India first, tie-ups, long-term strategy will boost mfg sector: Mahindra MD

At a time when the Government and industry are trying to grab opportunities moving out of China, Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra said that India should have plug-and-play infrastructure of the kind that Vietnam has for large-scale manufacturing.

He said that in order to realise the objectives of Atmabirbhar Bharat and to become a key part of the global chain, the focus should be on India first, partnerships and a longer horizon, which will help the grow.

Speaking at the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI)’s chamber day celebrations on Tuesday evening, Goenka said global supply chain realignment due to geopolitical events and Covid-19 was throwing up opportunities for India.

“A holistic plan with a stronger focus on three areas – Put India first, partnerships and a longer horizon – will help grow the manufacturing sector,” said Goenka adding that Atmanirbhar Bharat is not about making everything in India.

He added that India could easily leapfrog over the next few years in many sectors such as room air-conditioners, set top boxes, medical devices, electronic components, furniture and medical devices.

ALSO READ: Indian auto, components sector shouldn’t de-link from imports: Pawan Goenka

Goods are imported mainly due to lower costs, capacity constraints and technology gaps. In many sectors, by improving capabilities and industry-government partnerships, share of imports could be reduced significantly over time, said Goenka, while calling for a partnership approach between OEMs and suppliers and between OEMs and governments.

Goenka, who heads the steering committee for advancing local value addition, said India has tremendous disadvantages because of power cost, logistics cost and cost of regulatory compliances.

He pointed out that the country lags in high-tech manufacturing capabilities and its share in global high-tech trade is under one per cent, while Germany’s share is eight per cent, Korea’s is 8 per cent and China’s is 26 per cent.

“India does not have a strong manufacturing brand — most affluent Indians use foreign brands,” he said, adding that there are very few areas where India owns technology and IPR. “There is very little technological innovation happening in India,” he said.

Goenka pointed out that India has huge potential when it comes to electric vehicles specifically for shared mobility. “Now is the time to invest in technologies pertaining to electric vehicles,” he said.

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