Not long ago, India — the seventh-largest country in the world — was regarded as a potential manufacturing destination by foreign investors. Fast forward to today, it is now on the verge of becoming one of the most preferred manufacturing destinations both for domestic and international investors. And by 2030, it’s most likely to become the world’s third-largest economy, says study.
The answer to why India has sprouted into a significant manufacturing destination for investors lies in the 3 ‘Ds’ it offers for businesses to thrive: democracy, demography, and demand. Combine these three essential ‘Ds’ with a technologically-advanced, informed population, skilled labour, powerful legal & IPR regime, calibrated liberalization, and you will get a clear picture of a country with tons of investment opportunities. In short, it’s going to be a destination that foreign investors can’t overlook.
It is worth noting that India has evolved as a manufacturing destination through several phases. From the famous industrialization and the system of license raj to successful liberalization stage, and now to the present face of global competitiveness. Today, Indian companies from different sectors have started targeting global markets, counting themselves among formidable global competitors, which is true to a great extent. Many have already become the most competitive business in their respective sectors.
- By 2030, India will possibly rank among the top three growth economies and the top three manufacturing destinations of the world.
- The country is going to offer favorable demographic dividends for the next 20-30 years combined with the sustained availability of a skilled workforce.
- The country has a powerful base of consumers in the domestic market.
- The nation boasts strong engineering and technical capabilities supported by cutting-edge scientific and technical institutes.
- Labour cost is comparatively low.
- To set up industries, India has developed industrial parks in many states, including a recently-built industrial area in Odisha.
- India has also developed special economic zones that are specifically outlined territories regarded as foreign land for industrial, service, and trade operations. These SEZs, such as the SEZs in Odisha, provide a relatively more liberal regime and relaxation in customs duties.
- The country is looking forward to the development of National Investment & Manufacturing Zones, which are an amalgamation of production units, logistics, public utilities, residential areas, and administrative services. They are likely to have a processing area where manufacturing units combined with associated logistics, required infrastructure, and other services will be built. A non-processing area shall be built, where residential, commercial, and social & institutional infrastructure will be located.
- The nation also throws many country-specific zones, which are best described as dedicated zones to set up industrial units from foreign countries. For example, Neemrana Japanese Zone and many others.
While India is yet to be declared the most preferred manufacturing destination, it has already started attracting foreign attention to the development of manufacturing facilities in different states. This includes SEZs in Odisha, owing to its demography, demand, and democracy, which is hard to find in other countries.