As economists say India must excel in manufacturing to provide employment to its teeming millions. And fortunately for India, it has proved almost in every industry its capability to become world class. Both public and private sectors have done wonderfully excellent to grow even after all political constraints.
Some big names in public sector manufacturing units include BHEL (power generation and distribution equipment), BMEL (earthmoving machines), HMT (machine tools of all types), and HAL (aircrafts, helicopters). Many more have gone sick because of the problem because the ownership with the government. However, each one had the capability, human resources with technical talent and could have become world-class manufacturers, if the government would have granted the autonomy and encouraged sound governance.
The Indian manufacturing companies in private sector are doing fine and today quite a number of the enterprises are globally competitive. The names in this category include Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, L&T, Hero Honda, Suzlon (wind mills manufacturer), Videocon and Ashok Leyland. But many smaller companies such as Bharat Forge, Amtek Auto, Crompton Greaves, Shanthi Gears, Carborundum Universal (grinding wheels), and Kirloskar Oil Engines are also having potential to get into the list of global companies. And there are even companies like Essel Propack (manufacturing laminated tubes) and Moser Baer (manufacturing digital data storage discs) that are already global though many mayn’t be knowing about them.
I personally feel some big companies such as HMT, Hindustan Motors and even Tata Motors could have helped spreading the manufacturing wider and deeper if the companies would have encouraged its employees to be entrepreneurs at the right time. Many technocrats could have become the suppliers of components, subassemblies, and services. The companies sold out its equipment such automatic machines, and presses, when it decide to go for farming out as policy. The companies could have offered the machines and equipment to the employees on verge of retirement and could have developed them as sources that could have served the industry as well as the society.
The public sector units as well as the defense and railway manufacturing enterprise have still not gone for outsourcing the components and subassemblies in big way retaining huge number of employees. And that it must to bring better productivity and that will create a lot of new entrepreneurs too in manufacturing.
This is a time when India could attract the manufacturing companies with the contemporary technologies in West Germany and Japan to come and set up its plants in India, even if necessary with special concessions. I think India must not allow anyone and everyone to come and start its shop. They must be some with outstanding background of technological excellence from whom the country can get benefited on long term. What can India learn from Salim Group and its motorcycle plant?