L&T’s chairman AM Naik spoke with the Economic Times regarding the state of jobs in India — specifically in the manufacturing and trade industries. The India-based engineering and technology firm wants the government to recognize just how the country’s current economy is keeping India from achieving global success with these sectors.Naik told the Economic Times, “Look at our trade imbalance with other countries. It has grown in the last 15 years. Policy failures have created more and more imports of value-added products. If you import raw materials, it adds value to the nation. […] Why China has emerged as a potential superpower is because they are very strong economically. They have money power and as a result they buy all the mines and natural resources in Africa and other regions. They are securitizing their long-term future.”
Naik also believes that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are hurting India. Naik notes that these government agreements are holding companies back from creating.
However, many critics, including government officials, believe FTAs are far from the issue. Rather, when it comes to boosting the economy, critics believe that Indian companies are their own worst enemies. Economists cite lack of innovation as one of the core issues affecting the manufacturing industry. Officials believe companies are not investing enough hope in their young talent.
Unfortunately, this sentiment does little good for enterprises like L&T that are at the forefront of innovation in India. The company holds over 100 patents and has made great strides in tech manufacturing with its switchgear and switchboard designs.
Ultimately, the government does acknowledge that many companies do still fight to remain competitive trendsetters. Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, announced that the government will hopefully provide incentives for future innovators. Prasad believes that electronics manufacturing is the key to a healthy industry and overall economy.