion of excellence in quality and reliability, has instituted “NIQR-Dr. V. Krishnamurthy Medal for Manufacturing Excellence”, to recognise MSMEs that demonstrate outstanding performance in manufacturing.

In honour and with the blessings of Dr. V. Krishnamurthy, a pioneer and doyen of quality and management of Indian industries, “NIQR-Dr. V. Krishnamurthy Medal for Manufacturing Excellence” would be at par with the Malcolm Baldrige Award and Deming Prize in terms of the stringent selection process, scrutiny, and evaluation. The medal is expected to emerge as the most coveted recognition for MSMEs in India, as currently there is no award, based on global standards, for the MSMEs in India.

Padma Vibhushan, Dr. Krishnamurthy, is a pioneer in bringing significant transformation in quality through participation of MSMEs in development of both private and public sector for their growth. He is also known as the “Father of Public Sector Undertakings in India” for his leadership and successful contribution in turning around PSUs like BHEL, SAIL and GAIL into the most profit-making industry in India and globally.

Launching the “NIQR-Dr. V. Krishnamurthy Medal for Manufacturing Excellence”, Mr. K. Manikandan, President, NIQR, said: “MSMEs are the backbone of the economy, and continue to play a pivotal role in the development of the industry of many nations including India. NIQR is proud and privileged to institute the “NIQR-Dr. V. Krishnamurthy Medal for Manufacturing Excellence” to encourage and promote excellence in manufacturing amongst MSMEs in India. This medal to recognise the MSMEs contribution adds another feather to our cap.

He pointed out that NIQR has recently signed an MoU with the American Society for Quality (ASQ), South Asia, and also in talks with counterparts in several countries for the promotion of excellence in quality among industries, especially MSMEs.

In his comments, Mr. R. Rajasekaran, Immediate Past-President of NIQR, and Chairman of the Core Committee for NIQR-Dr. V. Krishnamurthy Medal for Manufacturing Excellence, said that NIQR-Dr. V. Krishnamurthy Medal would go a long way in recognising and strengthening the contributions of MSMEs in India. The objective of the award is to bring about a spirit of competitiveness amongst MSMEs to work towards manufacturing excellence. The award would benefit not only the recipients but also the entire supply chain of the given manufacturing sector.

Commenting about the award process, Dr. V. Swaminathan, Senior Vice-President, NIQR, said that several MSMEs in the Indian industry, especially, the automotive industry, are certified to quality system certifications like ISO 9000 as well as industry specific quality system standards. They have been practicing Total Quality Management (TQM), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Lean Manufacturing and 6 Sigma for over four decades now. The award would recognise many of these MSMEs. The companies applying for the prestigious prize will have to fulfil the criteria and would have to go through selection by a panel of eminent jury, to qualify.