The Future of Emerging Markets
Breaking the Barriers for Growth
How to Deal with Differentiating Norms
While R&D is an important issue for sustainability, other existing facets such as automation need to be considered. The Indian process sector as a whole is increasingly adopting advanced technology. However, compared to its global counterparts, it is still lagging behind.
Expounding with an example Dr Großmann voices, “The Indian process industry is labor intensive despite technological advancement. A primary example for this is the penetration of robots in the industry. While China has over 45,000 robots deployed every year, India matches up with hardly 2,000. This also affects the qualitative nature of the products being made in India.”
Smaller Size, Bigger Opportunities?
Agreeing with this sentiment, Rao adds, “In general, the plant sizes are small compared to global players, though there are always some exceptions. Also, there are other elements such as manpower, raw material availability, etc., which keep pushing back the Indian industries, but with the new development plans led by the government, the Indian industry is likely to be more modernized.”
It is not only the government’s lookout to push industries to success. According to Goel, the norm is to focus on incorporating updated technology as opposed to vision and mission developments within the company. He mentions, “Indian process industries do not put as much emphasis new process development as on substitution of more extensive equipment with lower cost ones. Generally, the tendency is to adapt existing technologies, while reducing the cost.”
Make in India
Recently, at a well known economic forum, India was recognized as one of the most competitive nations in the world, providing a strong talent pool in the areas of science, technology and research, as well as some of the lowest labor costs in the world. This is owing to the way the country has moved away from its traditional socialist system and accelerated efforts to liberalize economic reforms. And given the current government’s focus on initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ the future seems to be a bright one.
Commenting on the initiative, Rao states, “It is still early to see a visible effect of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, but it should definitely boost the process sector. Dedicated free zones such as Dahej will create the ecosystem and provide the much needed space for process industries. The sign of things moving on the ground is clearly visible and there is renewed enthusiasm among the process industries’ stakeholders and a sense of positivity regarding the future outlook of the sector.”