A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly, ¨I am devoted to studying your martial system. How long will it take me to master it?¨ The teacher´s reply was casual, ¨Ten years.¨ Impatiently, the student answered, ¨But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice every day, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?¨ The teacher thought for a moment, and replied, ´20 years.´
That sums up the current situation. Everybody wants the change to happen in a day or two as if the one who leads the country has a magic wand. In spite of the whole lot of positive indications given, whether Japan is going to invest 35 billion, or China to invest another 5 billion, or the PM is on his next venture to lure America to invest more in the country; our patience seems to run dry!
Back home, the CE industry; yes, the whole industry has been waiting for a turnaround, which never seems to have happened. However, as every industry leader vouch for it, things are moving; the initial pace will be slow, and it is; but once it gathers momentum, there won´t be any stopping back. For example, the material handling segment has been hit so badly, almost over 50 per cent; however, the industry players have geared up well; enhanced capacity; launched new models; have focused more on the safety side; and that´s not enough - every major player is about to launch more advanced models in a short time! The fact that Reliance´s Jamnagar refinery project, alone has generated demand over couple of hundreds of various types of cranes is a clear indicator of the growth we are talking about. More of such projects in power, oil and gas, and manufacturing have already been planned. The renewed focus on core sectors is sure to boost the demand; yes of course, it may take some more time to get the script slowly getting enacted. That is just part of the whole story! It is heartening to know slowly, but steadily, the logistics sector is maturing to international practices; and no doubt, more number of global players in material handling and warehousing equipment are eyeing on the huge market potential. The processes, maybe very slow - but we are getting there!
The launch of ´Make in India´ campaign at a high profile event the other day, can be treated as just another indication - an indication to the height where we can reach! The snowballing impact on different verticals and their ancillaries, alone can change the whole perceived structure of development. No doubt, hurdles are aplenty. However, in the given context, those are better opportunities to raise the bar of excellence.
All said and done, it also depends on how serious the present government is in implementing GST. The very move will, no doubt, create such a level playing field for the equipment manufacturers, who have been hitherto tortured on umpteen areas of tax regimes; the earlier the implementation of GST, the better.
Early indications of an oncoming revival of numbers are being felt by some vendors like Wirtgen and TIL. New entrants who are buying out road projects from those who are debt stressed are the new customers with a new pipeline of funding. Sector-wise, airports and roads are gearing up for action. As is wisely said, the road to success is always under construction.