The Covid-19 pandemic has posed tough challenges for the manufacturing industry. More indigenization at individual and sectoral levels will help combat them, gradually giving rise to a new India that can become the factory of the world.
Traditionally in India, agriculture has been the mainstay of its economy with more than half of the country’s population depending on it, directly or indirectly. However, manufacturing has been catching up and the think-tanks in the government, as well as industries, are working towards making this a major part of the economy in the long run.
The Government of India, in its recent announcements with some path-breaking policies, has perhaps widened the scope for the manufacturing industry, including the creation of a separate indigenous budget, reservation of tenders up to `200 crore in government procurements and stress on localization.
India is on the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ journey for the creation of a self-reliant, confident, vibrant, and globally competitive country. There is a need to enhance the production of goods and services competitively and judiciously evoke protection clauses when a foreign entity indulges in unfair trade practices.
Indian industries must be able to hold its own in terms of quality and pricing against global players. Often, foreign suppliers position their products as superior in quality. Hence, there is a need to match their products in quality, features, functionality, and cost. With the right investments, R&D and innovations, marketing, and commitment there is no reason why Indian products should not get their place in the global market especially with its long history of machine tools.
Machine tool industry’s key role
Today, when we look at the four levers of the economy: investment, consumption, net exports, and government expenditure, the Indian machine tool industry can play an important role in two of these four aspects of the GDP. One is the capital goods investments, which will enable the industry to become a core part of the investment revival. The other is private investment, which has been subdued for some years and must start rolling now.
As this happens, capital goods will also get in the flow and the machine tool industry will be able to sell its goods. Since true competitiveness lies in exports, there is an urgent need to acquire technologies from wherever possible, enter into joint ventures and develop globally competitive products. What is also required is developing products for exports and for the global market which then will naturally become competitive domestically. Products built for the domestic industry also will be addressing tough local conditions - power failures, dusty environments, etc. They are bound to be more robust and find acceptance globally. To this end, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) will continue to play an active role in developing them through its collaborations with various industry associations.
Together towards growth
Moving on, the machine tool industry also needs to explore how well and competitive it is in the context of
extensive technological development and digitalization and how well it can align with the changing world.
In this journey of nation building, the engineering industry’s core manufacturing is highly crucial for the machine tool industry to raise its share of products in the global market. Although we are facing extreme times being in the midst of a pandemic that has thrown unprecedented challenges in terms of demand, supply, labor, and the external environment, the industry has to do everything possible in its means to survive and thrive.
It is imperative for the governments at the center and state levels to work together as one team to find the right solution. The onus of the economic growth cannot lie solely on the center, states which are an integral part of India, also need to play an important role and in that context, lives, and livelihoods both matter with growth being an inevitable part of this.
Moving on, the machine tool industry also needs to explore how well and competitive it is in the context of extensive technological development and digitalization and how well it can align with the changing world. It is important that capital investments are made to develop cutting edge tools which will help us have the surgical and efficient ability to build cutting-edge products not just for India but for the whole world.
Well, for some time now, with the general slowdown beginning from July 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak that followed it, we are facing some tough challenges. However, it is a matter of time before the wheel spins again in the right direction. This will happen when we do more indigenization at every level, individual as well as sectoral, and gradually we may see a new India which can rise to be the factory of the world.
Source: Magic Wand Media