Om P. Kharbanda matriculated from Jhang with the Nobel Laureate Abdus Salaam
(1940). He holds a MChE & DChE from the Polytechnic University of New York (1947-54).
He lives in Mumbai, India, and is visiting Professor IIT (Bombay). He is author of
30 management-related books published by Butterworth, John Wiley, McGraw-Hill. Projects
have been his life-time mission in America, Europe but mainly in India, the developing
countries and the middle and far East. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following many years with the engineering giant, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) India, Dr. Om
Kharbanda established his own consultancy. His first assignment came from an old acquaintance
that he had met at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now the Polytechnic University
of New York) many years before. This person was the Chairman/Managing Director (MD)
for a major chemical company and the challenge was to take a fabrication shop characterized
as a cost center and convert it into a profit center.
On the face of it, this appeared to be an "accounting" problem and Om said so.
However, upon investigation, it was evident that the problem was more extensive and
required a change in approach, indeed, a change in attitude. Rather than adopt the
standard western accounting approach, Om chose to look further afield. Indeed, he
looked to Japan, with very successful results. The following is an account of Om's
researches into the Japanese approach to the issue of project costing.
1. This is an
update of a story first published in 1991: Let's learn from Japan by Om Kharbanda
and Ernest Stallworthy in Management Accounting, Mar 1991, pp 26-33, 13.