Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Optimism: The popular sentiment for the manufacturing sector in 2021

We uncover how platforms such as IRIM have worked as catalysts to foster innovation, and unlock new opportunities in the manufacturing space

Published: Feb 25, 2021 11:02:24 AM IST
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 06:59:39 PM IST

Optimism: The popular sentiment for the manufacturing sector in 2021
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Executive Chairperson – Biocon

As the calendar marks the 8-month anniversary of Unlock 1, the economy is working to compensate for the lockdown losses. The manufacturing sector faced several obstacles to adapt to remote working and disrupted supply chains. However, as the government announced relaxations, many organisations fought the unprecedented odds and set strong waves of optimism for the sector's growth in 2021.

In the fiscal year 2020, manufacturing generated 17.4 percent of India’s GDP; little more than the 15.3 percent it had contributed in 2000. As per The International Monetary Fund's growth projections for India in its latest World Economic Outlook Update, India is the only major economy of the world to register a double-digit growth amid a global pandemic. The IMF has also projected an 11.5% growth rate for India in 2021.

Another report by IBEF highlights a 3.6% spike y-o-y in the industrial output, reinforcing faith in the domestic manufacturing capacity to improve India’s geopolitical stability and international diplomacy.
Recognising the Manufacturing Sector's Contributions

On February 13, 2021, the International Research Institute for Manufacturing (IRIM) organised the 7th edition of their prestigious National Awards for Manufacturing Competitiveness (NAMC), aired on CNBC-TV18. This unbiased and industry-relevant platform attracted attention from giant players such as Reliance Industries Ltd, UPL Limited, Zydus Wellness Products, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Reckitt Benckiser India Pvt Ltd, Birla Century, and Tata Steel Ltd, amongst many others.
IRIM painstakingly assessed 500 manufacturing plants in the last 8 years turning it into a notable milestone with enthusiastic participation of Fortune 500 companies from the FMCG, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, PSU, refineries, cement and metals industries.

Industry experts evaluated participants on IRIM’s 10-scale indicators of manufacturing competitiveness. The assessment focused on an organisation’s ability to develop, implement, and sustain a strong competitive strategy. Out of the 81 manufacturing units shortlisted for the onsite assessment, 51 units earned recognition for respective merits.

An Opportunity for Growth

Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, stated that the turnaround period for manufacturing firms to transform adversities into opportunities was quick. Many of these firms introduced digital aspects to manufacturing practices, looked for alternate supply chains, and improved productivity along the value chain. “In the post-COVID world, some of these best manufacturing practices such as contactless delivery and manufacturing, along with adoption of technologies like 3D Printing, will continue going forward.”

Speaking about the sector’s immense resilient spirit in the face of tough times, Anand Louie, Director, International Research Institute of Manufacturing (IRIM), said, “The manufacturing sector has shown immense resilience towards growth during the global pandemic. India is at a geopolitical vantage point to demonstrate its manufacturing capabilities and capacities to the global business ecosystem.”
An objective industry audit attributes strong strategies and the use of right combinations of resources as the winning formula for crossing through 2020's challenging tunnels. Institutions like IRIM have played an active part in this process, assisting manufacturing units from various industries with smart plans and on-point data to deliver results.

Optimism: The popular sentiment for the manufacturing sector in 2021
Anand Louie, Director, International Research Institute for Manufacturing

The Way Forward

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon, is confident that the post-COVID-19 world will offer limitless opportunities to India. “From strategic risk diversification to cost continuity concerns, businesses are sharply looking for alternative manufacturing destinations. Here, India's combination of high quality, latest technology, long manufacturing experience, and cost advantage can address a large opportunity and reap numerous dividends for our economy”, she said.

Platforms such as IRIM have worked as catalysts to foster innovation, drive growth, and unlock new doors of opportunities in the manufacturing space. With industry leaders and learners sharing the same roof for holding discussions on the onset of the contribution of artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, and other industrial advances during the lockdown in the Indian sub-context, the sector holds a positive sentiment for growth at large.

The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.

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