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Make in India: A Decade of Transformative Growth

By Maneck Behramkamdin, Senior Vice President, and Business Head, Godrej Aerospace,

Added 12 February 2024

The article delves into how the Indian space and aviation industry is ushering India into a new era of self-reliance and global competitiveness by nurturing indigenous capabilities, fostering international collaborations, and achieving key technological advancements.

In 2014, India embarked on a visionary journey with the launch of the ‘Make in India' programme, a transformative endeavour aimed at propelling the nation into a global manufacturing powerhouse. A decade later, as we reflect on the impact of this initiative, it is evident that ‘Make in India' has not only reshaped the economic landscape but has also played a pivotal role in bolstering sectors crucial for national security and technological advancement.

The Government of India unveiled the ‘Make in India's initiative, envisioning a future where India's prowess in manufacturing would lead to global economic dynamics. The overarching goal was to elevate the contribution of manufacturing to India's GDP, foster job creation, and position the country as a formidable player on the global economic stage. The success of Make in India lies in its multifaceted approach, which addresses regulatory complexities, promotes innovation, and attracts both domestic and foreign investments.

By encouraging research and development across sectors, the programme fostered a culture of ingenuity and technological advancement. This emphasis on innovation positioned India as a hub for cutting-edge solutions, attracting global attention and collaboration. The impact of Make in India reverberated most profoundly in sectors critical to India's development and security, including manufacturing, space, defence, and others. It has empowered industries to harness their potential, facilitating the transition from being mere consumers to active contributors on the global stage. The opening up of the defence sector to privatisation through various defence reforms has given Indian companies a real opportunity to be a part of India's growth journey.

The aviation industry takes off

The government's focus on promoting indigenous production and reducing dependency on imports has led to the establishment of several aerospace manufacturing units across the country. India has now become a global hub for aerostructures, components, and complex system assemblies, with the emergence of over 350 private space companies. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has played a pivotal role in bolstering India's capabilities in the development of aircraft, exemplified prominently by the Tejas, India's indigenous light combat aircraft.

Over the past decade, many companies have also set their sights on establishing a significant presence in the country. marking a paradigm shift in the dynamics of the aerospace industry. This has not only contributed to the growth of the sector but has also created a robust ecosystem for research, development, and innovation.

The space industry soars to new heights

In the realm of space exploration, India's strides have been nothing short of extraordinary, driven by a strategic emphasis on public-private partnerships. The government's visionary approach has intricately woven collaborations between prestigious space organisations, notably the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). A testament to India's resolve to indigenize its space programme is the resounding success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. This mission exemplifies a paradigm shift from reliance on foreign manufacturers to a self-sufficient space endeavour, echoing the nation's technological prowess. This seamless integration of expertise from various companies exemplifies the synergistic potential when public and private entities join forces to explore the cosmos. As India strategically focuses on manufacturing satellites, launch solutions, and orbit management solutions indigenously, the manufacturing segment within the space sector is poised to position India as a frontrunner in the burgeoning global space economy.

The Indian Space Policy of 2023 stands out for providing a clear roadmap, eliminating barriers, and creating opportunities for private enterprises. This strategic shift has catalysed the entry of numerous spacetech start-ups into diverse sectors, nurturing a vibrant ecosystem that complements the efforts of established space agencies like ISRO. Notably, the number of space start-ups in India has seen a remarkable surge. reaching 189 in 2023 from a solitary entity in 2014. Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh disclosed that these start-ups have attracted a substantial investment of USD 124.7 million, underscoring the dynamic potential of the country's space industry. India's growing capabilities are gaining global recognition, and collaborations with countries and space agencies worldwide have become increasingly prevalent. Joint missions, research initiatives, and technology exchanges now form integral components of this collaborative approach, propelling India to the forefront of the international space community.

Conclusion

 

‘Make in India' has not only strengthened India's diplomacy, however, has also fostered a spirit of cooperation and shared knowledge in the global community. From nurturing indigenous capabilities to fostering international collaborations, the initiative has propelled India into a new era of self-reliance and global competitiveness. Looking ahead, it is crucial to build upon the successes of the past decade, continuing to innovate and collaborate to ensure a brighter and more self-reliant future for the nation.

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