Source: Economic Times

At a time when the country is focused on e-commerce and information technology (IT), Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Make In India’ has created ripples in Indian manufacturing circles. Indian manufacturers are getting ready for the big opportunity that may come their way and are adopting sustainable business practices that could put them in a better position at a world stage.

Manufacturers who strive to achieve efficiency and profitability through best practices were part of the Indian Manufacturing Excellence Awards (IMEA) for 2014 on the evening of December 12. The award that recognised supply-chain excellence in Indian manufacturing was attended by the stalwarts of the manufacturing industry.

The chief guest, K Venkataramanan, managing director and chief executive officer of Larsen & Toubro, in his inaugural speech, noted the importance of getting good people in the system. “There was a pride attached to working in the manufacturing sector but it got diluted over the years. With ‘Make In India’ there would be renewed interest in the sector. Going ahead, we see new investment in defence and railways. The new emphasis in these areas would start coming in 12 to 24 months.”

Venkataramanan also noted the industry will have to cope with land and labour reforms, but the renewed interest of the government in manufacturing will be good for growth in the coming years.

One of the main attractions of the evening was a panel discussion on the importance of manufacturing in the ‘Make In India’ times. The discussion started off with PM’s ‘Make In India’ campaign and RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s sounding a note of caution on the focus on manufacturing inside the country.

Rahul Mohnot, CEO, UltraTech0 Cement (Birla White) said, “There is a demographic dividend that India has. We have a large work force and if we have to create opportunities, growth has to be our vision.”

Seconding the opinion, CJ Jassawalla, executive director & COO, Thomson Press India, stressed the focus on implementation rather than just grand announcements.

“Modi government has not made any grand amendments. The success of ‘Make In India’ campaign will depend on how government will manoeuvre its way through harsh political environment.”

The panellists also stressed that manufacturing sector is doing good, given the situation, but a lot of ground has to be covered. They also said the manufacturing sector can create its own niche and there is no need to follow either China or American model. “We have all the ingredients to be successful. The question is: Do we want to go ahead where manufacturing is 35% of our GDP from current 15%,” said Aroop Zutshi, global president & managing partner, Frost & Sullivan.