The automotive vehicle you drive on the road is not just a car, van or truck. It is the greatest symbol of our progressive march towards a better future in which humans will truly be synonymous with their species name––Homo Sapiens––Wise Humans, Us.
Thus, whenever you are driving your car or a van on the road, think of it as you are driving with you the entire human past since the invention of fire and wheel into a glorious tomorrow towards the horizons of an ever-transitioning modernistic glory.
And when you will thank your car manufacturer in your heart for keeping you safe throughout your journey by building a high-performance, solid, heavy-duty, and efficiently perfect drive, then do not forget to also thank Mutual Automotive Private Limited for providing the automobile industry with innovative state-of-the-art manufacturing solutions in engineered polymer-based components, systems and related services, since its inception in 2017 as a demerged entity of Mutual Industries Ltd established in the year 1979.
Supremacy of the Wholly Integrated Unit
Mutual’s third-generation Executive Director, Mr Hemit Gandhi, the son of Mr Dharmendra Gandhi, the MD and grandson of late Mr J.M. Gandhi, the Founder and Chairman, claims that Mutual Automotive exhibits leadership when providing engineered polymer solutions. “Our expertise has led us to produce designs from the concept stages to development, thereby helping us achieve supremacy as a wholly integrated unit. Our partners place utmost trust in our quality services and non-compromising value,” elaborates Hemit, who has a BSc in Engineering Entrepreneurship, Engineering Leadership and Economics from the Pennsylvania State University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Family Managed Business from S.P.Jain Institute of Management and Research. He has built a depth of expertise in Operations, Administration and Finance in a career spanning close to 15 years.
Hemit believes that Mutual has always been a pioneer in technology, bringing the latest and newest automations and manufacturing know how, and he has always been at the forefront of these new additions to the company.
With the right blend of experience and young talent in its resource pool, Hemit envisages the company to emerge as an end-to-end solution provider across industry verticals and market segments with products and applications created from lightweight plastics and composites on mass-scale technologies.
Three Generational Impeccable Experience
As a trailblazer in the automobile industry, Hemit takes us back to the beginning of his journey, sharing his motivation to step into this dynamic field. “My grandfather and father laid the foundation of Mutual Industries Ltd..”
The company is family-owned and is managed by professionals with impeccable experience. “The Engineering Plastics business/industry and the Automotive industry were two business trails that were surging at a great pace before me as I completed my academic journey with my undergraduate degree,” he recalls.
‘Catching up with these trails was imminent as a four-decade business banner ‘Mutual’ was on high streams.’
‘Much needed to be decoded and absorbed from the university of hard knocks.’
‘Most theories are forged to fit into reality and viewed through different minds, thought processes and experiences. All of them relevant to certain scenarios.’
‘Industry and business are waves and hues of challenges on the horizon. Some racing towards you, some drifting away, some looming.’
‘Each needs to be recognized and predicted with reality.’
Charting Path Through Unpredictable Times
“The Engineering Plastics Innovative Business and the Automotive industries engineering challenges were like a great magnetic current that I could not resist. All the challenges I could imagine were there, and the huge inspiration was that my father had sailed through many unpredictable times to establish a position in the industry.”
“The modern business challenges, with its new versions of product technologies, new process technologies and discovering, innovative, smarter ways to execute and excel were the dynamic challenges that motivated me to step into this highly technically driven field,” says Hemit, who led the emergence of Mutual Automotive as one of India’s most promising automobile companies trustworthy partner. Share the guiding philosophy that has propelled their organization’s success; Hemit says that the guiding philosophy that was infused in their business since its inception by his granduncle and his father is to imagine and discover what the customer could wish for. “We thought it’s better to look for the customers’ wish rather than the want because the ‘wish’ comes quite before the ‘want.’ We have foreseen many aspects of our customers’ business from the viewpoint of the end customer.”
“For example, the E vehicles, batteries were not in our scope of development, but Light-weighting, aesthetic design, design engineering and simultaneous development were very much on the radar for technology upgradation. We continue this visualization in many non-automotive segments as well. We only work forward and hope to emerge with such visualizations through to all the customers in our future as well,” mentions Hemit.
A Harmonious Symphony of Success
The automobile landscape is continually evolving. Ensuring that Mutual remains adaptable and ahead of industry trends, providing innovative solutions to its clients, Hemit shares that the philosophy, dedication, and struggle to work towards the many mirages on the horizon and find the real one that contributes to the satisfaction of the end-customer. All this struggle is but a symphony of harmonious, pleasurable or enjoyable teamwork and hard work in the making of the company’s success.
