By Neeraj Bajpai/ Abhijit Deb
Junking perception that setting up of manufacturing units is typical of riding a tiger, more and more entrepreneurs from the world over now are keen to mount mechanical ‘Make in India’ lion and Taiwanese industrialists’ visit this week for setting up plants is yet another manifestation of catching up phenomenon. Many still nurse a lurking feeling that the ‘Make In India’ is more a paper tiger than reality and roar is a far cry, but the government records show a different spectacle – every day international entrepreneurs are riveting their eyes to India.
“We are taking up skill development in a big way to enhance employability of the youth to whom we are committed to provide jobs through initiatives like ‘Make in India,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi told UNI in a recent interview.
Mr Modi said ‘Make in India ‘reflects sentiments of 80 crore young citizens and the world has also realised it within a short period of time. He said that recently he went to France, Germany ,Canada, China and Korea and “wherever I referred Make in India industrialists , entrepreneurs and politicians of those countries responded in more warm and encouraging manner.”
According to Mr Modi, in a short period of time, foreign direct investment (FDI) this year has recorded 39 per cent rise as compared to the last year, reflective to response of the world to “our” programme. In the last 10 years, Indian entrepreneurs and their companies felt dire need of expanding out of India and some had decided to proceed out.” Today, that sentiment of deserting out has totally subsided .”
Moreover, Mr Modi said, India’s young talent that gone abroad to make career in the want of avenue back home here are now willing to return back home to serve motherland. “ So through this Make in India Programme, India has strengthened and expanded its influence in the world. It is equally effective in India and abroad. So far as digital power is concerned, it is in our blood and this would soon show its impact even in remote villages,” he said.
Informatively, Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (TEEMA) plans to invest USD 200 million in electronic manufacturing sector at Greater Noida of Uttar Pradesh. Led by TEEMA President, Francis Tsai, a seven-member delegation of the association visited the state and met Chief Secretary. Other members of the delegation included John Ko, John Lin, Dingo Ku, Gary Liu, GJ Lee and Sanjay Sony representing Taiwanese giants like D-Link, CTCI Corp, Winston Corp., etc. Mr Francis says a group of industries from Taiwan is willing to invest in establishing an electrical and electronics manufacturing cluster in Greater Noida.
The India specific ‘ Make in India’ campaign, industry sources say, is not restricted to a few states but all are getting enquiries irrespective of region and party in the power there. It does not matter whether Industry come up in UP, West Bengal or anywhere else, the main thrust point is that they are reaching out to India.
In order to get a higher slot in the World Bank’s ranking of ease of doing business, the Union government has briefed senior WB officials about a series of reforms implemented in the last twelve months. A series of meetings between the World Bank team and officials of different Departments in Commerce and Finance Ministry will cover range of issues as the multilateral institution has begun work on coming out with next ranking in 2016.
Official sources said the NDA government has carried out a number of reforms to speed up investments which include removal of minimum paid-up capital requirement for companies, single window clearance of projects and single step incorporation of companies. The World Bank team appreciated the efforts and promised to take note of initiatives taken by the government.
Industry observers say not all cats roar, but those that do fascinate us with their mysterious and loud sound. A lion’s roar is used as a means of communication, for example to announce their availability to a mate or warn of predators.
In similar fashion, the `Mechanical Lion’ emblem of ‘Make in India’ campaign has been set out to do exactly the same to announce to the world the pro-manufacturing policy of NDA government, which promises to take manufacturing activity in the country to 25 per cent from existing 15 per cent of the total GDP and also create 100 million jobs.
Within a day of Mr Modi’s announcement of the policy in September last year, the nation boasted of successful mission to Mars and credit rating upgradation by Standard and Poor’s and suddenly it seemed lot of things were going India’s way. However for ‘Make in India,’ there were lot of hurdles. The campaign, which mainly focused, on promoting manufacturing activity, was not easy to deliver considering the poor infrastructure, archaic labour laws, red tapism and subdued investor confidence in the Indian economy. Official sources contest these perception and claim the foreigners are lured by a slew of incentives – cheap labour, land and less red –tapism.
Nearly eight months after the launch, government’s effort to promote the country as a global `manufacturing destination’ has somehow managed to create a buzz if not a roar. According to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) the nodal agency for implementing the scheme in a report said nearly every hour, 105 posts are put on MII by people in the 21-35 age group online In its first six months, the campaign garnered a whopping 4.6 billion global digital ‘impressions’.
An ‘impression’, the report said, is an estimate of the number of people a post is reaching and the number of times where the post appears is shown. The report said. FDI inflows during October 2014-March 2015 were 23.33 billion dollars, an increase of 37 per cent from 17.05 billion dollar in the same period a year ago. Since a key objective of the campaign is to attract more FDI inflows, it is “resonating with the right audience as over 60 per cent of discussions (on MII) have happened outside India,” the report stated.
In the region-wise analysis, the US topped with 44,355 mentions (meaning, a particular post, tweet, retweet and reply where keywords mentioned are related to the MII campaign) and 96.7 million impressions, followed by UK (13,073 mentions and 45.5 million impressions). Within India there were 291,565 mentions and 1.3 billion impressions with the maximum from Delhi (34,006 and 388.7 million).
The project also featured in KPMG’s ‘100 Most Innovative Global Projects’ as one of the world’s most innovative and inspiring infrastructure projects.
In fact, the `Make in India’ campaign was instrumental in promoting the idea of “competitive federalism” in the country as states are competing with each to provide a better suited ground for setting up manufacturing facility. For instance, in far off north eastern state Sikkim, the government is busy designing a policy based on its organic products to attract investment to set up manufacturing facility which could produce packaged organic products.
Himachal Pradesh has chosen environment and is pushing for investment in the sector. Encouraged by this trend, Centre has decided to rank states on the basis of `ease of doing business’ The positive engagement of the Centre and state on the ambitious campaign is indicative of the fact that things are moving in the right direction and the pro-manufacturing policy is certainly making a noise.
Government has also aggressively promoted the ambitious campaign globally. In April, Mr Modi unleased the ‘Make in India’ logo Lion in Hannover Messe in Germany- the world’s largest trade fair where traders and investors got a first glimpse of the campaign. Mr Modi promised a “predictable, stable and competitive” tax regime as he pitched his ‘Make in India’ agenda. “I want to thank you for allowing us to unleash our lions in this city… the lions are a symbol of new India,” the PM had said, referring to the ‘Make in India’ logo of a lion made of cogs to depict manufacturing.