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How 'Make in India' Plastics will Counter Import Dependency To enable successful implementation of local manufacturing, we must stop relying on imports and focus on indigenous technologies

By Varun Gupta

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Since the advent of technology, human race is running after making life more convenient, hassle-free. One of the most versatile creations by the human race is plastic. Invented as a by-product of fuel, it has found use in multiple applications – packaging, irrigation, household, appliance. Not just conventional plastic, but there has been further modification of these polymers into various other forms and re engineering that has led to further use in many more industries such as Automobiles, Electrical and Electronics.

Breakthrough in Technology

These modifications and new technologies help create lot of new innovative products in features and design. Look around current wave of breakthrough technologies in four-wheelers, electric cars, solar energy, LED, mobile phones; common thing among all is "Usage of Engineering Plastic'.

Each of these technologies will gain from advancements and innovative solutions from plastics. Plastic helps facilitate performance and design freedom to create any new product.

You can turn it into any shape, modify thermal and electrical conductivity, increase hardness and strength equivalent to metals, doesn't rust and is easily processed.

'Make in India' Attracting Investment in Manufacturing Sector

Make in India initiative is believed to attract new investments in manufacturing sector. India's manufacturing sector needs to grow; it should contribute atleast 25% of GDP to be at par with other Asian countries whereas it contributes just over 15% to GDP.

This will help create a lot of job opportunities in unskilled and semi-skilled segments unlike service industries, which create opportunities only in the skilled/highly skilled segment.

In the past three years, as a result of push in Make in India, we can observe new investments in key focus areas – defense, electronics, automobiles. All these segments will create not just millions of job opportunities but also increase demand and eventually push Indian economy.

To enable successful implementation of local manufacturing, we must stop relying on imports and focus on indigenous technologies that are not just cost-effective but also extremely reliable. This will fuel growth and promote Indian entrepreneurs to make investments in helping localize different materials and make it truly "Made In India' product.

Engineering Plastic

Engineering Plastic is one such potential product that can be produced locally to meet Indian and global demand. It is estimated that of $67bn industry, India contributes very little in high performance plastic. Promotion of this industry will create double edge and push local manufacturing initiatives much faster.

Take for instance new investments in mobile phones and accessories; one of the major materials of use is engineering plastics.

Investments in local manufacturing reduce our dependency on imports and helps create opportunities for exports of raw materials. Increasing demand from domestic clients will help build cost competency which can enable Indian entrepreneurs to challenge China and other Asian countries in export markets.

With new OEM's turning their heads to India for manufacturing hub, it is obvious that local production/availability of plastic will help them meet their criteria of sourcing from India. For Indian companies, this will help them get approvals from global OEM's so that they can export to other countries where these corporates have manufacturing based. Isn't it a win – win case for everyone!

Varun Gupta

Director, Calco Poly Technik Private Ltd.

Varun brings with him a rich professional experience of 8+ years across functions like Corporate Finance, Business Development. He started working with a brief stint in Hedge Fund Management Company at Wall Street in New York, where he analyzed Investment Strategies and made recommendations to Hedge Fund for Investments.

Since 2012, he is actively involved in managing Calco Poly Technik, which produces High Performance Engineering Plastic to leading OEM’s and Tier-I of Suzuki, Volvo, Daimler, TVS, Honda, Havells, Phillips, Panasonic, Legrand…to name a few!

Varun holds Bachelor Degree in Engineering from Indraprastha University, India. He completed his Masters Degree from Columbia University, NY, USA.

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