The Indian Engineering sector has witnessed a remarkable growth over the last few years driven by increased investments in infrastructure and industrial production. The engineering sector, being closely associated with the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, is of strategic importance to India’s economy.
India on its quest to become a global superpower has made significant strides towards the development of its engineering sector. The Government of India has appointed the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) as the apex body in charge of promotion of engineering goods, products and services from India. India exports transport equipment, capital goods, other machinery/equipment and light engineering products such as castings, forgings and fasteners to various countries of the world. The Indian semiconductor industry offers high growth potential areas as the industries which source semiconductors as inputs are themselves witnessing high demand.
India became a permanent member of the Washington Accord (WA) in June 2014. The country is now a part of an exclusive group of 17 countries who are permanent signatories of the WA, an elite international agreement on engineering studies and mobility of engineers.
India exports its engineering goods mostly to the US and Europe, which accounts for over 60 per cent of the total exports. Recently, India’s engineering exports to Japan and South Korea have also increased with shipments to these two countries rising by 16 and 60 per cent respectively. Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh have also emerged as the major destinations for India’s engineering exports.
According to the India Electronics & Semiconductor Association, the Indian Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16-23 per cent to reach US$ 228 billion by 2020. According to a study by The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) and NEC Technologies, the demand for electronic products in India is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 41 per cent during 2017-20 to US$ 400 billion by 2020.
According to data from the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India, engineering exports from India grew 11.33 per cent year-on-year.
The engineering sector in India attracts immense interest from foreign players as it enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of manufacturing costs, technology and innovation. The above, coupled with favourable regulatory policies and growth in the manufacturing sector has enabled several foreign players to invest in India.
The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into India’s miscellaneous mechanical and engineering industries during April 2000 to June 2017 stood at around US$ 3.34 billion, as per data released by the Department of Industries Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
In the recent past there have been many major investments and developments in the Indian engineering and design sector:
- With an aim to increase its presence in India, Denmark-based heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) giant, Danfoss, is planning to take its manufacturing localisation to 50 per cent as well as double its supplier base in India by 2020.
- Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) has been awarded with projects worth Rs 2,170 crore (US$ 336.93 million), which includes an order worth Rs 1,169 crore (US$ 181.51 million) from Oman Electricity Transmission Company SAOC.
- South Korean electronics major, LG, is planning to make India as its export hub, on the back of improved ties between South Korea and India, as per Mr Ki Wan Kim, Managing Director, LG Electronics India (LGEI).
- Warburg Pincus is in advance talks with Tata Technologies to acquire up to 40 per cent minority stake for about Rs 2,300 crore (US$ 357.11 million).
- Hexagon Capability Centre India (HCCI) in collaboration with National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), Surathkal, launched first-of-its-kind NextGen 3D Lab costing Rs 7.7 crore (US$ 1.15 million) at NITK Campus.
- Engineering and construction major L&T entered into a joint venture with European defence major Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia (MBDA) Missile Systems for development of missiles in India. L&T will own 51 per cent stake in the JV named L&T MBDA Missile Systems and the rest 49 with the European partner.
- American plane maker Boeing Corporation has launched the Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center in Bengaluru. The centre will employ hundreds of locals who will work to support Boeing, including its information technology & data analytics, engineering, research and technology, and tests.
- Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd said it has signed an agreement with the US Navy for undertaking service, maintenance and repair of Seventh Fleet of US Navy at the Reliance Shipyard at Pipavav in Gujarat.
The Indian engineering sector is of strategic importance to the economy owing to its intense integration with other industry segments. The sector has been de-licensed and enjoys 100 per cent FDI. With the aim to boost the manufacturing sector, the government has relaxed the excise duties on factory gate tax, capital goods, consumer durables and vehicles.
- In the Union Budget 2017-18, the Government of India increased the allocation for incentive schemes like the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) and the Electronic Development Fund (EDF) to Rs 745 crore (US$ 111 million) for providing a boost to the semiconductor as well as the electronics manufacturing industry.
- The Union Cabinet has approved incentives up to Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1.47 billion) for investors by amending the M-SIPS scheme, in order to further incentivise investments in electronics sector, create employment opportunities and reduce dependence on imports by 2020.
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology plans to revise its policy framework, which would involve the government taking a more active role in developing the sector by providing initial capital, with the aim to attract more private players and make India a global semiconductor hub.
- The Government of India is planning to merge 6 engineering consulting Public Sector Units (PSUs) to create a mega consultancy firm that can take up projects across sectors and compete with the likes of Bechtel of the US and domestic majors like Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
The engineering sector is a growing market. Spending on engineering services is projected to increase to US$ 1.1 trillion by 2020. The government, in consultation with semiconductor industry, has increased focus on the ESDM sector in last few years. Some of the initiatives outlined in the National Electronics policy and the National Telecom policy are already in the process of implementation, such as Preferential Market Access (PMS), Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) and Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS).
India’s capital good sector is expected to triple in size to Rs 7.5 trillion (US$ 116 billion) and add 21 million jobs by 2025