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India needs to double down on electronics manufacturing

India has slowed down on the manufacturing front and needs to double down on electronics manufacturing services (EMS)-designing, manufacturing, testing components and assemblies for original equipment manufacturers, Tata Electronics Chairman Banmali Agrawala said.

During a conversation with Vinay Ramesh, COO at the Foundation for Economic Development, Agrawala said India has gone ‘slow’ on the manufacturing front and needed to ensure that the sector, which accounts for 13-15 per cent of India’s GDP, has a much larger share as it will create better-paying jobs.

“Our share in the global trade in manufacturing is negligible, so there is ample room for growth. Electronics, on its own, has a global trade worth USD 5 trillion. Given the pace of digitalisation the world over, it is only going to grow, and this is something India should be after,” Agrawala said, adding that India’s domestic consumption is not going to be enough to be able to achieve sustained economic growth.

“We have to have the world as our marketplace,” he said.

Agrawala further said the government should continue to work with the sense of urgency they have shown so far and ensure that the enabling infrastructure for manufacturing is in place.

“It’s not just the quantity but also the quality of power and water supply that matters. This makes the difference; the logistics in terms of connectivity to airports, proximity of airports, because the components industry moves through air. The government would do well to ensure this enabling infrastructure is in place. A lot of this is in the domain of state governments,” he added.

He further said that this is going to be a people-heavy operation.

“We’re talking about youngsters, 50,000-70,000 people working in a single factory or location, aged 20-25, mostly women, so we need to ensure that the supporting ecosystem for education, healthcare and recreation is in place.”

He said that as several multinationals set up shops in India and implement things on scale, Indian corporates should shed their conservatism and risk aversion to seize this opportunity. PTI

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