India has a population of 1.27 billion and more than 500 million of our population falls in the working age group of 20-40 years. We have enough raw materials, resources, talent as well. We are considered to be a nation that is ready to support the world with growing manpower. We are far more secured in terms of manpower than what China currently is as they may face a problem of workforce in future.
But even after having all these things why is India not among the top manufacturing nations of the world?
Having a background of Mechanical engineering and as a working professional of this Industry, I think I have a duty to express my views towards this important topic. In the past 3 years I will not say that I have become an expert in this field but I can definitely say that I am at least able to understand the basic problem that is stopping us from growing as a nation in the manufacturing sector.
We all understand the fact that if any nation wants to grow big, then the manufacturing and architecture (Civil) of that country must be very strong. These areas act as the base of the economy and growth of the nation. It provides tremendous safety and backbone to the nation. I mean to say that even if the country is under some pressure due to sudden fall in the IT industry, the government at least knows that they have been able to generate something inside the country which will help them sustain the crisis.
We all understand that we have been able to grow a lot in the past 10 years, but technically speaking we are still far behind the nations who are making their mark at the global level. In this blog post we will be more focused on what exactly are the problems that we are facing and also some useful suggestions to follow with.
In India we have some great automobile companies like Bajaj Auto, TVS, Hero,Tata Motors etc. These companies have definitely done a tremendous work in saving the degrading manufacturing of India. The kind of volume production that is being done here is just remarkable. All these industries are very well equipped with some great tooling, machines, efficient cam system, testing labs, R&D centers etc. The operators, engineers or other executives working in these companies are of high competence. Even after having all the great infrastructure, knowledge, resources, the main question is – WHERE ARE WE LAGGING BEHIND?
I would like to share an incident which happened at the award ceremony of IMTMA National Productivity Summit. It is a conference held every year, where all the big Indian companies in manufacturing take part to showcase what new things they have done in their companies, according to which the awards are given to the one who survives all the grilling questions of the judges and the audiences. A renowned person from Siemens Group, Germany, came up to the dice and addressed the audience there. He said something that made a lot of sense and that is actually the truth of our manufacturing society. He said – “It has been a pleasure being among all the contestants from all the big companies of India. I am very impressed by the enthusiasm, innovative ideas that everyone presented. The only thing that I could point out is that all the companies have taken good technological steps towards solving a problem that they are facing in their company and did remove it successfully. But, the problem is all the steps were taken once the problem had already occurred. It will be far better if these problems are forecasted and solved before occurs and becomes a hindrance in our production.”
This has been one of the major problems for us for past few years now. It’s all about one important concept of Vison. The R&D sectors of companies, planning group and others members should jointly sit and formulate a well secured plan that can help them to tackle any problems that they may face in future.
In India, around 80% of the manufacturing is done by medium scale and low scale industries. If the manufacturing in India has to reach its new heights, these industries will have to grow. The reason is that the high level industries have better vision, better financial back up, organization that will definitely help them grow. But, these small scale industries need to be nurtured to a level where they are at least at a basic level of manufacturing standard. I feel the bigger companies have got a great role to play in this. All the smaller companies are vendors to them and if they raise the bar of standards that needs to be maintained at vendor places, the vendors will eventually have to improve their current strategies.
The main problem in our manufacturing society currently is the fear of adopting new technology. Last year during a meeting one of big shots of Yamazen Machinery said, “The biggest problem with our new generation is that after they get settled in a job they don’t want to learn anything better. It’s all about that hunger that just vanishes from them.” The owners of these small companies are ready to spend some 25lkhs in a local CNC machine but will hardly take a step to procure a good cam software of say 15lkhs. They are still into that zone where they think why to invest in a software, it is better I will put 10 more lakhs and buy another machine. They fail to understand the fact that adding machines without getting the best from it will never let them grow as a unit.
The new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a program of “MAKE IN INDIA” that covers mostly all aspects of manufacturing that needs to be improved. Manufacturing society is at least having a positive mindset now as for the first time a government has taken some steps for this core sector. This has definitely helped us to get more foreign investors, more projects. The most important impact it has had is on the government companies who have now got the chance to show their real skills and innovation. We really hope that the implementation of this program becomes successful as it launches.
I would say this program covers all aspect but according to me a very important aspect that needs attention is to bring back the glory and light of the mechanical engineering and manufacturing engineering field. Youth is getting detached from this field day by day and the reason is not only the fast growth of the IT Industry, one of the reason is negligence of the manufacturing society. We need to fix the problems and understand – why students who have studied mechanical engineering for 4 years ultimately work for an IT company. There are several reasons to it. One of the most important reasons is the difference in Pay Scale. A computer science engineer with same grades as a mechanical engineer is paid a lot higher after graduating from the same college and with the same grades. You can see in most of the medium scale industry or small scale industry people with an experience of 20yrs or 25 yrs are still working at a very low income. Lot of manufacturing experts say the trend is changing, but I beg to differ with them. I do agree that it is definitely changing in some of the bigger companies, but in the smaller companies the situation is still the same or I would say even worse.
We do not want to be very negative about our manufacturing status right now, but being aware of the real problems will only help us reach towards our goals faster. No doubt India has grown a lot in terms of technology in this sector and eventually also we expect exponential growth of our nation.
In the next blog posts digihooks will come out with the detailed problems and its solutions that can be implemented in several sectors, especially in the small scale industries.