Toyota wants to turn students like Satish Lakshman, the son of a poor farmer, into a skilled employee who can boost the auto maker’s fortunes in this key emerging market. “We are learning discipline, confidence and continuous improvement,” says Mr. Lakshman, an energetic 18-year-old.
At the foundation of its growth plan is the Toyota Technical Training Institute. India’s auto market is growing at such a fast pace that skilled workers are in short supply. Toyota says the school will enable the company to develop the productive, skilled employees it needs.
Toyota has taken a similar approach in China, where it has helped the government run a technical training center since 1990. In India, rival auto makers are following Toyota’s lead. In September, Honda announced plans to open a technical college. Other car makers have formed partnerships with India’s technical institutes to improve training.
The school teaches students practical skills such as welding, auto assembly and maintenance. It also gives the young recruits a smattering of classes in such subjects as math, English and Japanese as well as lessons in the company’s cherished principles of consensus building, continuous improvement and eliminating waste.
Toyota is willing to invest in the long term. A much better sign than a company that is willing to pay their executives salaries that top the wealth of kings. Toyota also believes in education: Idle Workers Busy at Toyota.