Following the creation of the “Make in India”, manufacturers have set their sights on the country as an alternative location to China.
The “Make in India” policy aims to promote the domestic manufacturing industry, and in the process attract foreign manufacturers. It targets to make the country a research and development hub and manufacturing center of the world.
Specifically, Japanese factory automation (FA) and manufacturing equipment manufacturers have aggressively rolled out investments in India, including establishment of plants. Major global manufacturers are also showing similar movements, signaling the shift from China to India as factory of the world.
India has a total population of about 1.3 billion, next to China’s 1.4 billion. India is expected to surpass China’s population in 2027, according to the United Nations.
China is set to become a super-aged nation in the coming years. In contrast, the ratio of young people is high in India. This makes the ratio of productive-age population (15 to 64 years old) also high.
Domestic Industries in Focus
In India, fifth-generation (5G) communications will start in 13 cities this year. Major telecommunications carriers, like Bharti Airtel, are setting up 5G base stations in these cities.
The country also aims to become an electric vehicle superpower in South Asia. The Indian government reportedly plans to inject 260 billion rupees (US$3.5 billion) in five years to build up its EV industry. Tesla Inc. of the United States is said to have plans to build its plant in India.
India is also eager to attract semiconductor manufacturers. In Dec, 2021, the Indian government said it would invest a total of 2.3 trillion rupees (US$30.9 billion) to promote the country’s electronics industry, focusing on semiconductors. It plans to include related fields, such as advanced chemistry cells, automobiles, automotive components, and communication network products.
Amid the great interests to the “Make in India” policy, a growing number of Japanese manufacturers are investing in the country. Japanese FA and manufacturing equipment manufacturers have been accelerating investments in India, including the establishment of plants.
Japanese FA Manufacturers
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has six FA Centers in India among FA equipment manufacturers. The company plans to establish a new production base in TALEGAON in Pune, with completion slated for FY2023. The company will produce inverters in the new plant and plans to expand it as a global production base.
Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. invested in India ahead of other companies in the FA industry. In 2009, it founded a sales company Fuji Electric India Pvt. Ltd. (FEI). In 2016, the company set up a factory for low-voltage inverters on the premises of FEI. In 2019, the company started Fuji Electric Consul Neowatt Private Limited (FCN) through a merger and acquisition (M&A) with a leading Indian power supply equipment manufacturer.
NSK Ltd., a manufacturer of linear motion guides and bearings, established in 2019 a plant Ahmedabad City in Gujarat State in northwestern India. The plant, which produces electric power steering (EPS) systems, was created through Rane NSK Steering Systems Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture company with Rane of India. Rane NSK Steering Systems is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu State.
THK Co., Ltd. established a plant for LM guides production in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh State. It stands on a 205,000sq.m-lot. For the first phase, a factory with a floor area of 37,000sq.m was completed and put to operation in fall of 2021.
For the time being, the plant produces LM guides for overseas markets, including the United States, and countries in Southeast Asia and Europe. When the demand in India increases, the company will allot 90 percent of its products for the domestic market. THK intends to expand the Indian Plant into its main plant.
Japanese Mounter Manufacturers
FUJI Corporation established a subsidiary FUJI INDIA Corporation Private Limited in Haryana State, and started operations in Mar. 2020.
Meanwhile, KATOLEC Corporation deploys electronic manufacturing services (EMS) business for the mounting of printed circuit boards (PCBs). In 2018, the company established a manufacturing company in Pune through a joint venture with a local company.
This year, Rexxam Co., Ltd. started production through a joint venture business with India’s Dixon Technologies India Ltd. in its EMS business. Thus far, business in China accounted for 70 percent of Rexxam’s EMS business. From now on, the company will expand its plants in Thailand and India as global production bases.
Japanese Electronics Trading Companies
Electronics trading companies have also started to invest in India. SATORI Electric Co., Ltd. will take a stake in SM Electronic Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Bengaluru, Karnataka State) to strengthen its sales of semiconductor products for mobility. SM Electronic Technologies, a wholesale trading company of electronic components, handles a multitude of customers, including motorcycle manufacturers, and wide sales channels across India. The company will venture in partnerships this year.