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At a macro level, the Make in India initiative is clearly about driving growth and creating jobs. But on the ground, it comes down to people, to individuals: the young man who learnt exquisite embroidery from his father and grandfather; the group of friends who dropped out of a top university to design a headset so they could play games in 3D; the expat who stumbled upon ‘the most beautiful place in the world’ in a village in East India; the single mother who returned home to champion indigenous seeds; the little girl who loved looking up at the stars and grew up to become a rocket scientist. These are the true stories of people making in India. Behind every brand, every label, every product or service, is a person with a vision of creating something new and transformational. They’re toiling away in tiny ateliers, windowless cubicles, garage offices, on factory floors and labs with cutting-edge equipment, out in fields and farms, in coffee shops with free wi-fi. All have one thing in common: a dream. Our goal for this magazine is to tell the amazing, inspiring stories of some of India’s most dynamic entrepreneurs and companies. We hope you discover what we did: that we’re at a time in history when we must do whatever it takes to allow more young, talented Indians to dream bigger, to provide them with opportunities, to help them build something of which we can all be proud. We hope to tell—and re-tell—their stories for years to come. Divia Thani Daswani, editor

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Meet the people flying the Made in India flag high


Is Bengaluru India’s Silicon Valley? Why entrepreneurs are flocking and staying here



Female scientists behind India’s Mars Mission prove that the universe—and its opportunities—are infinite

JCB manufactures construction and agricultural equipment in Pune





From Oscar-winning outsourced content to ambitious homegrown cinema, India’s CGI and VFX industries are raring to go

What the Make in India initiative aims to achieve. By its key driver, Amitabh Kant, Secretary, DIPP

How Condé Nast makes in, by, and for, India. By its managing director, Alex Kuruvilla


Top international fashion brands get their hands on Indian textiles and the results are extraordinary


Nikesh Arora of SoftBank Corp explains why it’s the best time to be an entrepreneur in India, and how startups are a sign of the changing times 6

India’s diverse landscapes have inspired ingenious hoteliers who value authentic, immersive travel


Biocon’s Kiran MazumdarShaw on the sort of business ecosystem we need in India

India’s strengths synchronise with the new possibilities opening up, says Anand Mahindra of the Mahindra Group


Rural tourism allows an experience of the unique rhythm of India’s villages

159 THE SWEDISH WAY Swedish companies are looking closely at India

80 AN INDUSTRIAL POWERHOUSE Why Pune has emerged as a prime location for leading manufacturers


How the city became a centre for innovative design


Indian films and fashion brands are poised to go global


The people behind Mumbai’s international airport wanted to build an icon of modern India


Handwoven textiles are being revived as modern furnishings


German firms are investing not only in manufacturing, but also in R&D and technology


Documenting India as the emerging economic powerhouse in pictures

214 YOGA

Sometimes, a nation’s top export requires no factory


13 19 25

EDITOR Divia Thani Daswani Managing Editor Jyoti Kumari art director Himanshu Lakhwani CONTRIBUTING Editor Rachana Nakra CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITORS Yooti Bhansali, Samira Sood Syndication Manager Michelle Pereira Assistant Syndication Coordinator Giselle D’Mello CONTRIBUTING PHOTO Assistant Athul Prasad CONTRIBUTING STAFF

Anaita Shroff Adajania, Ashish Sahi, Ayesha Aleem, Bandana Tewari, Chandni Sehgal, Jasreen Mayal Khanna, Manju Sara Rajan, Pahull Bains, Prasad Ramamurthy, Priyanka Kapadia, Rashmi Shankar, Renuka Modi, Rujuta Vaidya, Salil Deshpande, Shahnaz Siganporia, Sonal Ved CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Aatish Nath, Aditi Bhimjiyani, Angshumitra Sen, Anupama Chopra, Aparna Kalra, Chandrahas Choudhury, Deepti Kapoor, Divya Unni, Indu Mirani, Kersi Khambatta, Monica Jha, Priyanka Pathak, Pushpindar Singh, Shamsheer Yousaf, Sunil Sethi, Vikram Gour CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Arjun Menon, Matthew Shave, Neville Sukhia, Pankaj Anand, Tom Parker, Errikos Andreou SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS

Amitabh Kant, Anand Mahindra, Divia Patel, Jean-Francois Lesage, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Mohit Dhar Jayal, Dr Mukund Rajan, Nikesh Arora, Rolan Folger, Sanjay Vijayakumar, V Sunil PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Arjun Mehra Marketing Director Oona Dhabhar Marketing Executive Aradhana Mahtani ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Amrita Singh ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR - BRAND SOLUTIONS Poonam Tharar PLANNING MANAGER Alisha Goriawala commercial manager - digital Ishani Roychoudhary Associate Director - Subscriptions Bindu Nambiar AGM - ADMIN & SUBSCRIPTION OPS Boniface D’souza PR Manager Yasmin Ranijiwala Head - Events Neha Mishra Manager - Events Shivani Kale ASSISTANT MANAGER - EVENTS Mansi Harkisandas Creative Director - Print Dipti Soonderji Mongia Associate Editor - Promotions Sherrie A Marker PROMOTIONS MANAGER Tarana Sheth senior Promotions writer Kinjal Vora Copy Editor and Writer - Promotions Karishma Mehrotra graphic designer Karishma Gupta ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR CIRCULATION Anindita Ghosh Finance director Vishandas Hardasani Senior accountant Dattaprasanna Bhagwat Accountants Anthony Paulose, Nitin Chavan Digital Director Gaurav Mishra Head - technology Arshad Kazi ASSISTANT MANAGER - DIGITAL MARKETING Moshni Parikh director - VIDEO Anita Horam CREATIVE PRODUCERS Amrita Mahindroo, Ishita Bahadur Production director Amit Navarange SENIOR Production MANAGER Sunil Nayak commercial Production manager Sudeep Pawar Production controller Vijay Salunkhe, Mangesh Pawar

Alex Kuruvilla

Managing Director

Condé Nast India Pvt. Ltd.

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young Udayant Malhoutra has transformed Dynamatic Technologies from making hydraulic pumps into a key global supplier of complete parts to Airbus, Boeing and Bell Helicopter. 3Nethra is a startup by K Chandrasekhar, which detects five common eye problems in a single screening and addresses preventable blindness. Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder of Shopclues.com, is set to become India’s first woman whose company valuation will exceed US$1 billion. These vibrant entrepreneurs represent the energy and dynamism of the Make in India initiative. India’s manufacturing lion is steadily on the move, backed by a vast range of policy measures converging initiatives on innovation, skill development and smart manufacturing. The creative content of the initiative has already attracted global attention and led to a vast following on social media. A strong, vigorous and dynamic manufacturing sector must be central to India’s economic growth. The future of India’s growth process lies in the dynamism of its manufacturing sector. If India has to grow at rates of eight to nine percent per annum over the next three decades and create jobs for its young population, the manufacturing sector must grow at 14 to 15 percent per annum on a sustained basis. Despite the recent rapid growth, most of the manufacturing jobs have continued to be in the informal sector, which is characterised by extremely low productivity and poor wages. The small, informal firms in India employ 40 percent of our workforce, as compared to only 4 percent in Korea and 5.8 percent in Japan. In sharp contrast to other Asian countries, where the manufacturing sector provided impetus and dynamism to the economy, India’s growth has been driven by services. The share of manufacturing as a component of GDP is around 42 percent in China and 30 percent in South Korea, while in India it has remained stagnant at 16 percent. India cannot grow on the back of agriculture. In fact, no country in the world has. We need a second Green Revolution, but disguised employment has to be radically reduced to allow for enhanced productivity. Economic development in essence is about shifting people from sustenance farming to manufacturing, and urbanisation is the spatial manifestation of this shift. India is passing through a historic and rare window of demographic transition. We will be adding nearly 138 million people to our working-age population by 2021-22. This is an astonishing number and manufacturing must catalyse large-scale employment opportunities. Manufacturing in India has been constrained by two critical factors—the lack of global size and scale of physical infrastructure and redundant, outdated labour laws that bear no relevance in today’s age and time. The Make in India initiative of the government focusses on manufacturing, innovation and design. These are key to India’s growth and job creation. But several key measures are necessary.


Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and a key driver of the Make in India initiative

“make in india can, and must, succeed. the direction is right. we just need to think big in size and scale and accelerate the speed of change”

We have taken a series of radical measures to improve the Ease of Doing Business by business process re-engineering, putting clearances and approvals online and reducing human intervention. Since much of the action lies in individual states across India, we have created a sense of competition amongst states by ranking them on a 100-point Action Plan. This has unleashed a huge competitive spirit. States competed with each other in a spirit of competitive federalism. This year, they are competing on 344 Action Points. My view is that this competition will lead to states unleashing reforms and India becoming one of the easiest and simplest places to do business in. Secondly, we are living in a globalised world. It is necessary for India to be an integral part of the global supply chain. We have opened up the foreign direct investment (FDI) regime across a vast range of areas—railways, construction, medical devices, defence, and de-regulated a vast range of sectors. These measures have now made India one of the open economies of the world. FDI has grown by 35 percent at a point of time when FDI across the world has fallen by 16 percent. The Financial Times, Foreign Policy Magazine and Ernst & Young have ranked India as the number one investment destination in the world. Thirdly, there is a completely new energy in startups and flow of funds from venture funds and angel investors. India is today one of the most vibrant countries for startups. The challenge is to spread this movement from digital to manufacturing and agriculture, and from Tier-I to Tier-II and Tier-III cities. The Start-up India initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will provide a huge impetus in building this eco-system. Fourth, we are witnessing a huge movement towards making India a destination for Research & Development. A vast number of multinational corporations have relocated their R&D from across the world to Hyderabad and Bengaluru. There are over 150 companies that have shifted to India and are employing over 1,50,000 Indians. Thus, India with its skilled manpower has become the ideal location for R&D. Fifth, there is a huge focus on infrastructure with increased public spending on highways, railways and industrial corridors. The expenditure on infrastructure has been the highest as compared to previous years. Finally, India, which has been a reluctant urbaniser, is now focusing on innovative and sustainable urbanisation. Focused emphasis on the development of 100 Smart Cities will enable technology to be utilised in the process of urbanisation and allow India to embed its cities with public transportation, recycling of water, and waste management. India is world class at frugal innovation and engineering. Few countries are capable of such a high level of resource efficiency that India has shown in combining technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. This skill has been effectively demonstrated in its Mangalyaan Mission, in manufacturing of Kwid cars by Renault in India, and by GE in the development of low-cost ECG machines at one-tenth the price of what it costs in the USA. India is an oasis of growth in the midst of a barren economic landscape across the world. For India to grow at rapid rates over a three-decade period, Make in India can—and must—succeed. The direction is right. We just need to think big in size and scale and accelerate the speed of change.



Video Digital

photograph: farrokh chothia

Telling inspiring India stories


Managing Director Condé Nast India



wo years ago, investors around the world were debating whether India was a risk or an opportunity. Then came the galvanizing call of Make In India: a call as relevant to manufacturing, industry and infrastructure as it was to media, art, culture and design, because no country can afford to underestimate (or not fully leverage) its soft power advantage in this increasingly multipolar world. The nation responded. As did the media and entertainment industry—one of the fastest growing sectors in India. We are on par with the world in many regards, but also unique: firstly, in our rich tradition of vernacular and local language media; secondly, in that newspapers and magazines are still growing rapidly. The statistics speak for themselves. India has 168 million television households, 99,7000 newspapers and close to 400 million Internet users— second only to China. We are the third-largest smartphone market in the world, set to reach 314 million mobile Internet users by 2017. New companies like Hotstar and Newshunt are driving the innovation agenda, live-streaming videos on mobile and kickstarting mobile-first regional language publishing, and indeed, building their entire business models around it. Television and AGV (Animation, Gaming and VFX) segments are expected to lead industry growth in the years to come. Ten years ago, I was given the exciting and challenging task of building Condé Nast India from the ground up. We have not only lived up to the high editorial and production standards set by our counterparts across the world, but are creating a brand that India can be proud of. Our stable (and office) is louder, noisier, and more colourful than anywhere else—it’s a hub of talent and truly showcases the best of India. The Make in India mantra resonates within Condé Nast India. Whether it was Vogue’s Renaissance Project, where the world’s top designers were asked to fashion clothing using Indian textiles and weaves, or Architectural Digest’s AD 50, an annual roundup of the best design talent in the country, we thrive on celebrating the environment we feed on. We’ve built a digital platform across all our brands, and have also made our foray into television with Condé Nast Traveller’s Journeys of a Lifetime, a 360-degree property that showcases the incredible culture and diversity of India through print, digital, events and films. Condé Nast India encapsulates many iterations of Make in India. It is not simply Made in India; it’s Made for India. It’s also Made for the World by India. Most pertinently, it’s Made to Celebrate India.


st o m e h t f o e m A look at so ssful e c c u s d n a c i m creative, dyna s and companies entrepreneur ly showing off who are proud India labels. their Made in



CEO, Snapdeal


CEO, CGH Earth Group Jose Dominic heads CGH Earth, which operates ‘travel experiences’ across 16 properties in India. The group has adopted a model in tourism development where environment sensitivity, community inclusion and adoption of local ethos creates consumer value. “Wherever in the subcontinent we may be located, we draw from the idea of India. In our offerings, we use the healing legacy of ayurveda, yoga and other inherently Indian philosophies. Make in India, to me, means the following: conceived in India, born in India and grown in India for India. Something that offers modern and traditional India to the world. The ‘Made in India’ tag has a powerful implication to us—it identifies and reflects our uniqueness and also the fact that this country is not one thing, but many things, with a common thread running through. Unlike a melting pot, India is a thali—where each individual dish has its unique identity whether served on a silver salver or a banana leaf. Make in India is our most powerful force multiplier.” Jyoti Kumari 16

Kunal Bahl (and Rohit Bansal) is at the helm of Snapdeal, a multilingual, omni-channel e-commerce company with investors like Alibaba. How would you define your vision? We started Snapdeal with the aim of connecting millions of sellers across the country with millions of buyers. Through our efforts, traditional handicraft and handloom artisans, NGOs and home entrepreneurs are now accessing pan-India markets and growing their businesses—this has been one of the most fulfilling aspects in this journey. Why is working in India exciting? We’re witnessing a digital revolution. As the adoption of technology is increasing, so is the advent of built-in-India tech companies. We are proud to be part of a team that’s building a world-class tech company in India—a country that’s all set to become a global tech leader itself. It is now time for large tech enterprises to start building and dominating new India. What single thing could prove to be a game changer in your industry? Companies will thrive not via discounts but by expanding the market; by investing in data analytics for insight into customer behaviour to offer a personalised user experience. 2016 will be a year of ‘habit commerce’; digital commerce needs to be ubiquitous to win. Divia Thani Daswani


MD & CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles This world-renowned manufacturer highlights the importance of India as both a market and manufacturing hub for commercial vehicles. Under Nesselhauf, DICV launched India’s first indigenised mining truck—the BharatBenz 3143. India will also play a major role in Daimler’s global strategy, by exporting India-made FUSO trucks to 21 countries and will increase markets in the next two years. DICV has also exported over a million parts to Daimler entities across the world. Speaking at EXCON 2015—South Asia’s largest construction equipment exhibition—Nesselhauf said, “With top-quality products from our worldclass factory in Oragadam, Chennai, we have not only made a mark with our Indian and international customers, but also convinced other Daimler brands and entities to source parts from us and our supplier network. Our Indian operations will become more important for Daimler Trucks with regard to sales volumes and knowledge transfer.” Vikram Gour

T SUVARNA RAJU Chairman & MD, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited When Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated HAL’s newest product, the indigenously designed 25kN class jet engine in Bangalore on 14 December 2015, his action was a reiteration of the fact that HAL has been making in India for 75 years now. As T Suvarna Raju stated on the occasion, “this milestone reinforces the commitment of HAL to Make in India, yet again…” It was in December 1940 that India’s own aircraft company was established, albeit as a private effort by visionary entrepreneur Seth Walchand Hirachand, in association with American William Douglas Pawley. The Japanese war against China had forced the latter’s aeroplane plant in southern China to relocate to Bangalore, and the rest, as they say, is history. With America entering the war, HAL was transformed into a maintenance and overhaul depot for the United States Air Force. After 1947, HAL re-invented itself, refurbishing aircraft for an independent Indian Air Force and

numerous civil airlines, but also planting the seeds for home grown aircraft designed and built in India. First was the HT-2 primary trainer, followed by HAL’s Kiran, a basic jet trainer that first flew in ’64 and remains in frontline service, having trained thousands of fledgling pilots. One of the best-known fighters produced by HAL was the Gnat light fighter, known as the ‘Sabre Slayer’, due to its sterling performance in two shooting wars in ’65 and ’71. The indigenously conceived Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) has been the subject of continuous design and development, with the first deliveries made in 2015. The LCA will eventually re-equip large numbers of MiGs still serving with the IAF. The Russian era began with licence production of the MiG-21 series of supersonic fighters in ’66. The MiG Division established at Nashik has been strenuously engaged since, followed by the swing-wing MiG-27 and thereafter, the Sukhoi Su-30MKI, which, today, constitutes the IAF’s combat backbone.

