Eminent CEOs of India Inc today highlighted the need for Indian manufacturing to become globally competitive and joining the global value chain as the key ingredients for making India a $5 trillion economy. Speaking at FICCI’s 92nd Annual Convention on the theme ‘India: Roadmap to a $5 Trillion Economy’, Mr Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) said, “If we have to reach the level of $5 trillion economy by the next five years, we have to be globally competitive.”
India also needs to increase its exports of steel and other manufactured items, Mr Chaudhary said at the CEOs panel discussion held on the second day of the annual convention moderated by Mr Raj Jain, CEO, Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd. Mr Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, ITC Ltd, said that while farming is directly a large employer with lots of jobs created in the post-harvest management, even the food processing segment has the largest employment to capital ratio. “We need to plug into the global value chains in value-added agricultural products,” he added. Mr Pankaj R Patel, Chairman, Cadila Healthcare Ltd, said, “For any business to grow we require policy stability. Without policy stability it becomes impossible for us to plan long term. And, we all know that manufacturing is not something we decide today and tomorrow the production will start.”
He further said that innovation has the most important role to play for any industry to survive. Mr Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said that the government should focus on strengthening the digital backbone of the country. “Industry has been disrupted and when the industry gets disrupted the government needs to step in, especially if the country aspires to be an economic power and is aspiring to be a $5 trillion economy,” he said.
Mr Harsh Pati Singhania, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, JK Paper Ltd, said that the country’s manufacturing sector first needs to become internally competitive as several factors are still holding it back including the multiplicity of regulations from different regulators. “As long as we have one new rule for every transgression, which seems to be happening now, it will be difficult to become globally competitive,” he said.The captains of the industry present at the discussion also highlighted the need to support both the small and medium industries (SMEs) and the large industries. They said while the SMEs create large number of employments, the large industries bring in the latest technologies.