The much debated positioning of 'Detroit of India' was in the limelight again at the CII Southern Region's Conference on 'Tamil Nadu as a manufacturing hub,' in Chennai on Thursday. During the conference held on the occasion of the CII chapter's annual day, a report on "A Vision for the Tamil Nadu Automotive Industry" was released by V Krishnamurthy, Chairman, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), Government of India.
The report formulated by ICRA Management Consulting Services and mandated by the TN council of the CII profiles Vision 2015 for the Tamil Nadu with reference to the automotive sector. According to the Vision 2015 report, the total net turnover of the automotive industry in India would be of the order of $66-69 billion by 2015. Of the total, the domestic industry is expected to contribute $40-42 billion and exports are envisaged in the region of $ 20 billion.
The total net turnover stands at $19 billion in 2004. According to the report, Tamil Nadu should target a 30-35 per cent share of the envisioned turnover in 2015, which translates into $18-20 billion. The growth, if on the projected terms, is expected to result in direct employment of an additional 6,00,000 people in the state.
Delivering the inaugural address, Krishnamurthy said, "Those engaged in the manufacturing industries have never had it so good. The government at the centre is committed and the world is expecting a lot from us in India." He mentioned that in Tamil Nadu, there was a very strong linkage between the small, medium and large enterprises involved with the industry and these close-knit units would spell success for the region in automobiles. "Automobiles are one of the prime movers of economic growth. Though clusters around Mumbai-Pune and Delhi-Gurgaon have grown rapidly, Tamil Nadu has its inherent strengths like high levels of efficiency, and these will see the state come through in the segment," he added.
Delivering the keynote address, R Seshasayee, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, said, "We need to discover an Indian way of manufacturing, that will give us the edge. One of the action points as I see it is to develop those very skills, which have made the region an auto hub. We must also get educational institutions involved in research initiatives in streams like design." He stressed on the need to adopt a cluster approach and internationalise segments like foundry, and promote entrepreneurship.
Other speakers at the one-day conference included David Friedman, MD & President - Ford India, Sanjay Upendran, Director Business Advisory Services - KPMG, and Gopal Srinivasan, Director - TVS Electronics. In the latter half of the day, the Minsiter for Industries, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Nainar Nagenthran released a report on 'Industrialisation of Southern Districts - Unexplored Opportunity'. B Santhanam, MD - Saint Gobain Glass India, takes over from TT Ashok as the next Chairman of CII's Tamil Nadu chapter.