What is your outlook on the current business scenario and what are the changes anticipated in this year? How optimistic are you in terms of the economy bouncing back on track?
The electric vehicle sector’s growth in the Indian market is led by the growing need to curb the air pollution levels and the rising incentive schemes by the government to support manufacturing as well as the use of electric vehicles. The future of EVs looks quite promising with the government’s aim to make India a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. These machines will not only help users save money, but also promote a safe and clean environment.
Also, initiatives taken by the government in 2019 have infused a positive environment for the EV players. The centre has come up with several policies and schemes to boost the demand and manufacturing of EVs. Sustaining this momentum, however, will require a dedicated push to create a stronger EV support infrastructure on a pan-India level. The electric vehicle industry is hopeful that the government will prioritise this aspect in 2020, as it will be integral to bolstering the growth of the country’s EV industry and will also help in drastically reducing carbon emission and air pollution levels.
Consistently increasing affordability of electric vehicles is also boosting their adoption across the country. Increasing investments by electric vehicle manufacturers this year are expected to develop more advanced and affordable electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler vehicles, which is likely to fuel growth in the coming years.
What is your agenda / plan-of-action for the year 2020, in order to be competitive and stay relevant to customers and catch up with the growth momentum? Upcoming challenges can no longer be met using conventional methods. What's your take on this?
We will be making more investments in terms of infrastructural and technical aspects, as it plans to increase its manufacturing capacity and add more products to its portfolio and new models to the existing ones. The price of EVs is still very high and one major reason is that the sector needs to import few major components. Also, the sector is solely dependent on China for battery, even though it can find other alternatives like Bolivia, Australia and Chile. Furthermore, the EV sector is reliant on components, especially semi-conductors, which are not manufactured in India, and hence, have to be imported. And since these semi-conductors are not manufactured locally, the sector cannot boost its manufacturing capacity. In addition, companies manufacturing EV batteries in India need to come up with more advanced and cost-effective technologies. This will further increase the demand and accelerate acceptance of these vehicles.
Besides, it is difficult to find skilled labour force that have the know-how of this sector. The EV sector needs to bridge this knowledge lag. Hence, reskilling of the labour force is very important in the current scenario.
How should a company effectively bridge the gap between optimising existing technologies & investing in advancements? Would you like to share examples from your organisation?
Since the launch of Make in India, much progress has been achieved in pursuing the country’s manufacturing agenda and global competitiveness. Huge efficiency and productivity gains can be realised through cost reductions, quality improvements, and an advantage in performance. Increasing investment in these technologies will propel traditional manufacturing powerhouses of the 20th century, back to the top of competition.
How can India build sustainable breakthrough ecosystems for nurturing global businesses and achieving manufacturing-driven growth? At the same time, how can the industry respond to uncertain economic cycles and technological disruptions, simultaneously?
There are a few challenges related to infrastructure that our country is facing — physical and digital, skill gaps, innovation ecosystem, public-private partnership, support for MSMEs, data security and privacy, standard-based interoperability and a conductive regulatory framework. Collaborative efforts by central and state governments, industry, academia, research and financing institutions are the need of the hour to ensure leveraging of the digital manufacturing revolution and reaping benefits of enhanced competitiveness. This will also help India to build sustainable breakthrough ecosystems for nurturing global businesses and achieve manufacturing-driven growth.
India has the prospective to become the digital factory of the world by being at the forefront of the digital revolution. But timely action is key.