The advantage of cheap labour in the Indian industry should not make companies complacent. They should gear up to face the present and future challenges to make best use of emerging opportunities, said Dr. Jairam Varadaraj, Managing Director, Elgi Equipments Ltd. (EEL), Coimbatore.

He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Discover-Emerging Opportunities,' organised by the Southern India Engineering Manufacturers' Association (SIEMA), Coimbatore, here recently.


While Indians as individuals want to earn more, the entire competitive advantage of the industries in the country was purely based on low cost advantage, which was a fall out of cheap labour,.

The success story of a formerly bankrupt company Nokia proved that aspirations were more important than resources.

Global market

Lack of resources should not be an excuse. Aspirations provided a massive opportunity for India and its companies in a global market.

“It was not the lack of technology or strategies that made companies fail.”

Even companies which had cutting edge technologies or strategies had failed because of the inability to execute,” Dr. Varadaraj added.

He said that companies with mediocre technologies or fussy strategies but with very good execution levels have succeeded.

Dr. Varadaraj said how effectively the tools were used was vital in determining their success. Indian companies were neither competitive in technology or strategy, Indian industries took to the world only the advantage of cost competitiveness. He wanted India to ‘move to a plane where our competitive advantage is not just low cost labour'.

Dr. Varadaraj said it was values that made for excellence in an organization, the same values that would bring in better technology or better strategy.

Value chain

He said as companies improve their efficiency, they should move up in the value chain.

Jayakumar Ramdass, SIEMA president, convener of the seminar Dr. S.K. Singha Roy and V. Krishnakumar, past president of Indian Mump Manufacturers' Association spoke.

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