Manufacturing India: Where India missed?

I was reading a blog of some one from the Lab Media of MIT visiting and writing on the ecosystem of manufacturing in Shenzen in China that must be read by our PM and all his men who will like to live up to his dream of making India a superpower in manufacturing.

It was perhaps sometime in 1970s, an employee working for me sold a two-in-tape recorder with a ‘National’ brand tags for my children in hind Motor. Soon I could realise or perhaps an well wisher of mine pointed me out that the recorder was a pirated one. Delhi and Ludhiana were the source of the electronics items in those days. I don’t think there if they still exist. Perhaps, it do not.

While working in HM, I also came to know about the machine tools used extensively in engineering industries that were being made in those days in Punjab. However, in good company such as ours, those machines were considered as one of very poor quality and capability. If the government and the nation’s R&D facilities would have assisted and supported those hilarious entrepreneurs, and the users would not have looked down upon them, India would have become a manufacturing nation today as China is.

Even today, I find the same situation and mindsets. We hardly promote and support the capital goods manufactured against all odds. We all including the government agencies, have love for everything that comes as import even from China.

The sector in my mind at this time is the agricultural machines, implements and appliances. While in my native village in Bihar and all around it, I come across huge harvesters and combines, all made in Punjab. Indian manufacturers can very easily become the significant or may be globally the most competitive players in its manufacture and exports to all the developing and developed countries and underdeveloped Africa. The same may go for many items that already manufactured or has a good potential for getting manufactured in the country. Unfortunately I doubt if the manufacturers are getting the right support to become a global brand. The world knows only few known manufacturers in agricultural machineries such as M&M or TAFE and that too only for tractors. Will the sector get the attention of Modi’s government and bodies such as FICII and CII to make India a global player?

There are many areas where our men have wonderful knowledge and skill in manufacturing. We all know about the illegal manufacture of small arms in certain pockets of the country. Sometimes, we come across about their wonderful quality through media reports. One certainly may not support the illegal work being done by some of those craftsmen But we should not overlook the high skill of these people. Can’t the administration think of a way out for using these human resources?

Finally, I shall like to quote a portion of the blog for those who can not or does not want to take the pain of using the internet:
“We started in the section of the market where people were taking broken or trashed cellphones and stripping them down for all of the parts. Any phone part that conceivably retained functionality was stripped off and packaged for sale in big plastic bags. Another source of components seemed to be rejected parts from the factory lines that were then repaired, or sheets of PCBs in which only one of the components had failed a test. iPhone home buttons, wifi chipsets, Samsung screens, Nokia motherboards, everything. bunnie pointed to a bag of chips that he said would have a street value of $50,000 in the US selling for about $500. These chips were sold, not individually, but by the pound. Who buys chips by the pound? Small factories that make all of the cellphones that we all buy “new” will often be short on parts and they will run to the market to buy bags of that part so that they can keep the line running. It’s very likely that the “new” phone that you just bought from ATT has “recycled” Shenzhen parts somewhere inside.
The other consumer of these parts are the people who repair phones. Phone repair starts with simple stuff like replacing the screen to full-on rebuilds. You can even buy whole phones built from scrap parts – ”I lost my phone, can you repair it for me?”
After this market where phones were “recycled” we saw equivalent markets for laptops, TVs, everything.”

The great policy makers of the country must realise that every great nation of the present era starting from the great power USA, the miraculous Japan and today’s indomitable manufacturing power China, have gone up through piracy at the initial stage. Today, if India wishes to be a manufacturing power and supplier of consumer items all over the world as China, India will have to go all out starting with manufacturing for local markets, refining, innovating, patenting and capturing the world market through manufacturing units located all over India, perhaps in every household with 3D printers. If Modi wishes to make India a manufacturing power, he must not be wasting the national resources on keeping many of the manufacturing PSU units just breathing.

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