Quality Control Of Products In India: Is It Up To The Mark?


Here we often discuss about technology in various ways. Be it the new gadgets that are launching or the services that have been recently launched for our benefits. Internet speeds have been improving consistently and since the dawn of 3G, there is real hope for India becoming a broadband country.

However, our actual ‘broadband’ is still miserable as ever. In fact, its adoption has decreased and thus it no longer holds any priority in ISPs eyes at least where the consumer is concern. Businesses of course are a different story.

Technology is even more permeating than that. Recently, I was watching a show on Discovery. It was showing how they were making potato chips for the 4th of July. The machinery was impressive to say the least. Be it potato cutter or the amazing light sensors that check if any potato chip is deformed or irregularly cooked. Any default piece was immediately removed from the lot by air jet. Besides this, they were checking the density of potatoes and the water content in the potatoes.

All this, to make chips!

[Note:This is not the video that I saw on TV, but you will get an idea of what I am saying]

I am pretty sure I have eaten plenty of deformed chips, burnt even, from probably the same company here in India.

The funny thing is that the whole process shown was automated on several levels. Therefore, the actual testing was being done by machines instead of being manual. This meant that the quality control was maintained by machines. Humans are there to ensure that the machine works smoothly. This ensures that there is no carelessness as the machine won’t get tired.

This got me thinking- Is the reason for Quality control of the same standard is missing in India is that most of the work is manual.

India is a labor intensive country. We have cheap labor and it is often considered our biggest asset. However, my work experience in a manufacturing company some time back begs to differ at least where the quality is concerned.

People cut corners, machines don’t.

Of course, in theory it is the responsibility of the company to ensure that its people are not doing such things but in reality, there is a limited amount of control that can be exerted in such matters.

I remember a certain minister saying during commonwealth games preparation that, our standard of hygiene is different from other countries. He was scoffed at for saying this. But a walk on a beach in Mumbai (our financial capital) or a lane in old part of Delhi (Our Capital) will make us realize that there is some truth in that statement.

So, either we really have lower quality standards or the quality control is simply a failure.

So, comes the hundred rupees question- “How do we tackle this problem?

To be honest, I do not have an answer to that. Perhaps automation is the key to this. But that might leave a huge chunk of population unemployed. Also, I do not think we have that kind of budget for at least the whole country.

Maybe, we need a separate ministry- “Ministry of Quality Check”. There are a few departments lying here and there but nothing of that sort. Then again, our trust in our government alone is enough to laugh at this proposition.

I can come up with these two things. What is your opinion?

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