A recent tweet by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw celebrates the success of the Make in India initiative, particularly in the mobile industry over the past nine years. According to him, the nation has witnessed a remarkable transition from a 78 per cent import dependency in 2014 to an impressive 99.2 per cent of all mobiles sold in India now proudly bearing the 'Made in India' label! We can find similar success stories across other sectors too.
The government of India launched this initiative in September 2014 as part of an ambitious vision to transform India into a hub for manufacturing, design and innovation. The objective was to encourage Indian and global companies to manufacture products in India. It would help attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to spur economic and industrial growth, create jobs and decrease import dependency.
The initiative covers 27 sectors, including automobiles and auto components, pharmaceuticals, electronics and electrical equipment. Trends indicate that it seems to be putting India in an advantageous position.
For a growing economy with a young population, the most significant advantage is the job opportunities it creates. The latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) dashboard says:
Also, India is becoming self-reliant by reducing imports, skilling its people more efficiently and becoming a globally sought-after investment and manufacturing destination.
Let's look at five trends that define the impact of Make in India on the job market scenario.
1. Creation of manufacturing jobs
The manufacturing sector in India saw nearly 35.6 million employees in FY 2023. Some major global manufacturers producing in India are Renault, Suzuki, Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, Honda, Nokia and Apple (through its contract electronics like Foxconn, Wistron Corp and Pegatron Corp). Industry reports say the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry can add 10 million direct jobs and 50 million indirect jobs by 2030.
A recent Boston Consulting Group article titled Harnessing the Tectonic Shifts in Global Manufacturing confirms that India is a rapidly emerging export market. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) across industries, such as electronics, chip companies, automakers, toymakers, etc., are setting up shop in India, leading to more jobs. India is seeing a shift in job creation from traditional farming to non-farm sectors.
2. Skill development and DEI
The Skill India initiative is training our youth to become more employable. Many corporates have started upskilling and reskilling initiatives as part of their career development strategy. For example, automotive companies have implemented 'train and employ' programmes to meet the demand-supply gap.
The gig economy and flexi-staffing have become prominent employment trends. Not surprisingly, a Niti Ayog report proposed a skill development platform for gig workers to improve employability. A World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2023 says reskilling and upskilling are among the industry priorities for the next five years. Also, DEI remains a key strategic initiative to improve talent availability. Many auto manufacturers have already implemented exclusive diversity hiring drives, women-only assembly lines and so on. The latest PLFS dashboard says female labour force participation now stands at 37 per cent.
3. Attracting FDI and the rise of green jobs
Since 2014, FDI inflows have steadily increased, except for a minor dip during Covid. In 2022, it stood at USD 49.35 billion, amounting to 1.47 per cent of GDP, with sectors like auto and auto components, electrical machinery and textiles benefitting immensely. FDI trends indicate the success of various policy changes that moved India to rank 63 in an ease of doing business report.
The WEF report says that India is among the top three countries to generate green jobs, led by the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors. It also says broader applications of ESG standards have a 61 per cent impact on job creation in India.
4. The tech angle
The Indian job market will witness a 22 per cent churn over the next five years, with the top emerging roles coming from AI, machine learning and data segments, says the WEF report. Technology will play a significant role through additive manufacturing, robotics and IoT, among others, spurring the Industry 4.0 revolution. According to NASSCOM, 60 per cent of enterprise CXOs expect to shift more work from their global headquarters to Indian GICs in the next three to five years.
All these trends indicate an overall positive outlook, as confirmed by the WEF report. It says India was more positive than the global average for talent availability while hiring. Daily news reports of many MNCs making a beeline to India affirm this belief further.
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