Dr Pawan Goenka urges suppliers to target five focus areas

by Sumana Sarkar 05 Sep 2020


Dr Pawan Goenka, the dynamic true-blue engineer and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra, has been known for his clear outlook and point of view. Every year, as he is seen to do at both the SIAM and ACMA annual conclaves, Dr Goenka delivers his mantras for industry growth. This year was no different, albeit he posed five key questions for the Indian component industry.

As manufacturing value chains realignto the changing dynamics, these questions highlight the deeper need for quality consciousness at the component level. While the primary focus of the ACMA Convention was on shaping the new normal for the component industry, the need to conform to certain global standards in terms of quality and competitiveness stood out as a key factor to introspect on.

Helping the component industry identify potential pockets for localisation, Dr Goenka pointed out that, “Tools and dyes are an area that Indian manufacturers can localise in a big way and quite easily. Given the global supply chain disruption, it is almost a god-sent opportunity for Indian auto makers.”

Dr Goenka believes that, “Deeper the crisis that Covid is, bigger the opportunity.” While he applauded the industry and ACMA members on the smooth and speedy transition to BS VI and also seamless reopening after the lockdown, he emphasised on the need for “greater digitisation and lower need for supervision, which are some of the key aspects of the new normal for the auto industry in a post-Covid world. Production assessment and cost efficiency are some of the key advantages of the new normal in place.”  

In this context, Dr Goenka posed some key questions that auto component manufacturers need to delve on-

  • Can we or should we de-link from imports completely? Dr Goenka elaborated that there are three reasons that could be driving imports. It could be, “For cost benefit. If that is so, it needs immediate attention. Technological expertise is another cause. The worrying factor is lack of technological innovation in India. Multinational suppliers are setting up mother plants across the world. We need to look into why they are not looking at India.”
  • Do we have the right to get a sizeable share of GVCs (Global Value Chains)? Dr Goenka believes that the, “Growth story of auto component makers though commendable so far, won't take us far. Costs is a factor no doubt but we need to look at the narrative for auto component exports from India. Need to introspect on what will it take global buyers to make a beeline for India. M&As could be one such opportunity.”
  • Can India become the global hub for shared mobility EVs? Almost giving a clarion call to the component industry to be future-ready, Dr Goenka emphasised that, “Now is the time for EV technology and become the world's leading sourcing base for EV technology and components.”
  • How and when do we become truly global? The Indian auto industry is the fifth largest auto producer in the world. But Dr Goenka pointed out that this does not tell the real story, “Numbers indicate that India’s rank will drop to 9-10 if ranked in terms of revenue. India has only one supplier in the Top 50. Scale is important but to get global scale, thre has to be continued focus in technology and inorganic expansion.”
  • Do we have the mindset to be Atmanirbhar? Preparing the component industry steep road to Atmanirbharta (self-reilance), Goenka said that, “The road to self-reliance is not easy. The auto component industry clearly has the vision. SIAM, ACMA and government need to work together to realise this.”

He urged the industry and all stakeholders to prepare for the new phase and signed off by saying, “The time has come to redefine the new normal that will chart the growth path for the automotive component manufacturers going forward.”

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