By Amit Khatri
“Make in India”, What started as a mere phrase has now become one of the largest Govt. led initiatives in the country with the goal to transform Indian industries and reposition India as a manufacturing and export hub on the global map. In a country where the services sector makes up for more than half the GDP, boosting manufacturing becomes a major priority for the industries to become ‘self-reliant’. Make in India along with key initiatives like Skill India, Digital India and Startup India, has played a huge role in scaling localisation and encouraging brands to manufacture in-house, while propelling India’s rapid growth as a catalyst and drive entrepreneurial zeal in the country.
The Govt. of India even recognised and layered special emphasis on 25 sectors, including Electronic system design and manufacturing, for the first leg of the campaign. Further in the post-covid life, wearables emerged as a promising category to bring opportunities and growth prospects to consumers, brands and the industry. The growth trend still continues with increased adoption which gave the industry a 20.1% YoY growth in the first quarter of 2022. While the work-from-home model and health-first lifestyle are the key factors accelerating this uptick, we are now witnessing the birth of new homegrown brands serving this accelerating demand. Make in India with a vision to make India Aatmanirbhar has made this process for new brands even more seamless with its lucrative incentives schemes and programs, giving the homegrown manufacturers a chance to lead from the front.
Adoption and expansion of Make in India
Up until a few years ago, industries in India were limited to rebranding imported products and retailing these white-labelled units in the country. However, the industry has witnessed a massive transformation since then. Easy access to labour, availability of resources and government initiatives like the Production Linked Initiatives (PIL) scheme and Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) have enabled numerous brands to move their manufacturing hub to India and scale up localised production. Make In India gives homegrown brands the opportunity to contribute to the economy in multiple ways – creating employment, building a platform for Indian talent, unlocking new innovation, boosting exports, creating opportunities for homegrown vendors, etc. Hence, building and expanding manufacturing operations in the country has become a lucrative option for leading brands across industries.
Emerging demands of new-age consumers
The prime consumers of majority wearables brands have been the Gen Z and modern millennials. The new generation is informed and connected, has a preference for brands/ products that contribute to the growth of their nation. They believe in building the local economy and thus significantly support Vocal for Local as their key agenda. Another interesting reason for their inclination towards everything homegrown is that consumers believe homegrown brands have an in-depth insight into their needs and preferences and thus, understand the pulse of the nation better. All these factors are strongly supported by the strong innovation and technical ability of the young brands to create aspirational products that were once available only for a niche community.
Unlocking the Future of Made in India Smart Wearable
The future of smart wearables in India is inclined to look a lot more diverse than the present scenario. This is because the industry has seen a rise in need based demand and found a huge customer base across demographics. Apart from the youth, the older generation, also known as baby boomers, is creating a huge demand for smart wearables today. This is strongly followed by demand driving in for the youngest generation (children). Meanwhile, Gen-Z and millennial consumers are becoming more conscious about the integration of design and innovation. Thus, we’re witnessing a unification between lifestyle watches and fitness trackers credited to the numerous options that offer the best of both worlds. With the increasing demand for premium tech in the country, the manufacturing sector in India would have to adapt at a much faster rate to beat the global competition and manufacture quality products in-house, end-to-end, eventually becoming a global hub for not just to serve the nation but also exports.
The electronics manufacturing industry has grown from $37.1 billion in 2015-2016 to $67.3 billion in 2020-21. With various government schemes like National Policy on Electronics (NPE), Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMC), Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) etc. aiming to boost domestic manufacturing, India has already started witnessing initial movement with increased production and assembly activities across products and the next stage of growth will be a more revolutionary stage for us as a country to position ourselves as the manufacturing leaders of the world where we’ll be “Making in India for the World”.
The author is co-founder of Noise. Views expressed are personal.