Can just with few announcements and policy declarations as done in the previous government too, India move ahead fast in real term to become a manufacturing super power? Even many Modis can’t do it with many a sermons such one by him on the Independence Day.
1. It will require a change in mindsets of those who matter, in big way. Naturally, to start with, it will be that of the head of the government. It must not come as few knee jerk actions, but as focused strategy planning and effective policy deployment with monitored progress in measurable terms.
2. FDI in manufacturing is certainly one route. Can some efficient and rightly qualified officers in our consulates in the countries strong in manufacturing such as US, Japan, Germany, market India to the targeted companies whom India wants to come in and set up its manufacturing facilities in India, facilitate if they decide so and ease the rest of the processes? It will be necessary to make the policy effective. Without sufficient marketing, no one is going to come.
3. As claimed, the quick clearing of defence orders such as helicopters in hundreds, Avros to private sector and the vessels for navy will certainly rejuvenate the manufacturing, but simultaneously restructuring of PSUs such as HAL and manufacturing dockyards for warships, submarines-traditional or nuclear powered, and ordinance factories for army hardwares such as tanks etc and building strong professional management at unit level with opening them for exports, will be necessary to give the real boost to manufacturing in big way. For example, the different facilities of HAL must be restructured as fully independent units with R&D, for manufacturing and marketing: one for helicopters, the second for fighting planes and ,may be third for transport carriers.
4. A revolution in Indian manufacturing sector is inevitable if manufacturing PSUs become globally competitive and profitable, and are not kept alive with repeated budgetary supports draining the national resources. But the level of professionalism in their management will have to be improved. Many things such as the constitution of board of directors, or the selection of CEO must be only based on merit.
5. The manufacturing sector must reach small towns and rural India for creating employment. Let the rural carpenters, blacksmiths or others with family traditions of manufacturing become the new manufacturers in village. Many items for mass market and daily use, be it the cheap sanitary towels or organic soaps, knit wears or soft toys, can easily be produced in many households. The IAS officers at block and district level, particularly those with engineering background must be asked to encourage young local entrepreneurs through a little handholding and out of the way assistance and their performance in that regard must be monitored.
6. Other e-selling companies must also encourage local manufacturers as Flipkart plans. Big organised retailers of Corporate India such as Big Bazaar can get the world class products being sold abroad by big retailers there, manufactured through the indigenous manufacturers.
7. The system and those who matter must see that the jobs of engineers in manufacturing become sufficiently lucrative, that the engineers particularly from IITs and other great institutes remain in industrial activities rather than getting into IIMs straight and then in finance or UPSC, that the entrepreneurs in manufacturing find it hassle free to get into the business with prompt supports from the financial institutes and banks, that the skilling starts right in school, and for all graduates a fixed amount of credit hours for the courses on wealth creation,entrepreneurship and innovation be made compulsory.
8. The government develops more and more fully serviced clusters for various products as it is being planned for electronics goods.
Unfortunately, even with so huge a market in manufacturing, the big corporate houses of the country are hardly entering the manufacturing sector. Many who were in the sector are leaving it for greener pastures of retail and finance.
Many in the country need implements and machines to ease the working for their bread. A huge potential is there for those who can develop, manufacture and market them. I read recently about the story of a juggad for baking corn. I am sure that can be improved and marketed all over India.
Let all avenues be explored and used to reach the goal of making India a superpower in manufacturing. It is but a national necessity.