Indian Machinery Industry: A Reckoning

Chitra Mishra, Special EditorThe machine tool industry is key to the government's flagship `Make in India'and 'Skill India'initiatives, given that it makes the machines required for the manufacturing sector. Not all countries are strong in machine tools. Japan and Germany are strong in production and degree of sophistication/technology level. Global production of machine tools is worth around USD 84 billion. In volume, China leads the pack in technological maturity, Germany and Japan are at the same level. China's machine tool production is about USD 24 billion. There is a positive sentiment in almost all manufacturing segments, with a direction for people to invest and an opportunity for India to become a manufacturing hub. At the ground level, there is some momentum in sectors like railways, aerospace, and defence. But if we do not grab this opportunity, India might lose
10 years, and by that time everybody would have moved forward.

Besides, the Machinery and Equipment industry is of strategic importance to the economy, given its multiplier effect on various sectors. Still, the domestic market is heavily dependent on imports on account of high domestic demand, dependence on imports for highend technology machinery, and cost advantage from imports, amongst others. Therefore, up-gradation of technology, continuous R&D efforts and building India's self sufficiency in this sector calls for necessary investments and support by the Government and private sector both.

From machineries for packaging to weighing bulk exports or even vehicle near tolls, India has secured ground for manufacturing all such machines in-house. This only shows our zeal to make out `Make in india' dream come true. The Indian machinery and equipment industry has significant opportunities both in the domestic and export markets in the decade ahead. However, high dependence on imports, capacity constraints, outdated technology, lack of R&D focus and innovation is hampering in exploiting the sector's full potential. At the same time, demands of the user industries are expected to evolve and the demand for next generation, customized products will increase. In this scenario, machinery & equipment companies who fail to adapt to this change will be left behind. Enhancing R&D efforts will be an important step to attain manufacturing excellence for the industry in the coming decade. This edition throws some light on such manufacturers who have made a difference in the industry. Do let us know what you think.