Indian technicians shine at Hyundai’s World Skill Olympics in Seoul

by Mayank Dhingra 28 Oct 2019

They say a winner is someone who recognises his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals. That’s a quote from the famous US basketball player Larry Bird, describing the importance of putting in one’s dedicated efforts into the right direction in order to succeed in life.

As for Sanchit and Ram Padarth, the two automotive technicians working at the dealer level for Hyundai Motor India in Bangalore and New Delhi, more than a god-gifted talent, it was a matter of honing their on-job acquired skills to such perfection that they excel in their roles and emerge masters of their fields.  

The duo recently bagged top honours and pride for the country by representing the nation and Hyundai Motor India at the Korean carmaker’s World Skill Olympics, held in South Korea between October 16 and 18. The 13th edition of the Hyundai World Skill Olympics took place at the Hyundai Cheonan Global Learning Center in Seoul.

While Sanchit, who is an engine technician at Trident Hyundai in Bangalore, was awarded Gold in the ‘Engine Section’ of the mega skills-games as well as won a cash reward of US$ 1,000, Ram Padarth from Samara Hyundai in New Delhi received a ‘Superior Skills Award’ for his excellent know-how and capabilities on engine diagnosis and repair. Both of them were accompanied by a Supervisor to the event in Korea.

Ahead of and during the main event, the contenders went through a written test (on products and repair procedures) and two rounds of practical tests (first on the engine, electrical and chassis systems and components; the second on multi-systems diagnosis and repair).

The Hyundai Skill Olympics saw a total of 117 participants, including 66 entrants (dealer technicians) and 51 observers (dealer staffers) from 51 countries battle it out at one global arena by being evaluated upon theoretical knowledge, and being judged on various parameters of practical problem solving in their respective areas of expertise.

Sanchit and Ram Padarth emerged winners in the ‘Engine Section’ category alongside. Overall event results saw two silver medals going to James George (New Zealand) and Ilia Fedulov (Russia), while three bronze medals went to Hsin Chih Lin (Taiwan), Mohamed Aly (Egypt), and Jidhinraj Rajan Rema (Oman). Other winner categories included excellent skills winners, superior skills winners and winners of the ‘Award for Collaboration’. 21 winners in all categories won a total of some US $30,000 in prize money. Sanchit was awarded US$ 1,000 for his achievement and the duo was also felicitated at the Hyundai Motor India head office in New Delhi by S Punnaivanam, vice-president and national service head, Hyundai Motor India, upon their arrival.

India, an emerging skill power  
The achievement of the two technicians from India certainly comes is laudable, but no surprise as skilled workmen have been consistently raising the country’s flag high at various global events including the recently held World Skills 2019 in Kazan, Russia. Indian technicians are increasingly being appreciated across the globe for their high levels of skills, confidence, speed, problem solving temperament and a knack to apply knowledge in the most efficient and innovative manner.

Nineteen skilled young Indian professionals won honours for the country at the 45th World Skills competition in August, making India finish 13th out of 56 participating countries. India had participated in 44 skills including mobile robotics, prototype modelling, auto body repair, welding, car painting, baking, confectionary and patisserie, brick-laying, and floristry among others.

Speaking at a recent event in New Delhi on ‘Auto body repair’ where Autocar Professional was a media partner, Nikunj Sanghi, chairman, Automotive Skills Development Council, had said, “Skilled technicians have the potential to become brands in themselves and can determine the fate of a dealership’s service business.”

“Even as a lot of technology is coming into auto repair, the importance of investing time and money in up-skilling our manpower cannot be negated. While skills of Indians are right there on top with the best in the world, there’s a lot that India needs to do still to up-skill its people, otherwise there is a risk of redundancy,” said Sanghi.

"Second- and third-generation workmen (denters and tinkerers) don't want to become paint matchers which is the most important skill in the aftermarket in the automotive industry. We need to bring awareness in the bodyshop community about the kind of sheer opportunities there are available,” he added.

“We need to attach dignity and respect with the nature of a skilled person’s work. We need to address denters as ‘autobody inspectors and technicians’. Once this is done, the way things are moving, people who are skilled have brighter futures than those who are well educated," an optimistic Sanghi had remarked.