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‘Make in India’ will drive competition in domestic market

The defence acquisition procedure needs to be further streamlined and made easier and faster.
GK Pillai, Managing Director and CEO, Walchandnagar Industries Ltd____________________________________________
 Walchandnagar Industries Limited (WIL) is a leading heavy engineering, manufacturing and project execution company with presence in capital goods and defence space. WIL has diversified business offerings across core sectors with focus on turnkey projects, hi-tech manufacturing, engineering products and engineering services.
In an exclusive interview with OEM Update, GK Pillai, Managing Director and CEO, Walchandnagar Industries Ltd. shares his views on the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
‘Make in India’ will give boost to defence sectorThe Indian capital goods and equipment manufacturing industry has seen a sluggish phase in past few years. With launch of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, India is getting recognition in the world map as a manufacturing hub. This will ensure more capital flows in the country for new projects and early revival of the sector. This will also ensure competitiveness of domestic capital goods sector at par with global standards, with acquisition of cutting-edge technology.
Imports still rule the defence sector India is one of the largest defence spenders in the world. Typically 40 per cent of defence budget is being spent on capital acquisitions. However 70 per cent of current requirements are catered largely by imports. The “Make in India” initiative will prompt foreign original equipment manufacturers to enter into strategic partnerships with Indian companies. This will ensure indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment and give a big boost to private sector companies. This will also promote self-reliance, technology up gradation and capability development for exports in the defence sector.
“Investment in human capital should be a priority. India needs to harness the power of its massive youth population by equipping them with the right skill sets. Investments in manufacturing must be accompanied by equal investment in human capital. It is also important to have a robust infrastructure as a backbone to promote manufacturing, for smooth supply chain of goods and services. In order to support all the investment that will go into manufacturing, it is imperative that the government provides easier and faster regulatory clearances by removing the bureaucratic hurdles,” affirms Mr Pillai.
Regulatory clearances should become fasterCreating healthy business environment and making regulatory clearances easy are one of the biggest challenges for ‘Make in India’. There are a lot of archaic laws and a great deal of interference from government, making things difficult. The country also needs a good infrastructure to ensure success of ‘Make in India’.
Mr Pillai also adds, “The capability of our defence industry in terms of value addition, self reliance in critical technology and policy initiatives needs a lot of improvement. India has poor design capability in critical technologies, and is still unable to manufacture major sub-systems and components. The transfer of technology route will provide India with both the know-how and know why. There also needs to be a sizeable investment in R&D. The defence acquisition procedure needs to be further streamlined and made easier and faster.”
Initiative will open up opportunitiesWIL has been one of the few private players with capabilities and expertise in the aerospace and defence sector. Mr Pillai says, “The ‘Make in India’ campaign and the opening up of the defence sector have truly widened the opportunities for WIL. It recently hired a leading consulting firm to chalk out a strategy for enhancing its defence portfolio. WIL has identified opportunities that are in line with our existing capabilities as well as add on capabilities and totally new areas. The exercise has not been just about formulating the strategy but also about building technical and marketing capabilities, along with plans for investments to meet the strategic objectives. We have set an ambitious revenue of ` 1,000 crore target from the defence and aerospace by 2020 from the present revenue of ` 150 crore.”
___________________________________There are a lot of archaic laws and a great deal of interference from government, making things difficult. The country also needs a good infrastructure to ensure success of ‘Make in India’.

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