HAL has also been producing transport aircraft, with comprehensive transfer of technology to make in India—first the Avro (HS 748) and then the Dornier (Do-228). The latter, a versatile German-origin light transport aircraft is built entirely in India and has enormous export potential. HAL’s involvement with rotarywinged aircraft (helicopters) goes back to June 1962 with the Chetak and Cheetah light helicopters built under French licence. This was before HAL embarked on its indigenous advanced light helicopter (ALH) programme for the Indian armed forces and for export. Buoyant with this success, HAL has designed the light combat helicopter (LCH), which has unique performance capabilities for the Army deployed at Himalayan heights. The light utility helicopter (LUH), which is to supplant the weary Cheetahs, is to be produced for India’s armed forces, all of these completely Made in India. Pushpindar Singh

SNEHDEEP AGGARWAL Founder & Chairman, Bhartiya Group

Akanksha Himatsingka Director, Atmosphere

Akanksha Himatsingka moved from Mumbai to Bengaluru in 2010 when she married Shrikant Himatsingka. She has since launched Atmosphere’s e-store and the Atmosphere Design Collaborative. The large-scale enterprise has two manufacturing facilities in Karnataka: drapery and upholstery in Doddaballapur and bed linen in the Hassan district. The group employs 3,500 people, with design studios in Bengaluru, Milan and NYC. Himatsingka believes India has the talent, discipline and determination to deliver on the Made in India promise. “As a design community, we need to dispel the stereotypes about Indian quality. Hence, we must choose products made in India when they are at par with, or better than their international counterparts. Attention to design and product development, accompanied by bestin-class manufacturing processes and a continuously evolving outlook, is imperative.” Sunil Sethi 18

Bhartiya International, a company of Bhartiya Group, is one of the largest manufacturers of leather products in India. It supplies to more than 60 global brands, including designer and high-street favourites such as Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Zara, Mango and Armani. “Make in India is an excellent initiative,” says Snehdeep Aggarwal. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to turn India into a factory for the world. When China wanted to do this, it invited companies from Japan, Korea and Taiwan. This is a brilliant way to generate employment for our youth. To compete globally, you have to become a large manufacturing unit and that is exactly what the government is trying to achieve with this initiative. When you see ‘Made in Italy’ written on a product, it implies good quality. Traditionally, this hasn’t been the case with India. But now, locally produced goods are becoming at par with the rest of the world in terms of quality.” Sonal Ved


Tarang Arora

CEO & Creative Director, Amrapali Jewels Known for its ‘intrinsically Indian’ design ethos, Amrapali Jewels personifies luxury and quality. “A Made in India tag stands for that which represents our culture— anything that helps preserve local techniques. In fact, our jewellery is and has always been deeply rooted in rich Indian traditions. Who better than artisans—who know indigenous arts like the back of their hand—to revive age-old techniques? When I employ locals, I am supporting a family. We’re giving them opportunities to earn a respectable living and simultaneously prevent Indian arts and techniques from meeting a premature end. While Make in India is gaining popularity now, it has always been our agenda— our factories are in India, we employ local artisans and our designs are India-inspired. But we’ve only nicked the tip of the iceberg. Our country offers endless inspiration; with India’s increasing economic power and active encouragement of this movement, this is just the beginning.” Chandni Sehgal

K I RA N M AZU M D A R - S H AW Chairman & Managing Director Biocon



started my company Biocon, in 1978—the country’s first biotech startup in an era when innovation and entrepreneurship were unheard of. Biocon began its journey as a garage startup with a total of three employees, including myself. Today, we are Asia’s largest biotech enterprise, catering to the relatively unmet need of patients for affordable life-saving medicines in over 100 countries. Besides making a huge impact on global healthcare, Biocon has, over the years, created over 7,500 direct jobs and has had a multiplier effect on employment through the several ancillary businesses it relies on or supports. Just as Biocon pioneered biotech in India, Infosys sowed the seeds of India’s US$100 billion information technology industry, which today employs over 3.2 million people. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 2 million IT professionals in Bengaluru, outnumbering those in California’s Silicon Valley. Companies like Biocon and Infosys have demonstrated how unleashing the power of entrepreneurship and innovation can bring multiple benefits to the country and usher in a better life for millions of Indians. Today, a large reservoir of entrepreneurial energy in India is waiting to be tapped. It is by investing in breakthrough ideas and embracing entrepreneurship as an economic model of growth, that India will be able to unleash the power of innovation, ensuring a better life for its citizens. India needs to create 10 million jobs per year for the next ten years to sustain acceptable GDP growth. I do believe that the job market of the future will not be able to rely on the traditional pillars of lifetime employment in large companies and the public sector. We are likely to see a much more fluid pattern of employment, with people moving in and out of a vast number of fast-moving companies that are small, nimble and entrepreneurial. These companies will be constantly evolving and reinventing themselves to adapt with the changing pace and face of new technologies. In order to capitalise on the evolving trend, India needs to build an ecosystem that harnesses entrepreneurial energy. An ecosystem that relies on the ease of starting a business, availability of skilled workers, reliable infrastructure and access to capital. The government must realise that India needs innovative startups and businesses that think locally, but have the potential to make enormous global impact. By encouraging technopreneurs in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, India will be able to create a compelling opportunity to take innovative ideas to global markets. In doing so, we will be able to move up the value chain from Make in India to ‘Innovate in India.’ In a world where technology is playing a transformational role in enabling innovation and driving change, I believe the entrepreneurial energy of today’s youth can leverage the power of innovation to deliver superior and sustainable solutions for a better life and a brighter future for all Indians.


MD, Ashiana Housing

Chef, Indian Accent

Manish Mehrotra’s novel approach to modern Indian cuisine—no butter chicken; think of burrata papdi chaat instead—has revolutionised the food industry; the opening of Indian Accent’s New York branch is testament to this fact. Mehrotra trusts that anything is possible in India. “What attracts a global audience to Indian food is the tradition and history behind it. We celebrate our births and mourn our deaths with food and I build my modern techniques on these very traditions. Yet it has to be presented in a very contemporary manner so that a global audience can identify with it. I want people to know that Indian food is about flavour and spices, not just chillies.” Thanks to him, they do. Jasreen Mayal Khanna 20

Monica Jha


Founder & CEO, Mu Sigma

Mu Sigma is a decision sciences and analytics firm that helps companies harness big data. Dhiraj Rajaram calls it a Made in India company. “The question is not whether you can make in India, but whether you can afford not to,” he says. “We live in an era where every machine can have an IP address. Manufacturing is meeting the Internet of Things, where cheap sensors can monitor shop floors, machines, the manufacturing process and entire supply chain. The huge streams of data from these machines can be used to generate both offline and real-time decision support to improve efficiency, yields and safety in the manufacturing environment. The Make in India programme is the right jolt needed to change the perception that India is a submissive nation. India has talent. Our best asset is our people, who have the strong English, engineering, maths and other skills needed for the knowledge industry. We also have a growing domestic demand for goods in the consumer and enterprise markets. The government’s development agenda drives the demand for manufacturing in infrastructure and defence. It just makes sense for us to make more things here.” Shamsheer Yousaf




Ashiana Housing is responsible for developing over 11 million sq ft of residential and commercial land. What does Make in India mean to you? It is a much-needed initiative that will drive the nation to prosperity by creating many job opportunities and setting a productive work culture in place. At Ashiana Housing, we have been following this approach—over 95 percent of our purchases are from within India and our products are locally manufactured. For a nation to thrive, it must learn to productively deliver goods and services using local resources and manpower. Given our in-depth understanding of the real estate business, customer psychology and market behaviour, we see Make in India as a great opportunity for our business. What is the future of Make in India? In the real estate sector, Make in India implies that the demand for homes will rise. We are constantly trying to improve ourselves by incorporating creativity and innovation in our work. This, paired with Make in India, is the way forward for us.


