Churn out manufactured products faster

The ‘Make in India’ initiative doesn’t eradicate the challenges faced by manufacturing sector. The government along with solution providers need to work closely to gain the desired results.
Atul Sareen, MD, Infor India_________________________________
 New York-headquartered Infor, the enterprise applications and services company, has carved out its own space in the business applications software sector across the industries.
Infor offers deep industry-specific applications and suites, engineered for speed, and with an innovative user experience design that is simple, transparent, and elegant. It provides flexible deployment options that give customers a choice to run their businesses in the cloud, on-premises, or both.
In an interview with OEM Update, Atul Sareen, MD, Infor India details the opportunities for enterprise application software industry out of ‘Make in India’ initiative, as well as the requisite measures to ensure its success.
Opportunities for smart enterprise application softwareManufacturing as a sector faces the challenge of constantly innovating in this competitive market. Mr Sareen feels there is a need to introduce new products regularly in order to address the customer needs. “This complexity brings in the need for smart enterprise application software which can understand and address the specific needs of assimilating the processes, automation, forecast demands and generating profitability whilst adhering to compliance,” he adds.
India has a large youth population and though agriculture employs almost 60 per cent of the population, manufacturing sector contributes as high as 16 per cent to the country’s overall GDP and hence is an important sector for the country’s growth. The ‘Make in India’ aims at making India a manufacturing hub and thereby opens a plethora of opportunities. “To make India a manufacturing hub, India will have to churn out manufactured products at a faster rate. To aide this, technology-based solutions will need to be used. This opens a wide spectrum of opportunities for enterprise application providers to work closely with the government to develop and use these solutions to gain success,” Mr Sareen says.
Need to enhance focus on R&DTo become a manufacturing powerhouse, India needs a manufacturing strategy, otherwise known as industrial policy. The idea of an industrial policy is out of vogue these days. “It is seen as ineffective at best and even retrograde, running contrary to the idea of free trade,” criticises Mr Sareen. However, countries like Japan, Korea, China, and Germany have all prospered by having a clear industrial policy and steadfastly implementing it. “Majority of the western countries have seen themselves de-industrialise by not having a clear industrial policy and are trying hard to course-correct this mistake,” he adds.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative seeks to make India a global manufacturing hub. To achieve this, India should be ready to tackle elements that adversely affect manufacturing process. The government must also encourage high-tech import opportunities, research and development (R&D) to strengthen ‘Make in India’ campaign. To this end, “India has to be better prepared and motivated to perform some world-class R&D. The government must ensure that it provides easily accessible platform for such R&D,” Mr Sareen recommends.
Challenges before ‘Make in India’Even though the government introduced the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the challenges are still persistent.  Manufacturing is picking up in the country again after its decline in the late nineties. Manufacturing is linked to almost all other sectors and the health and growth of this sector is a pivotal part of the country’s overall socio-economic fabric. However, Mr Sareen feels, the major challenge which has slowed down the growth of the industry in the recent years was the high cost of capital. Another major challenge was the lack of skilled labour, an issue which still persists and needs to be addressed urgently.
“The ‘Make in India’ initiative doesn’t eradicate the challenges faced by manufacturing sector. The government along with solution providers need to work closely to gain the desired results,” Mr Sareen suggests.
Suggested measures to promote domestic manufacturing Manufacturing is a key vertical and the government is undertaking requisite measures to ensure its success. Mr Sareen highlights the steps to be undertaken to promote domestic manufacturing:• Improve governance: This is probably the hardest and most important task – the precondition for the rest. Irrespective of who is in power, India needs maximum governance and minimum government. There is no point having the world’s largest democracy unless it leads to effective government.• Increase trade with its neighbours: Indian exports to China could be close to $1 trillion by 2050, almost the size of its entire GDP in 2008. But India has little trade with Bangladesh and Pakistan. There’s no better way to promote peaceful relations than to expand trade – and that means imports as well as exports.• Liberalise financial markets: India needs huge amounts of domestic and foreign capital to achieve its potential – and a better-functioning capital market to allocate it wisely.• Improve infrastructure: One of the main reasons that hinder our growth is the poor infrastructure and domestic success cannot be achieved in its presence.
Product innovationInfor understands that enterprises require solutions that cater to their individual needs, therefore the company emphasises on addressing this issue. Infor serves a wide spectrum of industrial manufacturers helping them to improve efficiency, profitability, and sustainability with the solutions tailored to the needs of both discrete and process manufacturers. It caters to a wide gamut of verticals across the manufacturing sector which include automotive, hi-tech electronics, furniture and fixtures industry, consumer packaging goods, medical devices, metal and plastic fabrication.
The company’s specific offerings include Infor industrial manufacturing which is a purpose-built solution suite featuring manufacturing best practices across key verticals. Another offering is Infor LN ERP solution which has helped customers efficiently plan, project costing, purchasing, and production of all of which are integral in the quest to win and service customers profitably. The product’s ease and specialisation approach towards manufacturing issue are the key factors to the selection success of the product. “We believe that the world is undergoing a digital transformation and to this end. We have designed Infor Ming.le – a comprehensive platform for social collaboration catering to the entire business ecosystem,” Mr Sareen informs. 
____________________________________________________________________India has to be better prepared and motivated to perform some world-class R&D. The government must ensure that it provides easily accessible platform for such R&D.

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