I just have three points to make
• Contrary to what the popular press writes, India does a lot of manufacturing. Just look around – we produce 1.2 million cars, 0.2 million trucks, 6 million 2-wheelers (Motor bikes and scooters). We are the largest producers of clocks and watches in the world. We grow flowers right in this town and export into Dutch market. We produce enough clothes to robe the Billion+ people, food to feed them, drugs to cure them. Even school bags are produced in several hundreds of million per year (thanks to our large population)
• The second one is a strong statement “manufacturing is IT”. Look at the stages of manufacturing – design, production, logistics and support. Each one of these stages is impacted by IT; design has practically become “digital”. With increase in automation and robotics, production will see larger role for IT. Logistics (tracking, routing) is very dependent on IT. More and more items (starting with computers and instruments) will be “remotely supported”, thanks to IT
• Finally software will get embedded (I am not talking of embedded software only). Look at Siemens acquisition of UGS; today it is called Siemens PLM solutions. More software will be written; but the companies writing them may “get tucked in” to manufacturing companies rather than staying alone.
(Keynote address given in 4th ARC India Forum event “Winning strategies for global manufacturing” at Bangalore on November 29, 2007)