Chairman Indian Space Research Organisation

e are in an interesting situation today, where many private players are entering the space technology business. Whether it’s space commerce, space tourism, providing launch capabilities for cargo or even a one-way trip to Mars, government-run space agencies actually need to look at these developments as a threat to their activities. A threat not so much in terms of delivering services, however, because government agencies still need to provide services for societal good. But the cost of access to space is going to be reduced because we will be able to reuse certain things. We need to take cognisance of this. Heritage can no longer be quoted as advantage. Today we have 30 satellites in operation—13 for communication, 13 for remote sensing and four for navigation. We are in a unique position, where many of these are converging and we are finding a lot of newer applications. For example, we are working with the Department of Posts which plans to link postmen with farmers so that periodic data on crops is collected to help farmers determine crop insurance. Mangalyaan—the Mars mission that evoked such excitement and praise from all quarters—and the concept of ‘frugal innovation’ we are credited for having used, was mostly to do with the constraints within which we had to accomplish the task. Let’s say you have a high compound wall before you and you somehow want to go to the other side. If you are not tall enough to do a high jump, you can find a stick to do a pole vault across the wall. Basically, if you have the desire to perform a certain task, you try to make it possible. For Mangalyaan, we had the PSLV launch vehicle, which has its capabilities and limitations. We had geostationary satellites and other propulsion systems, but we had to try to work out a mission: how to make an object—that fits in a cube measuring 50km—travel 250 million km, into space? Think of the actual scenario—we had a payload that can only launch 1,350kg, with limited fuel. This was a huge challenge, but people took it up. Also, our space probe had to travel nine whole months instead of the usual one month our team was used to. We launched Mangalyaan in November 2013 and only in September 2014 was it inserted into the Mars orbit—what we call the Transmars injection. For us, the challenge was that this time, the system had to be restarted and re-energised after nine months. Funding was never an issue; for us, the roadblock in the path of frugal innovation was time. The opportunity to go to Mars with the minimum amount of accessible fuel, comes once in 23 or 26 months. If we had missed 2013, we would have had to wait till 2016. These windows of opportunity, as we call them, were the one thing that constantly drove the mission. If we had sufficient fuel that we could carry on the satellite, we wouldn’t have worried. In our case, we had just enough fuel for it to reach and then deliver the Transmars injection. Is ISRO’s cost-consciousness an Indian thing? Well, I would say it is an ISRO thing! We have been on this path from the time the father of India’s space programme, Vikram Sarabhai, conceived the idea of harnessing this new technology. While countries like the US and Russia were thinking of how their military prowess could be increased with this new tech, Sri Sarabhai spoke with deep conviction about how space technology must be used to improve living standards of people in the country. So the gist is this. Whatever technology is accessible, we use. What we don’t have, we try to build on our own, with minimum expenditure. Cost-consciousness is in our DNA. So is constant innovation. Today, NASA is working with us for the NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture that will be launched in 2020-21. The success of projects like these has pushed many countries to interact with us. They realise that we’re an agency doing things differently. You have to challenge your workforce constantly. When we do interplanetary missions, we are challenging the community working here.We also ought to mention the role and support of Prime Minister Modi—he’s been a big promoter of space technology. If ISRO had access to more funds, would we have done things differently? No, but we would surely have done many more things. Our emphasis has always been on how we can provide to the government an RoI that is visible on the ground.






Co-owner, Red Chillies Entertainment Popular awards and critical acclaim as well as box office success have now become par for the course for Red Chillies film productions. With blockbusters like Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om and Chennai Express—all starring Shah Rukh Khan—it has repeatedly crossed the 100-crore collection mark. Its special effects studio—Red Chillies VFX—is responsible for Ra.One, Bollywood’s first futuristic film. This has tremendously reduced Bollywood’s dependency on foreign technicians for top-notch VFX. Perhaps one of Red Chillies’ biggest success stories, though, has been in the world of sports, with its IPL cricket team—the 2012 winners, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). It provides a great training and learning ground for young, local hopefuls who want to make their mark and catch the attention of national selectors. Indu Mirani



Raised in Mumbai, Gupta graduated with a Master’s from Central Saint Martins, London, specialising in furniture design. For her degree show, she developed a series of pure gold- and silver-wrapped thrones—entirely handmade by traditional Indian craftspeople—that proved to be a hit when launched at a trade show. She then set up a studio in Mehrauli, Delhi, where she employs two dozen artisans to produce contemporary furniture for the international market. Lately, she has diversified into interiors that range from homes to show flats, hotel restaurants and lounges. Part of her growth trajectory has been to source ready skills—glass in Firozabad, pietra dura inlay in Jaipur—and work with them in new ways. “The materials and craft skills here are unparalleled. A Made in India tag has always been my inspiration; my thesis explored the absence of internationally relevant product design from India. I am particularly interested in specialised crafts on the verge of extinction due to loss of patronage. Make in India’s future is exciting precisely for this reason. The challenges are many, but the market is global.” Sunil Sethi

ADITYA GHOSH President, IndiGo


Aditya Ghosh runs India’s fastest-growing low-cost airline and says the company is proudly Indian. “Ours is a home grown story. We are all made in India—our employees grew up here, they were educated here. Of all the airlines operating A320s globally, our technical dispatch reliability is the best. In 2015, it was 99.95 percent. Four years ago, it was 99.91 percent. This means our plane maintenance improved even as we grew and our fleet got older—a feat of Indian engineers.” That said, this is clearly the tip of the icerberg. “India has give or take, 400 airplanes, China has 2,500. Ours is the most under-penetrated aircraft market in the world. Despite several orders, some placed by IndiGo—180 Airbus A320s neos in 2011 and 250 Airbus A320s neos in 2015—the aircraft-to-flier ratio worsened. A decade ago, it was one commercial aircraft for 2.8 million Indians. Today, it’s one for 3.1 million Indians. We need 1,200 airplanes in India tomorrow morning, to catch up with the aircraft density of countries like Malaysia, China, Brazil and Indonesia,” says Ghosh. “There is no fleet that can be built fast enough to keep pace with our market needs. Expansion means connecting remote India to the cities, allowing the young working population to migrate for work, with the option of visiting home five times a year.” For Ghosh, IndiGo’s increased connectivity and burgeoning fleet helps the economy tap its demographic dividends and keep India’s growth story alive. Priyanka Pathak


movers & makers


Co-founder, Nexus Venture Partners

William Bissell MD, Fabindia Fabindia’s merit lies in being the world’s largest private retail platform for products created using craft-based skills. Established in 1960 by John Bissell, today the company is run by his son William Bissell and has 170 stores in India and abroad. What does ‘Made in India’ as a tag mean to you? Made in India signifies the provenance of a product. For us, the tag reflects the creation of thousands of sustainable livelihoods. It also means preservation of Indian crafts by creating access to various markets for these craftspeople. How about Make in India? Make in India is a powerful tool for change. We can use this ‘movement’ and I use the word very consciously—to bring about real measurable change. This can be done by focusing on groups of highly skilled producers who have lost patronage and have become marginalised because their craft is dying. Women’s empowerment is another segment that could be a direct beneficiary of the Make in India programme. For us, it is a matter of great pride that out of the 55,000 artisans associated with Fabindia, over 45 percent are women. What is the future of Make In India? The future of Make in India rests with each one of us. It not only speaks of the pride that we associate with being Indian, but also the creation of an alternative to the western models that have dominated our focus in the past. It looks at generating jobs. It looks at consumption that is meaningful and sustainable in the context of the developing world and an environment that is changing. Sonal Ved


