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What It Takes For ‘MAKE’ TO ‘MADE’ In India

Make in India is a great place vision, as our dependency with imports should reduce, but that require mindset of the Indian producer to change to be able to compete with global players now

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The Indian industry is eyeing on interesting opportunities those arise from pandemic needs, global china sentiments and internal vouching for growth across sectors- especially in MSME, startup, healthcare, pharma, defense, manufacturing and infra. The vision is clear to make India self reliant as much possible and as soon possible. Earlier we heard of ‘start up India’ initiatives, then came ‘make in India’ and now the need is felt for transforming the ecosystem to create pride in ‘Made in India’ sentiments. The government recently announced a booster to economy package with an aim to strengthen supply side, in typical economics terms. There is a strong voice we hear about local brand must in future be able to produce global products or services for the world to be proud of Made in India.

Now this is definitely the need of an hour. If the country must prosper, the country has to cut down on imports, create domestic demand, recall its swadeshi moment and boost local production.

Let’s look at what has been the trend in recent years. We started our first major announcement with start up initiatives where the Hon’ble prime minister, from red fort corners gave slogan to the country – standup India, startup India. This created a sudden surge in startup ecosystem. Youth got ambitious or rather courageous to dear self-employment. Startups flourished so was a sudden boom in capital investments for these startups. A self employment suddenly was in the air and minds of youngsters. If we look at the data, 90% of the startups failed in first 4 years of incubation. This is alarming. 

Let’s move from here to our second regime – the make in India initiative. Focus was on domestic made products in manufacturing and elevate service capability for service providers. Government again declared schemes to boost MSME production. Public sector and defense purchases were given mandate to procure larger percentage from local. Government procurement systems got radical update and many other systemic changes were brought in. Industrial growth was being talked about after decades.

When things appeared to be better, there came the pandemic, taking its toll on everything. While public health remains a concern, it’s evident that industry too got pushed back. Government announcement of stimulus package once again aimed strengthening the supply side to boost businesses across sectors. While fact remains many industries went into oblivion and currently the post covid economy which has put the world into Economic recession. Now as the lockdown is over in the backdrop of post Covid 19, while rebooting the Indian economy, we will need to integrate sustainability in our growth models. The difference between Make In India and Made in India has to be relooked from a newer lens.

Make in India continues to be meant to minimize unemployment and restrict the imports or target lesser goods coming in from china. Rely more on Indian produced parts, machinery, services, raw material and more. Experts say the aftershocks of the lockdown will continue to weigh on domestic industry which is expected to post a lower but certain contraction in coming months. Although the unemployment remained high at 23.5% in May, India added around 2.1 crore jobs during the month, a 7.5% rise over April, of these 1.44 crore were small traders and wage laborers who were the worst affected by lockdown. Inflation is currently down and interest rates are also low, but could change since food inflation is going up.

Make in India is a great place vision, as our dependency with imports should reduce, but that require mindset of the Indian producer to change to be able to compete with global players now. We have to fine tune our manufacturing, Information Technology and Finance Sectors to bring in continuous improvement tools and stringent change management techniques and take into account very dexterous risk management policies which need to be applied in each sector.

The word, Made in India is a dream that requires drastic changes in the entire ecosystem we work within. We need to understand the mindset of global consumers, which traditionally only few sectors were privileged to understand.

Take a case of micro small industry producing ayurvedic products, would have been successful so far for its domestic consumption, boosted further by Make in India tagging. However, if the same company now has to produce global product the entire mindset need to change to cater to global compliance at first place, then generate demand in comparative multifold larger market place and further increase capacity to be well equipped to cater to those demand. This is dramatic shift from our traditional ways of working to be able to now compete with global players. If we look at past, global multinationals presence in India have changed many things for those associated or directly employed, but still even those companies could make a very restricted recognition when it came to exports and overall export contribution. Thus the challenge is much bigger in magnitude this time. For made in India, the concept of excellence must prevail as new normal. The grass root workforce must adopt to the changing demand, the global customer, global compliances and rights of global consumer. The product quality must match the basic expectations. The end outcome must stand on quality, reliability, consistency parameters. The internal operations must be driven by world class processes those address manpower, operational, financial needs of the company. Strategies must be realistic and at first designed on basis of multiple source consideration before being translated to short-mid-long term action plans. In short industry must adopt world class process infrastructure. The culture must change. The move should begin now. Companies must take graduated steps to elevate their ways of working. It requires a lot of effort. Government alone will not be the one to make it. It requires a joint hand approach. Government can incentivize and later mandate excellence programs. Facilities could be provided based on excellence scoring. Government functionaries could bring robust compliance check mechanism to endorse organizations or put them to a path. These mechanisms ofcourse will have to be made stringent and again world class. A country wide recognition for those demonstrating excellence in product quality could be another initiative. Countries like united stated of America have embraced awards like Malcom Baldridge, similarly Europe has EFQM to differentiate high performers. These recognitions are not commoditized rather are a challenging journey to travel over years. I’ve known enough on concepts like lean six sigma those have proven legacy of success with diverse industry sectors. Such concepts will have to be imbibed to our DNA to be known as world class companies. Made in India demands basic hygiene to be put to place with graduated path to excellence. We must strive for it, as the opportunity lies much bigger in front of us.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Nitesh Jain

Director in Strategy Consulting Firm

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