“Vocal for Local”-a Swadeshi Movement for Next Generation Manufacturing

Addressing the nation on 13th May,2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s through a slogan “Vocal for Local,” announced, Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to revive India’s economy and overcome the crisis caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic under a self-reliant scheme “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat”.  The call is to help in expanding the startup ecosystem by multi-folds, thereby aiding the country’s aim to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, by  creating more local brands and taking them to the global arena.

Importance of “Vocal for Local” in Indian Textile Industry

Depending on its own specialty many Indian products have already achieved their recognition in-house as well as Globally since our heritage, however enough efforts have not been taken to sustain their importance during the next generation.  These products can be taken on our agenda of “Vocal for Local” on priority basis involving Digital tools to promote and make user-friendly to next generation manufacturers as well as purchasers.

Scope of  “Vocal for Local” to make Indian Textile Engineering Industry- ATMA NIRBHAR   

India’s textile machinery trade with the world  was US$ 4857.91 million (12.31%) in 2018, out of which imports contributed to 83% i.e. US$ 4032 million; while Exports were only 17.29 % i.e. US$ 839.78 million . China, Japan, Germany, Singapore and Italy were the top five sourcing markets, while  Bangladesh, Germany, Turkey, Vietnam and the Netherlands, were top Export markets  for India. China supplied worth US$ 1445.77 million (36 % of total India’s Imports) Textile Machinery to India.

At the same time India’s production of Textile Machines, Spares and Accessories is Rs 6,865 Crores, fulfilling only 46.61% of Home –consumption to a tune of Rs 3,200 Crores against the demand of Rs 13,004 Crores which is 52.71%. The involvement of Entrepreneurship states that about 40-45% are  manufacturers and the rest are  Traders/gents/Dealers.

The above statistics calls for pursuing progressively for reduction our overall import dependence, especially from China, to become ATMA NIRBHAR. In such an exercise, imports from China no doubt require close scrutiny, considering their size in our import profile and even higher share of the bilateral trade deficit in our total merchandise trade imbalance. After interacting with few Entrepreneurs  involved in the business of Chinese products, following findings are noted :-

  1. a) machines & spare parts manufactured by Indians at par/more effective in durability /quality than Chinese products used in India, but at higher cost.[ of India should support through ‘Make-in-India’ initiative to bring down the manufacturing cost.]
  2. b) Chinese machines & spare parts used by Indian machinery  manufacturers; [ of India should  encourage Local manufacturer to indigenously manufacture under ‘Make-in-India’ initiative and convey message that we not only want to make products for India but make them for the world  indicating that we are also aiming at competitive manufacturing and not import substitution at any cost.]
  3. c) Chinese machines & spare parts used by Indian Textile Mills [If the government promotes technology among Indian manufacturers by offering a TUF scheme for TEI, there may not be any need for TUF for the textile industry as machinery and parts will be available at 40-60% lower cost
  4. d) Chinese machines & spare parts exported by Indian Traders/Agents to other countries from India [ of India to support through Export incentives for Indian Products]
  5. e) Machines & spare parts of non-Chinese companies manufactured in China and sold in India[ effort to invite such foreign producers to locate their manufacturing in India by offering them attractive investment incentives, time bound tariff protection, ensuring that progressively they will also export.]

A detailed study on following aspects will help in execution of the concept ‘Vocal for Local’ at Grass –Root level  through  ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT initiative.

  • Which machines and Spares/Accessories heavily depend on imports right now and cannot immediately scale up production domestically?
  •  Which machines and Spares/Accessories partially depend on imports to make their finished products?
  • Are there any machines, spares and accessories that are already self-reliant, have minimal dependence on imports or have the capacity to immediately scale up production here?
  •  What are the issues with scaling up production in import dependent sectors?
  •  What policy measure does industry need for greater local production?

