‘India is a growing economy and there are massive infrastructure needs’
Foundries should adopt the consortia model to improve technology, address energy issues and for skill development, according to M.M. Murugappan, vice-chairman of the Murugappa Group.
Speaking at the inaugural of a two-day National Foundry Conclave, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here on Friday, he said that the current situation faced by industries was the new reality and it was here to stay. It was a transformative phase in business and structural changes were happening globally. “We cannot say we are not impacted, though the country has a huge domestic market.”
Businesses should address the challenges faced by them internally. India was a growing economy and there were massive infrastructure needs. Hence, opportunities for industries were high. Quality standards would have more focus. In this scenario, it was important for industrial clusters to work together. While the foundries prioritise and operationalise the Vision 2020, they should build capabilities, he said.
Harsh K Jha, president of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen, said “We live in a world which does not give success of permanence.” The challenges for survival and growth of a business were different now. Foundries need to think beyond cost advantage. The focus should be on customer advantage. Foundries need to understand the needs of the customer, use the power of digital tools to engage with customers and service them.
C.R. Swaminathan, chairman of the event, said India had over 4,600 foundries. With annual production of seven million tonnes of castings, India’s share in global casting manufacturing was 10 per cent. The industry provided direct employment to five lakh people. However, it had scope for improvement in productivity. “We need to achieve faster response to customer demand,” he said. The emphasis should be on low-cost automation.
N. Krishna Samaraj, co-chairman of the conclave, said that India was now neck-to-neck with the U.S. in terms of casting production. The uncertainty in the global market, financial constraints, talent availability and energy situation were some of the challenges faced by the industry.