Innovation only mantra for manufacturing

Uttam Bose, Managing Director & CEO, Hindustan Motors Ltd.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Uttam Bose, Managing Director & CEO, Hindustan Motors Ltd.
Hindustan Motors Ltd. (BSE: 500500) (NSE: HINDMOTORS) is an automotive manufacturer based in Kolkata, West Bengal. The company currently has a market cap of Rs.148.74 crore.

Which is the right path to becoming a developed nation: manufacturing or services? This has been an ever raging debate which has failed to produce a universally acceptable conclusion.

I have never been comfortable with this line of discourse. Why should we talk in terms of manufacturing OR services? I find the either/OR mode of thinking rather dangerous. OR divides. It excludes. Therefore, why not manufacturing AND services? AND offers the possibility of diverse systems, methodologies, domains, thoughts and more collaborating. It is inclusive. It unites. It diminishes the probability of X growing at the expense of Y. It thus serves to dispel both inequity and inequality – the lethal bane of Indian socio-economic scenario. India needs its manufacturing and services sectors to grow in tandem.

However, the emphasis on either of the two keeps on changing with shifts in the growth cycle. The last one decade witnessed services driving growth and expansion. Now, the responsibility is gradually gravitating towards manufacturing in India. Being a manufacturing professional for close to three decades, I got the opportunity to lead major manufacturing companies and conglomerates in India, West Asia and UK. Hence, my focus here is on making the most of manufacturing.

Historically, the manufacturing sector has always played an important role in the economic development of most countries. Asian economies including China, which began their economic development at the same time as that of India, are way ahead primarily due to the difference in the growth strategies adopted by them. China's emphasis has always been on a robust manufacturing policy, while India concentrated on developing its services sector.

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