For more than four decades after independence the companies in India enjoyed a protected market with virtually no competition, and some of them even monopolised the market, with customers having little or no choice. As a result complacency set in, and no pressure existed for improvement or change. However, the policy of globalization and liberalization adopted by the Indian Government five years ago, has thrown open new avenues and challenges to companies in India. The new policy has resulted in open doors through which global corporate players have entered the Indian markets, and are threatening the domestic manufacturers and suppliers, using quality as a weapon. This has compelled the managers of local companies to look for those tools and techniques, proven and tested, which would help them to maintain and improve their strategies and positions in the market. One such policy or philosophy that has captured the attention of industry and the business community is TQM. Particularly, in the recent years TQM is even regarded as absolutely essential for growth, stability, and prosperity. This paper has the main intention of presenting an overview of TQM's progress in the country, starting from its initiation to its current status. Besides, the paper also describes how the organizational attempts by various agencies enabled the establishment of a TQM culture. Further, these attempts are presented in a chronological order, to appreciate the role played by various agencies, which resulted in growth and propagation of TQM in India. Towards the end, the gaps that still exist and hence the efforts that need to be channeled are pointed out, so as to result in appropriate guidelines about the work to be done.
The author R. Jagadeesh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, S.J. College of Engineering, Mysore, India. Keywords... [continues]
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