Quest for Quality: a journey in the pursuit of excellence

By Amit Kheradia

You may not call him a mover and shaker in the politically-correct sense of the term, but certainly he is a giant in his own field of work; well-admired, goal-driven, and known internationally to many in the field of Total Quality Management (TQM).
Like many immigrants, Dr. Madhav Sinha, a professional engineer and holder of a doctorate degree in engineering, had a dream when he arrived in Canada in 1969. He is now living proof of how one seed really can start a garden.
As a former university professor, researcher, quality control manager and retired Manitoba government chief engineer, Sinha has brought a lot of name and fame to Canada pro bono publico (for the public good or welfare) in doing what he has done for the past four decades.
His quest for quality began in 1976 with his first job as a quality control manager. It has been a never-ending journey for him since then. He became the first Canadian author of a textbook on quality management at age 40.
Almost thirty years later, with 10 books, 35 research papers (some translated into foreign languages), and over 160 presentations delivered world-wide, he continues to push innovation as the founder and co-founder of many quality initiatives.
Suffice to say that his finger prints are everywhere and in everything that Canada has done in the field of TQM. There is a long list of his achievements and accomplishments in scholarly work and for his crusade for bringing about quality education and awareness programs.
Consequently, there are many “firsts” attached to his name. He made history for being the first Canadian elected as Academician of the International Academy for Quality (IAQ), recognition as being among the best, most active, and most experienced proponents of quality in the world. He consequently became a Canadian voice to the world on quality.
Humble beginnings in Canada
We all remember the 1970s and 1980s for the poor showing of North American product quality, starting with automobiles and electronics, and the subsequent cry from customers for better service from all organizations. These were the headlines of the day back then.
We were all being reminded to be more quality-conscious, cut down wastes, reengineer systems, redesign processes, and improve everything by becoming more responsive to customer’s needs. These were all needed to win the battle of competition going on in the global scene. The battle was real then, and it is even bigger now.
“Without quality programs, companies, organizations and governments lose millions of dollars every day and they don’t even know about it,” says Sinha. “Not much was happening in the North American scene at that time in the name of quality management except continuation of our narrow practice of inspecting and sorting bad from good, which was supposed to be enough to fix all our business problems.
“In reality, workplaces still need a sea of change with TQM principles.”
If there is credit to be given to a Canadian for detecting the oncoming changes in the quality movement faster than anyone else, it has to be Dr. Sinha.
A quality education
He began his quality revolution by helping others in the establishment of many trailblazing programs in Manitoba and Canada starting from developing a teaching program in quality assurance management at the University of Manitoba.
Educational courses and training were needed first since none existed at the time in this area in Canada, along with massive public awareness programs emphasizing the need for quality improvement.
Recognizing quality in Canada
Sinha says he has one more dream remaining and needs public help and support to realize it. He is currently busy lobbying to make Quality a legally-recognized professional trade by the governments at all levels in Canada, so that people who earn quality assurance degrees, diplomas and certificates, and with requisite training in the field are recognized and can serve the public legally as certified quality professionals.
This will put Canada further on top of the world in the practice of quality and also tell the world that quality is indeed job number one in Canada.
The Canadian Society for Quality welcomes everyone to the sixth Canadian Quality Congress being held at the University of Manitoba from Sept.29-30.
Each year, the Canadian Quality Congress brings together some of the best minds from business, government, academia and consulting groups from around the world to discuss current issues and explore new frontiers in the field of total quality and innovation.
Student admission costs $100 for the two days. Continental breakfast, coffee breaks, lunches, a gala dinner, entertainment programs, an electronic copy of congress proceedings and a certificate of attendance are included in the registration fee for all attendees.
For further information, go to http://www.CanadianQualityCongress.com, or call 204-261-6606, 1-888-286-4473 toll-free, or email csq@shaw.ca.

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