In my previous article, I listed a few yester years' pioneers—ITI, BPL, and NGEF—who had to eventually fold their dominance because of not innovating and adopting the Digital Transformation, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and Digitalization techniques. The unfortunate memories of many of our successful manufacturing and services industries getting drowned in the Tsunami called Liberalization & Globalization of 1990s is still fresh in our mind.
Why did we fail to make use of the liberalization policies of 1991 in our manufacturing and agriculture sectors? During 1990-2010, because of our inability to accept innovation and digital transformation, we have changed from an agricultural and MSME-led economy to a service-based economy. This graph clearly indicates that the agriculture had alarmingly reduced, while MSME industries' growth was flat, while service-oriented businesses have ascended in the overall Indian GDP growth.
Photo: INSIGHTSIAS (2014)
Look at some encouraging examples of companies that adopted innovation and digitalization techniques to strongly lead the market today—even after decades after their inception into the global market:
▪ Super Auto Foroe, 1975—in the 1990s, Jolted itself from conventional systems to adopt innovation and technology. Today's customers—Ford. GM. GE. Continental, Meritor, ABB, and Chrysler.
▪ Precot Meridian, 1962—Inspite of strong global competition—with its strong and young leadership team today—Is the leader in textile industry through technical innovation and ERP adoption in its end-end operations.
▪ Trinity India, 1971—With a blend of veterans and Innovative young leadership team In Pune, Trinity has global customers for automotive parts—Ford. Rexroth, Maruti Suzuki, DATSUN, and CARRARO.
▪ Pricol, 1972—Started by manufacturing automotive components, but with strong visions in Innovation and technology adoption, Pricol is into telematics, infotainment, and fleet management systems.
▪ Suprajit, 1985—Started as the manufacturer of mechanical control cables, is the leader In automotive market through innovation and technology. Has inhouse technology and R&D centers.
Yes, this list has more inspiring names such as Talbros , Sona Steering, and Asian Leather, Haldirams , Microtek, and MDH Spices—this list certainly goes on. It is needless to mention that the suppliers and SMEs working in ancillary estates for these companies are automatically
mandated to adopt better technologies and innovative methods, which in turn will drive the whole MSME system towards growth and safe future.
When I say ICT techniques and digitalization, I do not mean scanning all our company records overnight, establishing robot-enabled assembly or painting shops, master-slave controlled automatic doors, administrator-controlled server rooms, or automated food packing conveyer systems. Yes, I understand that not all the 640 Iakh MSMEs that exist in India today can afford to think of such features in their businesses, but the first step in innovation, ICT, and digitalization must be through having basic amenities in our MSMEs. See the infographic here.
I am very confident that innovations and ICT initiatives help our MSMEs to measure their operational metrics in the form of five Fs and sustain their growth for long horizons. Finally, I reiterate key takeaways of digitalization to remove some myths surrounding it.
Digitalization and digital transformation for Indian MSMEs Is
• Here to imorove innovation and Productivity. For example Diaital manufacturing increases overall productivity by 15%-20%.
• Providing basic computerized and communication technologies. • Align government policies to improve operating standards of MSMEs and expand business by competing in the global market.
• Training MSME owners, supervisors, engineers, and operators about current and new technologies.
▪ Providing a platform for MSMEs to innovate and benchmark with global competitors. Recently, The Ministry of MSME approved INR 200 Cr to set up an MSME technology center in Coimbatore. Tamilnadu, which I feel is a great move towards digitizing India and supporting innovation.
▪ Enabling Indian MSMEs to be active on the social media and MSMEs know the importance of social media in their success.
▪ Making Indian academia institutions to have more collaboration with native Indian MSMEs rather than the international corporations.
• Automating business processes at the cost of reducing human resource or by purchasing equipment and tools at unaffordable prizes.
• Creating imbalance and competition among industries at different operating scales.
We at CDT, help our member organizations execute digital processes, models, and connect with industry professionals to take complete advantage of a wide variety of digital technologies and innovations in a method that takes into account the ever-shifting digital landscape.