“As a technocrat organization, we have continuous research and development happening. We invest in technologies ahead of the curve in the country and the most contemporary and state-of-the-art technologies. However, the result makes it completely worth the effort as we look at it from afar.”
As we mentioned Hemit’s leadership style is often recognized as a driving force behind Mutual Automotive’s achievements, and asked to shed light on his approach to leadership and team building within the organization, Hemit smiles and frankly said, “The words ‘driving’ and ‘force’ sound quite heroic and describe a powerful leader so not sure about that, however along with that I would also like to be considered as a communicative, courageous, and most of all, honest leader.”
“Leadership and team building, as I have learnt practically on the ground level, working with my father and other team members, is a matter of influencing, then inspiring minds to put the hands and thoughts together.” This establishes a movement.
All of Humanity has advanced only through influences of various kinds.
Hemit adds that he is fortunate to be in a business family that follows this trail of leadership values from his father, grandfather, and generations before him.
An Ever-Augmenting Research Knowledge Base
The essence of automobiles lies in seamless operations and enhancing the end-user experience. When probed about how Mutual strikes a balance between operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, Hemit explains that customer satisfaction for them comes from the Automakers, who are their customers. “Supporting our customers’ ability to meet the automotive market needs is our task. This task has many aspects: quality, on-time delivery in the routine, and more importantly, our participation in the product development phase. We contribute much from our research knowledge base. This participation is our strength in customer satisfaction.”
Through their experience and learning, they implement various processes from different philosophies of KanBan, Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing and the Theory of Constraints that bring operational efficiency.
Sustainability and environmental responsibility are crucial aspects of the automobile industry. When asked how they integrate these principles into their operations and contribute to a sustainable experience, Hemit says waste treatment and recycling of natural resources are a part of all their production plants. “In Product development, we explore every aspect to substitute materials with recyclable versions.” They recycle and re-circulate close to 95% of water and air. All their plants have been installed with Effluent and Sewage treatment plants. “Our operations team continuously strives towards reduction in power usage with installations of servo motor drives.”
A Committed Team of Compassionate Professionals
In the realm of automobiles, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency. When probed about how they leverage technology to optimize their services and stay ahead in a digital age, Hemit says that Mutual Automotive’s research in materials process and tool design has enabled it to contribute realistically to the product development efforts of its OEM customers. “Additionally, we implement heavy automation and robotics in our plants for moulding, painting and assembly lines to increase efficiency. Moreover, we have started our journey towards industry 4.0, which will be implemented in multiple phases.”
Mutual has faced its share of challenges as a leader in India’s automobile sector. Sharing an instance where his team’s resilience and ingenuity triumphed over adversity, Hemit says they are a Tier-One supplier to the Automotive Industry. “All our joys, sorrows and tribulations come via the Auto Industry.” COVID has been a landmark in human history. When fear of life got priority versus commitment to work. “At these times, it was the close bond that we have displayed, over the years with our team workers, that enabled us to get their willingness to take a step towards fulfilling the commitments towards deliveries.” Workers chose to stay in the work camp on a roll-over basis as needed.
“This was a clear indicator of how we got workers to cooperate with their seniors in the most adverse time of human history.”
Engineering OEM Design and Build
Today, the automobile goes beyond the physical realm, touching on safety, security, and well-being. Mutual Automotive addresses these critical factors in its service offerings by embracing innovations. Hemit states that the kind of components that they manufacture, like a bumper system, dashboard, exterior claddings, spoilers, grills, engine components like cylinder head cover, HVAC components, fans and various tanks, oil sumps, filtration components, are all performance parts.
“As tier one OEMs, we are responsible for what we engineer, design and build. We are unique in being able to work with OEM as a Full Service Supplier Partner (FSS). The OEM customer is keen to utilize this highly responsible service and our years of experience, wherein we participate in the design, proving the design and the build with the customer. To some extent, we are responsible along with the customer for the product on the road.”
Looking to the future, Hemit says that his vision for Mutual Automotive is to continue making a significant impact on India’s automobile landscape. He says the Automotive challenges continuously evolve and emerge in different ways. There is too much technology in the market, some to appeal to the short term, some to bring long-term value to the product. “Our history since 1979 shows a range of product technologies that we brought afore to add-on to our customers’ products. We have always researched technologies to add long-term value that the end customer will be in possession with the product,” he concludes.