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The future of technology is here: Are you ready?

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We would like to urge the end users to accept and understand that the technologies of the future are already available and to be applied today.

Industrial automation major Schneider Electric recently organised a conference of process automation namely ‘Connect 2016’ based on the theme of ‘Shaping the future of automation in India’. On the sidelines of the event, Rajat Kishore, MD and VP, Process Automation, Schneider Electric Systems India interacts with Subhajit Roy and explains how India Inc is getting ready to adopt futuristic technologies. Edited excerpt:

How mature is Indian manufacturing sector in terms of adopting advanced automation solutions?
The manufacturing sector contributes to around 17 per cent of India’s GDP and in a developed economy the same is expected twice as much. Today, In India, less than 1 per cent of manufacturing GDP comes from automation whereas in a mature economy it is 5 at least times. So there are lot of potential in terms of maturing as a manufacturing based economy. It will also offer lot of opportunities for automations players like us in driving the Indian manufacturing sector fitting to government initiatives ‘Make in India’ initiative.

What is the current scenario?
In the current scenario we would like to talk more about enablers rather than hindrances because that’s what the current dispensation in the government is doing. The present government is pretty much driving to open the channels and we believe giving an opportunity for manufacturing to jump the curve. Encouraging enabling Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the various industrial applications and smart cities through ‘Digital India’ initiative is a major step forward.

Earlier, there was a perception that India may not be ready for adaptation of technologies therefore major technology companies like ours were not aggressive on transferring advanced technologies to this market. Today the scenario has changed. CEOs of all major multinational companies including Schneider Electric are visiting India, meeting Prime Minister personally and expressing that there is a surprise synergy between the vision of today’s government as ‘Corporate India’ and the corporate.

Being a technology enabler, what changes you see post ‘Make in India’ announced?
Today, we need technology to make India move forward. Now clearly there is the sincerity that has been seen from the government initiatives which are not there just for big tag names. Though there are lot of scepticism across the country within the consumarate regarding successful implementation of initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, we as manufacturer and equipment supplier see the change because uptake of technology and propensity of the government to accept newer technology is ever-increasing. We feel this is the right time to bring-in and apply advanced technology to India. For Schneider Electric, the message is very clear – we need to be ready for the technologies of the future. We would like to urge the end users to accept and understand that the technologies of the future are already available and to be applied today. That is the bridge we need to cross together.

So can we accept a kind of strategic transformation in your approach?
As you so rightly pointed out, Schneider has conducted a conference of process automation namely ‘Connect 2016’ based on the theme of ‘Shaping the future of automation in India’. We have introduced state-of-the-art automation technologies in the areas of control, safety and security. We would like to expose India to the technologies of the future which are aligned to the government initiatives.

How the process automation would contribute to ‘Make in India’?
We believe process automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) are an evolution rather than a revolution. Today, IoT itself is an evolution of the Internet or the WorldWideWeb. The type of devices that are communicating to each other are like never before – today there is no device which cannot be intelligent. However, when we translate IoT into industrial perspective, there is the need for higher level of security, safety and stability. To ensure these, we need to have automation at the heart of Industrial IoT (IIoT) and to make our systems cyber secure and stable. That’s where automation comes in to picture!

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