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