“By saying Make in India, we are not only inviting companies for cost-effective manufacturing but also giving them an opportunity of a large market for their products.”- Narendra Modi
India’s manufacturing sector is growing rapidly, with manufacturing exports touching $418 billion, a 40% spike from the previous year. The figures indicate the potential of India to become the global hub for manufacturing operations. This ambition is propelled by India’s potential to offer a high-quality, low-cost alternative for manufacturing and assembly operations backed by a skilled workforce.
As one of the key contributors to India’s economy, the manufacturing sector accounts for about 16% of the country’s GDP and employs over 27 million people. To further boost economic growth and employment, the Government of India plans to spend INR 100 trillion (US$1.35 trillion) on infrastructure by 2030. Studies show that 120,000-150,000 new opportunities will be created in mobile manufacturing alone.
In this article, we will look into key factors driving the sector’s growth and the opportunities it will bring.
The Impact of the Lockdown
COVID-19 significantly impacted the global manufacturing sector, particularly in China– once considered the de facto manufacturer of the world. China was the epicenter of the outbreak and the pandemic broke havoc across the country, causing significant component shortages and disrupting global supply chains.
Companies across several countries faced the brunt of overdependence on one country for their operations, and many countries are now seeking alternatives to China for their manufacturing needs, leading to the rapid adoption of the “China plus one” strategy.
This strategy entails companies diversifying their manufacturing operations from China to other countries like India to reduce risks and costs associated with relying solely on China.
Taking the opportunity of these changes, India has been actively promoting itself as a destination for manufacturing investment, with an ambitious plan to become a global manufacturing hub across a range of industries.
For instance, the semiconductor industry is one such area that has picked up pace in recent times, with the development of new facilities and the expansion of existing ones. States like Karnataka and Telangana have received strong interests from global behemoth FoxConn for Semiconductor factories. As a result, the semiconductor industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12-15% globally, paving the way for new job opportunities in India.
Opportunities for Job Seekers in the Manufacturing Sector
The manufacturing sector is expected to see significant growth in the coming years, with job opportunities across all industry segments. According to Deepti Vij, Director at Honeywell, “The engineering and manufacturing industry is rapidly evolving with the integration of technology and digitalization. This is leading to the creation of new job opportunities in fields such as technology, software, engineering, and healthcare.”
Let’s take a look at the employment possibilities that can arise from the expansion of the manufacturing industry in India:
- Demand for Tech-Based Roles
As the global manufacturing sector moves towards Industry 4.0, organizations seek to incorporate technology to improve productivity, quality, and efficiency. The use of automation, robotics, and AI is transforming the sector, making it more competitive and agile. This has also created new job opportunities in areas such as AI, ML, IoT, big data analytics, and cloud computing.
- More Opportunities for Safety and Security Professionals
Manufacturing plants require proper safety measures to be put in place to avoid accidents and ensure worker safety. Therefore, roles such as safety engineers and safety supervisors will be in high demand. With the growing digitalization, manufacturing units will also need professionals to implement security measures against cyber threats.
- Focus on Lean Manufacturing
Lean manufacturing focuses on eliminating waste and increasing efficiency by streamlining processes, reducing costs, and improving quality. This approach requires a different mindset, and therefore, organizations are looking for professionals with experience in lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, and Total Quality Management (TQM).
- Fostering Innovation & Demand
The growth of the manufacturing sector also requires constant innovation. This has led to an increase in demand for research and development professionals. Roles such as product development engineers, R&D scientists, and process engineers will be in high demand.
- Green Manufacturing
With growing concerns about climate change, there is a growing demand for professionals in green manufacturing. Green manufacturing focuses on reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing operations. Fields such as renewable energy, reducing waste, and sustainable manufacturing practices are where professionals can contribute.
The Way Forward
“No country is ever successful in the long term… without a really strong and vibrant manufacturing base” – Alan Mulally, ex-CEO, Ford Motor Company.
The manufacturing sector in India presents immense potential for growth, making it a vital contributor to the country’s economy and job market. With the government’s commitment to investing in infrastructure, the sector is poised to expand even further, with the help of recruitment process outsourcing companies.
With the right skills and experience, job seekers will eventually find a fulfilling and rewarding career in the manufacturing sector.
About the Author
Pankaj Bansal is the Co- founder of Taggd and Work Universe (a Fund investing in jobs and work tech). He is a non-executive director at Karmayogi Bharat (Capacity building or Civil Servants) and many other startups. Follow him on Twitter at @pankajbansalPB.