Will Make In India Drive Its Entrepreneurs Mad In India?

Bajaj's company, which launched its four-wheeler five years ago, is yet to get a go-ahead for sale in India.

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Rajiv Bajaj, the 50-year old Managing Director of largest three-wheeler maker in the world, believes in mincing no words.


Speaking at the NASSCOM Summit in India’s financial capital, son of India’s veteran entrepreneur Rahul Bajaj said stifling of innovation by regulatory bodies will turn `Made in India' into `Mad in India'.

Bajaj’s company, which launched its four-wheeler five years ago, is yet to get a go-ahead for sale in India while the product is being exported to Asia, America and Europe.

Bajaj said India is the only country that has not granted permission to his company to sell the quadricycle, which Bajaj claims is a cleaner, fuel-efficient and a more comfortable alternative to three-wheelers.

Rajiv Bajaj introduced the Pulsar range of motorcycles for Bajaj Auto that is revived the fortunes of the company, which originally was popular for its scooters range.

Under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme, Make in India, the government has been encouraging domestic players to play a greater role in manufacturing in India.

For the Make in India drive, the government said it was looking to focus on twenty-five sectors for growth including automobiles and auto components.

The government is also luring international giants, the latest being Apple that will begin manufacturing of its iPhones in India.

Puneet Narang, the man who has played key roles in distribution, consulting and operations in the UK as well as in India for the last 19 years, believes local components infrastructure in the country could change the face of telecom brands in India.

In the two-wheeler, three-wheeler space, Italian bike maker is expected to make small-engine motorcycles in India. The company is yet to announce prospective local partners.

Suzuki Motorcycle has also begun the export of its Indian-made motorcycle ‘Gixxer’ to Japan.

Among startups, Ather Energy Private Limited, a Bengaluru-based smart electric two wheeler startup developed its first product, Ather S340 last year.

Among carmakers, The PSA Group, which owns Peugeot, intends to make cars in India. Elon Musk’s Tesla is looking forward to set up its manufacturing facility in India.

Niren Shah, Managing Director, NVP India last year said Make in India is likely to be a larger program in the long-term but its broad-based execution, where new manufacturing facilities are being set-up by thousands of entrepreneurs, is likely to be more medium term oriented.

Will India’s Make in India get overly regulatory, time will tell. But Bajaj did make a strong case.