The Future of Women in Manufacturing industry seems Promising
“Comfort” is the most sought-after phenomena in the world. While majority go by the easier path to ensure comfort, there are personalities who opt for the less trodden path, stepping out of comfort zone and discovering the beauty of the journey. Same is the case with Ms. Darshana Tikle, a young, high spirited entrepreneur who chose a different path for herself. While mechanical is almost assumed to be a dirty, shop floor and strenuous job, she quit the comfortability of electronics and delved into the labor of machines!
After acquiring her degree in electronics engineering, Ms. Darshana Tikle worked as an automotive electronics engineer at a firm. She kick-started her career quite well and learned a great deal in those five years of her career; the post which she joined her family business. She explored the new field that she subjected herself to and eventually mastered the new technologies that were trending in. A constant support from a well learned professional and father, Mr. Arun Tikle and the team at TISA accompanied by her own well thought determination, resulted in her success. Now she runs the company as the Managing Director.
Women leader receiving apprehensive faces is not unusual in our society, but Darshana Tikle has always had her knowledge on the subject, answers the skeptical minds around her. She holds a vision of having a better future for women where each woman is independent and capable of earning her own bread, irrespective of her social and economic background.
Could you tell us what does Tisa Enterprises specialize in and what are your major consumer segments?
Tisa Enterprises is a manufacturing company specializing in the manufacture of Clamping Solutions like Clamps, Clamping Elements, Screw Jacks and Clamping Devices. Our products are used in all engineering segments like Machine tools, Plastic Moulding, Press-shop, Fabrication, Automotive, Textiles, FMCG, Aerospace Engineering, Power Generation-Flow Control, etc.
Tisa participated at the IMTEX 2017. What was the response like and how satisfied are you as the Marketing Manager of the company with the event?
IMTEX expositions have been grown bigger and better over the years. Tisa has been participating at IMTEX/TOOLTECH from the last 27 years. The response at the expo was positive as we got to meet our existing as well as potential customers and were able to assist many customers with their specific clamping needs. The customers get to see the products, the quality, and their applications first hand. We have received many new leads and have converted most of the inquiries into orders. The growing international interest in Indian manufacturers has helped us forge many new partnerships, local as well as foreign, at IMTEX.
What are your views about the gender disparity at the helm of businesses in India?
The Mechanical industry has dominantly had a male presence. However, it is encouraging to see that many second-generation women are foraying into the business and making their mark, both technically and in the administrative capacity. The future of women in this industry seems promising and I hope to see many more women like me breaking old notions about the male dominance in the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing and engineering have always been thought of as a man’s area of expertise. What motivated you to join the manufacturing world?
Tisa Enterprises was started by my parents Mrs. and Mr. Arun Tikle. From a young age, I have seen both of them working hard for the company and shaping it into what we see today. Hence, the notion of manufacturing being a man’s world was never formed in my mind. The motivation definitely came from both of them. I worked as an automotive electronics engineer for 5 years to get some experience of the real world before joining the business. This helped me appreciate better the nuances of the manufacturing industry.
As a woman entrepreneur, what according to you are the major challenges and achievements you have faced along the way so far?
When I joined the company 9 years ago, there was some apprehension from many customers as well as shop floor workers towards a woman being in the lead. However, slowly I was able to pave my way by proving myself to them. Today, we work with mutual respect. With the exponential growth in women excelling in all sectors, the industry now is also more approving of women in the lead than before.
How far helping are the government schemes for women entrepreneurs in India?
The Government has many subsidies for women entrepreneurs to encourage their growth from assistance in buying new machinery and raw material for participation in exhibitions. However, the fine print and elaborate paperwork is a deterrent to applying for these subsidies.
Please throw some light on how Tisa Enterprise encourage ensure gender parity in decision making and planning under your leadership?
Most of the key posts at the Tisa are held by women. Further to my mother, Mrs. Shrimantini and me being part of the business, my sister, Mrs. Rutuparna has also joined the business to our added strength. At IMTEX, one of my customers wanted me to train his operators on the precautions to be taken while clamping. To my surprise and awe, most of his operators were women. While women form an important administrative and commercial role at the Tisa, I look forward to hiring more women on my shop floor too.
What would be your advice to young women entrepreneurs and engineers who want to join manufacturing sector?
The manufacturing sector is ever growing at a rapid pace and there will never be a lull in this sector. If one is interested in the manufacturing sector but see gender disparity / age-old notions as a deterrent, I would encourage them to dispel these notions and follow their dream. The manufacturing space is filled with innovations and we are always on a lookout for fresh ideas. While the sector doesn’t look financially lucrative at first, hard work and commitment can reap huge monetary benefits. I have been on the other side of the industry as well and can confidently vouch for the manufacturing industry.
What are your growth plans and roadmap for your company?
TISA is a well-known brand for clamping solutions in South India. We wish to further strengthen our business in the rest of India. TISA is also exporting to many countries and wish to expand its umbrella of customer coverage. We are working towards developing more effective, less time-consuming clamping technologies to offset job setting time and hence increasing productivity. Investing in more advanced machinery and quality inspection equipment to ensure quicker supplies and growth, without compromising on the quality, remains our mantra as has been for the last 36 years.