How IoT Can Fast Track the ‘Make in India’ Initiative
The ‘Make in India’ initiative has the capability to take the Indian economy to new heights and generate significant employment. Companies and investors will indeed look for benefits that could be accrued from this effort
Aimed at transforming India into a global hub, the ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Government of India has attracted eyeballs from across the world. The government policies and the investment environment are expected to play a key role for the success of this initiative.
Like China, India too has an opportunity to emerge as a global manufacturing hub. China in the late 70s with the resumption of US-China trade ties had a focus to emerge as a large volume producer of products at low cost, India too should have a clear vision and begin attracting investments with the sole intent of emerging as a manufacturer of high quality products at low prices for global customers.
IoT: TRANSFORMING THE INDIAN MANUFACTURING SECTOR
With many global companies now transiting to the Internet of Things (IoT), a big opportunity awaits the Indian manufacturing sector. Much has been written about IoT and there have been several debates on whether it is overhyped or capable enough to redefine manufacturing. While the debate still continues, albeit in low volume, there are clear signs and examples to indicate that IoT indeed has the ability to create what the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ or more popularly referred to as ‘Industry 4.0’.
One such study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP mentions that com- panies which have implemented IoT have experienced positive processes, relationships, and financial impacts. The report mentions 22% of the interviewed IoT leaders at global enterprises experienced ‘extremely high positive impact’ in their process efficiencies, customer relationships, profitability, ability to leverage data for strategic decision making, customer experience, and 27% on their topline revenue.
Against the backdrop of a huge push for business reforms through the government’s ‘Make in India’ project, it is important to understand the factors that favor India to make it a global hub of product manufacturing. First, several research reports suggest that in comparison to the third industrial revolution, the fourth revolution will have a relatively higher impact at comparatively lesser replacement of equipment. Secondly, IT and software will have a key role in creating the infrastructure for Industry 4.0 and IoT and finally, thanks to the abundant availability of talent in this area, India will only benefit further.
Looking back at how manufacturing became a low-cost activity over 30 years ago, history has once again repeated itself. Industry 4.0 and IoT have already been proven to increase the ability of manufacturing plants to produce highquality goods at low costs by optimizing the whole supply chain. The cost of IoT sensors and connectivity has also reduced drastically and it is set to reduce even further and this makes the digital transformation of manufacturing in India a realistic and non-cost intensive option. While the application of Industry 4.0 can revolutionize the manufacturing sector in India, IoT offers unlimited opportunities to improve the peripheral needs of a successful manufacturing hubs. Just to quote a few examples in this regard: Smart cities, smart logistics, and smart utilities could also provide the cutting edge infrastructure necessary to accelerate the industrial revolution in India. The ‘Make in India’ initiative provides a tremendous opportunity for leading IT companies, customers, and partners to play a defining role in this journey. (The author is Vice President, Global Head of SAP Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services) firstname.lastname@example.org