how India can rise as technology super factory?


The implications are for India in the near future considering what's happening around the world India is being labelled as a possible future technology factory for the world. So moving supply chains to India and manufacturing in India is that going to bring about prosperity and also it is going to bring problems, let's discuss that a little bit in this blog

Now the world faces one of the biggest crises that has been known to man. The pandemic at a scale is infecting people that has not been seen before and the amount of people that have been infected and the amount of deaths continues to rise at an alarming rate all over the world. Now china is being largely blamed for the pandemic but more importantly this has started to raise questions about the whole world supply chain and china has been largely responsible for supplying products and goods to the rest of the world and including India. And this has forced several companies to shift their production from chine to India. There’s a lot that needs to happen to India before companies start pushing their production in India.

Let's take china's example in the 1990s, when china started to open up their trade. The one thing that the country did which really led to their rise is the amount of infrastructure investment that was done by the Chinese government and by the Chinese people. So they started building factories, roads, they started building powerhouses and electricity supply and water supply. So as a manufacturer if you went to the government and said “okay this is what I want to manufacture”, there was a lot of support from the government for land, for electricity, for water and in general infrastructure. They made special economic zones and factories and manufacturing facilities and then also provided those at a very nominal rate to people who wanted to manufacture. Hence allowing for the quick and rapid rise of china as a manufacturing superpower. This in turn allowed the Chinese government to sort of control most of the companies.

Biggest issue for India still remains infrastructure, we still lack roads even in commercial areas, and we still lack proper electricity supply because we don't have consistent electricity supplies even in commercial areas and some other major infrastructural challenges exist in India. If India has to move forward towards a technology manufacturing facility or a superpower factory for the world, what India needs to do is start investing in infrastructure.

There is a massive differentiator between the kind of infrastructure that exists in a country like china and the kind of infrastructure that exists in India and that needs to change really quickly. What also needs to change is the kind of investments that Indian companies are making. For the longest time smaller companies and smaller start-ups have looked at china as the supply chain which has led to an economic rise in India. A lot of businesses in India now exist on the premise that they are manufacturing in china and they can do that because the manufacturing systems in china are so well built that prices can be much lower and hence products can be cheaper and hence you get a better value added services at the end. so if you start moving manufacturing facilities from china to a country like India where the infrastructure at this moment lacks, prices for commodities will definitely go up, so as Indians we should be ready to pay those additional prices as well and support Indian brands who start to manufacture in India because it will take a long time for us to reach the manufacturing capacity that china is at now.

There’s a lot of conversation about manufacturing smartphones in India and jio has come on board at the right moment talking about some of the services some of the features some of the apps including some of the hardware that they're going to start launching and making in India. If you look at the glasses, the AR augmented reality glasses, this is something that the entire world has already tried to do. If you look at the HoloLens, oculus rift, the HTC vive this is exactly the same kind of service and Jio has started developing something like that. Now we don't know if it's going to come into fruition we've seen a lot of promises from jio in the past and they've always been under-delivered. 

Now they might change this but the fact in it lies that in India we cannot hundred percent manufacture phones and the premise of the “make in India” tag is that more than 50 to 60 percent of the materials sourced for a product should be from India. Things like glass, bodies, chassis, pcb circuits can be manufactured in India but chips for example cannot be manufactured in India and the reason for that is that India doesn't have any kind of process labs. The only process lab we have is an ISRO one which is a 200 nano-metre process lab and at the moment in the smartphone industry we are running at somewhere around the seven nano-metre mark so what we are seeing is a tremendous amount of difference and to set up a new process fab will require hundreds of billions of dollars and that kind of investment India doesn't seem to have at the moment

If we manage to push manufacturing in India we'll need not only investment, we'll need infrastructure, and we’ll need lots of Businessmen focusing their actions towards manufacturing in India because the mind-set potentially is that the conversation will eventually die down. This whole India versus china mind-set will eventually go away and then people will go back to their business and then china will continue manufacturing things because they are so good at it. Another reason that china succeeds as a manufacturing country is the kind of mind-set that the Chinese worker has. They’ve been a primarily communist country and the mind-set of the people over there is very work oriented. In India it's slightly more relaxed than it is in countries like china which there is a hard-core military style work ethic. Most Indians including myself would rather not work and get paid whereas in china people really want to work and people really want to get paid. We as Indians need to change the mind-set that we have and we need to put in better effort, work hours and work ethics into our country and into our factories, our offices and businesses to get a better output better productivity.

In India another big hurdle that is going to restrict India from becoming a manufacturing superpower for the world is going to be the massive amounts of corruption at every level in the country and this really needs to change if India needs to become a bigger better manufacturing country. From buying land, to getting licenses, to getting tax numbers, to getting GST numbers, to getting the right kind of all your paperwork done that takes a lot of time from a lot of companies. And they're not really interested in working in a country where they're constantly needing to bribe all sorts of people to get their work done. So if a company like apple sets up a plant in India they'll need to jump through all these hoops and red tape and get blocked off by several laws that are really old and need to change and in that much time they'll already set up a factory and start manufacturing something new in a country like china or in a country like Mexico.

All of that India needs to change and move away from corruption and that can only happen when again as Indians we change our mind-set and we stop accepting the kind of people that we have leading all of these things. it doesn't matter which government rules the country what matters is that corruption needs to go and processes need to become simpler and what matters is that manufacturing needs to become better, infrastructure needs to become better and most importantly the mind-set of the Indian needs to become better.

We need lots of investment in manufacturing facilities like processed labs in India and India can do it with a workforce, a well-trained workforce. People need to start changing their objectives and start educating themselves towards a different line and a different kind of engineering. Batteries, chips, displays can be manufactured in India but it will require a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money, all of that is available in India but it's not being routed to the right places and that needs to change majorly now while India is possibly a future manufacturing facility for technology for the world

This whole boycott china needs to kind of stop because what we really need is all of these Chinese electronics. What we really need is all of the smartphones, electronics, laptops and all the technology that china has already researched, to help us develop our own systems. We can use this technology and continue to excel our economy. By boycotting china today what we are effectively doing is reducing our chances for becoming a manufacturing facility. We really need to smartly use their technology and start making our own technology and then eliminate their technology in all entirety. So use a tactic in which we get all the information, all the knowledge and all the technology from them because they've already researched and they've already set up shop so we can study their model, their systems, their processes and start manufacturing in our own country. Then maybe five years ten years down the line India can become independent and also become a major supply chain for the world and sort of reduce our global dependence on china as a manufacturing facility

A fun fact for a lot of people that don't know is that, 60% of all lithium-ion batteries are manufactured in china and raw materials are mostly mined by Chinese companies including cobalt which is a major component for lithium-ion batteries especially those used in electric cars including Tesla and Porsche and any other electric car that you may like. So this is also a dependence that the global leadership has on china and that also needs to change. That can only happen with the right kind of investments, the right kind of people leading the charge and the right kind of mind-set for the entire Indian nation as a whole.


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