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A meeting of minds

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The 6th vdma mechanical engineering summit had interesting discussions on making india a global manufacturing destination.

The 6th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit was held on September 8, 2017, at Hotel Sheraton Grand, Bengaluru. Around 220 people attended the event. India is the second-largest sales market in Asia for the German engineering industry. Presently more than 550 VDMA member companies are engaged with their own business in the Indian market.
The Summit started with a welcome from Rajesh Nath, MD, VDMA India. The 125th anniversary is being celebrated under the motto: Man-Machine and Progress. He also spoke about the government framing a new industrial policy with an aim to create jobs for the next two decades, promote foreign technology transfer and attract $100 billion FDI annually.
According to the DIPP, the total FDI investments India received during April 2016-March 2017 rose 8% year-on-year to $60 billion.
The Chief Guest, Shri RV Deshpande, Minister, Large and Medium Scale Industries, Karnataka said that Bengaluru is popularly called Silicon Valley of India because of its IT industry. According to him, the state of Karnataka is committed to reform and is now one of the most progressive states in India for IT, machine & tools, manufacturing, aerospace, etc. Digitisation started in Karnataka a long time ago. The minister also thanked all the VDMA member companies who have already established themselves in Karnataka and extended a welcome to all those members who would plan to invest in Karnataka in the future. The forthcoming challenge for the government is creation of new jobs and support for cashless economy, which in turn would pave way for a growth in GDP. The electronic sector in Karnataka contributes around 37% to India’s total exports. He also launched the VDMA India app and released the VDMA special publication commemorating 125 years. These were released along with Margit Hellwig-Boette, Consul General, Federal Republic of Germany, Bangalore; Ulrich Ackermann, MD, Foreign Trade division, VDMA Frankfurt; and Rajesh Nath.

Margit Hellwig-Boette congratulated Nath who is to be accorded the German Cross of Merit – the highest German civilian honour for the promotion of Indo-German trade. She mentioned that in the field of mechanical engineering, VDMA plays an important role in establishing network between their members. According to Boette, the market of India is growing and thus there is a good opportunity for investment in Karnataka. Ackermann was delighted to meet the members and gave an overview on the history of VDMA. The journey of VDMA started on November 15, 1892, from Berlin. In 1967, VDMA set up the new building in the office city of Niederrad and in 1984 VDMA established their first overseas office in Tokyo. At present VDMA has around 3,250 members.
The Knowledge Partner, Euro Asia Consulting (EAC) released a report on “Industrial Clusters in India”. This report was released by Margit Hellwig- Boethe, along with Ackermann, Rajesh Nath, and Ashish Kumar, Partner at EAC. Ashish Kumar, gave an overview of the growth of the four clusters in India contained in the report. The 35 casting clusters are spread across India and their production is driven by the local demand. They manufacture approximately 11MMT.
Rajeev Singh, partner consulting, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP spoke on Business Impact of GST on manufacturing industry. Suvir Davda, director, global market corporate services, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) spoke on macroeconomic trends and digitisation.
Ravi Sastry, CFO, Festo India shared his views about GST. According to him, Festo India, took GST as a business transformation exercise.
The post lunch technical session began with the release of the report ‘Key Sector Overview in India’ prepared by market research partner BDB India. Thereafter, addressing the gathering, Chetan Ligade, director projects of BDB India mentioned that the Indian manufacturing sector has been slowing down from May 2016 and the GDP growth in April to June quarter of 2017 was only 5.7%.
The second leg of the Technical Session II began with Digitalisation – India Advantage, by Gautam Dutta, senior director, marketing, Siemens Industry Software India (Digital Factory Division). He said, “It was important to set the context of digital enterprise right, between the process industry, discrete industry and hybrid industry. The three areas that are disrupting and transforming the mechanical engineering industry are IoT, robotics and Big Data.
The final leg of the session was the presentation on Additive Manufacturing – The Game Changer for the Manufacturing Industry by Vishwanath Godavarty, sales account manager (India, South Asia), Materialise Software. He explained the advantages of AM like lower costs, better design, customisation, sustainability, and emergence of new business models due to AM.
The final session of the Summit was devoted to the panel discussion on “Coping with Growth and Overcoming challenges in Manufacturing”. It was moderated by Rajesh Nath. The participants in the discussion were Marc Jarrault, MD, Lapp India; Georg Graf, CEO, Freudenberg Regional Corporate Centre; Nitin Vyas, MD, Beumer India; Sunil K Gupta, CEO & MD, KION India, and Rajesh Mishra, MD, Vulkan Technologies. Rajesh Nath asked the panel members to explain the ways and means they overcame internal and external challenges. The hurdles/challenges that the panel leaders overcame were: Skills training, gender diversity, meeting global standards of manufacturing & quality processes while locally manufacturing in India, integration challenges of an acquired company due to poor skills & quality of the supply chain partners of the acquired company, challenges on customer side in adoption of technology, Indian taxation and legal system, Indian infrastructure impeding logistics and movement, labour issues, poor vocational training system, price sensitiveness of the Indian customer/market, bridging aspirations of the older generation people with the millennial, passing knowledge from the older to newer generation, attrition of skilled labour and adopting/suiting German products to Indian needs.
The Summit concluded with a presentation by Jai Khurana, sr. VP & head – business development, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited.

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