We are aware that European Technologies even being expensive are preferred Globally due to their sustainability and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems and being user-friendly and environment friendly. Inception of these machines, especially pre-owned has taken place in huge numbers in India under TUF scheme. China offered workshop facilities for many European machinery manufacturers and taking this opportunity, developed very cost effective machines with European technology standards under reverse engineering techniques and was able to target India as their major export market. It’s a matter of time when Indian Entrepreneurs realized and as learnt from them, that these machines could not give sustainable performance due to lack of good quality metallurgical aspects, while manufacturing in order to deliver a low-cost Product.

Following  suggestions may be considered for preparing Indian TEI to be ATMA NIRBHAR and promote through   ‘Vocal for Local’ concept, taking it further ‘Focus on Local  for World’

  • MSMEs TE Units

As  more than 80% of Indian TE Units are MSMEs, their technological base and state-of-the art set-up of their factories to deliver a quality and competitive products in accordance with  International Standards it calls for

i) Trainings on 5s, Kaizan, Six Sigma Yellow/Green Belt/ Lean for development of man-power;

ii) LEAN Competitive Scheme for the Process and Infrastructure development;

iii) in-house Projects with TRAs for Product/Design development;

iv) Certification of the Business – ZED, ISO, etc.

v)  strengthen Backward Integration i.e. Machine Tools

  • Creating an Eco-system for innovations & technology development in Textile industry” A gap between the Supply Chain CONNECTIVITY due to USER Industry (Textile Manufacturers in Spinning, Weaving, Processing, Knitting, Garment, Apparel) comes under the control of MOT(Ministry of Textiles), while SUPPLY Industry (Textile Machines, Spares & Accessories Manufacturers) & Machine Tool Industry comes under DHI (Ministry of Heavy Industry); if overcome then it will  encourage Innovation/ Technology Development Projects for TEI from the User Industry under MOT development schemes.
  • Creating Accessories and Spares Depot in the Textile Parks for ease of doing business
  • Technology Scouting missions for Product/Design development through in-house Projects with TRAs like NRDC, CSIR, ISRO, etc.
  • Textile Centres for rendering after Sales and Technical Services
  • Common Facilitation Centres ( CFCs) – (to facilitate conceptualization and implementation for projects, training of technical staff of manufacturers, organizing workshops and seminars, facilitation in obtaining government subsidies for projects, etc. They also facilitate trials and feedback from user industry to enable rapid commercialization)

‘Focus on Local  for the World’

It is also essential to extend the slogan ‘Vocal for Local’  to the next stage “ Focus on Local for the World” in order to develop those Products as consumed at National and International level but presently  are not manufactured indigenously. However it is essential to consider religiously  the availability of raw material, man-power, infrastructure, natural resources and technology  while developing the Product at World class standard and at competitive price.

  • If we can rapidly progress to a stage of ‘plug and play’ concept
  • Export Cells of Textile Engineers to promote  Indian Textile Machines, Spares & Accessories in the   Textile Producing Countries
  • Special Pavilions of Indian Textile Machines, Spares & Accessories in National & International Exhibitions
  • Business Scouting Missions during International Events.
  • SMART DATA CENTRE – Authentic DATA of Production, Export & Import of Capital Goods sector (Finished/Complete Machinery, Assemblies/sub-assemblies & Components, Hi-tech machineries and technology components) to help individual TE units in business, Engineering Associations in preparing  strategies for its members, guide Research Associations and Industry Experts in Research and Turnkey Projects.


The technique /tool meaning instant connectivity with anyone, anywhere, anytime at mere cost, will play a very vital role in taking the concept ‘Vocal for Local’ more effectively to every corner and part of businesses. In this Era of Digitalization new technologies like going green, smart manufacturing, industry 4.0, etc. will place a challenge for this concept ‘Vocal for Local’ as it demands the suppliers and consumers of the Swadeshi Products to be acquainted with these technologies. Realizing the same, Government of India has thoughtfully introduced ‘Make-in-India,’ ‘Skill-in-India’ and ‘Start-up India’ simultaneously, whereby the slogan ‘Vocal for Local’ will go hand in hand with all three, helping India to be “ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT.”

Mr. N. D. Mhatre, Director General (Tech), ITAMMA

Indian Textile Accessories & Machinery Manufacturers’ Association