Women can fulfil their dreams if they are passionate, persevering and determined to achieve them. They just need the right platform to showcase their skills and talent. Fostering gender equality and nurturing women’s talent, Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF) has been providing a robust platform to women trainees who want to be a part of the manufacturing industry and achieve their dreams.
Even in the 1970s, when technical education was difficult for women, NTTF provided an opportunity to Ms. P. V. Rajalakshmi to explore her passion for the technical domain, who later became the first woman Tool and Die Engineer in Asia. Combined with the right technical training from NTTF and continuous learning, she has achieved many milestones in her career.
In this Skill Talk with Team NSN, Ms. P. V. Rajalakshmi, Founder and Technical Head, Mantra Leistung shares her outstanding journey as an NTTF alumna and talks more about how training in NTTF has moulded her into the person she is today. Read on to be a part of her empowering journey.
Q. How did the NTTF courses help you building your career in training?
A: My life took a turn ever since I joined a 4-year training program in Tool and Die Engineering in Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF), the pioneers in the Technical Training.
I was the lone female Tool & Die student of whole institution in the country. I knew the things are entirely different from what I had seen and practiced. The only special information to me was that the institution cannot give any consideration to me as a female in terms of 75% practical oriented training where we are exposed from precision machining to smithy.
Training in NTTF during 1978 was very strict, time bound and every action and minute was valued and validated including attitude and behavior. Tool making and related machining was done in a conventional method and hand skill was considered as a major ability. We had daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and semester tests and evaluation where filtering the weaker students and termination was normal procedure. We were not allowed to use the regional language in the campus. This training will mould the trainees as strong and independent individuals for future life. The training system made me a person to think and attempt freely, brave enough to stand on what I believe.
After successful completion of training, I was selected by NTTF tool room & Machine shop Bangalore, the most sophisticated facility, for design, manufacturing and quality control.
Q. What about your passion for Tool and Die making – how did you acquire it and continue to build Mantra Leistung?
A: I was fortunate to get good opportunities and challenges in my carrier and I could fulfill ofcourse with extra efforts and utilized it to the core, expecting that every little thing I do today will be useful for tomorrow.
Exposure to both Indian and global companies, helped me achieve a perfect balance in terms of manufacturing and training.
Updating ourselves for the latest information in manufacturing and design and maintain oneself competitive is very important and what also matters is individual skill and knowledge development to initiate and take it forward. During my professional journey, I had been an Entrepreneur, Tooling professional, Training expert and Manufacturing expert in my three decades plus experience.
It was in 2010, I started thinking about the industry requirement of CUSTOMIZED TRAINING RELATED TO MANUFACTURING in the area of TOOL & Die. Most training centers give good training but not PROCESS BASED FOR A PARTICULAR DOMAIN. It was just a thought process but always in mind. In 2018, We started an Engineering Services in Bangalore, ‘MANTRA LEISTUNG’ along with my husband, where one of the main activity is training related to DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING. We also do various skill development programs for individuals and Industries.
Q. What are the skill-based training programs and other services in Manufacturing offered by Mantra Leistung?
A: Mainly TOOL DESIGN PROGRAMS where we have four major modules like press tool, mould, Jigs& fixture, Die casting., using the required software skills which are followed in industries.
Apart from this, we provide customized programs in the area of CAD, CNC, CAM, Quality, Measuring, GD&T, apart from any mechanical related topics.
We provide design related services as well.
Also read: How industry-aligned technical training ensures aspirational career growth https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/industry-aligned-technical-training-ensures-aspirational-career-growth/
Q. How do you foresee manufacturing skills being offered through online learning – particularly the practical components (this is in the context of Covid-19 affecting all training institutions)
A: It is the Difference between knowledge and skill. Knowledge supports the skill. Skill need to be practiced.
Manufacturing skills are to be practiced hands on. Design skills can be learned online since it is software skills and knowledge supportive.
Q. How has NTTF helped you in embarking on your manufacturing journey, being a woman and what is your advice for women from technical background taking up entrepreneurship?
A: As mentioned earlier, my four years training and first five years of work experience in NTTF toolroom made confidence to have own tool room set up in Bangalore for manufacturing Tools & Tooling accessories for branded customers.
Thanks to my classmates and instructors who never considered me as a weaker section.
It is a great area to Explore. Challenge is same for male and female which need to be addressed by smart working and updating technology in related field. Realising our strength and weakness will take us forward for a better tomorrow.
Challenges like Solving problems, Discussions, Customer commitments, Quality, Reworks are time bound activities which extend working hours. When considering the family requirements, things are difficult for a woman who involves in manufacturing sector, without strong support from family.
Below stated are few achievements came on my way during my professional career.
- Award (1994) from Rotary Down Town, Bangalore for ‘Substantive attainment in the profession’.
- National level Award (1996) from ‘FIE Foundation’ for the ‘Contribution in the field of Engineering’.
- The Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, included in their TV documentary (‘ Beyond the Barriers’) of the country’s enterprising women. (1993)
- Interview under the category, ‘WOMAN IN MANUFACTURING’ published by ‘TAGMA TIMES’ in January 2019 edition.
- Photo shoot and interview video for ‘NTTF COFFEE TABLE BOOK’ 2019.
- Various published articles in daily, magazines, Souvaneers etc.