Broadly speaking, what does ‘Make in India’ mean to you and how would you best describe this novel idea?
Although many multinationals have been manufacturing in India for many years, what is unique about the ‘Make in India’ campaign is that there is now a concerted push towards manufacturing which will help India emerge as a manufacturing hub. This should help sell Indian products in the domestic as well as international markets.
How do you think this initiative will help boost Indian industry and economy?
The stated objective of this campaign is to increase the share of manufacturing as a percentage of GDP from the current level of 16 per cent to 22 per cent by 2022. This will definitely help in generating employment as well as increasing purchasing power. Thus, it will give a boost to the cycle of saving-consumption-investment or what is known as the circular flow of income in the economy. This in turn will pave the way for accelerated growth in the economy.
Do you think Make in India will actually help promote foreign investment in India?
The Make in India initiative should not be viewed in isolation. This initiative is also being supplemented by the government with other measures like raising sectoral caps for various foreign investments in the country. The government is also promising a stable policy and tax environment which is among the major concerns of prospective foreign investors. Taken as a whole, this should definitely help in attracting foreign direct investment in India.
What do you think about the government’s plans to make India a manufacturing hub for foreign investors? How will it benefit pipe manufacturers?
It is an excellent idea. If India is to embark upon the next wave of growth it cannot be driven purely by services. Manufacturing has to play a major role and since this requires huge infusion of capital there is definitely a need for foreign direct investment. We also cannot view this purely in the context of benefiting pipe manufacturers. The sector will benefit in tune with the rest of the economy in terms of being able to attract additional capital.
What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in the Make in India initiative?
The advantage that India has a huge pool of scientific and technical manpower — this should definitely help the initiative. The challenge is that the demand for skilled manpower will only increase going forward. The government is addressing this through the National Skill Development Corporation. How quickly and effectively this corporation can meet the demand for skilled manpower will finally determine the outcome of this programme.
As India’s leading manufacturer of PVC pipes and fittings and second largest manufacturer of PVC resins, does Finolex Industries have specific plans to participate in this initiative?
Finolex Industries has always believed in the huge potential of the Indian market. As the leading manufacturer of PVC pipes and fittings in India, Finolex Industries carries water from source to destination across India. It believes that every Indian directly or indirectly is a part of this journey. Finolex Industries will, therefore, continue to invest in new capacity for pipes and fittings and will also continue to increase its penetration in the rural markets of India.
Does your company have any major investment plans for Make in India?
We plan to add approximately 30,000 tpa of capacity every year for the next three years. The total capital outlay for this expansion is expected to be around Rs.100 crore.