Movers & Mak­ers

IN­DIAN EN­TREPRENEUR­S ARE INNOVATING EVEN AS THEY GROW. CAN THEY NOW TAKE THE GREAT LEAP FOR­WARD IN MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ING?

India Today - - INSIDE - By M.G. Arun

In­dia To­day fe­lic­i­tates win­ners of its Make in In­dia En­tre­pre­neur Awards in 10 sec­tors, in­clud­ing Biotech & Pharma, Food Pro­cess­ing and Avi­a­tion

The germ of an idea that cre­ated In­dia’s largest safety shoes com­pany was not born out of any Pow­erPoint pre­sen­ta­tions from suited-booted con­sul­tants. It was a mere chal­lenge that a co-trav­eller on a Delhi-Gwalior train jour­ney threw at Nitin Ti­wari. “Can you pro­duce this in In­dia?” the per­son asked, point­ing to his safety shoes, worn by work­men on shopfloors. That prompted Ti­wari, 43, to ex­plore a new arena and ex­pand his fa­ther’s leather busi­ness. To­day, his firm, Acme Fabrik Plast Co, makes 8,000 pairs of safety shoes a day, has an­nual rev­enues of Rs 180 crore and counts com­pa­nies such as Toy­ota, Honda, Dow Chem­i­cals and BASF among its clients.

The economies of the de­vel­oped world were built on the ed­i­fice of sev­eral small busi­nesses over sev­eral decades. But nearly two years af­ter the Naren­dra Modi govern­ment an­nounced its Make in In­dia push, the glass is still half full. As Nirmala Sitharaman, min­is­ter of state for com­merce and in­dus­try, noted in her key­note ad­dress at the In­dia To­day Make in In­dia Emerg­ing En­tre­pre­neur Awards, the govern­ment is tak­ing steps to make do­ing busi­ness eas­ier, re­mov­ing in­fra­struc­ture bot­tle­necks, pro­vid­ing last-minute con­nec­tiv­ity and un­in­ter­rupted en­ergy sup­ply. She cited the in­stance of coal, where the coun­try is now self-suf­fi­cient. “No ther­mal power plant needs to worry about coal sup­ply,” she said. She cleared the air on the Cen­tre’s ob­jec­tives through the Make in In­dia drive, stat­ing it was not just ex­port-ori­ented, but also aimed at the big mar­ket that is In­dia.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, chief ar­chi­tect of the Make in In­dia cam­paign, talked of the iconic lessons in en­trepreneur­ship coun­tries such as China, and even Sin­ga­pore and Tai­wan, have to of­fer. “Large en­ter­prises de­stroy jobs while start-ups cre­ate them. In­dia must be­come a coun­try of dis­rup­tion­ists,” he said. In­dia must grow at 9-10 per cent and that can hap­pen only when the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor grows at 14 per cent, he added.

What is prob­a­bly less vis­i­ble in the en­tire Make in In­dia drive, how­ever, is the need to pro­vide an in­ten­sive push

“For ev­ery new pro­ject planned by any min­istry, the PM has two ques­tions: how much money is in­volved and how many jobs will it cre­ate?”

“Make in In­dia is not only to pro­mote ex­port. We are not try­ing to im­i­tate China. Pro­duc­tion in In­dia is im­por­tant be­cause In­dia is a big mar­ket.” — NIRMALA SITHARAMAN, MOS, Com­merce & In­dus­try

THE WIN­NERS OF THE MAKE IN IN­DIA EMERG­ING EN­TRE­PRE­NEUR AWARDS WITH AROON PURIE, ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF, IN­DIA TO­DAY; NIRMALA SITHARAMAN, MOS, COM­MERCE & IN­DUS­TRY; AND V. VAIDYANATH­AN, EX­EC­U­TIVE CHAIR­MAN, CAP­I­TAL FIRST

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