“MSME Cluster Development Programme helps drive business”

With Delhi and NCR areas showing steady growth, initiatives like Cluster Development have been fruitful for overall development of the manufacturing market in Delhi.
“MSME Cluster Development Programme helps drive business”
With Delhi and NCR areas showing steady growth, initiatives like Cluster Development have been fruitful for overall development of the manufacturing market in Delhi. Industry segments spanning from machine tools, manufacturing, printing, packaging, healthcare & medical devices and analytical, measurements and testing are evident in the region, the future shows positive growth. Suresh Wankhede, Managing Partner, Subrto Tools and Machinery Ltd., shares his insights over Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) and its future.
What is the current scenario of manufacturing segment in Delhi?
Delhi’s manufacturing industry is growing slow and steady. Delhi and NCR region market has never run-out of demand. This is a very unlikely event for the market which has seen consistent demand. Many small manufacturers were located in last 3 years due to Cluster Planning be Delhi government. Some faced stringent fines due to encroachment and land issues. Industry will be back to normal 
post 2020 as per Delhi Government report. 
Cluster development projects have benefitted manufacturers and businesses. It has planned dwellings across the cluster. It hold regular meets and even has a joint meeting series which helps to build knowledge sharing as all the business community interacts with each other. Businesses have started getting orders internally, which is the best model of business. Collaboration is the key!
How well-equipped are Delhi- based manufacturing setups with regard to IoT and advance tech?
In terms of technology and IoT, you may say, Delhi and NCR on an average is at Level 3 or IoT version 3.0, even though some parts have leveraged IoT 4.0 as well. Small players are yet to invest more as they are busy upgrading all their machinery to meet international market demands. Precision matter when you are serving sensitive industries like pharma, food and chemicals.   
Which manufacturing industry segments dwell in Delhi?
Manufacturing industry segments like food, pharma and chemical equipment, machining and tooling machines, mixers, boilers, homogenisers, incubators, measuring & testing and analytical equipment are some industries that dwell in Delhi and NCR region. Profoundly, NCR is dominated by packaging, printing equipment and ink manufacturing units. As dairy is one of the largest industries here, equipment for the same, enjoy demand across the year. Analytical and measuring equipment and devices have shown promising growth in the last 3 years. 
Machine tools being one of the industries used across all the sub segments, it has seen positive growth.  
What special provision does Delhi has for the industries?
MSME Cluster Development Programme run by Delhi Government has helped to drive business and meet new market demand and is helped by the industry veterans collaborating with the big players in the market. Collaborations help to impart understanding over new processes and technologies. Jindal steel and SAIL trains many MSME employees through workshops.  
Comment on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact? 
Doing away with RCEP is in the best interest of the SME and MSME sector of India. We are glad that Honourable PM took such a bold decision. In the time when Indian industry is growing and upgrading, imports would have been threat to the small players. As feared, dumping of products would have led excessive supply of good leaving to drop in prices, affecting adversely on these industries. Denying the RCEP, India has brought time for these players and once Indian manufacturers are in a position to stand before the global market in terms of quality and price, we may open the gates for the gates, entering RCEP. 
How and in what way do you serve industry?
We are manufacturers of test & measuring and analytical instruments for electronics and labs. We also engage in machine tool manufacturing with our set up located at Okhla industrial estate with 3 facilities of each of 1000 sq ft. We also have safety clothes and shoes manufacturing facility in Dwarka which will soon be moved to Gurugram due to space constraints. The new space in Gurugram is about a 1000 sq. ft.
What are the challenges faced by manufacturers like you?
Delayed payment, difficult to decode laws, every month of GST filing (though it is still managed well by many but for some small players it becomes cumbersome), and sluggish demand are some major operational challenges.Not all SMEs today have knowledge of what to export to which market. There are SMEs who are bulk exporting highly-functional bolts and nuts used for aerospace, and aviation sector. Some export to shipping companies. Export knowledge is crucial while exporting to any nation.
What recent trends have you observed in your sector?
In India overall trend is energy efficiency and ability to operate in a connected network are growing trends while in case of Delhi, it is quality that outruns an equipment over the other. Meanwhile, Delhi, including NCR areas, many global companies has their base; if these equipment manufacturers have no global certifications then they have lost the game. A recent TUV survey states that an increase in enquiries over global certifications is evident in the Delhi and NCR region which is a good sign. 
Another trend is that of custiomised equipment. Easy to maintain and easy to handle component replacement, especially in the industries like flexography, packaging, bottling, filling and sealing, dairy equipment, tooling & machines and textile, is a trend. Demand for the equipment for dairy, machine tools and software has shown better performance in Delhi and NCR regions, irrespective of slowdown.
Do imported equipment pose a threat to manufacturers like you?
Definitely not, until domestic consumption experience a drop. Companies go for imported equipment over the domestic equipment just for quality and safety features. Considering quality, Indian manufacturers have started building solutions which meets customer requirement. 
Another way to look at it is compliance of global standards accepted by the industry. Globally-compliant solutions do exist in India. Though some of these solutions do not have validated certifications, they quality international standards. Global standards only matter if the potential consumer is a company having headquarters in some foreign country or for export purpose. 
Looking at the long run, yes, complying with the global standards will be a major qualifier and will be significant. Indian exports are low compared to those of German and Italian nations. Even Chinese equipment is available across all Asian countries. In order to reach exports on that level, manufacturers have to invest in R&D, invest more and collaborate. 
Export awareness and investment is another grey area for SMEs. SMEs today have managed to do well for local market but have no knowledge over which will be their possible markets for exports based on their capacity. In last six months Indian companies have seen many rejections which have somehow impacted on image of Indian products. Government is hosting seminars and workshops via industrial bodies and associations, to educate SMEs and even consult them. Let’s hope for the best.
What are some smart technology benefits for machine tool industry?
With recent developments in the smart tooling machinery has helped faster tooling. Today on demand tooling is an evolving concept which will see rise in the years to come. There are industry specialists for say automotive, electronics and so on. If smart technology is to be leveraged, it will help in having more work in your production facility and a manufacturer can also manufacture more varieties. Expansion is possible on installing such smart technology. 
Another big advantage of tooling is precision. Some level of precision can only be met with specific machinery and having such machinery in your means it will only be occupied when you have a specific job. Instead smart technology can be leveraged to save on machine investment and also on space. It is possible to experiment with the material using smart technology like 3D printing as sometimes cost of manufacturing is low helping you to gain more profits with no compromise on durability and robustness of the product. A connected plant will also help in keeping a track of improvement areas and to constantly design ways to make your processes more efficient.
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