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`India lagging behind China in capability building'

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In the modern world, "technology is portable" and "there is no such thing as intellectual property'', says Lord Bhattacharyya.

`DEVELOP OWN PRODUCTS': Prof. The Lord Bhattacharyya of Moseley, Director, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, UK, with Mr Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, CII National Social Infrastructure Development, as Mr R. Seshasayee, President, CII, walks past at a session on ` New horizons in innovation' organised by the CII Naoroji Godrej Centre of Excellence in Chennai on Saturday. Bijoy Ghosh
`DEVELOP OWN PRODUCTS': Prof. The Lord Bhattacharyya of Moseley, Director, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, UK, with Mr Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, CII National Social Infrastructure Development, as Mr R. Seshasayee, President, CII, walks past at a session on ` New horizons in innovation' organised by the CII Naoroji Godrej Centre of Excellence in Chennai on Saturday. Bijoy Ghosh

Our Bureau

Chennai, Aug. 19

Innovation and capability building are key to success in manufacturing. China has understood this much better than India has. This was one of the important points that came up in a lecture on Saturday by Prof. The Lord Bhattacharyya of Moseley, Director, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, UK.

The lecture was organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry. The Indian-born British peer, and an alumnus of IIT, Kharagpur, said that every year about 5,000 Chinese managers were being trained at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG). In addition, about 17,000 managers are assisted by WMG in China. In contrast, less than 200 Indian managers are trained there.

China is building the capability for `Made in China' to dominate the world. India has the ability but has not been able to capitalise on it, Lord Bhattacharyya said. (However, a beginning seems to have been made. Bharat Forge has asked that 1,500 of its people be trained in WMG.)

Pointing out that the world had seen 25 months of consecutive growth in manufacturing, Lord Bhattacharyya said that although most of the growth was happening in Asia, India's name did not even figure in the list of countries leading the growth.

Calling for capability building, he said Indian companies needed to develop their own products and praised Tata Motors for its homegrown product, the Indica.

He said that in the modern world, "technology is portable" and "there is no such thing as intellectual property". He said proprietary technology was becoming difficult because regulators the world over were beginning to say, "we want to know what was the thinking that went behind the design of this product."

Earlier, welcoming Lord Bhattacharyya, the President of CII, Mr R. Seshasayee, stressed that Indian companies needed to innovate, not just depend upon labour arbitrage. Mr Seshasayee pointed out some fundamental differences between the way India has been growing and the way other Asian countries grew.

He said that while the rest of Asia went into labour-intensive manufacturing, India went into services. While many Asian countries' growth was investment-led, India's was consumption-led. These countries grew from low-technology to hi-tech, but India jumped to hi-tech.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 20, 2006)
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