Fuelling the growth of startups mushrooming across India are several venture capitalists. One of them is Nexus Venture Partners, co-founded by Harvard Business School graduate Suvir Sujan. At Nexus, Sujan and his colleagues in Mumbai and Silicon Valley manage a capital of over US$1 billion and invest in early stage, technology- and data-led companies across a variety of sectors, including financial services, health care, consumer retail and education. High on the priority list are Indian companies with global ambitions, such as Druva, which works in advanced data protection for enterprise infrastructure, and Suminter Organics, a producer and exporter of grains, spices and cotton. Having been an entrepreneur himself—he set up Baazee.com and merged it with eBay in 2004—Sujan has watched the evolution in the business environment closely. “The quality of entrepreneurship in India has increased exponentially over the past decade. More smart college graduates are venturing out, corporate executives are using their experiences to start their own companies and professionals from the US are returning to launch companies in India, leveraging the technology talent here to serve global markets. This trend of quality entrepreneurs will continue. From a technology standpoint, the world sees a Made in India label very positively. Aside from software, people are also beginning to appreciate Indianmade products, from spices to scooters to shawls.” Divia Thani Daswani


Chairman & Managing Director Mahindra Group



ake in India is a concept that has generated great expectations. China’s rising labour costs, and its transition from an export-led to a consumptionled economy, are leading to the abdication of its role as the world’s factory. India, waiting in the wings, is eager to rush in and fill the vacuum. We have the labour pool, the skills and a government with the necessary political will. India as the next manufacturing powerhouse is a vision the Mahindra Group has invested in. Our SEZs in Chennai and Jaipur are among our most exciting businesses today. However, as contrarian voices point out, the world has changed since the time China sported the mantle of being manufacturer to the globe. There are many reasons why it may not be all that easy for India to step into China’s very large shoes. Firstly, the global economic and political landscape has changed. When China was rising, the world was booming. Companies were rushing for viable sources of supply. Outsourcing was not a political hot potato. Today, most nations are still struggling with the aftermath of the 2008 debacle. Growth has slowed down. Politicians are turning protectionist. Terrorist attacks like the recent one in Paris further encourage the rise of right-wing parties with insular views. It will not be a cakewalk for India to penetrate global markets. Secondly, technology has changed. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution gains momentum and IoT comes to the fore, advanced nations will overcome the highwage labour disadvantage they have today. Alongside, technological innovations like 3D printing will enable even garage manufacturing to be viable. Large-scale, low-cost manufacturing capacities may not continue to be an advantage. Thirdly, the consumer has changed. Today’s consumers are savvy and individualistic. They demand a high degree of customisation and are willing to pay a premium for it. This calls for flexible technology, locational proximity to large markets and to consumers. All this does not augur well for the conventional Chinese-style outsourced manufacturing of the 1990s. But I would like to propose that this is not a limitation; it is an opportunity to play to India’s strengths. And fortunately, India’s strengths synchronise with the possibilities that are opening up. We have the entrepreneurial drive and the high engineering skills to create a ‘jugalbandi’ or interplay between IT and manufacturing—and bundle intelligent content along with manufactured goods. As IoT takes over, this will become a vital combination. Embedded intelligence must become our forte. In parallel, technology is enabling democratisation and decentralisation. Technologies like 3D printing enable distributed manufacturing. The pervasiveness of the Internet enables customers to place orders from and to any corner of the globe. The government must find ways of also including this opportunity in its Make in India thinking, and bringing these technologies and skills to villages across India, enabling them to service customers from any corner of the globe. So Make in India is not about emulating the Chinese model; rather it’s about following an unconventional, non-linear approach. It’s about combining IT and engineering skills with the opportunities that leapfrogging technology offers. If we can do that successfully, India is poised to inherit the new-age manufacturing of the future.


Chairman, Dharma Productions

President, Boeing India Former entrepreneur, consultant and now president at Boeing India, Kumar believes India’s aviation industry stands in a perfect storm. “With low fuel prices and strong traffic growth, it’s India’s time to fly. With the entry of private players like Tata, Mahindra and Bharat Forge, there’s a new focus on India’s aerospace industry. Our credibility is building, and it’s no surprise the aerospace and defence world is interested in India,” he asserts. Every month, India needs new jobs for a million young people to reap its demographic dividends, else it will have to deal with serious socio-economic challenges. “We want to align our company strategy to the country strategy. Co-opting Make in India is a win-win proposition. Although there are challenges faced by the industry, the current government is listening to our concerns and has indicated that it may make the policy more flexible,” Kumar says. He believes he is in the right industry, the right company and the right place—at the right time. “I am enjoying my challenge of bringing the best of Boeing to India, and the best of India to Boeing,” he says. Priyanka Pathak



Subramaniam Ramadorai, Chairman of Tata Advanced Systems—the strategic aerospace and defence arm of the Tata group—was raised in a traditional Tamil household with a love for Carnatic music. The son of a civil servant, he has received India’s third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan. Ramadorai took charge of Tata Consultancy Services, a US$155 million company in 1996 and by 2009, had transformed it into a US$6 billion company. Awarded, respected and felicitated by the busines and political leadership of many countries— including the British—Ramadorai remains passionately Indian and says the Make In India thrust is a critical component of India’s growth story. “It is very clear that manufacturing has to take centre stage for a growing economy—sustainable progress cannot be attained without this. There has to be engagement with every village, district and taluka for them to see the opportunity. The young must get a chance to play their part.” For his own part, Ramadorai says Tata Advanced Systems is signing joint ventures with global companies for exports, but is also focusing on deepening the local Indian market that has a lot of potential. “This thrust is not only important, it is critical,” he says. Priyanka Pathak



Now in their 36th year, Dharma Productions often makes films that star the biggest names in Bollywood, whether directed by Karan Johar or by first-time directors who cut their teeth under his tutelage. The company is also known to introduce actors who go on to become superstars, like in the case of Rani Mukerji (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and recently Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt (Student of the Year). The popularity of his movies in the Indian overseas market is unprecedented—Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham debuted at No 3 in the UK. In many ways they are a complete production house with a tremendous amount of goodwill, both within the fraternity and outside of it. The standout elements of a signature film include upbeat music, perfect-for-sangeet choreography, the youth factor, high energy and a major glamour quotient. Dharma Productions’ films showcase a young, contemporary India in a highly marketable (and exportable) avatar. Indu Mirani

PRIYA PAUL Chairperson, The Park Hotels

The hospitality industry famously lacks women in leadership roles. Yet, every major industry gathering is brightened by the energy of Priya Paul. Her passion for art has evolved into an ability to curate; her design-focused hotels are hubs for contemporary Indian design, style and music. Take The Park Hyderabad, which boasts composite aluminium façade inspired by the city’s history as a centre for jewellery and metalwork. The interiors showcase some of India’s top fashion designers (Tarun Tahiliani, Jean Francois Lesage) and artists (Sudharshan Shetty, Navin Thomas, Venkat Bothsa). “Creativity is in our DNA. What I’ve always loved about the Made in India label is the story of our amazing craft traditions. It’s exciting that now people are investing in product design and development and becoming competitive in price and quality. In Hyderabad, we made a conscious effort to seek out and showcase great Made-in-India stories—from the Klove studio’s Polki chandelier in the lobby (instead of predictable European brand glass) to the kalamkari textile installation, by designer Preksha Baid and traditional craftsman Niranjan Jonnalagadda, all influenced by the Nizam’s jewels. In hospitality, India has always matched international service standards. What’s needed now is to streamline the process for permissions and licences. We believe in innovation, in finding a different and better way of doing things.” Divia Thani Daswani

“AT the park hyderabad, we made a conscious effort to seek out and showcase great made-inindia stories”


