With 2020—a year that had people setting targets for transformation throughout the 2000s—just weeks away, Mint invites thought leaders, entrepreneurs and heads of corporates to share their vision for the next decade. R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, shares five ideas for the future with Malyaban Ghosh, detailing how manufacturing will impact the economy in the coming decade.
AUTO SECTOR WILL DRIVE ECONOMY
In the next decade, the manufacturing sector will play a significant role in growing the economy of the country. Since the automobile industry is an integral part of the manufacturing sector, it needs to grow substantially and increase its contribution to the economy. Affordability of vehicles should also be looked into—if people cannot afford to buy vehicles, the sector can’t grow.
BUILD TRUST BETWEEN GOVT, INDUSTRY
Corporate entities and governments, both at the central and the state levels, need to work together to grow the economy in the next decade. We cannot afford to have a lack of trust between governments and the private sector. We have to work to ease trust deficits. And it’s going to be up to the industrialists to take the leap and work towards trust building in the future.
USE COMPETITION TO BRING DOWN COSTS
Understanding competitiveness will be very important, and the cost of manufacturing has to come down. Managers of industry have to focus on cost reduction, and this will be a major task for industrialists in the coming decade. The contribution of manufacturing to the gross domestic product has to increase and that can be done by growing industry faster.
SLOW OFFTAKE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES
The potential for growth for the automobile industry will be enormous in the next decade since the penetration of cars in India is still quite low. Electric vehicles will take a fair amount of time to catch on with people, and they will not gain prominence for another two to four years. So, we will need to create wealth in order to become a socially just country.
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
Infrastructure in India has to change and improve significantly in the next decade. This will include roads, infrastructure for electric vehicles and more. Transmission of power needs to improve, and infrastructure in the railways sector should also be upgraded. Improving infrastructure will be important to increase the overall size of the economy, which in turn will increase wealth in society.