Saturday, October 31, 2020

Editor's Space

Scaling up

 

Nothing exemplifies the state of the Indian nation more than the view of terra firma closer to touchdown at Mumbai’s Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport. First the spires of Maximum City, jutting out of the earth beyond the Thane Creek – rich, aspirational – and then the ugly sooty grey mandala of the Dharavi slums with their seemingly endless borders of squalor.

 

No doubt even with his packed to the rafters globetrotting schedule, such ironies of the earth – more specifically of a billion plus country called the Republic of India – would have not have escaped Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in mid-February to inaugurate the Make in India week at the Bandra Kurla Complex.

 

The landmark event which has seen huge participation from a cross section of visitors directly and obliquely associated with manufacturing, science and technology, construction and infrastructure, has no doubt led to a deeper understanding of India’s enormous possibilities as a manufacturing platform.  While it is tempting to dub the event as an outstanding success on the mere strength of footfalls and the large number of investments announced, it must be realised that these may not necessarily translate into reality unless doing business is made easier on the ground.

 

Admittedly, however, while efforts are being made by the powers that be to attract investors, the process of removing irritants like restrictive government policies, clearances for land acquisition and environment and excessive taxation has been rather slow. That can be a big put off for global firms which see great prospects in being part of the India Growth Story.

 

That said, it is a given that for a nation with innumerable complexities like India, there can be no quick fix solutions to catapult it to the global league of nations with vast industrial complexes.

 

Sloughing off the ills and the inertia of the past ‘just like that’ cannot be easy. In any case converting the traditionally agricultural nation into a manufacturing hub for the countries of the world cannot be a sprint. It is a marathon to be run. 

 

India’s manufacturing vision can doubtless be realised. But there is a hell of a lot of hard work – and considerable scaling up – left to be done by all stakeholders.

 

Achievement is always an outcome of blood, sweat and tears.




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