Industry Opportunities and Challenges for the Manufacturing Sector in India

The geopolitical reasons in the world and the governmental impetus in the country have created an environment particularly suitable for the growth of the manufacturing sector in India. India is one of the most desirable manufacturing centers in the world and exports of goods and commodities are projected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030. Not only is there a high demand for different manufacturing industries, but foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian markets is extremely promising with more companies looking to invest. The bustling manufacturing sector, although heading towards automation, is still driving a large portion of India’s workforce and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

The future of India’s manufacturing sector is bright and, more importantly, rich in innovation and upside potential.


Over the next 10 years, manufacturing companies in India can really scale from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to medium and large enterprises and the best way to achieve this is to invest in basic manufacturing infrastructure. Whether in terms of equipment or technological innovation, investment in the sector is an excellent way to boost production and ensure profits not only for individual companies, but also profits that add to the national gross domestic product (GDP).

The future is full of possibilities, especially with the whole ecosystem of components and basic raw materials developing in India. It has taken India the last 2 decades to build the foundations necessary to adapt its manufacturing to larger and more complex products. Now that the opportunity has presented itself, we as a country should come together and make the most of it.

Moreover, India being strong in software and information technology, we can use machine learning, artificial intelligence and other forms of reality technology to further increase production efficiency. and processes to make us competitive.

Today, India can match and even better Chinese-made products in both cost and quality, which is sure to bring huge business to India.

There is also plenty of room to grow and improve, in the areas of basic manufacturing process, material understanding, design, vocational training, machine manufacturing, data tracking and even automation. All of these opportunities are waiting to be explored, all of which have the potential to make India’s manufacturing sector a global hub for all kinds of manufacturing.


Too slow growth could make India uncompetitive as the growth rate of manufacturing infrastructure has to keep pace with the growth in demand, given local and international markets. Countries and companies are constantly looking at each other and all it takes is a slight glitch in the system to hold the company and the country back.

A major impediment to this growth is the lack of a disciplined and cohesive workforce at the factory level who are willing to work consistently to improve their own work life and that of the company and the country. The workforce must mature and must develop long-term goals for personal development and growth. Here, the government, society and the education system could play a major role.

Another challenge that India has to overcome is the need for adequate infrastructure of roads, ports, electricity and similar services. For example, data suggests that India uses around 3% of its GDP for infrastructure construction each year, compared to 20% of its GDP for China. Infrastructure is the foundation of any industry and especially manufacturing where large facilities are crucial to produce the required products.

On top of that, entrepreneurs need to understand and commit to building sustainable manufacturing businesses because manufacturing cannot be a part-time business for companies that really want to grow in this sector. Complete discipline and a clear strategy are also essential to survive and thrive.

If we fail to keep pace or meet the expectations that the world is placing on India over the next 5-10 years, we could miss a golden opportunity. Thus, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, governments, investors, customers and consumers should all come together to seize this opportunity with both hands and lead the country towards a fundamentally stronger future, an Atmanirbhar Bharat.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


Marjorie N. McClure