Manufacturing Takes off in India

Manufacturing takes off in India by John Elliott:

The sleek, clean factory in the Delhi suburb of Noida seems more Taiwan than India. Engineers in white overalls and goggles watch over an automated production line that spits out four billion state-of-the-art DVDs and CDs a year. To get to the factory floor, you have to pass through three air-cleaning passages – a process that makes it clear you’re no longer in crowded, dirty Delhi.

This is not some futuristic vision of India. It’s the main factory of Moser Baer, a 24-year-old Indian company that was one of the first in the world to make high-definition DVDs and is now starting on flash memories and solar panels. And while not typical of most Indian factories, Moser Baer is one of a number of companies utilizing the same brainy ability that fueled the country’s IT boom to remake its manufacturing landscape.

The second problem is India’s infrastructure, especially power shortages and the grossly inadequate highways and ports that make it difficult to transport goods. New highways are helping, but growing urban congestion is making the problem worse, and there are seemingly endless bureaucratic and physical delays at ports.

India has a great deal of potential for manufacturing. The roadblocks are largely economic I think. Poor infrastructure is a huge problem that requires huge investments be made. China has made huge investments in infrastructure and they have paid off. Another incredible drain on India’s progress in manufacturing is the government bureaucracy.

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