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Manufacturing key to India's economic growth: British academic

By : Vishnu on 17 September 2008 E-mail Print Report Abuse

Indian-born British engineer, academic and government adviser Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya Monday warned that India cannot sit on the laurels of its service industry, and has to ramp up its manufacturing sector to keep its position in the global economy.

Speaking at an interactive session with the Confederation of Indian Industry, Bhattacharyya, a Padma Bhushan awardee, said in a country of India's size, it was not possible for the services sector to drive growth on its own.

"The manufacturing sector is what will provide food on the table for 1.2 billion Indians," said Bhattacharyya, founder-director of the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), under the University of Warwick, aimed at boosting UK's manufacturing sector through research and development.

"With labour costs sure to rise in the near future, the services sector will not be able to maintain the edge it enjoys now," he said.

Bhattacharyya said innovation and capability building were key to success in manufacturing, and that Indian companies should "liberate" younger talent from hierarchical concerns and let them accelerate growth and innovation.

While he said "Indian competence was next to none", Bhattacharyya was all praise for China, where there is a "hunger and thirst" which he finds absent in India.

He said 1,000 Chinese engineers were graduating from WMG, which demonstrated their "hunger" for change.

While stating that Indian industry had definitely improved enormously in the last 10 years, it had to guard against complacency and measure itself against its regional competitors - China, Korea and Singapore.

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