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MODERNISATION Industry associations: Bringing the sector closer

May 24, 2019

Industry associations have always been of extreme importance to their respective industry sectors in India, giving them a direction towards globalisation and assimilating into the world economy while also acting as a mediator between the government and the industry fraternity to drive growth forward. In this context, this Viewpoint section seeks to explore the different initiatives taken by various industry associations across the country and the value addition that they bring to their respective sector.

“Building a strong brand for Indian machine tools” – V Anbu

The Indian machine tool industry has been coasting well over the last one year. The machine tool production for FY 2018-19 is estimated to be around Rs 9500 crores, recording a 30% year-on-year growth from FY 2017-18. The Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) acts as a single point of contact for the machine tool industry in India. The association endeavours to build a strong brand for Indian machine tools, enhance productivity and competitiveness in manufacturing, support technology & skill development, foster international linkages, and provide business opportunities through exhibitors, trade missions and related activities. IMTMA’s vision is to develop machine tool technology and raise production to reduce import dependence, counter technology denials and provide sustained manufacturing competitiveness. The aim is to place India among the top 8 machine tool producing nations in the world, raise exports to a significant level, and secure a domestic market share of over 65%.

Building skill-sets

The industry is facing a shortage of workforce with requisite design skills, which is considered as the heart and brain of manufacturing. The industry also finds it difficult to retrain a workforce due to time and budget constraints. There is a higher attrition rate due to other sectors providing more employment opportunities. IMTMA Tech Centres in Bengaluru, Pune and Gurugram impart training in various aspects of manufacturing for young engineers in order to make them industry ready and employable. Our short-term and long-term training courses have upgraded engineers’ skill-sets.

The government’s role

As a result of IMTMA’s efforts, the Government of India agreed to extend customs duty reduction on three critical components: CNC systems, ballscrews and linear motion guides to all categories of CNC machine tools. IMTMA also cemented its partnership with DHI with its alignment to ‘Industry 4.0 Centre for Excellence’, along with the Central Manufacturing Technology Institute. Under the Scheme for Enhancement of Competitiveness of the Capital Goods Industry, the Government of India has set up an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Development Centre at IIT-Madras in order to engage in world-class R&D in machine tools, under the support scheme of DHI. The government has also set up the Tumakuru Machine Tool Park in Karnataka, in which IMTMA is playing an enabling role. The first batch of applications has been considered by the high power committee and the land allotment process is underway.

Boosting machine tool exports

IMTMA also supports the export efforts of its members through various initiatives, such as, group participation in overseas fairs, trade missions, etc. It has formed an Export Development Cell to focus on strategic efforts to boost machine tool exports. Alongside the IMTEX exhibition, we organise a Reverse Buyer-Seller Meet, where potential buyers of machine tools from target oversea markets are invited to explore mutual business opportunities with the Indian machine tools and accessories manufacturers.

“One of our recent objectives is to build the Centre of Excellence” – S Muralishankar

The forging industry in India is growing at 10% year-on-year. The average growth rate of the industry across the world is about 7% and India contributes about 9% to the world’s forging production. The demand for forgings in India essentially originates from the automotive sector, which accounts to nearly 58% of the total requirements of the forgings and the rest account for non-automotive segments like, general engineering, constructions and material handling equipment, power and ball-bearing.

Helping the MSME sector

Association of Indian Forging Industry (AIFI) is an apex organisation and spokesperson of the Indian forging industry. It aims to provide a platform to the Indian forging units to debate and exchange information on related issues. One of our recent objectives is to build the Centre of Excellence, which aims to provide R&D facilities, training and development to employees, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises across India. Almost 80% of the Indian forging industry is in the MSME sector. This potential can be harnessed fully only when the MSME sector also improves its capabilities and facilities to the international level. For this, they must migrate from conventional oil-fired furnace to induction heating systems and they must utilise simulation techniques for the development of process and details. To help achieve this, the association is working with the government to help the MSME sector for a technology upgradation funding. It will be difficult for the MSME sector to have their own simulation capability in-house, since the hardware and software is very costly. Apart from that, having expert manpower to run such simulation is not feasible by the sector, which is why the association, with the help of the government, is working on setting up the Centre of Excellence. This will help the MSME sector in a big way in order to meet global expectations and reduce product development time.

