Yes we can, but..

Voice&Data - - CONTENTS -

This.has.be­come.a.per­pet­ual.story..Some­thing.goes.wrong.some­where.and.In­dian.IT.users.have.to.bear.the.brunt.. There.is.a.fac­tory.fire.or.a.tsunami.and.the.sup­plies.are.hit..Or.the.In­dian.ru­pee.comes.down.against.the.dol­lar. and.the.equip­ment.be­comes.too.ex­pen­sive..There.is.a.Chi­nese.bug.sc are.in.all.c om­mu­ni­ca­tions.equip­ment,. and.the.in­dus­try.lit­er­ally.comes.to.a.stand­still..Or.there.is.some­thing.else..Once.it.was.the.Thai­land.floods,.and. once.it.was.the.Ja­pan.earth­quake.and.sub­se­quent.tsunami..And.as.Alok.Bharad­waj,.MAIT.pres­i­dent.very.aptly. put.it,.In­dia.has.now.been.hit.by.the.dol­lar.tsunami..In­dian.users.suf­fer.so.much,.just.be­cause.the.equip­ment. is.not.man­u­fac­tured.in.In­dia.

Is.lo­cal.man­u­fac­tur­ing.the.so­lu­tion?.Maybe.yes,.but.the.chal­leng es.that.will.come.in.the.way.of.build­ing. In­dia.as.a.man­u­fac­tur­ing.base.are.huge..Talk.to.the.in­dus­try,.and.you.will.re­al­iYe.that.there.is.so.much.t o.be. done.be­fore.any­one.will.take.us.se­ri­ously..There.are.a.host.of.gov­ern­ment.poli­cies.that.sup­port.man­u­fac­tur­ing,. in­clud­ing.bu­reau­cracy-less.sin­gle.win­dow.clear­ance,.that.must.be.first.put.in.place..The.in­fra­struc­ture.re­quired. for.man­u­fac­tur­ing--power,.roads,.ports--is.al­most.miss­ing..There.has.to.be.a.huge.ecosys­tem.of.part­ners.and. sup­pli­ers,.which.will.need.to.be.si­mul­ta­ne­ously.built.up..All.this.will.take.time,.but.be­fore.that.we.need.a.strong. gov­ern­ment..Is.that.any­where.in.sight?

The.other.big.ques­tion.is.if.the.lo­cal.mar­ket.will.ac­cept.Made.in.In­dia.prod­ucts..Tech­nol­ogy.de­ci­sion.mak­ers. in.In­dian.com­pa­nies.be­lieve,.by.and.large,.that.stuff.made.in.In­dia.is.not.en­tirely.re­li­able..And.that.the.kind.of. post-sales.sup­port.that.for­eign.com­pa­nies.of­fer,.In­dian.ven­dors.can­not..It.is.there­fore.un­likely.that.the.prod­ucts. man­u­fac­tured.in.In­dia,.even.by.MNCs.will.not.be.eas­ily.ac­cepted..And.if.it.is.an.In­dian.ven­dor.with.a.Made.in. In­dia.prod­uct,.the.re­sis­tance.will.be.even.higher..Un­for­tu­nately,.there.have.been.some.re­cent.ex­am­ples.of.In­dian. prod­ucts.that.just.failed.on.re­li­a­bil­ity.and.qual­ity,.that.only.goes.to.strengthen.their.ar­gu­ment.

This.is.the.mind­set.that.will.have.to.be.bro­ken..And.that.will.not.hap­pen.by.just.talk­ing..In­dian.ven­dors.will. have.to.walk.the.talk--in.terms.of.price,.prod­uct.qual­ity,.fea­tures,.and.sup­port..Are.they.ready?

A.good.ex­am­ple.will.be.t o.study.the.Nokia.manuf ac­tur­ing.plant.in.Chen­nai,.which.is.their.big gest.in.the . world..Ac­cord­ing.to.mar­ket.re­ports,.over.100.mil­lion.phones.ar e.pro­duced.in.this.plan t.ev­ery.year,.by.ov er. 10,000.work­ers,.80%.of.whom.are.women..Out.of.this.pro­duc­tion,.al­most.50%.is.con­sumed.in.In­dia,.and.the. rest.is.ex­ported.to.about.100.coun­tries..Can.both.the.in­dus­try.and.the.gov­ern­ment.learn.from.this?.And.just. try.to.repli­cate.it?

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