April 1, 1999

Technical Centre of Daewoo Motors India Ltd.

After completing a 17 month training programme in Daewoo Motor Company in Korea I came back to Daewoo Motors India located in Greater Noida, to work at the Technical Centre as a design engineer. Just a few weeks after coming back from Korea, my manager Mr. Dinesh Tyagi assigned me to the task of designing mounting brackets for the cylinder and pressure regulator of the factory fitted CNG version of Cielo. I was planning to take a long leave to visit my parents. Apparently the CNG project had a tight schedule to meet so my plan had to wait.

Mr. Tyagi was extremely talented, very efficient and above all, driven. He knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish and worked very hard for it. Word had spread around that I was good at 3D modeling in CATIA V4 but I was also a slow and dreamy designer and did not like deadlines. That was the trouble for me when he wanted me to work with him. In the time available to come up with a design proposal, I could not think of anything so Mr. Tyagi made sketches for the proposal himself and asked me to work on it. With an idea to work on, I started to find the work quite interesting. To decide the dimensions of the brackets I spent a lot of time with a ruler and measuring tape inside the trunk of a Cielo belonging to the vehicle testing lab. I made many friends among the lab technicians who found it very amusing. Then I got the 1:1 original German drawings of the Cielo underbody issued from the engineering records office since there was no 3D CAD data available. They were huge 5 meter long drawings. Since there was no table in the office big enough for them, I spread them on the office floor to take measurements. One day the Executive Director of the technical centre, a very senior person from Daewoo Korea came to the office while I was all over the floor with the drawings. He did not say anything but in just a few days I found a huge table in office which was long enough to place the entire drawing. I continued my work on the table. It was a lot easier and more comfortable for my body but my mind worked at just the same speed as when I was on the floor. As a result, inspite of all the support, I was getting dangerously close to the date when all the 3D models and drawings of the frame and brackets were supposed to be ready. Till then Mr. Tyagi had not said anything but finally he asked me how many models were complete and there were none...I just had a lot of measurements. I got a much deserved shelling and the next day I wrapped up all the measurements and did not go home after the office hours. I stayed back in computer room and made the 3D models of all the individual brackets and their sub-assemblies. I worked the entire night and then slept in computer room for a couple of hours only after I finished the last 2D drawing. When I look back now as to how on earth did I manage that speed and efficiency, I have no idea.

The next morning, even before I could show Mr. Tyagi my output, he came to know of what I did. I got another shelling from him, this time out of concern and he asked me to go home immediately. Mr. Tyagi saw my work the next day and was very happy but reminded me never to do such a night-out again. With all the data ready, we started building the prototype. It was an interesting phase and finally the day came when the engineers in the body welding shop tried to mount the frame in the trunk. That evening Mr. Tyagi received a call from the body shop saying that the proposal is no good as the there is a mismatch. He called me and said that both of us will go together to check it. There was no panic or anger in his voice. I still remember our long walk to the body shop...this is the path we took -

Mr. Tyagi was calm but I was fearing the worst. When we saw the body with the frame, it really was a big blunder. If we view the frame from above, its holes matched perfectly, but when viewed from the side, there was a huge gap between the body and one of the the four contact surfaces of the frame. There was a depression in the body at that location which I had overlooked. I was embarassed and ashamed of myself but Mr. Tyagi did not say anything. Infact he seemed to enjoy the challenge and was actually smiling. I was not able to think of anything. He took my ruler and took the measurements of the gap and we went back to our office. As soon as we reached our tables he drew the proposal of an additional part which could compensate for the gap. I could never have thought of it and it was a ray of hope. I made a 3D model of it as quickly as possible and in a few days we gave the additional part to the body shop as a solution. It worked and I was finally off the hook which I had placed myself on. Various other parts were also developed by other members of Mr. Tyagi's team ranging from modified trunk carpets to rubber cushions for the cylinder. Finally when the entire project was complete, Mr. Tyagi instructed my immediate supervisor to take me for a treat...If I remember right, we went to Pizza Hut in Sector 18, Noida.

Here is a photo of the frame -

This is the link to the press release for the launch of Cielo CNG.

I left Daewoo in June 2000 to join EDAG India. For reasons beyond my control, I could not inform Mr. Tyagi about by decision in person. It must have disappointed him but I hope someday I will meet him and I hope he would understand.

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