Enhancing skill development

The association is working with educational institutions and develops the curriculum specified for employment in the forging sector. Skilled labour is a major concern for the sector in India. As an association, we provide various services, such as, assisting in the recruitment of skilled professionals, conducting training programmes and seminars at regular intervals, conducting national and international conferences, etc. Also, apart from the domestic requirement, the Indian forging industry has a huge export potential; a lot of Tier-1 and OEMs have set up their international purchase offices in India. AIFI also organises national and international level conferences, the latest being the 7th ASIAFORGE Meeting 2019, concurrent with the 22nd Forgetech India, which had technical papers and exhibitors from various countries participating, providing a knowledge platform for the members in order to understand numerous technological enhancements taking place in the industry.

“We are working closely with the Government to develop plastic parks in India” – Deepak Ballani

India is a rapidly growing market for plastics. The annual consumption of virgin grade polymers for the year 2017-18 was 15.9 mn tonne as compared to the global consumption of 275 mn tonne. The demand for plastics in India is currently growing at an average rate of around 10% for the past 4 years and is expected to reach 35 mn tonne by 2027-28. The plastic processing capacity in India is estimated to be 45.1 mn tonnes per annum, which has been growing at an 8.8% CAGR during the last 4 years.

Focus on Sustainability

All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) is committed to support its industry members to increase competitiveness, enhance efficiency, improve productivity, and ensure growth. It does so with the aim to assist the members to become cost-effective, technology-driven, and ever responsive to customers’ changing needs. At the same time, the association aims to support the industry with more modern technology and knowledge-driven services in order to provide them with competitive solutions. The association is also encouraging its members to make sustainability a guiding principle at all levels of its manufacturing process. It has demonstrated its commitment towards environment sustainability by funding projects intended to reduce littering, create awareness in the industry and among users, promote effective waste management and create market opportunities for recycled products.

Skill gap assesment

We recently conducted a skill gap assessment in the plastic industry in the next decade. As per the recent skill gap assessment by AIPMA, in collaboration with the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), the plastic industry will need around 1.5 million additional manpower by 2028. In this endeavor, AIPMA is planning to start skill development prorgammes in its centre in Gurgaon. Besides, we are working closely with the Government of India and various state governments to develop plastic parks in the country. AIPMA is also working with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on making standards for the industry and planning to establish a plastic testing centre, in close collaboration with National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC).

AIPMA implements various prorgammes related to technology, design and quality for MSMEs in the plastic sector. It also provides enhanced business opportunities to industry members through exhibitions, trade missions, and related activities. In fact, under the banner of Plastivision (UFI recognised event), it has been organising international plastic exhibitions and conferences every three years since 1992, catering to the plastic industry. The event provides opportunities to Indian companies specifically, to showcase their products to foreign buyers, whom they otherwise can’t reach out to.

“IEEMA undertakes initiatives to increase its members’ footprints in global markets” – Harish Agarwal

While the electrical equipment sector in India suffered negative growth a couple of years ago, it is heartening to note that we have not only come out of the lull but also enjoy a double digit growth touching 12.6%. The installed generation capacity as on February 28, 2019, is 350,162 MW. The peak demand is growing at 4.5% CAGR whereas installed power generation is growing by 7% CAGR. India’s power sector is forecasted to attract investments worth Rs 11.56 trillion (USD 179.31 bn) between 2017-2022 in thermal, hydro, nuclear and renewables segment. There is a heterogeneous growth pattern globally, such as, in South Asia, SAARC countries, Africa and Latin America, offering high potential and growth to the industry.

Delivering the world’s energy needs

It is Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers’ Association’s (IEEMA) constant endeavor to enable the electrical industry & the policy making bodies to sustainably and efficiently deliver the energy needs of the world. We work in partnership with industry members and policy makers globally in order to provide synergies and deliver value. The growth of the Indian industry and electrical equipment sector are co-related. We work closely with both, the Department of Heavy Industries & Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises in order to ensure the necessary support of availability of electrical equipment, electrical infrastructure & align ourselves to the evolving government policies for the benefit of the Indian Industry. IEEMA also undertakes a variety of initiatives to increase the footprint of its members in the global markets. We encourage and facilitate participation of members in overseas exhibitions, exposing them to new markets. Through its own exhibitions, such as, E3 in Kolkata, DistribuELEC in Mumbai, and its flagship exhibition, ELECRAMA, our association helps provide a meeting ground for both, domestic and global buyers.

