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Imaginarium fulfilled growing demand by augmenting capacity

“Manufacturers from the United States, Europe and Australia are already investing heavily in AM as they sincerely believe that it will bring manufacturing advantage back to developed countries”
–  Guruprasad K. Rao, CEO, Imaginarium India Pvt. Ltd.
Imaginarium India enables and supports product design through rapid prototyping and rapid tooling — popularly known as 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM). The company assists in new product design, helping in verifying form, fit and function by providing high-fidelity prototypes that provide early feedback. Guruprasad K. Rao talks about AM industry and why India can’t miss the boat on this.
AM industry in IndiaIn India, the AM industry has grown rather slowly as compared to world trends. This may be because of the conservative nature of the Indian industry, which is typically a late adopter of new technology. Nevertheless, with global competition increasing, India too has warmed up to the AM industry, although growth seen in the recent past has been reactive.
Today, the industry lacks in proper government policies and initiatives to promote and facilitate the growth of the AM industry. The industry association RPSI (Rapid Prototyping Society of India) could not promote it adequately, let alone push for any policy debate. The industry also has yet to see if the newly created AMSI (Additive Manufacturing Society of India) can foster any change. 
The AM industry has not grown to its full potential despite India being one of the best destinations for industrial growth in the world. Need to see if 2013-14 can change this trend; however, the potential exists without any doubt. Manufacturers from the United States, Europe and Australia are already investing heavily in AM as they sincerely believe that it will bring manufacturing advantage back to developed countries. Even China is also aggressively developing an AM ecosystem. India needs to wake up to this.
Financial performance and achievementsHistorically, Imaginarium began providing AM services over a decade back. The company started with jewellery, and today it has successfully established an array of verticals catering to automotive, architecture, aerospace, electronics, FMCG, packaging, tooling, lifestyle, education, and medical. Interestingly, this makes Imaginarium a service bureau unique in the world of AM as it caters to engineering and jewellery under one roof. Today, Imaginarium stands as the single largest RP service provider in the country. Its offerings and services are growing year by year. Last year its growth was about 25 per cent. While its top line was impressive, the bottom line got bitten due to a huge hike in imported consumables and huge pending receivables. Overall, Imaginarium has done quite well, given the market conditions.
Increasing awareness about AM technologyImaginarium wishes to increase awareness about the technology as it has been doing before. Many in the industry do not know the benefits of AM technology or perceive it as too expensive, or are simply not aware that it is available right here in India. If Imaginarium educates the industry, it can tap the unexplored market for AM products and services which could be well beyond ` 300 crore.
Growth initiativesImaginarium has done nothing new last year other than vigorously follow its own roadmap as laid down earlier. It has entered into AM machine sales and created Imaginarium Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The company is working on a few strategic partnerships and collaborations within the industry to push its growth. It has fulfilled growing demands by augmenting its capacity and been enthusiastically supporting the medical fraternity, such as with RP models for pre-surgical studies and surgical guides, all of which have tremendous potential to grow into a strong vertical.
Imaginarium also offers discounted rates to make the technology affordable. It also provides services to poor patients without profit. Additionally, the company offers special discounts to students who use its services for their projects, thesis, and other initiatives. Imaginarium has also actively participated, partnered, and sponsored a variety of events and exhibitions for the industry and academia. For instance, it recently partnered with Materialise, Belgium for TEDMEDLive in Mumbai, and with the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Mumbai for PackFair 2013.
India’s goal to be 5th largest manufacturing countryThe potential to make India as the 5th largest manufacturing country exists. If the industry acts proactively, it could even surpass those figures. The projected GDP figures (as planned) overestimate as the actual figures are way below. India needs to boost growth through better consumption and governmental policies that bolster this rather sluggish current trend. For starters, a stable government would do wonders and the industry sincerely hopes the country will have one soon. As far as the growth of AM technology in the sub-continent is concerned, it definitely needs all the support it can get as the industry in India badly needs to catch up with the rest of the world. AM is truly the future of manufacturing and India just can’t afford to miss the boat on this.
Strategies to deal with constraints• Increase awareness through promotion• Increase productivity• Control losses• Network with peers in the industry making the technology more accessible• Lobby with the government and industry associations for a policy debate• Acquire new, smarter technology.

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