Monday, March 8, 2021

Zooming on: Economic revival, growth and the focus areas for our country in 2021

January 2021 has brought cheer to the Indian economy, reflected in improvement in market sentiment and new peaks scaled by the stock markets. Our country appears to be coming out of the Covid-crisis, gradually. Much awaited vaccines also have arrived! We are upbeat about the prospects for the economy, and according to the experts, what we are experiencing is ‘V’ shape recovery of the economy. There are expectations that after contraction to the extent of around 7% in the current year, Indian economy can grow at the fastest pace in the world again next year and grow up to 11% in 2021-22. This is the view of the government and IMF too. All this augurs well for the country, aiming to become $5 trillion economy. However, scaling new peaks for the Indian economy needs attention to three important issues/areas: Quality, supply chain management and innovation.

Quality is the prime requirement for global acceptability of products. We have to improve the quality of Indian products and services, and build our credibility around quality. Self-reliance or ‘Aatmanirbharta’ and making ‘local products for global applications’ need focus on quality. ‘Brand India’ has to be known for ‘quality with sustainability’! Our Prime Minister too has been stressing on ‘zero defect and zero effect’, on sustainable development and excellence. We have to safeguard the interests of present as also the future generations. This is possible when we think about quality and sustainable supply chains!

Supply chain management and logistics are the tonic for the economy. Logistics, infrastructure, technology and strategic initiatives, along with quality, can help create increased and sustained demand for ‘Made in India’ products. ‘Demand pull’ is the dream of every supplier and its realisation is possible if the country keeps focus on quality in inputs, processes and outputs. After the success in winning the war on corona in 2020, 2021 can well be the inflection point for us as was the second world-war for Japan, which focussed on quality from 1950s onwards. It learnt from the teachings of Dr Juran and Dr Deming, developed new Total Quality Control (TQC) techniques and became known for concepts and tools like kaizen, fish-bone diagram, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Just-in-time (JIT), Toyota Production System (TPS) philosophy and so many other concepts and techniques. The efforts brought out the Japanese economy from the ravages of war and Japanese products became synonymous with quality by 1970s. Japan became the most important part of global supply chain, especially in electronics and automobiles. Today, we too have the need and the opportunity and our IT talent is the booster for us. IT talent, through technological innovations, has played an important role during the Covid times. IT is ushering never-seen-before innovations!

Innovation is going to provide the required global push to our products and services. Our youth have to have innovative thinking, make use of technology, create innovative products and not duplicate the efforts of other countries. AI, cloud, IoT are accelerating the growth of the industry, called Industry 4.0. Innovations in education, health and pharmaceutical sectors are the real blessings of 2020 for our country.

Technology has helped educational institutions and the students face the challenging times with ease. The NorthCap University being frontrunner in technology adoption started online classes on Microsoft Teams from March 16, 2020, much before lockdown was announced, and utilized Technology tools like Learning Management System (LMS) and ERP in imparting students, seamless learning.

Technological innovations and innovative thinking will help us leapfrog completion and take our country to new heights! To conclude, dedication to quality- creating value for money for the customer, investments in logistics and infrastructure and innovation will help the Indian economy zoom on!

    Prof. SK Breja

    School of Management

    The NorthCap University

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