In the first major lateral hire by the NDA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed former McKinsey India chairman Adil Zainulbhai as the chief of the Quality Council of India (QCI). His appointment comes at a time when Modi has announced his vision of making India a global manufacturing hub with international standards in production and quality, an area where the QCI is expected to play a key role.
Zainulbhai’s appointment for a three-year term, which, according to sources was done by the Prime Minister, marks the first such hiring from the private sector by the NDA government. The UPA government had earlier roped in a number of experts from the private sector, including former TCS chief S Ramadorai and HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, in advisory roles to help in policy making.
“The QCI has done a very good job of establishing quality benchmarks in India. But in order to fulfil the nation’s plan and create more manufacturing in India, or as the PM said ‘Make in India’, we will have to do more to imbibe the quality culture in Indian manufacturing,” Zainulbhai told The Indian Express.
Zainulbhai, who is currently serving as a senior adviser with McKinsey India, is also on the boards of Reliance Industries, the American India Foundation, Saifee Hospital, Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, Network 18 as well as on the advisory board of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
According to sources, in keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of turning India into a global manufacturing hub, the QCI is expected to focus on creating further quality benchmarks in the sector and will also expand its focus to look at more service sectors.
Zainulbhai succeeds former Planning Commission member Arun Maira as the full-time chief of QCI. Maira’s term ended in late 2013, after which the DIPP Secretary served as the officiating chairman.
Established in 1997, the QCI is a non-profit autonomous body jointly set up by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the three industry chambers — Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) — to establish and implement the national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.
Since inception, the council has been led by India Inc heads, including former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata and TVS Motors CMD Venu Srinivasan.
The government is also understood to have appointed R P Singh, IGNOU regional director, as Secretary-General of the QCI. According to sources, the governing council of the QCI, which has 38 members including industry representatives as well as government ministries, is expected to meet soon to discuss its new role and responsibilities. Apart from manufacturing, the QCI also works in areas of healthcare, skill development and education.