There has never been a better time to make an India.
In September 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the ‘Make in India’ campaign. This ambitious campaign has gained worldwide popularity and appreciation. More manufacturing units means huge job opportunities, more purchasing power, Smarter Cities and state of the art infrastructure. For this reason, the government has given various incentives and encouraged the inflow of FDI.
Difference between ‘made in India’ and ‘Make in India’?
‘Made in India’ simply applies to the goods which are manufactured in India. Whereas there are different perspectives to ‘make in India’. At times companies are requested or ordered to produce products in India. Other times, it’s an open invitation showcasing India’s potential to the rest of the world. In other words, India can be a great manufacturing destination.
In the past, India’s manufacturing sector took a backseat while the tertiary sector soared to great heights. India used to import more and export less which meant a deficit balance of payment. However, everything changed for the better. Government invites and investments boosted the manufacturing sector. The trade war between the US and China further accelerated the demand to procure products from India. This resulted in India taking a significant position in the manufacturing sector worldwide.
There are 4 things required for any country to become a manufacturing hub i.e – Skilled labour, Ease of doing business, Good infrastructure and Low costs.
Skilled labour – India has huge manpower resources and has the most committed workforces. Owing to its huge population, the competition has produced skilled and dedicated workers. A majority of this population are enrolled in mechanical and electrical engineering. These are the key skillsets for the manufacturing sector. Moreover, the present government is setting up skilled development centres across the country.
Ease of doing business – The manufacturing majors would look at the ease of doing business, reduce paperwork and minimal human intervention in the process and maximum human response when it comes to supporting and grievance redressal.
Infrastructure – The manufacturing sector previously lagged due to India’s poor infrastructure. Over a decade ago, many companies including Apple were planning to set up their manufacturing hub in India but decided not to go forward with their plans. But in the past five years, India has shown massive improvement in its infrastructure facilities. It has enabled an environment to operate technology-intensive manufacturing units.
Low costs – The most important element which attracts investments is the comparison with the Chinese labour costs. India is a better alternative as labourers are available at low wage rates. Significant tax incentives also make India a cost-effective alternative to China in manufacturing.
About ‘Make in India’
The Make in India initiative of the government has led to increased global investments. Many good companies operate their manufacturing hubs in India including – Ford, Volvo, Foxconn, IKEA, Boeing, GE, Airbus, Amazon, Ericsson, Dengler, Cisco and Lenovo. They all bet on India’s potential and its leadership. The manufacturing sector contributed to 17.4% of India’s GDP and the number is expected to grow at an accelerated pace.
India has simplified its trade regulations, paperwork and procedures to make itself an easy and simple destination for business. It has jumped 14 positions in world bank ranking on the ease of doing business. The central government has partnered the states in a spirit of cooperative federalism to enhance the ease of doing business environment. The performance of States on over a hundred parameters was evaluated by the World Bank.
Today, India is an integral part of the global supply chain. It has vigorously opened up its FDI regime in railways, construction, defence, insurance, pension funds and medical devices for NRIs and people of Indian origin. Moreover, it introduced the concept of composite sector caps. India has become one of the most open economies of the world. After the launch of Make in India, It’s FDI inflows have increased by 48%.
- Ernst and Young and Financial Times have placed India as the global number one investment destination.
- Frost & Sullivan has ranked India as number one in its growth, innovation and leadership index.
- Foreign policy magazine in a study of 110 countries has placed them as number one in its baseline profitability index.
- The IMF ranked India as the world’s fastest-growing economy.
From Intent to Action
India’s emphasis is on building futuristic physical and social infrastructure opportunities ranging from a hundred smart cities, building 15 million houses, developing industrial and railway freight corridors, modernization of railway corridors, redeveloping 500 railway stations, generation of 175 GW of renewable energy to transmission and distribution networks and building 50 metros to developing national highways and expressways.
As India passes through a unique window of demographic transition it is using initiatives like digital India, skill India and the JAM Trinity of Jung-Dhan Yojana, Aadhar and mobile numbers to make a quantum jump. It is witnessing new energy, vibrancy and dynamism in its youth whose ambition is to be job creators rather than job seekers.
The new startup India initiative is creating a unique ecosystem for them to thrive and flourish. India excels at combining technology, infrastructure and entrepreneurship to develop goods and services for the coming generation. It has demonstrated its resource efficiency capability of putting an orbiter around Mars at a tenth of any previous mission. It has a unique ability of innovation, design and creativity.
India’s building global scale infrastructure and is using digital technology to leapfrog. A new India investment and infrastructure fund has been created to mobilize resources. There is consistency, predictability and clarity in tax policies. It is time for India’s manufacturing sector to pave the way for production orders and sourcing.