Vocal for Local: How Can SME Manufacturers Really Benefit from Make in India?



In the history of the world's economy, India has never been more positioned to be a worldwide supplier. India is in the right moment to fully establish itself as the world's new factory. The main strengths that distinguish the Indian displacement can now be fully utilized. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Indian DNA, combined with an emphasis on quality, skill, and technology advancement, has put India on the path to becoming a worldwide economic superpower.

It is critical that the technology knowledge and skill sets greatly expand the ability to manufacture cutting-edge products and services to meet global demand. In contrast to the China story, India has become synonymous with excellence. This must be the main point of differentiation. Growth drivers will be industry-leading quality at a competitive price and service to worldwide customers.

Government ministries and industry bodies may work together to help put India on the global map. Deeper diplomatic and commercial relations with nations via FTAs, education, currency, and technology exchange are useful tools on which the GOI has already been working and expanding. To increase collaboration, industry bodies might collaborate with colleagues in potential countries through joint events, exhibitions, and the facilitation of common quality standards.

Make in India Changing the Global Perception of India

Mission Make in India has assisted us in changing the global perception of India. We must mobilize all of our resources as a nation to make this vital policy declaration. Allow Indian companies to raise the proportion of locally sourced materials in all their products while still satisfying the end consumer by providing a better experience than imported items. Serious efforts are required to reach this goal. To match consumer demands, Indian firms must improve their capabilities.

The active support and engagement of the government are required for local industry to reach its full potential. In the absence of well-defined criteria for procuring indigenous ingredients, many Indian producers of international renown confront significant obstacles in increasing their share of local markets. Some public sector organizations are leading the way in making it essential by establishing local component share in their procurement rules. It also requires extensive backing from private businesses. Without a supplier to the local market, our aim of becoming a factory for the entire world will be incredibly impossible to realize.

Innovations by Indian Firms

Indian firms are aggressively seeking innovations abroad in order to capitalize on the dual engine of growth available in the shape of local consumption and export potential. For the first time in Indian industry history, projects are being planned and created based on global demand rather than just local demands.

India has successfully lured mobile handset makers from China and abroad to ramp up local manufacturing in India through the ambitious 'Make in India' program. While the government has established and supported a strong Make in India platform, it is now up to the Indian industry to imagine and implement local manufacturing.

Though India has experienced an upsurge in mobile device production in recent years, with poor value adds, there isn't much encouragement to promote design-based infrastructure equipment manufacturing. India remains heavily reliant on imports of IT and telecom items, posing a significant challenge to the trade deficit. Although the government has set its sights on promoting telecom equipment manufacturing in India through its Make in India campaign, its ambitious target of meeting net zero imports by 2020 cannot be met unless we focus aggressively on design-oriented, high-value-added manufacturing and IP development in the country.

According to Rajan Mathews, Director General of COAI, “Many believe that domestic telecom equipment manufacturing cannot prosper due to a lack of component ecosystem, technical expertise, poor infrastructure, and the ability to meet this enormous demand." Contrary to popular belief, the country has an abundance of technological expertise and innovative talents. All we need is effort and the correct regulatory environment, as well as giving the sector enough time to supply excellent components at globally competitive rates. Until then, a protectionist stance must be avoided since it will hinder infrastructure deployment.”

Businesses' Expectations from the Government

Governments are unable to distinguish between domestic and international firms. They must maintain a level playing field, as they have done in the past. To emerge from challenging circumstances, Indian firms must alter not only their business concepts but also their entire business processes. However, empowering technology through a continual focus on R&D can help them, and the government has a program to encourage this as well.

There are beta risks and market risks that are uncontrollable. It's regrettable that the government focused on Indian players, but that was never the government's intention. They are in difficulty because of the flaws they have carried with them all along.


By 2020, India will require more than $80 billion in mobile components. This explains why the chance for domestic mobile makers to obtain components locally is expanding at an exponential rate. A significant amount of effort is required to advance talent development, design expertise, and build a robust infrastructure that will enable India to remain a powerful manufacturing hub for many years to come. To promote domestic manufacturing in India, the government must implement a comprehensive strategy for creating a specialized telecom cluster while resolving infrastructure, fiscal, and legal challenges, including labor laws.

The government should also develop an incentive-based method to create incremental demand for locally manufactured equipment, i.e., by rewarding purchasers to acquire domestically built equipment. The existing ease of doing business atmosphere in the country remains a limiting factor in large manufacturers' decisions to join India. While the government has taken significant steps to enable fast-tracking and ease of doing business for companies wishing to invest in the country, a comparable level of commitment and urgency is required to address the day-to-day operational challenges businesses encounter when engaging with the government.

The most important factors for the successful commercialization of local products are easy market access and privileged market access. Domestic manufacturers cannot achieve the scale and magnitude of global majors until they have strong government assistance in this area, as well as financial support in the form of specialized financing, tax breaks on R&D, and so on.

The government must also consider sponsoring major telecom infrastructure/technology development, which has a long gestation time, requires large investments, and fits into diverse telecom network rollout needs, such as mobile technologies.