Founder, Farmers’ Market


Co-founder & CEO, Kama Ayurveda

When Kama Ayurveda started 14 years ago, the idea was to take the oldest codified system of medicine in the world and make it the foundation for a luxury beauty brand. “Made in India means going all the way,” says Sahni. “Kama bottles are also made here—we went to Pearlpet with drawings even though China would’ve been cheaper. We took the time to create something truly local.” Why choose to Make in India? Ayurvedic products use fresh herbs, many of which are available only seasonally; when used dry, the efficacy changes. We source ingredients in sync with Arya Vaidya Pharmacy and make enough to last a year. This access to ingredients and technology can’t be replicated. A mix of 40 products yields different results. Only the purest ingredients are boiled, steamed, cooled and distilled multiple times; genuine oils are emulsified into creams. Brewing one product can take 25 days. We work with an extraordinary talent pool, all of whom needed just a little guidance. What is the future of Make in India? We should identify our strengths and develop those, invest in them and become the best in the world. People in the villages have the skill. Why aren’t we looking at it holistically? Everyone should go as local as possible. Aditi Bhimjiyani

“Years ago, I studied nutrition in Florida and would have had a much better life there as a single parent, but I really wanted to return to my roots and do something in India,” says Mukhi. So she set up The Health Shop in 1990, later packaged and sold grain and organic produce through Conscious Food. Next, she started the Farmers’ Market in Mumbai—a haven for people seeking fresh produce. “Made in India products are what I look for most,” she admits. “I’m decidedly anti-foreign goods because I look at them as being ecologically unsound. We have so many seeds and millets in India, why are we only talking about chia and quinoa? People complain about the cost of organic local produce but will spend five-figures on a pair of Italian shoes. Across the world, people are looking to India for wisdom and knowledge. We should too, or we stand to lose all our stored genetic wisdom and agricultural heritage in one generation. The future of Make in India is fantastic; our indigenous herbs and vegetables are increasingly proving to be beneficial. My kitchen is devoid of exotic produce, yet the outcome of my recipes is exotic.” Aditi Bhimjiyani


President, Hidesign

Internationally renowned for leather bags and accessories of Indian origin, Kapur’s brand is known for its high ecological values and for bringing affordable luxury to the local market. Be it their natural, vegetable-tanned leather or exquisite handcrafting, Hidesign is testimony to the elegance of Indian manufacturing. What does Make in India mean to your business? Make in India could either mean that a product is manufactured by Indian craftsmen or that it’s both conceptualised and crafted here. To me, the second connotation is more interesting as it demands innovation. Why choose to Make in India? Anything made in India will take you back to your heritage. It’s locally made but connects you to the modern world. It also signifies how different you are from the rest of the world. What is the future of the initiative? Just as the world outsourced their IT departments to us, we will soon become a large, dependable base for manufacturing. Sonal Ved



MD, Trikaya Agriculture


CEO, Good Earth The Good Earth retail chain creates contemporary furniture and home accessories inspired by India’s heritage. “Make in India carries with it the wisdom of the past and hope for the future. We’ve come a long way from the time India was tagged as an economically challenged country with low-quality products. It’s important that we don’t go back to mass production and compromise on quality. The crafts sector suffered due to the industrial revolution but has started to regain its position globally. The West once looked to us for the most luxurious, beautiful products; there’s no reason we can’t recreate that level of refinement. I believe the future of Make in India is strong and involves global collaborations.” Shahnaz Siganporia


VIRENDRA GUPTA CEO & Founder, DailyHunt

Ver Se’ Innovation publishes the DailyHunt in 12 languages—the app, used by over 90 million subscribers is possibly the largest news product in India. Gupta—who has been in the mobile value-added services industry for over two decades—acquired the app in 2012 and grew the user base by 20 times to become the largest app in the country. “In our experience in the software industry, companies outside India prefer to work with those in Israel or the US. We have a great software workforce and Make in India should enable us to brand aggressively and give our products preferred status. If successful, Indian brands will have equal footing while negotiating with companies outside the country. Indians should also use local products increasingly, forcing manufacturers to step up in terms of quality.” Shamsheer Yousaf

In 1991, Trikaya was one of the first Indian corporate groups to grow and directly market produce—including herbs, fruits and microgreens—that was earlier being imported. “We ran at a loss for the first five years, but it’s been profitable since. Since the mandis were not grower-friendly, we were forced to create a setup to deliver directly to customers. This also ensured that we did not have to deal with middlemen. One of the biggest challenges was the import restrictions on planting material and seeds. When we visited farms abroad, we realised that the cold chain is crucial to growing good produce. So we invested in cold rooms and refrigerated trucks from the onset, which gave us a lead over others who got into the market later. To me, a Made in India tag means that the right resources have been harnessed. After trying to farm anything that’s normally imported, we discovered how easy it is. By selling that same product at onefourth the price of its imported value, it broadens the market and makes it available to more Indians. This industry grows at a rate of over 35 percent a year. As India grows, so will our markets.” Aditi Bhimjiyani

J E A N - F RA N C O I S L E S AG E Partner Lesage Intérieurs, Paris-Madras

hat we know as the luxury market in Europe since the ’60s, is basically the fruit of the Silk Route trading that enriched European craftsmanship with techniques like precious stone carving, enamelling in silver or gold, ‘filigrane’ work, intricate weaves of brocades, metals and silk thread as well as the fantastic thick, embossed embroidery from India and Persia. I descend from a lineage of French embroiderers operating since 1860 and my first visit to India, in 1984, was an extraordinary eye-opener. Just like Europe during the Renaissance, I discovered in India artisans gifted in the art of ancestral techniques at almost every street corner, while elsewhere in the world they had largely disappeared. I wanted to be part of this feast by merging together India’s brilliant expertise with the organised knowledge my French roots gave me. Along with Patrick Savouret, my French associate, as well as Malavika Shivakumar and Sandeep Rao— our Indian partners—we decided to create a centre of hand embroidery in Chennai that strived exclusively towards quality and excellence. Our collaborators in this undertaking were a community of artisan-embroiderers from Sriperumbudur, who descended from an embroidery tradition dating back to the late 18th century. Three years after we created the project, we were able to supply to the discerning few who were extremely familiar with luxury but had no access to beautiful things like a stunning embroidered wall covering or curtains, embroidered four-poster beds or drapes. The plan was simple: pride and transparency. The company had to be truly IndoFrench—combining and celebrating the best of the two embroidery traditions. From the very beginning, it was called Lesage Intérieurs, Paris-Madras—stating strongly the fact that everything we do is made in Chennai. We spent at least 12 hours a week explaining to them the magic of their hands, the importance of their knowledge and the fascination people abroad hold for their talents—all of which they had no clue about. We made a decision to reward them financially right from the beginning with the best we could offer, even though our competitors thought we were ‘spoiling’ them. Above the mandated PF & ESI benefits and basic health insurance, we added private group health insurance along with other advantages. The company is SA8000 certified. We make it a point to share with our craftsmen all the publications showcasing their work. When journalists visit, the artisans talk freely to them. We encourage easy communication between our French and Indian teams, and are fluid with transfer of knowledge. Our artisans have personally met and interacted with renowned Indians—politicians, business tycoons, actors and artists. They have also had an audience with wealthy collectors from all over the world, designers like Christian Louboutin as well as famous European and American artists. We also make it a point to take work-in-progress photos and email them to our clients to ensure they are aware of the proud Made in India connection. This has been our best marketing policy—ancient Indian culture is deeply fascinating to people who have already seen most of what the world can offer. After 20 years of ground work, the Chanel group (which owns Lesage Paris), finally announced, officially and transparently, its partnership with our Indian company Vastrakala, which would have been impossible a few years ago. We consider India to be a real treasury of human knowledge and it is now time to openly share it with the rest of the world. Indian patrons must give its artisans the place they deserve in modern Indian society.






