Interview: Polymers and Plastics Polymers – Molecules of Change
Polymers and plastics have been playing a large role in many industries, primarily for consumerism. India has borne witness to this growing norm. Director, Pluss Polymers, Samit Jain illustrates the latest happenings in India and his company’s plans for the future in our interview.
PROCESS: How do you see the potential of the Indian market, given the positive climate since the last elections owing to change in policies, etc.?
SAMIT JAIN: A stable, majority government and decisive leadership have definitely tilted tables in favor of India. However, effective administration and detailed planning along with determination is required to turn the positive climate into real action.
The SMEs will have to wait and watch as it is too early to see the effect of some policy changes. Having said this, the potential is immense, the Indian industry has done well in spite of the surrounding conditions. If the government and industry join hands, you can well imagine the result. India has the advantage of lower costs but poor infrastructure negates that. Global players have the advantage of economies of scale and therefore lower costs.
Easy funding is required for Indian SMEs so that they can invest in scaling up, and take care of the costs. With the recent rate cut by RBI, the funding for business is expected to become easy. There are too many uncertainties right now to predict anything. But yes, the hopes are high!
PROCESS: Given the current government’s call to ‘Make in India’, how crucial is R&D to leverage this opportunity?
JAIN: The current call of Make in India—needs to be preceded by ‘Make India’ first, as very aptly worded by former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. Until we have basic amenities of water and electricity 24 hrs a day; good roads and railways, efficient ports, schools, colleges of good quality, clean environment, and housing for all, Make in India will not succeed.
R&D is important but at the moment it is secondary—a call for ‘Develop in India’ is required to give an impetus to R&D. The government is simply asking MNCs to come and manufacture in India. They will only walk into India with technologies that exist with them or perhaps even outdated technologies.
he Make in India initiative has not been linked with R&D at all. India has to really excel in science and technology to have the edge over China. India has to go the Germany way to compete with China and other manufacturing hubs. Indian companies will need to innovate and then make in India— they need to work with the aim of outdating their own product lines in order to survive in today’s world.