India can be a challenger to China and emerge as manufacturing hub of the world: Pawan Munjal

NEW DELHI: With a lot of companies moving manufacturing operations out of China in the aftermath of the disruptions caused by coronavirus pandemic, India has very good prospects to take advantage of the current situation and bring in more investments in to the country, said Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal.

Speaking at the ET Global Townhall Munjal said, “What we are seeing in the current scenario is that some countries which were earlier the focus of attention of the world, are now losing it because of things that have happened there. Overdependence of nations/economies on it are now changing… India has a very good prospect at this time to bring in a lot more manufacturing into the country.”

Munjal said India has the inherent advantage of having a large domestic market and can evolve into becoming a manufacturing hub for the world. “India can definitely become a challenger (to China). But right now, China has a long lead over us”, he said.

Promoting ease of doing business, creating an atmosphere where entrepreneurs can put up industry quickly without facing any hurdles or red tapism will go a long way in attracting investments and in realizing any country’s goal of attaining self-reliance in the post-covid world Munjal said. Along with these enablers, such nations would also need to have basic infrastructure and an available domestic market.

The Prime Minister’s call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Munjal said, is meant to encourage self-reliance in every situation and does not mean companies cannot buy anything required from outside or sell anything out of the country. Rather it emphasizes, he said, in a situation where companies are not able to import, they should be able to “stand on their own two feet”. For one, Hero MotoCorp, the past few months has created alternate bases for components the company was earlier sourcing from China, he informed.

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However, for businesses to grow sustainably going ahead, collaboration is key. Countries should not resort towards protectionism. Munjal said, “My personal belief is that this attitude (nationalist government policies being seen in countries across the world to protect domestic markets and prop up local businesses) is short-term and is not going to serve anyone in the long-term. Without collaboration, going forward no nation/economy is big enough to survive this own their own.”

What Covid-19 has taught us is that individually our systems are not robust enough to take on new challenges which are being throw at us, instead businesses and economies stand to gain enormously through collaborative co-operative solutions, he added.

Hero MotoCorp, Munjal said, has started taking steps in this direction and is supporting supply chain partners in the current disruption. The company – which has focused heavily on growing sales in the local market – also started expanding its global presence the last six years. “We want not only our products to go out, but also our brand and the Indian flag to go global. How long can we depend and survive on one market, it is too risky”, said Munjal.



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