MNCs eye ‘Make in India’ opportunity

N Ramakrishnan Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 19, 2018

Phil Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Lockheed Martin India

Success will help them tap global markets with capabilities built here

The Narendra Modi government’s Make in India campaign has got foreign companies with operations in India looking at what more they can do in the country.

This was the message the CEOs of Indian arms of four multinational companies conveyed at a plenary session on ‘Make in India: drafting India’s global manufacturing strategy’, at the CII Partnership summit here.

Big prospects

These executives believe their companies are just scratching the surface and will in the coming days look at expanding operations in a major way.

“The Make in India call is what focused us on what else we can do here,” said Phil Shaw, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India. The aerospace manufacturer has two large facilities in India, both near Hyderabad, from where it makes aero structures for the C130J transport aircraft and cabins for S92 helicopters.

With the opening up of foreign direct investment in defence, Lockheed Martin believes there are more opportunities. It is looking at facilities in other parts of the country, mainly in partnership with Indian companies.

Kishore Jayaraman, President–India & South Asia, Rolls-Royce India Pvt Ltd, said the company has been present in India for several years, starting with supplying engines, then transferring technology to HAL, then setting up an engineering facility and building components for the aerospace industry.

Rolls-Royce wants to now move beyond this and see what else it can create in India. How to innovate not only for India but for the world, is the thinking. “We want to create, make and export from this country,” he said.

Josh Foulger, Managing Director, Foxconn India Development Ltd, a major electronics manufacturer, said Make in India was a theme that had brought together a lot of things. The electronics industry was a large generator of jobs and India’s electronic consumption was growing at a steady clip.

Foxconn started with mobiles and within a year had created nearly 30,000 jobs and in the next three-four years, it would create several thousand more, he said.

Srini Srinivasan, Managing Director, Hospira (a Pfizer company), said Make in India was more than just manufacturing in India; it is also about leveraging the capabilities that India offered to tap the global market.

Challenges remain

Frank Wisner, former US Ambassador to India and now International Affairs Advisor to Patton Boggs LLP, a law and lobbying firm, pointed out that in the last three years, India’s exports of manufactured goods and services was declining. To boost manufacturing, India needed to build infrastructure, strengthen its tax system, improve the IPR regime and upgrade technology. Simultaneously, it had to adopt an open economic architecture if it were to make a success of Make in India.

Irene Hors, Head of Division of Strategic Partnerships and New Initiatives, OECD, France, said while India had made considerable progress to liberalise the FDI regime, it needed to do more, especially in the services sector. This would, in turn, benefit the manufacturing sector, she added.

Published on January 11, 2016

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