Like a prophet of small things, he was already making a lot of stuff in India for the world long before ‘Make in India’ was born as a state-driven mission. It may surprise you to know that every third car globally has a part manufactured by the Pune-based Bharat Forge of B.N. Kalyani. In fact, his stamp is on every second truck in North America and virtually every car in many European markets. BMW, Toyota, Audi, Mercedes and Ford, all rely on components made by him to drive their passenger cars.
Kalyani is the tall boy of Indian manufacturing, with Rs 16,000 crore-plus in turnover and consistent profits. More than the numbers, he has defied the popular perception that engineering precision is something only the Germans can do. Here’s a quick story. Once a European client asked Bharat Forge to come with a component idea for a product it was launching. The client gave a strict deadline by which it had to present a structural drawing, which engineers overseas would scrutinise to see if it could swim. Bharat Forge didn’t send the design. Its engineers sent an actual prototype part. A eureka moment. Much better quality at much better prices too. In the eyes of the world, Kalyani had ensured India is never again looked at as the pits of manufacturing, hobbled by endemic delays and dodgy standards.