Industry 4.0 in India
There is no dearth of awareness programs, technology events and product demo roadshows related to Industry 4.0. We can even say that the hype is so very high, but actual implementations on the ground are few and far between. The digitisation and smart manufacturing adoption is slow in India and that does not augur well for the global competitiveness of the Indian industry.
The real reason for this is that, any initiative that puts technology, products and vendors in the front, without considering the business context is like putting the cart before the horse. And it won’t go anywhere.
There are so many technologies, products and vendors – both home grown and multinational brands who are making noise in this space. But what is really needed is a vendor neutral approach to studying the following:
1. What the business actually needs?
2. What are the areas that will create immediate competitive advantage for the business at the corporate level and plant level?
3. What are the high priority pain points, problem areas and challenges faced currently?
4. How much capital can the business allocate for Industry 4.0 over the next 3 years?
And we have to take these perspectives not from the ‘engineers at the plant who are so excited about new technology’ but from the ‘CXOs in the corporate office who have to make difficult decisions on capital allocation’.
Because, this is not only about technical feasibility and RoI, but other practical considerations only a CXO will know. There is always a gap between ‘What you wish to do?’ and ‘What you can do’.
Another important consideration is to go for a very phased approach. No matter how much we show the RoI on paper, no CXO is going to commit 100s of lakhs for a plant wide or organisation wide program on Year 1. It has to always start small, e.g., a pilot for Rs 5 lakh and Rs 20 lakh for Phase 1.
And on the way there are many difficult choices to be made: Custom developed software vs branded package licenses; or proprietary hardware from local vendors vs industry standard hardware platforms from global vendors. These are often dependent on the answers to the first 4 questions.
Whether you are a CXO from a mid-sized organisation or an SME, waiting in the ring side and watching and waiting for things to evolve is no longer an option. Today’s leaders have to take the bull by its horns and make some hard decisions.
Koremec is launching a new service called ‘Industry 4.0 Consulting’ this year, specifically targeted to CXOs of mid-sized manufacturing companies. This is completely vendor neutral and technology agnostic.
With this Consulting Service, we hope will ease this journey a bit.
Ramkumar, Director of Marketing at Koremec Group, is one of the members of the CII – Smart Manufacturing Council. He is often invited as a speaker in Industry 4.0 related events such as CXO round tables, panel discussions and workshops, organised by Ministry of Heavy Industries/MSME, AIA, and other industry bodies. Ramkumar has more than 25 years of experience, studying customer requirements and providing customised solutions. He can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org