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“IMTEX 2023 Is Poised To Boost To The Industry At Large Besides Advancing Business”

By Anvita Pillai, @Anvitap21,

Added 19 September 2022

Ravi Raghavan, President, IMTMA, in an interview with The Machinist talks about India’s machine tool sector, the role of IMTMA in the sector’s development and more. Excerpts…

raghavan

How important is the role of the machine tools sector for India’s development? Further, how can the machine tools sector enable India to become Aatmanirbhar?

Manufacturing and capital goods sectors are key to the economic growth and prosperity of any country. Any increase in the share of manufacturing in GDP can only happen when the machine tool industry is robust considering the sector has been the backbone of manufacturing in all developed nations. The Indian machine tool industry needs to have a strong foundation through continuous R&D, delivering new technologies, processes and products catering to the needs of various industrial segments. As this happens, the contribution of manufacturing to GDP, which is around 14-15 per cent currently can improve by several notches. The capital goods industry and machine tool industry grow faster by about 2 per cent points over GDP growth.

As mentioned above R&D, innovation and indigenisation are leading to localising imports and going further garnering export markets is the path adopted by the Indian machine tool industries.

Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA), in its endeavour, to reach out to the emerging and champion sectors, offer sector-specific solutions and have formed special interest task forces which focus on serving and building cross-sectoral business. We believe that the initiative will help the industry to develop high-value and rightvalue machines for various varieties. Firmly backing the Union Government’s push for a self-reliant India, the Indian machine tool industry is striving to build machines that have the right amount of performance and can be used as an alternative to imported ones. Efforts at indigenous technology development were on display in the Atmanirbhar Bharat pavilion at IMTEX 2022. 

How can India help motivate MSMEs to become effective contributors to the Indian machine tools industry? What kind of steps can be taken by IMTMA and the government to help the MSMEs?

There are around 63 million MSMEs in India offering employment to about 110 million spanning multiple sectors.

IMTMA membership largely comprises MSMEs. Indian machine tool industry is largely driven and dependent on the supply chain represented by MSMEs. The share and contribution of MSMEs in machine tool building are vast.

We currently have nearly 153 active MSME members and are working with our members to form clusters for their growth and development. The Association, in 2020, formed ‘COBIZ’ to enable small groups of IMTMA SME members to discuss and work together for the mutual benefit of the western region. A total of 15 companies are part of this cluster. An IMTMA cluster, ‘SAGHAYOG’, for the northern region which comprises members from the national capital region of Delhi and Punjab was formed in 2021.

Further, we also conduct regional expos in Delhi NCR, Pune and Chennai to bring manufacturing developments closer to the doorsteps of various industry clusters situated in the northern, western, and southern regions. Our association has also formed task forces for finding out opportunities for machine tool manufacturers in emerging and champion sectors at the regional level. Our technology centres in Bengaluru, Pune and Gurugram impart skill development for young engineers, including the workforce from MSMEs. IMTMA also shares with its members government support schemes and motivates industries to be part of product and tech development besides offering digitalisation courses to move ahead and align with global trends.

With the growing emphasis on the exports for the machine tools sector, do you see India becoming a major exporter any time soon? How is IMTMA planning to play a key role here?

IMTMA brings out country reports to find new opportunities in select geographical regions. It advocates for the creation of Indian technology centres in prospective countries and helps member companies develop products which are technology intensive to compete with the best in the respective categories to make them ready for exports. Parallelly, we are encouraging industries to undertake technology development initiatives and have been encouraging technology transfer and merger/acquisitions besides encouraging foreign machine tool accessory manufacturers/supply chains to set up manufacturing facilities in India for building products in machine tools for the country and the world.

The working core group on exports constituted by IMTMA is also helping the membership in its endeavour to support, assist and guide our membership in exporting their products.

With the IMTEX 2023 coming next year, what are your expectations from it? How do you envision it will help the industry?

IMTEX & Tooltech 2023 is expected to be a comprehensive and highly focused show covering an exciting assemblage of new-age technologies that have assumed significance in the present manufacturing landscape as industries are gearing up to modernise their production capacities. With many features such as digital manufacturing, showcasing advancements in additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0, an international buyer-seller meet, a forum for direct connection between exhibitors and buyers from domestic and international markets, and i2 Academia Pavilion, a platform for academic institutions to showcase their R&D to industries, and so on, the exhibition is poised to give a much-needed boost to the industry at large besides advancing business to the next level. The kind of innovation which exists in the machine tool industry at every level – small, medium, or large, finds a place in IMTEX and hence, it is needless to say that the exhibition helps manufacturing growth on all levels.

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