Make in India – A promise for young entrepreneurs

‘Make in India’ has developed entrepreneurial mind-set and encourages the budding of small and medium scale industries.
Maulik Patel, Executive Director, Sahajanand Laser Technology Ltd._______________________________________________________
 Sahajanand Laser Technology Ltd., a pioneer in the world of lasers in India, offers total solution with a range of laser systems for diversified industrial applications such as laser cutting, marking, welding, micro machining, solar cell scribing and cutting, and diamond processing.  SLT Ltd. is one of the few manufacturers of customised CNC laser solutions.
In an interview with OEM Update, Maulik Patel, Executive Director, Sahajanand Laser Technology Ltd. (SLTL) details his commitments toward ‘Make in India’.
Commenting on the opportunities for laser industry out of ‘Make in India’ initiative, Mr Patel said, “It has a wide impact on our industry. Not only we, but the ancillary and supportive industries have got a positive impact through ‘Make in India’ movement.”
A positive sign‘Make in India’ initiative aims at increasing the manufacturing possibilities in India. “It has facilitated the emergence of many young companies involved in manufacturing varied engineering equipment and parts. It has developed entrepreneurial mind-set and encourages the budding of small and medium scale industries,” Mr Patel said.
Terming the ‘Make in India’ initiative as a ‘positive sign’, he adds, “Down the line 15 to 20 years, these companies could turn out to be an industry leader in any aspect. Proper and timely government intervention and assistance during times when and where required would make it possible.”
Success pathThe ideology of ‘Make in India’ concept is to develop standard of living in India. Increasing the demand for products manufactured in India and increase in purchasing power of Indians are the parameters around which the ‘Make in India’ concept revolves. Mr Patel outlines a few aspects which would drive ‘Make in India’ to success:
skilled manpowerWith increase in foreign direct investments, the job market increases accordingly. Need for quality manpower is one of the fundamental building block for ‘Make in India’. Work force with adequate knowledge on manufacturing process and practices are the best resource for any production house. At times, the lack of such manpower in adequacy would make the manufacturing companies underperform.
Education is the only source that could pump the economy with properly skilled work force. Education system should focus on concepts behind current innovations and critical understanding on the bed rocks of futuristic inventions. The government should encourage and provide avenues for legitimate training centres focusing on manufacturing practices and Industry based skill development with practical knowledge and experience.
InfrastructureIndustrial hubs or areas could be a blooming place only when the infrastructure and basic amenities are in place and are available for consumption without interruption. Roadways that could accommodate heavy vehicles, proper connectivity to all hotspots across the country, continuous supply of electricity at a nominal price are few such amenities that has to be looked at in order to accomplish successful implementation of the ‘Make in India’ concept.
Boost up innovationEncouraging small and medium scale industries to beef up their R&D would pave way for a strong and resourceful platform for foreign investors. It would reduce import of scientific and hi-tech manufacturing components or equipment from abroad. It results in reduced manufacturing cost. Also, it would make R&D as an integral part of culture in many Indian manufacturing firms – makes them strong in intellectual property and promote them as a global player by exporting their products. By this, the nucleus of the Prime minister’s ideology to ‘Make in India – increase in demand and purchasing power of Indians’ will be accomplished.
Challenges before ‘Make in India’The main challenge before ‘Make in India’ is to make its core values reach the small and medium scale industries. Though proper clarity on the policies, regulations and procedures are restructured by the government, it has to be ensured that it is properly utilised by the tiny manufacturing or service providing firms.
According to Mr Patel the factors that stand as challenges to ‘Make in India’ include:Channelising the SMEsWhether the Small and medium scale industry units play a sizable role or not, whatever they manufacture should be reliable and meet the relevant international standards. Making them focus on improved product reliability is one tough agenda standing in front of ‘Make in India’.Making them focus on prudent manufacturing techniques so as to reduce the manufacturing cost and product turnaround time is yet another challenge. It could be achieving by properly channelising the SMEs through regularised associations.Manufacturing costStrong competition from foreign brands – Competitive Export subsidies provided by many countries snatches the domestic demand pie from the Indian manufacturers. Prevailing interest rates, taxes and duties have made few industry units to face tough time to sell their products in both domestic overseas market despite the right technology and solution. The increase in manufacturing cost has led to this. To facilitate an optimal manufacturing cost, the government shall consider revising the duties and interest rates.
Steps to be taken to promote domestic manufacturingLaser systems industry demands lots of R&D. SLTL manufactures hi-tech laser equipment that has a wide spectrum of applications across key industries both in India and abroad. The systems that the company manufactures have to be customised in many ways so that the demand of various industries and processes could be met. This means that continuous innovation, consistent product improvement and progressive R&D are inevitable. The case is similar to many other Indian manufactures in different domains.
Mr Patel recommends few factors that may be considered by the government to promote domestic manufacturing:
Land costCost of real estate consumes a greater pie from setting up a basic workshop to a state-of-the-art factory. The government should regularise and monitor the superficial increase in the cost of land located in industrial areas. Strong rules that ensure the proper and timely utilisation of purchased land in an industrial area has to be implemented across the country. This would curb the possibilities of superfluous hike in land rates. Also, in order to encourage the companies involved in R&D, the government should allot land at a subsidised rate. This would help those companies minimise their production cost.
Interest ratesCredit is the oxygen for any business. Specifically for manufacturing companies driven by R&D and innovation, it’s the credit availability that makes them going. The government should identify companies that involve in R&D of hi-end technology based products and could enable them to access credit at cheaper rates.
RecognitionPreference to Indian products should be given whenever it comes to any government procurement. With all challenging capabilities and performance, the Indian products could have an edge overseas when their products are said to be proven and opted by the Indian government’s manufacturing agencies.
Subsidies for innovative productsWhile considering the strict competition faced by Indian manufacturers in local markets, it’s the price factor that rules them out from the competition. Buyers could be encouraged to opt for Indian products by providing them loans at a subsidised rate.
Focus on qualitySLTL focuses on hi-tech scientific machineries and products. It makes sizable investments every year towards R&D. In order to capture the domestic and global markets, the company offers industry and application focused products. Talking on the quality of SLTL products, Mr Patel said, “Our products are manufactured to the global standards. We adhere to fine-tuned manufacturing practices with a motto to achieve ‘zero defect and zero effect’. We represent India’s technological advancements to the globe through our products.”

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