Make in India- the initiative of government of India to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India- was launched by Prime Minister Narender Modi in September 2014. The initiative aims to focus on 25 different sectors including manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, oil and gas, chemicals and IT and is expected to boost the economy by the means of job creation and skill enhancement. The campaign can turn out to be one of the best nation branding initiatives projecting India as a manufacturing hub. Here are the reasons why-
India in 2012 had about 460 million workers who worked for unincorporated, unorganized enterprises ranging from pushcart vendors to home-based businesses. The productivity level of these workers was at least five to six times below that of China indicating scope for vast improvement. Access to a huge pool of natural resources is a well known advantage to outsource manufacturing operations to India. Business condition indicators like Manufacturing PMI in India averaged to 52.09 from 2012 to 2015 signaling expansion of manufacturing sector.
There is a strong urge amongst global manufacturing companies to diversify to low cost manufacturing hubs apart from China. A McKinsey report suggested the demand for manufactured goods from low cost countries to be around 8 trillion USD a year. Although China seemed to occupy the major chunk of it, companies are looking for other viable options to not only diversify the risk of factor conditions but also tap on domestic demand. Further, with the rise of disposable income, demand of consumer goods is ever rising which gives a boost to sectors like retail and tourism and hospitality.
Single-window clearances, minimal procedures & cutting out of any red-tape-ism are some of the steps government of India has been taking to increase investor confidence on business conditions in India. Channelization of government’s initiative along with a dialogue by New Delhi’s envoys in over 160 countries to focus on economic diplomacy can help ‘Make in India’ achieve the targets which the haphazard and loosely coupled ‘Made in India’ could not achieve.
Top technology firms such as GE, Bosch, Tejas and Panasonic have shown interest to invest in electronic, medical, automotive and telecom manufacturing clusters in India. With a stable government at centre, investor confidence has increased and the skepticism seems to be withering away.
Although the initiative still needs to address some of the key concerns like conducive labour laws, supportive logistics, infrastructure bottlenecks and environmental clearances, the optimism it has built in the minds of investors is a positive start. Complemented by steps to improve ease of doing business in India, the nation branding activity is all set to make India a manufacturing powerhouse.