“Greater job opportunities in automobile” [June 2012]

There will be a large job opportunity from the automobile sector which will in turn open up opportunities in the auto components & ancillary sector and further from the Tier I to Tier IV sectors- Vikram Sirur, President – IMTMA
The economic downturn, sluggish market scenario and highly depreciating rupee value has been affecting the growth of the entire industry including machine tool sector. According to Vikram Sirur, President -IMTMA, “The present status of manufacturing after the quarter ended in April 2012 is slightly apprehensive”. IMTMA is recognised as the sole voice of the Indian machine tool industry – its membership constituting over 90 per cent of this strategic sector in the country. IMTMA is committed to support its membership to increase competitiveness, enhance efficiency, improve productivity, and ensure growth and prosperity. It does so with the aim to assist the membership to become cost effective, technology driven, and ever responsive to customers changing needs.
All eyes are on 12th Five Year PlanContinuing his opinion on the present status of machine tool industry, Mr. Sirur said, “It is a fact that the capital goods and the machine tool industry are the ones which are hit by the recession first and are the last to come out of it. Given the fact that last year was very good and despite the slowdown and negative trend, the order inflow has been pretty fair, which is keeping the industry going”.
The government and industry bodies have initiated several measures to overcome the ongoing logjam. Talking about such initiatives Mr. Sirur said, “At present, all eyes are on the proposals of the 12th Five Year Plan. If the government implements all the policy measures recommended by us, the machine tool sector can still achieve the targeted growth”.
Sector needs technological upliftmentUndeniably, the machine tool industry has made tremendous progress in improving the design, engineering and manufacturing competence for a wide range of products. However, Mr. Sirur observes, “The product range and the technologies manufactured in India have a significant gap with the present levels abroad. The user industries expect the latest technologies to produce high quality end products at competitive prices. With more focus on technology, superior performance machines, the machine tool industry can achieve manufacturing excellence”.Industry is crying for skills Today, in general, the market is growing and so is the machine tool industry. However, according to Mr. Sirur, “The market is growing faster than the industry growth, because we are not expanding capacity and we are not optimally using our resources. Today, about 70 per cent of what goes into a machine tool is outsourced and we need to strengthen our vendor supply chain and also expand capacity to become market competent”.
The machine tool sector is also facing the heat of acute skills crunch. “The industry is crying for skills because most of the engineering graduates prefer to go elsewhere. The curriculum is not equipped with practical knowledge and lacks hands on training”, Mr. Sirur said. IMTMA is working with several institutions to harness appropriate skills, he informed.
Expectations from the Govt during 12th Five Year Plan With extensive deliberations, the sub group committee has recommended six schemes which include:• Machine tool technology development fund to support technology and product R&D• Set up CFC with specialised machining facilities to support machine tool clusters• Low interest revolving corpus fund to promote expansion and capacity creation• Set up integrated machine tool parks for new capacity creation and synergic growth of the industry• Acquire select companies abroad for technology and market access• Strengthen manpower training, curriculum at ITI/Diploma/University levels and executive development programmes.“We expect the government to implement all these suggested schemes and address the existing industry gap”, Mr. Sirur comments.
Focus on automobile“There will be a large job opportunity from the automobile sector which will in turn open up opportunities in the auto components & ancillary sector and further from the Tier I to Tier IV sectors”, Mr. Sirur predicts. “Today automobile sector is outsourcing prospective business models and opportunities for these sectors are tremendous. We are among the largest automobile market in the world and we are already the global hub for compact car segment. With this, much of the skill force will percolate to vendor industry such as the capital goods. No matter which sector grows, the opportunities in the machine tool and capital goods segments will be benefitted”.
Implementation of recommendations during 12th Five Year plan to open job opportunitiesIn an attempt to promote manufacturing sector and create jobs, IMTMA expects that the government to roll out all the initiatives outlined in the 12th Five Year plan. Mr. Sirur expressed, “If the proposals are implemented and subsequent support from the government, it will help us to take a leap from the current position to a much higher global position. The implementation of the recommendations will also open up extensive job opportunities and raise the manpower skills to international standards”.

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