India needs to focus on improving productivity levels over the next decade in order to take advantage of global companies’ China de-risking strategy, said L Ganesh, chairman of Rane Group.

“Whatever people call it — China plus one or China de-risking — it is a reality now. India has a great opportunity to become an alternative sourcing hub for global firms. But we have to continuously improve ourselves. We still have a long way to go in terms of infrastructure and productivity,” he told Businessline

Ganesh is of the view that India has already achieved global standards in manufacturing quality, but what is needed is an enhancement in productivity levels. “One of the things we are doing is continuous productivity improvements. Of course, we can’t be complacent. But, we need to focus on productivity, skill in manpower, good quality management... everything is a shortage in India. While we have a big population, good and talented people are still in shortage,” he added.

Creating efficient environment

“Productivity has to be our focus for the next decade. If we do that and get our act together, opportunities are quite good,” he stated.

Incentivising businesses through PLI and other schemes is good for large investments like battery technology, chips, etc. But more than that, making the environment efficient will be essential. “Improving infrastructure and efficiency will make doing business easier for all,” he said, while pointing out the huge demographic advantage of the country. 

Ganesh also lauded aggressive measures of various States to be investor-friendly. “We have observed quicker approvals for our new investments in expansion in Tamil Nadu as also in Telangana. Guidance Bureau in Tamil Nadu and the industry department in Telangana have been very responsive and facilitated faster approvals,” he said.

ESG commitment

Ganesh also discussed the growing commitment towards sustainability under ESG (environmental, social and governance) journey. “From a mandatory point of view, the government is talking about top 1,000 companies for ESG disclosures. But interestingly, many of our customers have proactively been pushing for that. Recently, we had to get a certification and show certain things to Europe’s largest automaker. Thus, it is just not the government, global customers are also driving ESG goals,” he said.

For Rane Group, the transition towards sustainability is key, both from the environment and cost points of view. “Today, about 32 per cent of energy comes from renewables, and will gradually increase to 40 per cent as we continue to make investments in clean energy generation,” he added.