Siddhartha Lal’s journey—from being the 26-year-old CEO of ailing motorcycle brand Royal Enfield to turning the company’s fortunes around and making it one of the most recognisable Indian brands in the world today—has been filled with tough decisions and pure passion. Selling off most of the group’s smaller businesses to concentrate on making motorcycles and trucks has paid off. However, despite the success, Lal stays true to his passion for motorcycling and is heavily involved in the manufacturing process—right from the development to testing phases—of Royal Enfield’s new products. Continuing with the legacy of manufacturing the once-British Royal Enfield bikes in Chennai, he has now taken the company to a truly global scale, targeting markets in the US, UK and Europe, expanding to Latin America and Southeast Asia. The Continental GT café racer—built in India—is a big hit in foreign markets. Under Lal’s leadership, the company has also set up an R&D centre in the UK. Vikram Gour

With five manufacturing plants covering two million sq ft and 6,000 employees at its Tarapur facility, D’Decor is one of the world’s largest producers of woven upholstery and curtain fabrics. It supplies them to 10,000 speciality stores across the world. Arora, who joined the family business in 1990, attributes this success to sheer tenacity and India’s valuable pool of engineers, business managers as well as a vibrant design community of NID and NIFT graduates. “Make in India as an umbrella brand can stand us in good stead only if it carries an assurance of quality. On the macro front, the government has done a lot by helping create a skilled labour force and technically qualified professionals. India has abundant natural resources, and we have the numbers in a burgeoning and demanding domestic market. That said, manufacturers grapple with red tape and forms of ‘inspector raj’. Creating private-label, Made in India brands internationally, remains a hurdle. We have to break out of entrenched distribution and marketing monopolies overseas by screaming louder for intellectual property rights.” Sunil Sethi



MD, D’Decor


MD & CEO, Eicher Motors

S abyas ac h i M u k h e r j e e Designer, Sabyasachi

The Kolkata-based designer specialises in breathtaking couture fashioned on the idea that introspection, not impersonation, is what creates distinction. Fiercely rooted in tradition, his signature aesthetic has touched everything from hotel interiors to wallpapers to footwear. “India is always going to be recognised first for its art and craft, for its culture, for its civilisation, for its sense of history and later on for things like technology and manufacturing. When you take something from our civilisation and you keep hammering on it, the repetition becomes iconic and that is what we aim to do. No other country in this world at this point of time can tick all the boxes like India can; the Made in India tag has now achieved supermodel status”. Rujuta Vaidya



Chairman & CEO, Aequs

Four years ago, when aerospace companies began to outsource work to India, Melligeri, then chairman and co-founder of QuEST Global—best known as a supplier for automotive components—was quick to seize the opportunity. The company quickly diversified into aerospace manufacturing in Belagavi (Belgaum), Karnataka. Of course, moving from design to manufacturing for Airbus was not easy. “They were supportive but apprehensive at first,” said Melligeri. “So at the outset, there were only small orders, most of them for less than half a million dollars,” he remembers. Today, we get over US$12 million of their business.” In 2014, the company became Aequs Pvt Ltd, the first firm to make use of the higher FDI limit in the defence sector, increasing foreign funding to 40 percent of its equity. With about 150 machines and US$50 million, Melligeri plans to create 1,000 new jobs in the next five years for supplying parts to all Airbus programmes. Srinivasan Dwarkanath, MD of Airbus India is optimistic. “Now we have a beautiful SEZ towards the vision of Make In India.” Priyanka Pathak



Co-founder & CEO, Foradian Technologies Started by six friends from Kasargod in Kerala, Foradian Technologies has—through their school management software, Fedena— become one of the largest players in the market. It counts the Kerala government among its clients. With Fedena, Koroth and his team have provided affordable educational software that has been lapped up by schools and attracted investors. “For me, Make in India is a matter of pride, but this should also convey quality to the outside world. The products made in India have carried this tag for centuries, when our goods were much sought after. This time we are doing it in a more organised way. At our end, we have our goals and values defined clearly. We have to simply keep on acting based on these values. I believe Make in India will create an ecosystem that will turn India into a business-friendly nation, a land of opportunity.” Shamsheer Yousaf


Co-founder, Trunks Company Four years ago, brothers Paritosh and Priyank Mehta—together with French designer Livio Delesgues—started a design company to make trunks a luxe lifestyle component, combining ingenious design with old-world craftsmanship. “Make in India means the expertise of Indian craftsmen, their attention to minute detailing, and uncompromising quality that gives life to these timeless creations. Make in India holds a promising future because we continue to explore our wealth of culture and craftsmanship. This cannot grow without government-supported initiatives such as the promise to improve the lives and working conditions of Varanasi’s weavers.”


Sunil Sethi



Director, Motherland JV Pvt Ltd



Director, Motherland JV Pvt Ltd Creative Director, Make in India programme


n September 2014, things were looking grim. The emerging markets bubble had burst, and India’s growth rate had fallen miserably. The BRICS dream had faded. Instead, India had been re-badged as one of the ‘Fragile Five’. Global investors debated whether the world’s largest democracy was a risk or an opportunity. India’s citizens questioned whether their nation was too big to fail or too big to succeed. It was literally make or break—if India didn’t start transforming itself into a global manufacturing hub, it would soon be at risk of severe economic failure. Launched against the backdrop of this crisis, Make in India was quickly adopted as a call to action by various stakeholders in India’s future—government agencies, citizens, business leaders and global partners. Backed by an in-depth policy overhaul, it revived confidence, collaboration and investment. It was a textbook example of how branding can influence global business sentiment. Here’s how it was done: We identified three key objectives: (a) rebuild confidence in India’s capabilities amongst global partners, the Indian business community and citizens; (b) create a framework for extensive information on sectors, policies and opportunities; (c) connect with a local and global audience and stay connected. First, we created a brand that combined local resonance with global appeal. By replacing ‘Made’ with ‘Make’, an overworked phrase suddenly turned into a powerful slogan. We also needed a symbol that was historically relevant, but also modern and dynamic. The answer lay in the past—the Lions and Chakra emblem of Ashoka, India’s ‘Emperor of Peace’. By adding a prowling movement to the lion and reinterpreting the chakra as mechanical gears, Brand India was reborn. Simultaneously, we worked with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to reorganise their exhaustive and ever-evolving data into beautifully designed online and print formats that were comprehensive yet accessible. Next, we developed an intensive calendar of outreach programmes and social media activity that kicked off with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India launch event. Our specialised team executed the plan in incredible detail—a prerequisite for this level of brand building—including launch videos, stage design and social media live feeds. Apart from making headlines in traditional media, #MakeInIndia trended worldwide for one hour. In 48 hours, there were more than 99,000 mentions and 1.08 billion impressions, with a reach of 94 million. The movement had begun. Today, these outreach programmes are landmark events. From pop-up appearances at Davos and at the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi to activities in Hanover and Mumbai, the Lion is making its presence felt online and on ground. While we were busy building the brand, DIPP was far busier dismantling outdated processes and replacing them with user-friendly systems geared towards investment and innovation. And it’s working—FDI jumped 48 percent during October—April 2014-15 versus October—April 2013-14 and key sectors are now open to investment. Make in India is definitely making a difference. But there’s one metric that is particularly heartening—the campaign generated a sense of collective pride amongst Indians everywhere. If we can channel that sentiment, there’s no problem we can’t fix.


Chairman & MD, Oberoi Realty

Director, Sutures India

Founded more than 20 years ago, Sutures India is one of the largest medical consumables companies in the country with a strong presence across the country. What does Make in India mean to your business? Our business has been built on the Make in India philosophy. Making a full range of surgical sutures, gloves, catheters and medical consumables for India and the rest of the world is our mainstay. We have five manufacturing locations in India, with two of them dedicated to the international markets. We invest in our manufacturing systems, regulatory processes and quality systems—there is also focus on safety and training of employees—which are the key factors to implementing the Make In India strategy. Why choose to Make in India? India offers us the right combination of quality, regulatory knowledge, qualified workforce and costeffectiveness. The country is already recognised as the destination of choice for pharmaceutical manufacturing and we want to play our part in making it the destination of choice for manufacturing of medical devices as well. What is the future of Make in India? The opportunity is immense and the four key enablers are infrastructure, fiscal benefits, skill and technology development. If we can get that right as a nation, the future is bright. All stakeholders have a role to play, with the government leading academia and industry forward. Monica Jha 36


