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'Make in India' has Some Obstacles that can Break it

Market handicaps, raw material prices and lack of qualified professionals will be a major hurdle for any Make in India scheme, says Manikam Ramaswami, CMD of Loyal Textiles Group

Published: 18th February 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Unless market access handicaps are done away with and raw materials are made available at international competitive prices, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India plan will not be successful, according to Manikam Ramaswami, CMD of Loyal Textiles Group.

Speaking at the inaugural session of ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu’s (ICTACT) Bridge 2015 conference on the theme ‘The Big Digital World’ on Tuesday, Ramaswami said that the lack of qualified professionals will also be a major hurdle for any Make in India scheme.

“Australia, which produces about 10 per cent of cotton compared to Indian markets, and has to pay for water, electricity and other logistics unlike us, has been very successful in the industry. And yet, they have only 16,000 farmers in the whole country involved in the business. More than 50 per cent of these individuals are post graduates,” he said. “So, regardless of the industry, unless we have qualified human personnel who can learn on their own, then the drive towards digital India, and the success of Make in India, will be debatable,” he added.

Ramaswami also opined that Indian manufacturing sector had to gain more potency thereby improving employment opportunities.

“What is the use in having a workforce when there are not enough jobs? But, the workforce is also lacking in skills,” he observed. Lakshmi Narayanan, vice-chairman of Cognizant Technology Solutions and Chairman of ICTACT, said that only about 25 per cent of Indian graduates can be deemed employable. Dr N Kamakodi, Managing Director and CEO of City Union Bank (CUB), said that institutions can no longer claim excellence by producing graduates who can only write codes. “Imagination, and not necessity, is the mother of (digital) invention,” he said. A special poster cover with cancellation of ICTACT was released during the event. After releasing the cover, Post Master General, Chennai City Region, Mervin Alexander, said that it was ironical that the Postal Department was honouring a profession that was making them redundant.

“But Postal Department is changing. There are about 1.54 lakh post offices in the State. We are currently in the process of networking all of them, with work on 25,000 complete,” he said.

“Once that is done and Internet banking services catch on, postal department will be capable of giving the commercial private banks a run for their money,” Alexander said.



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