Lean Blog Interviews — 424: Balaji Reddie, Founder of the Deming Forum India

Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/424

My guest for Episode #424 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Balaji Reddie, the founder of The Deming Forum India. An engineer by trade, Balaji was exposed to W. Edwards Deming’s ideas through his father, then became highly interested in the Deming Philosophy after a chance introduction to the founder of the British Deming Association, Dr. Henry R. Neave, who became Balaji’s mentor.

As it says in his bio:

“Balaji’s contributions have been featured in textbooks and coursework on Quality and the Deming Philosophy. He holds a Degree in Electrical Engineering from COEP (the Government College of Engineering in Pune), and a Master of Science in Quality Management from BITS (Birla Institute of Technology & Science).”

Topics and questions:

  • Tell us more about your professional background
  • In his factory, had a “quality section” but not department – what’s the difference?
  • 1991 was a key year for India – opened up outside investment and foreign products
  • Xerox 5-day Leadership for Quality course
  • Wanted to know where this all began, learned of Deming & Juran
  • What was your first exposure to Dr. Deming and/or his work?
  • His father went to Japan in 1964
  • “Juran had answers, Deming asked questions”
  • Recommends Managerial Breakthrough from 1964
  • 14 points were for an American audience, the Japanese didn’t have them
  • Red Bead Experiment – Deming used in 1940s to teach sampling
  • “Respect for people” – Deming was talking about this a long time back
  • Tutored under Henry Neave – tell us about him — The Deming Dimension book
  • “The guru is the person who shows us the way… asks questions but maybe doesn’t give the answers” 
  • The Deming Forum of India – 1999 founding
  • Unique properties or qualities of Indian companies?

I hope you enjoy the conversation. We managed to have a lot of laughs, even though we’re talking about serious topics.

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network