Director General’s Message

Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce

Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General

Indo-German Chamber of Commerce

“What started in 1991 with just seven member companies and twenty-two students in the first batch today provides a skilling system unique in India that we can be proud of.  Over the years we have trained more than 1,500 young Indians for more than 100 German and Indian companies with the help of around 100 highly qualified faculties, 15 staff members in charge of the training centers, under the leadership of 23 Presidents and 2 Director Generals.  Long before ‘Skill in India’ and ‘Make in India’ became buzz words, German and Indian companies together with the Chamber imported the German model of vocational training into India; to achieve the same kind of quality that has been a cornerstone of what ‘Made in Germany’ has been globally known for almost a century in India.

 Over the years, the fascination of quality and perfection has sparked and it is a joy to experience the enthusiasm, pride and satisfaction not only of the students, the corporates, the faculty, the parents and the Chamber’s staff at the convocation ceremonies but also right through the whole training cycle, from start to finish.  For us at the Chamber there is nothing more satisfying than to see how over the years we were allowed to have the opportunity to groom young talent and give them career opportunities that basically changed and made their lives.

On the basis of its experience today, the Chamber is proud to not only skill more than 100 Industriekaufmann, Industriekauffrau every year, but further skill another 100 executives in management and plant the seed for technical excellence, with the 1-year programme in Industrial Mechanics, together with Don Bosco. We are supporting companies like Volkswagen in Pune and the Gedee Technical Training Institute (GTTI) in Coimbatore, with examination and certification of their own vocational training activities. We have been sharing our know-how and experience with Indian and German ministries and institutions in the Indo-German joint working group on skilling since its inception, seven years ago.  We are not alone in India in this effort. Many companies like Bosch, to name the prime example, have their own in-house training centres to cater to their own requirement.

Of course looking at the humungous number of unskilled people in India and the dire need for skilled talent to make ‘Make in India’ a reality, the  contribution by Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) and Indo-German Training Centre (IGTC) is only a drop in the ocean.  This drop in the ocean, certainly though, does not make us consider giving up. On the contrary, the achievements over the last 25 years, and especially those in the last five years, only motivate us to excel further. The success of our students and the companies proves that we are on the right track. Even the Indian government under Prime Minister Modi calls the German system its role model.

So like 60 years ago, when the Rourkela steel plant built by ThyseenKrupp, Demag, Siemens, Voith and more than 2000 German workers in the jungle of Orissa became the mother of the modern Indian steel industry, the license agreement between Mercedes-Benz and Telco to build the Mannheim and Gaggenau Mercedes-Truck started off the Indian automotive industry, the construction of the Meerut Fighter plane by the German Kurt Tank gave HAL a flying start as the pioneer in the Indian aviation industry, and. the technical university Aachen, as the co-founder of the IIT Madras, put the seed for engineering education in India, similarly today, the German system of dual education should be the next pioneering element in Indo-German relations.

If we were to just continue the graph of students, training companies and faculty over the next 25 years, the sky would be the limit. These numbers would actually be frightening and getting the right faculty and infrastructure would probably end up being the biggest challenge. The challenge would certainly not be to skill individuals and identify the corporate’s who need them. Luckily we are in India and looking at the last 25 years, many Indians have proved that they are able to think big and deliver big. It is coincidence that speaks for itself that IGTC started at the same time when liberalization of the Indian economy started. Looking at where India stood in 1991, compared to where it stands today, and where the Chamber with its training activities that started in 1991 sees itself today there is no reason to be pessimistic. On the contrary, there is only reason to be not just optimistic, but even enthusiastic.

With opportunities present all around the place, the IGCC,  with its 60 years’ experience in India is committed to turn IGTC’s ‘shining silver’ of 25 years into ‘glowing gold’ in the next 25 years.”