As per the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), India’s manufacturing growth registered a 15-month low in August. The automotive sales figures – except for the new entrants – have also dwindled down. True, the industry and the Indian economy are definitely going through a difficult time. But the challenges go beyond the statistical numbers that many pundits are throwing around and linking them with the country’s GDP growth. We need to look at the transition which is happening at almost every level of the socio-economic-political structure not just in India but also globally. Obviously, keeping up with the pace while also handling with the scale and complexity will call for a few casualties. And right now, growth has taken a major hit!
Having said that, it does not mean the future is bleak. Far from it! (In fact, it is likely that things will start getting back on track this festive season.) Yes, the government is doing its bit. But the industry wants it to do more – particularly with regards to GST and the push to the EV segment. I remain confident that the Government will continue to go the distance to pull the industry out of this rut. However, the industry equally needs to get ready for the jump. With rapid disruption becoming a norm, industry needs to change it gears and step into the new era of growth. Industry 4.0 is not (it never was!) about technological advancement. It is about changing the game with changing market dynamics. Technology is a mere tool in this game.
I completely agree with what Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors, said at the 59th SIAM Annual Convention: “The Indian growth story is too big to be washed away basis a few quarters of low demand.” Let’s keep faith in India’s long-term growth story and keep working towards it.
Editor’s Note – The Machinist September 2019