Helping out the SMEs

SME’s face challenges of availability of finance, access to market and technology, compliance to a plethora of rule and regulations and delayed payments. Therefore, IEEMA recently started a programme of SME Clinique, which will make available a panel of consultants who specialise in disciplines useful to the industry. The initial consultation will be offered to the SME’s pro bono. For this, IEEMA has entered into MOUs with eight consultants, to begin with, which are available for issues pertaining to fund raising, M&A, bank finance, legal matters, estate planning and will, wealth management, succession planning, and ERP services.

Promoting skill development

Besides, IEEMA is the founder promoter of Power Sector Skill Council and has been responsible for developing QP-NOS. We have also initiated a skill development programme to train electricians for domestic solutions at New Delhi. We are initiating a similar initiative on skill development in partnership with NSIC in Kolkata, which will be focused on the needs of transformers and T&D needs of the industry.

“TAGMA has become the voice for Indian tool makers” – D K Sharma

The tooling industry is largely dependent on the growth of user industries, such as, automotive, consumer goods, plastics & packaging, home appliances, among others. These industries are on a constant rise in India and the positivity is reflecting on the tooling industry as well. The total tooling demand for FY17 in India was USD 2,070 million and is expected to reach USD 2,683 million by FY 2020, with a CAGR of 9%. Our main agenda is to inform the industry with latest happenings, update them with latest technologies, and provide them with a platform to showcase their capabilities. Keeping this in mind, we have some major activities, like, the Die Mould India exhibition, an exhibition dedicated to the tooling industry that witnesses participation from all around the world. Then there’s the International Tooling Summit, which, in just four editions, has become the largest and best seminar for tooling professionals. Besides, we organise roadshows in many locations throughout the year, so as to update the industry with latest technologies.

TCET and joining hands with Canada

One of our other initiatives is TAGMA Centre of Excellence & Training (TAGMA CET), an effort to support the growth of the industry. TAGMA set up TCET, also known as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) at Chakan in Pune, with active support from the Government of India and the Indian tooling industry. The pilot project will provide state-of-the-art technical inputs to the tool room industry in Pune. The centre will also act as a Common Facility Centre for providing innovative solutions in the tooling sector to the industry ecosystem in and around the area. Besides, we have been encouraging tool rooms to participate with engineering institutes to collaborate and train the future generation. We also work towards improving upon and suggesting the inspection specifications, procedure or other matters connected with the trade to the concerned authorities and alleviating the grievances of tool and gauge manufactures. Also, the association organises relevant seminars, workshops and exhibitions etc. to impart useful knowledge to manufacturers. Moreover, we recently formed a partnership with Canadian Association for Mould Makers (CAMM) for cooperation of trade, technology and investment between India and Canada.

Communicating with government bodies

Over the years, TAGMA has become the voice for Indian tool makers. We are in constant touch with the governments and policy makers to chart out our expectations and challenges in front of them. We occasionally conduct meetings and programmes with government bodies, such as, the Department of Heavy Industries, and inform them why we need a strong tooling industry in India. Plus, we help them and suggest some of the much needed policy changes in the industry that are acting as roadblocks for tool makers, such as, high import duty on important technologies and tool steel, better financial support, policies to reduce imports, skill development and more.

Image Gallery

  • S Muralishankar,
Association of Indian Forging Industry (AIFI)

    S Muralishankar,


    Association of Indian Forging Industry (AIFI)

  • Deepak Ballani,
Director General
All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA)

    Deepak Ballani,

    Director General

    All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA)

  • Harish Agarwal,
Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA)

    Harish Agarwal,


    Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA)

  • D K Sharma,
Tool and Gauge Manufacturers Association (TAGMA India)

    D K Sharma,


    Tool and Gauge Manufacturers Association (TAGMA India)

  • V Anbu,
Director General & CEO
Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA)

    V Anbu,

    Director General & CEO

    Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA)

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