There is much more the nation can achieve: Pawan Munjal

Current times present an inflection point for India to step up to the opportunities emanating out of geo-political challenges, and Indian manufacturing must internalise areas of quality, technology, and sustainability, said business leaders Sunil Bharti Mittal and Pawan Munjal on Thursday.

Speaking at the first CII ‘Being Future Ready’ Business Summit 2022, the veterans of telecom and two-wheeler industries pointed out that supply chains will shift to trusted sources and open societies, as democracies and business are ready to bear extra costs to accommodate these shifts.

India missed the bus, but still in a sweet spot

Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and who was also once CII President, said, “The eagle hovered over India and landed in China and Vietnam’, and therefore India ‘missed the bus’. However, the current government’s zeal of promoting Aatmanirbharta, Digital India and other initiatives has now placed India in a sweet spot, especially when it comes to the manufacturing sector.”

He mentioned that entrepreneurs are well accustomed to change, however the last two-three years have yielded unrelenting shocks. In the face of these external pressures, the resilience of all organisations has been tested.

“Enterprises across the world, especially in the developed economies of Europe and US, have received a lot of benefits from their governments. In India, too, supporting the MSMEs will be crucial at this time,” he said. He exuded confidence that India is the only country, well-poised to deal with these tectonic shifts in business conditions despite the current stresses of high inflation and hardening interest rates.

Similarly, Munjal who is the Vice President, CII and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp, said that while India’s transformation as the fastest growing economy is commendable, however, there is much more the nation can achieve by building on the strengths of scaled resources, technological capabilities, and leadership in sustainability solutions.

“The Atmanirbhar campaign and the commendable support provided by the government in terms of policies has been instrumental in this context. Going forward, following a consistent, committed, and customer-centric approach while factoring price competitiveness is the key to success for the industry,” he said.

‘Develop infra for EVs’

Speaking about electric vehicles (EVs), he said electrification is the way forward and it is crucial to build products that are smart, intuitive and intelligent, especially in the post Covid-19 world. He added that for the fast-growing popularity of EVs adequate infrastructure must be developed, for instance, charging points infra is the greatest testimony of the same.

He also focused on the need to bring about greater digitisation in the MSMEs segment as they are the building blocks of Indian manufacturing and have played a key role in producing quality and reliable output for the consumers at affordable price points. He said that as firms consistently innovate, it is crucial to focus on carbon footprint consciousness, recycling of products, and achieving net zero in the entire value chain, given that the consumers are becoming growingly environmentally conscious and attuning their daily needs accordingly.

“There is need to build capabilities for supply chain by reskilling as the required competencies are not available while we transition into a more digitised regime post the pandemic recovery. The safety and healthcare needs of employees must also be looked into,” Munjal added.

Published on May 12, 2022