New Delhi, Nov.18 : Government-sponsored research and development for the private sector is essential for providing a push to technological excellence in India's manufacturing sector, said Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Industrial Policy and Promotion.
He was speaking at a session on "Big Bets on Technology and Manufacturing" at the 24th India Economic Summit organized jointly by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and World Economic Forum, in New Delhi.
Kumar said that the challenge of India's manufacturing sector is to "enhance global competitiveness of its products by adopting technology. At the same time, India also faces the challenge of providing employment for millions of Indians and ensuring equity on the social and economic side".
Responding to a question regarding venture capital investments in India, he said "Enough thought has not gone into creating an ambience conducive for venture capital in India. There is a need to set in motion a government sponsored programme to kickstart the venture capital eco system in the country".
Deepak Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, Moser Baer, India said "The government has put in place an extensive stimulus package for the electronics industry in India. This package could enable India to become one of the largest producers of mobile phones in the next two years."
Puri further emphasized the importance of technology in manufacturing.
Shailesh Rao, Managing Director, Google India said:, "Technology drives production which drives growth which further creates jobs." He further added that India had the singular opportunity of becoming the laboratory of the world and developing intellectual capital."
"The concern for the country is to provide the technical talent, an environment to take risks and generate intellectual capital", he added.
Steven J Veldhoen Managing Director, Asia, Booz and Company, Japan while expressing optimism about the future of manufacturing in India said, "India has created a Center of Excellence in automobile manufacturing, both for domestic and global demand. India is going through a development phase, where manufacturing will follow".
He also highlighted the opportunity for India in developing fit-for-purpose machines for the developing world.
Defining Volkswagen's experience in India as being positive, Joerg Mueller, President and Managing Director, Volkwagen Group India, said: "We find the skills that we need amongst the people coming from the universities and their motivation levels are very high".
"There are gaps in the skill sets which are met with training programmes conducted by the organization," Muller added.
Allen Ma, President, BT Asia Pacific, BT, Hong Kong SAR said: "Agility, branding and innovation would be the key to the success of India's manufacturing and are important for serving the sophisticated customer".
According to Ma, virtual manufacturing would enable India to leverage the global innovation eco system, create innovative products and serve customers on a global basis.