MAKE IN INDIA will be a destination of choice only when the outputs MADE IN INDIA are a preferred global choice.

It took Japan more than two decades, post the Second World War, to graduate from the Standard for Bad Quality (remember Raj Kapoor’s ‘mera joota hai Japani’) to Perfect Copy Cats.

In the 1970s, Japan could produce entertainment electronics faster, better and cheaper than any other nation on earth. They sold unknown brands of entertainment electronics in the US, taking on the world heavy weights – Philips, Zenith, Bush, RCA, etc. The Japanese brands were Sony and Panasonic. They could copy a design, and sell their products at a price lower than the cost to produce them in the US. And they made profit while delivering perfect quality.

The story repeated in the auto industry. Toyota Corolla started out as a four cylinder, two door, sub-compact, four seater car in the USA in the late 1970s. The Datsun 510 from Nissan with similar features also launched at the same time. The rest is history. By the early 1980s, the Japanese auto industry broke the back bone of the US economy with systematic economic aggression.

The Japanese had mastered the art of managing for quality. Quality that the customer wanted. They were adept at faster, better, cheaper, and different!

South Korea benchmarked the Japanese in the 1970s. They also accomplished world-class quality…..but in a shorter time frame!

India is at the door step of MAKE IN INDIA. That is a great invitation to global manufacturers. They are being promised the red carpet with unlimited promises, that yet need to be sorted out. The Budget that will be presented by the Indian Finance Minister on 28 February will, hopefully, indicate the steps towards these promises.

However, the long term depends on a quality MADE IN INDIA, with or without foreign investment. For this to happen it is best we benchmark South Korea. And work the miracle in a shorter time frame than they did.

Challenge: Do we really need foreign investment? Ask Tata Steel who unlocked Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ) and went on to acquire Corus Steel. And Mahindra Tractors, who internalized the habit of quality improvement, reduced COPQ, and now have global footprints in every continent. And to a large extent, Aditya Birla Group. There are more.

So while I may invite you to the Indian wedding, I also need to deliver a delightful experience to the guest. That is the proof of the pudding.

India can make it….and make it better.

*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets.  Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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