Skill development and getting smarter
Tejura and his team, through SVUM, helps entrepreneurs and manufacturers open up to the day’s competition with the adoption of smart technological processes, appropriate management philosophies, knowledge in marketing and financial management, and more.
“We do not want to depend on government actions and their sloth bureaucratic ways. We go to the roots, reach the local people and teach them how to adopt good and efficient practices for a smart business. Most manufacturers here push their relatives to do the money counting. We convince them to employ professionals and enjoy the benefits. We teach them how we can use the ports to export our products directly to foreign countries and not accept the traders’ rates,” Tejura says.
Once again, this is an area Patel agrees to Tejura promptly, saying “Whatever the manufacturers here have achieved, they have achieved by virtue of their hardwork and skill. The government has given us zero support when it comes to policies and infrastructure. The manufactures get around and solve their own problems and scale heights before the government gets to consider our requests.”
Key industry sectors present
According to the District Industrial Profile of Rajkot district, created by the Government of India’s Ministry of MSME, there are 20, 431 registered MSME units in the district of Rajkot alone. It is India’s 2nd largest solar water heater and auto-parts manufacturer. Manufacturing of engineering products occupies a large part of the industrial activity.
This includes manufacturing of agro machineries, machine tools, machineries for food processing and packaging industry, textile equipment, and so on. Foundry and forging industries producing dyes, cast, and other equipment take a prominent position as it has some of the largest CNC machine and auto parts manufacturers and about 500 foundry units.
The Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) and Gujarat State Financial Corporation (GSFC) support and encourage the heavy and small scale industries in the region. Diesel engines, pumps, bearings, kitchenware, watch components, automobile components, and the forging and casting industries form the strong base of the medium and small scale industries.
Some of India's leading snacks manufacturers also come from Rajkot.
Some of the prominent industries are:
Construction Industry Equipment: One of the most important indicators of a developing nation is its well developed infrastructure, which translates to roads, flyovers, bridges, buildings, houses, dams, tunnels and more. Rajkot delivers high quality construction machinery to the country’s fast growing construction industry.
Imitation Jewellery: The market for imitation jewellery has emerged as one of the rapidly growing business segments of the Saurashtra-Kutch, accelerated by their low cost, innovative designs, and opening up of new markets, and scope for exports. In its latest report “India Imitation Jewellery Market Outlook 2018," RNCOS suggests that the imitation jewellery market in India is anticipated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 20% during 2014-2018.
Pharmacy and medical equipments: From Rajkot, formula based drugs are exported to Asianand African countries, such as in Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana. Bulk drugs are also being exported for EU and US. Rajkot is also well known for orthopedic equipment and supplies like Rehabilitation Products and Aids. Manufacturers of hospital scrubs and linens, medical furniture and disposables, Autoclave and sterilizers, physiotherapy and dental equipment in the region have great potential.
Engineering products: Principal engineering products manufacturers in Rajkot mainly deal in diesel engines and pumps. There are about 375 functional manufacturing units in the concentrated area that has a cumulative turn over of Rs 200 crores. It earns something around Rs. 40 crores through exports and the cluster of industries employs 7500 skilled labourers.
Foundry: The group of industries in the foundry area manufactures grey iron castings for oil engines, automotives, textiles, machine tools, pumps, valves, as well as graded casting. Around 20000 workers are engaged in 505 functional units in the cluster with a turnover of Rs 2700 crore. The value of exports stands at 350 crores.
Automobile parts: Connecting rods, pistons, crank shafts, cam shafts, liners, sleeves, air cooled block, spares and more are manufactured in around 303 auto component manufacturing units in Rajkot. The turnover is at 750 crores, with value of export recording Rs 400 crores. Approximately 9500 wage earners are employed here.
Pump sets: Submersible and centrifugal pump sets are manufactured in around 161 units that collectively has a turnover of Rs. 300 crore. Value of exports stands at Rs. 55 crores and around4700 people are employed.
Service Industries: Rajkot also has a prominent service sector and the potential and scope of development in this sector is fast improving. Retail trade and small businesses, transport operators, laundry and dry cleaning, repairing of electronic gadgets and automobiles, computer based services and hardware maintenance are the notable ones.
Future Prospects and Conclusion
Rajkot is a name extremely esteemed and trusted among the manufacturing industries of the world. The government needs to take note – set aside their political differences and channel more resources here. The entrepreneurs though are not waiting for that to happen. They are carving out their own destinies. What they need, as support, is from their own fraternity.
Says Tejura, “It’s high time the auto industries should set up shops here. We give them every component. The completed automobiles should run out from here. And this goes for the big names in several other industries.” He also informs that Rajkot has a huge scope to develop the textile industry. The readymade garments industry can have a big boost in the region. The Coconut Development Board has joined hands with the locals and has started coconut farming in the 1600 kilometer long coastal area. This will lead to the development of coir production, and relevant industries, as well as production of toiletries and cosmetics, which already occupies a good spot.
The current trend of industrial growth is towards the engineering and auto ancillary sector. Exports in the area of machine tools, CNC machines, agro products, and ceramic products can easily be pumped up.
The author is a Vijayawada based freelance writer.