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India on the cusp of a manufacturing revolution driven by technology, data and AI
Jan 24, 2024

India on the cusp of a manufacturing revolution driven by technology, data and AI


India at 100 can lead the world as a global manufacturing hub through a unique marriage of physical products with digital technologies. This “Fusion Strategy” will be the defining “North Star” for Indian companies as they seek to uncover new pockets of value and unleash enormous latent market value by digitising the industrial sector.

Addressing a gathering of top CXOs and senior business leaders at the inaugural session of Strategyedge 2024, a leadership masterclass organised by the CII Suresh Neotia Center of Excellence for Leadership, Prof. Vijay Govindarajan (VG) Coxe Distinguished Professor, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College outlined his vision of transforming Indian industry to compete and excel globally in the decades ahead.

Demonstrating historical business growth patterns over the previous decades he opined that the only way companies globally build competitive advantage is through scale and scope. While legacy manufacturing companies such as Cisco and HP grew at a linear pace gradually into manufacturing giants, today’s global digital behemoths such as an Apple or a Microsoft have grown exponentially by digitising the consumer sector and far exceed legacy companies in global market value.

“Today out of the global GDP of 100 trillion dollars, only about 25% is in the consumer sector that has been digitised. Imagine the potential for growth that can be achieved by companies digitising the remaining 75 trillion dollars represented by asset heavy Industrial and manufacturing sectors. This is the prize for India Inc. as the nation moves ahead on its journey of India at 100!”- said VG.

Citing globally proven case studies and the revolutionary business models of companies such as Tesla, Apple and Netflix, VG stressed the need for Indian companies to build smart and intelligent products that leverage core elements of data and artificial intelligence. He stressed the need for Indian manufacturing companies to hyper-personalise offerings for end consumers and build pathbreaking new products that compete globally.

Sharing the Industry perspective and her belief in India’s inherent advantages that will help it scale and leverage the fusion strategy, Ms. Bhairavi Jani, Co-Chair, CII Council on India@75 and Chairperson & Founder, IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation & Executive Director, SCA Group, opined how India's defining strength going forward will be individual agency paired with an ability to work collectively on common problems that will also help build the business ecosystems of tomorrow.

“As I meet people across the country, I can confidently assert that the market is ready, the job seekers are ready and India is also at an opportune geopolitical moment to enable fusion strategy at scale”, she added.

Stressing the importance for business leaders needing re-look at business models in a novel way, she also suggested that businesses need to reinvent themselves as entities that connect marketplaces and society while creating new value propositions for overall strategic transformation. That is the way fusion strategy will succeed and help build the India of tomorrow.

A subsequent fireside chat explored new facets of future businesses in India. Emphasising his belief that India will lead the world, he suggested that Indian Industry needs a guiding star which can well be the “Fusion Strategy”, in its journey on manufacturing excellence to India at 100. Ms Bhairavi Jani added that to translate this vision into a reality there is a need to repurpose the Indian workforce to make it ready for global standards of innovation and business acceleration. This will also help the nation leverage its vaunted demographic dividend.

The inaugural session culminated on a high note with both experts examining two pivotal inflection points since liberalisation in 1991 – the Total Quality movement in manufacturing and the auto sector, and India’s IT revolution. They opined that India is truly well placed on the cusp of a third inflection point driven by digital transformation in the manufacturing sector.


24 January 2024

New Delhi

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