Unlock 5.0 has brought about some respite to the manufacturing players, with it triggering growth of the industry. Gradually recovering from the severe setback suffered from Covid-19 lockdown, the industry looks forward to the opportunities ahead….
Industries have witnessed some of the most challenging times in recent memory with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The untoward disruptions in lives and livelihood activities perhaps forced the think-tanks to strategize the means of achieving goals. Industries are showing strong resilience in the face of crisis to tide over the shackles of uncertainty by adopting innovative operational, functional, and business strategies. Normalcy is being restored as industrial activities pick up strongly in this fifth phase of unlocking (Unlock 5.0).
As this happens, India’s GDP, which shrunk by almost 24 percent, is expected to recover some of its lost ground.
The Government of India, on its part, is providing thrust to local manufacturers in Government procurements, imposing restrictions on select items, and expanding negative list of items for curbing imports across sectors. Perhaps this gives Indian manufacturers significant opportunities to substitute foreign products with indigenous ones. Moving forward, technology development and acquisition will be crucial for developing products and systems that are at par with global products. Furthermore, technology development will happen when there are adequate schemes for R&D, funding support and, more importantly, focussed efforts by the industry and the academia. As this happens, India will become self-sufficient in advanced and high-technology products and systems.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has perhaps triggered a tectonic shift in purchasing priorities among customers as manifested in recent upticks in sale of two-wheelers and consumer goods. The Agriculture package announced by the Government of India under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative and good monsoon has worked favorably for various industries. The easing of restrictions with Unlock 5.0 is expected to propel this further with better movement of goods and services from one state to another.
Visible signs of recovery
Reflecting on the current developments, Indradev Babu, President, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA), said that industries are recovering and we have noticed increased demand, production and healthy orders in the second quarter. There are green shoots, definitely, with Agriculture and Rural Consumption emerging as bright spots. In the Auto sector, vehicle sales which had been plummeting in the recent past are showing signs of recovery. India’s leading car manufacturers have reported an uptick in the vehicles and tractor sales. Leading two-wheeler manufacturers have reported good sales over the recent months in semi-urban and rural areas. Firms are continuing their efforts to drive sales and improve orders substantially. Babu reiterated that the key is to build a confident and selfreliant Manufacturing industry that can take a center-stage in global manufacturing.
Towards holistic growth
Expressing his views, V Anbu, Director General & CEO, IMTMA, said that measures such as production linked incentives for Electronics, Medical and other sectors, establishment of dedicated medical, defence and machine tool parks in collaboration with various State Governments, easing of FDIs, labor reforms, etc. will usher integrated and holistic growth. He also pointed out that India has an edge over other countries as it has a vast pool of young, English speaking and experienced technical manpower. For realizing the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the Manufacturing industry needs to digitalize its activities, optimize its manufacturing processes, adopt the latest technologies and develop competencies to take advantage of the Government’s thrust on indigenization and localization.
Technology development will happen when there are adequate schemes for R&D, funding support and, more importantly, focussed efforts by the industry and the academia. As this happens, India will become self-sufficient in advanced and high-technology products and systems.