Make in India for Global Manufacturing: Championing Change through Inspiring Ideas

Rajesh Pawar Mikro 1
Rajesh Pawar Mikro 1

From changing the run-of-the-mill concepts in sales and marketing as an executive to taking big decisions as an entrepreneur, to meeting his commitment to change the lives of his people as an organizational patriarch – Rajesh Pawar of Mikro Innotech is a change maker first, a machine maker afterwards.

“I don’t believe in taking right decisions; I take decisions and then make them right.”

Reads this famous quote of Ratan Tata in the spacious office of Rajesh Pawar, Founder and Managing Director of Mikro Innotech. This machine maker’s story pulls an instant connection to a famous one-liner from the seasoned actor Anupam Kher in Bollywood Sanitation Saga ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’: “If you change nothing, nothing will change”. Rajesh Pawar’s life journey exactly epitomizes this life lesson. 

Mikro Innotech headquarters at Sasewadi, Taluka Bhor, Off Pune Bengaluru Expressway

Recently he acquired US-based EZcam entering the American market, as well as venturing into Thailand with a manufacturing unit. Rajesh Pawar, the Managing Director of Mikro Innotech Pvt. Ltd., walks down the journey of his life in a freewheeling tet-a-tet with Machine Maker.

Mr Pawar completed his Mechanical Engineering degree from PVPIT, but, unlike many other aspiring engineering graduates, started his career in Sales & Marketing in the year 1991 in a small organization, driven by his tenacity to the nuances of sales and marketing. True to his liking, the domain proved to be the field where he found his true calling and a road not less travelled by others, but not made more meaningful and fulfilling than him.

Even for a fresher in the field, he was quite a trailblazer who breathed fresh ideas in his division that helped customers as well as his company in unprecedented ways. In his own words, “From the very beginning, I wanted to convince my customers why you should buy from me through there was cheaper options available. I was very eager to know the technical aspects to focus on cost efficiency and process optimization, which at that time, struck many customers.” 

“How many compounds are you making per day? Calculate the life of the gauge from there, taper and profile check. People were confused. For customers who had to spend lakhs of rupees on machinery were hardly concerned about the little orders like this. But I implemented all these things”, he utters profoundly.

But standing apart from the queue stood him in good stead afterwards as by 1994-95 with his sheer excellence in customer relations and domain expertise, he had carved out his special position in his company where he was preferred over others in cases where chances of converting a sales order were very marginal. “I had to travel a lot to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and many other parts of India, irrespective of whose area it was”, he ruminates his successful sojourn.

“I convinced my company to focus on modification of our products range and explore where we can have the monopoly. Then I focused on dealer network systems. We were on deals with the distributors to route any extra orders to our company over and above our existing customers and in lieu of that we would make their consignment free of cost, provide they execute the order ethically with our products only”, he says. 

This Independence Day of 2021, Mikro Innotech celebrated India's Olympic success by felicitating sports personel

Even at a very early stage, his illustrious client base included automotive biggies such as Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Tempo, as well as hydraulics major Vikas Hydraulics.
His reputation spread wide as few of his customers recommended his name to Empire Machine Tools in Delhi which was a very big company at that time. In the year 1998, his journey started with the company as the regional head based in Delhi.

It was an opportunity that paved his way to garner his expertise with brands such as Zeiss and Nikkon, the former being strong support even to his own entrepreneurial ventures. He, in fact, was instrumental in introducing the business partner concept for Zeiss in India.  

On numerous occasions, he was even approached by Zeiss to take up a high-level role in Germany or Australia but what Rajesh Pawar did not intend to change was his commitment as the only child to his father which saw him nonchalantly turndown the offer. However, he has been to Europe and Singapore many a time since 2001 to visit Zeiss and Nikkon offices, giving him exposure to these manufacturing majors.    

Mikro Innotech established India's first State of Art Robotic Laser Technology center during January 2021

Rendering his unparalleled service to Empire Machine Tools from 1998 till 2006, it was now his time to explore his entrepreneurial capabilities. In 2006, Mr. Pawar established Microtechnique in Delhi with agency concept and handled agency for many companies, the prime being Zeiss.

In 2007, he shifted to Pune and established Mikro Innotech Pvt Ltd continuing agency business. It was in 2008, he started manufacturing machines in Shivane near Pune. “I had no prior experience in manufacturing and had to endure loses for an initial couple of years, but I persisted”, he says. 

“Our revenue from the agency business kept us floating for those initial years of hardships.”

However, persistence paid off and by 2012 Mikro Innotech started clocking a turnover to the tune of Rs. 1 crore and the real goal just started yet. Mr Pawar made a strategic decision by investing in the present site in Pune and within six years Mikro Innotech under the aegis of Rajesh Pawar supported by an equally dedicated team became a company with a turnover of around 20 crores.  

Today his organization is a leading manufacturer of league testing machines, headlamp and tail lamps, assembly lines, Special Purpose Machines for radiators, condensers evaporators etc. Currently, Mikro Innotech has two facilities – Bangalore and Pune. The Pune headquarters at Sasewadi right on the Bengaluru Mumbai Highway houses state of the art machines with a built-up area of 26000sq out of an estimated 10800 sq area. They are also planning to expand their manufacturing facility, building the business networks into industry sectors like Pharma, Aerospace, Defence, Railways along with their strong automotive customers.

Rajesh Pawar also shares an illustrious future plan where he says, “We are streamlining existing automation lines and adding new people who have worked on medical, pharma, and packaging sector. We are now extending our product portfolio to emerging industry sectors like aerospace, defence and railways.”

Industry stalwarts present at Mikro Innotech's Robotic Laser Cell inauguration

Admiration and accolades followed him and his organization in abundance including the fastest-growing SME Award in 2016 or National Award in the Innovation category in 2017. However, he confesses his biggest rewards are his dedicated team members and his own satisfaction to be able to keep them happy professionally as well as personally as much as practicable.  

His astounding proclivity to bring in change in the lives of many is well documented from his policy to shift people in his organization even from nondescript roles to move up the ladder in organizational structure by providing them with ample opportunity and assistance through mentoring and supporting them. Equally inspiring is his policy to uplift the minority section of the society, in his own little way, by earmarking positions and vacancies for them in his organizations. No wonder, a boy starting a job as a housekeeping staff member in Mikro Innotech a decade ago boasts of being a key technical person in the organization today. 

Thus for this charismatic trailblazer, from obvious questions like ‘Which is more enjoyable between sales and entrepreneurship?’ emanates answer ‘Wherever I bring in positive change.’ Rightly, he epitomizes “If you change nothing, nothing will change!”


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