Manufacturing India: News and Views-1

Even in gloom around mainly because of political mess, many things are happening in India that are pretty inspiring.

1. Coram International, the Netherlands-based coordinated design bathroom company, which set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in India in 2012, also has plans to set up a manufacturing facility for its flagship products in India, which is identified as the “sweet spot” for Coram. “India is likely to emerge as the manufacturing base for our operations in Asia over the next few years,” said Niels Pilaar, CEO, Coram International.

2. Karl Slym heads Tata Motors now and if we go by media he had a fix for the ailing Tata Motors, as its sales for most of the products are declining.

3. Automotive electronics maker Bosch has launched its electric drives manufacturing facility in Chennai. The plant, with an investment of Rs 35 crore, has a capacity to manufacture 2.2 million window systems, 7,00,000 wiper systems and 500,000 thermal parts systems per annum. The company expects to start with around 30 per cent localisation in the initial stage.

4. India has developed its first vaccine – Rotavac— under public-private partnership. The indigenous low-cost vaccine, to prevent rotavirus diarrhoea that claims the lives of about 1 lakh children a year, will soon hit the market. Priced at around Rs 54 ($1), it will be a boon for developing countries that are fighting the killer virus. Can someone responsible puts a figure for ‘soon’?Will there be one for malaria too?

5. Manufacturing must get it due priority if India is to remain in race for poverty alleviation. “Manufacturing strategy of most firms is still not addressing certain fundamental issues of competition: need to change product mix rapidly, need to introduce new products based on indigenous R&D, need to use process innovation and quality improvement process to reduce cost of operations and consequently price of product.”

6. Eureka Forbes, a Shapoorji Pallonji Group company, is acquiring Lux International, a Switzerland-based home appliance firm with a 100-year history, marking the group’s first overseas acquisition. Can every household in India get a water purifier?

7. Japanese auto manufacturer Suzuki Motor Corp. is reorganizing its Indian operations in an attempt to streamline production systems in a country where it is the biggest car maker by sales, but is lagging behind rivals in the motorcycle market.

8.India has proposed to set up three funds with a combined corpus of Rs.17,500 crore to boost local research and manufacturing of telecom products as it seeks to cut dependence on imports at a time when the current-account deficit has widened to a record and also to reduce security concerns posed by such imports, particularly from China.

9. The Osaka-headquartered Panasonic, which makes the Viera brand of TVs and the Econavi line of ACs, will continue investing at least Rs 300 crore on a yearly average in India till 2015 as it aims to launch products and take up share in key product categories.

Sony, which recently consolidated its mobile phone business with the company that markets its Vaio laptops, Bravia TVs and cyber-shot cameras in India, has said it would triple its investment to Rs 300 crore in mobile phones this financial year.

10. Sandvik Asia is planning to set up a facility to manufacture construction equipment and infrastructure machinery. The plant will be operational by mid of 2015.The company is planning to set up a facility to manufacture construction equipment and infrastructure machinery. The plant will be operational by mid of 2015.

11. G e r m a n l u x u r y c a r m a ke r Mercedes Benz plans to infuse a fresh investment of 250 crore into its Indian arm to double its production capacity to 20,000 vehicles by the end of this calendar.

12. The government’s decision to set up an inter-ministerial committee on quadricycles brings to sharp focus a debate that, if handled right, can have enormous beneficial consequences for India. Can Bajaj win the war?

I shall agree with TN Ninan that he expressed in his weekly column in Business Standard:
“Many Indian entrepreneurs, big as well as small, decided quietly in the last few years that they were better off investing in other markets. Despite their running battles with the taxman, many global giants can’t seem to get enough of India. Unilever wants to increase its stake in its Indian subsidiary, just as GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens and others have already done. Japan’s consumer products giants Sony and Panasonic are committing themselves afresh to the Indian market, after having ceded the first-mover advantage to Korean rivals.”

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