Industries have restarted their operations in a calibrated way with scaled-down staff to ensure business continuity while taking into consideration their health and safety against Covid-19. Over the centuries, human race has survived wars, pandemics, natural disasters, etc. and have emerged stronger. It, therefore, would not spring any surprise if it overcomes the current pandemic with the same resilience.
Business establishments are coming to terms with the after-effects of the lockdown as they resume their activities including focusing on completing existing orders and creating demand for new ones. Governance will take centre stage in steering the industry further as it is no longer about survival alone but of widening the horizons and offering new products to consumers over the long term.
The recent reforms announced by the Government of India has reaffirmed India’s commitment to macro-economic stability, prudent fiscal management and indigenous manufacturing. The growth tonic to MSMEs, government support in provident funds to industries and workers, tax reductions, and releasing of bank guarantees are expected to ease cash flows.
Other measures such as disallowing of global tenders up to `200 Crore, push for agri-marketing reforms and infra, increasing of FDI in defence from 49 percent to 74 percent, etc. are expected to boost economy and manufacturing.
The sops will take some time to trickle down to end users, resulting in demand for goods and services. However, the momentum set by this economic package will enable industries to pick themselves up from the economic slowdown and coronavirus outbreak which have created many disruptions. The industry now needs to intensify its R&D initiatives and manufacture products that can find global acceptance.
Vibrant manufacturing is key for a country’s growth and the measures announced in the economic package is expected to provide much-needed liquidity for industries, promote local manufacturing, spur demand and tide over the uncertainties. We are facing new norms, especially in health and safety, as we get back to everyday business, and this will be a reality until a vaccine is invented for Covid-19.
Although it’s early to predict a near-accurate outcome, industries need to work towards favorable results by adapting, adopting, reshaping and transforming business through product and process innovations.
The Machine Tool industry, while continuing to work with Automobile and Auto Component industries, needs to expand its wings and explore opportunities in sunrise sectors such as Healthcare and Medical Equipment, Infrastructure, Aerospace, Defence, Food Processing, Agricultural Machinery and Equipment, Textile Machinery, Railways, Power, Electronics, etc.
INDIAN MACHINE TOOL MANUFACTURERS’ ASSOCIATION (IMTMA)