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Big Names Not Enough For Success Of 'Make In India'

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Big names like the Ambanis, Tatas and Mahindras will be part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's "Make in India" campaign designed to make the country a global manufacturing hub.
The "Make in India" slogan given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is revolutionary in the sense that it seeks to compete with China, which has an economy five times larger than India's.
Can India take on China as the manufacturing hub of the world?
The world wants to buy in abundance and cheap. India has a massive labour force of 496.4 million people and average hourly wages of $2.1 compared to $4.5 in China.
Yet, the Chinese are able to get all the business, and supply products at half the cost at which Indian companies can produce goods. While it is a fact that the manufacturing sector in China is highly subsidised by the Chinese government, to make exports cheap, it is also true that the Chinese companies have been able to take innovation to the grassroots. In India, big companies believe in bringing in foreign technology at high cost and earning a premium over it.
The Chinese have been able to penetrate world markets not just technologically but also culturally. This is the reason why on Diwali, Indians prefer to buy fancy yet cheap Chinese lighting over the bland Indian bulbs to light their homes.
Only the Chinese could think of making ceiling fans with a power inverter that would run for four hours without electricity in a power-deficit country like India.
From kites to rakhis and toys to fire crackers, name a festival and products associated with it and Chinese companies produce them. The Chinese have been able to customise their products by going deep into the cultural aspect of a country.
While the big companies in China have played a major role in building the infrastructure for producing massive amount of merchandise for the whole world, the Chinese government has promoted innovation by the small-scale industries that can match the research and development of large MNCs of the world.
Today Indian start-ups in the technology sector are making headlines all over the world. However, there is no news of Indian small and medium-slace enterprises (SMEs) making a cut in terms of innovations.
Prime Minister Modi needs to understand that while  it is good to meet industry bigwigs like the Ambanis and Ruias to realise his "Make in India" dream, it is also necessary that he takes the manufacturing drive to the grassroots level.
Otherwise, India will never be able to compete with China, where manufacturing accounts for over 40 per cent of GDP as compared to India's share of only 15 per cent of GDP.

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