Co-founder, Micromax Informatics Founded in 2000, Micromax Informatics is one of India’s biggest handset manufacturers and the tenth largest handset supplier in the world. “Micromax has been one of the frontrunners of Make in India, by assembling products locally and rapidly ramping up its manufacturing capacity by partnering with the government, which has begun providing incentives to encourage local manufacturing with a tax benefit of 11.5 percent. Micromax’s Rudrapur facility employs over 5,000 people and a majority of our smartphones are already being made there. As of today, we localise to the extent of seven to eight percent and our target is to reach ten percent by March, 2016. We design software in the Bangalore facility, but the hardware designing and assembling is done in China. Although the government has begun moving in the right direction, there is a lot more needed—in terms of policies and incentives for companies—over a sustained period to enable end-to-end manufacturing.” Shamsheer Yousaf



Mumbai-based Oberoi Realty has developed 39 projects till date and has another 20 million sq ft in progress. “I see the identity of a city in its buildings. London has many icons, old and new, KL has Petronas Towers and the Burj Khalifa has become Dubai’s identity. My take is to build structures that define our cities and that is what we are trying to achieve with Three Sixty West in Mumbai. Three Sixty West is designed by international architects (Kohn Pedersen Fox, New York) and is being executed by Samsung C&T, but over 80 percent of our contractors are in India. Everything that is built locally is going to be cheaper, will create jobs and reduce the carbon footprint. It’s a great idea. Our intention is to get the best technology and use local raw material to create world-class quality. We bring in international architects who also motivate local talent to be creative and innovative—an endeavour we think will work in the long run. The idea of manufacturing locally is just a start. We will soon see Indian companies manufacturing abroad, just like L&T. From Make in India it will become ‘Let India Make the World’.” Monica Jha



Chairman, Hi-Tech Group


Typeface and digital designer

A NIFT Delhi alumna, Saxena took a Master’s in typeface design at the University of Reading in the UK. After interning with Apple, she returned to India to establish a design practice in Bangalore that involves Indian languages and scripts, for instance, development of the Bharati Braille convertor. It is a free online tool that converts Hindi and Marathi text in the Devanagari script to Bharati Braille. Outspoken and original, Saxena urges looking deeper at the Made in India label. “When we see such a tag on a product, does it only mean that a foreign company is manufacturing in India? Should the definition of ‘making’ be so narrow?” To her, choosing to make in India means choosing good quality, working with interesting ideas and supporting ethical practices. “The future of Make in India is only as good as the ecosystem we can build for efficiency and creativity. This should mean less red tape and bureaucracy, and an environment where people can air contrarian views and experiment with new ideas without fear. Finally, just as making in India is important, it is essential that we make for India.” Sunil Sethi


MD, Teamwork Arts

Teamwork Arts hosts over 21 festivals in cities across the world including in Australia, Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong, China, India, Singapore, Egypt, South Africa, the UK, US and Canada, proving that arts, entertainment, culture and heritage can create self-employment and contribute to the local economy. Of them all, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) and its extensions at Southbank, London and Boulder, Colorado, are Roy’s pride and joy. “Make in India is a home grown initiative, which reaches out by using the best technology from across the world to create products and brands that are world-famous and represent excellence. With access to a large English-speaking workforce, hard-working labour and democratic principles of justice and jurisprudence, the future of many world economies is tied to India’s growth. It is necessary to think out of the box and be inclusive in development and tech breakthroughs. I see Make in India at work daily at the Salaam Balak Trust I helped start. With the right opportunities, the children have won scholarships and have become aeronautical engineers, entrepreneurs, and artists who are examples of a progressive society.”

The Hi-Tech umbrella group specialises in products and services that include transmission components, engineering design and advanced technology-enabled solutions in robotics, artificial intelligence, vision and embedded systems. “The importance of manufacturing to India’s inclusive growth cannot be undermined,” wrote Kapuria, a graduate of BITS Pilani and Harvard Business School, on his blog. “Make in India is an initiative to turn India into a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation, thus giving this sector the required boost. Today, 57 global firms including GE, Bosch, Tejas and Panasonic have already communicated their decision to invest in the electronic, medical, automotive and telecom manufacturing clusters in India. About 30 proposals worth US$ 1.04 billion have already been approved. For the initiative to bear fruit, we, the people of India, need to work with the government shoulder to shoulder, and with patience.” Vikram Gour


Indu Mirani 37


Managing Director & CEO Mercedes-Benz India



rime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision includes the manufacturing of automobile and automotive components in India. The idea of Make in India germinates from the fact that India has one of the largest manpower pools in the world—a young demographic, skilled workers and ample resources. If all of these factors are utilised in the right direction, India can position itself as a strategic manufacturing hub like China. Mercedes-Benz has pioneered luxury manufacturing in India since 1994 and in 2009, a world-class production facility was set up over 100 acres in Chakan, near Pune. Within a few years of setting up the plant, we now locally manufacture a gamut of international-standard products—some of which are only produced in India, outside Europe. Our production facility has been a significant pillar of our growth in India. The high level of refinement and implementation of advanced technology as well as flexible processes to ensure that our production quality conforms to the most stringent global standards is how we create new benchmarks in manufacturing for the luxury car industry in India. People often ask us why we chose Chakan as a location. MercedesBenz opted for Pune as a preferred destination purely because the city had an established hub of auto, electronics and electrical components and a gregarious infrastructure to support automobile manufacturing. The Chakan plant was an ideal location given its proximity to rail, road and sea stratagem. Pune, known as the Oxford of the East, given it’s an acclaimed cluster of premier educational institutions, also attracts young talent from all over the country. Such diversification has worked in our favour, as we believe in promoting the best of talent. This sort of market segmentation has actually helped us in bolstering the luxury automobile industry in the country. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi stresses on the easing of rules for business undertakings to promote his vision for Make in India, this is simultaneously supported by augmented approvals that help companies to expand their operations. Mercedes-Benz India carries an investment of over 1,000 crore in its production facility in Chakan, the largest for any luxury car brand in India. The thriving example of Mercedes-Benz India further strengthens the faith that innovations and easing of business rules can actually create a talent pool that contributes to the economy in an extensive manner. Mercedes-Benz India, I believe, is an apt model that lives up to the idea behind Make in India.


Founder & MD, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries


Founder, Viya Home

Founder, NIRAV MODI Known for his beautiful designs, minimal use of metal and patented cuts, Nirav Modi is one of the few Indian jewellers to go global, with retail stores in New York and Hong Kong and more locations planned. “A Made in India tag represents a rich heritage passed on from artisan to artisan. Our craftsmanship remains unrivalled in its originality. We have world-class craftsmen and engineers who hold sincere passion for what they produce. We also have a rare freedom to experiment—our innovations have been recognised with international patents. Thanks to an influx of young people entering the luxury industry, there’s a sense of optimism. Indian royals had a longstanding relationship with luxury and we hope to trace the art of crafting jewellery back to its roots and provide a genuine interpretation of Indian luxury. We like to instil a sense of wonder in our pieces.” Priyanka Khanna


With a capital sum of 10,000, a portfolio of five psychiatric drugs and a two-member marketing team, a 27-year old Dilip Shanghvi started Sun Pharmaceutical Industries in 1983. Today, Sun Pharma is the fifth-largest speciality generic pharmaceutical company in the world. Sun Pharma, which has 21 out of their 48 manufacturing units in India, supplies drugs to over 150 countries. They recently entered into an agreement with the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel and the Health Research Institute of Santiago, Spain to develop products for the treatment of neurological diseases. Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC), a research arm of Sun Pharma, is the first pure research company to be listed on the Indian stock exchanges. Monica Jha




Armed with degrees in chemical engineering from BITS Pilani and development economics from Princeton University, Goyal quit a lucrative career in financial services before establishing his Delhi-based firm in 2003 to revive age-old skills in creating luxurious modern metal products for high-end interiors. Among a handful of designers to retail globally under his own brand, Goyal has diversified into residential interior design in India and abroad. Increasingly, Viya Home’s USP is Indiaagnostic in terms of design and motif but India-centered in terms of refined craftsmanship. “Made in India means high-quality, handcrafted luxury products that create a contemporary Indian design aesthetic.” Goyal considers Make in India’s future promising, given the gradual crossover appeal. However, a major constraint, he believes, is the availability of skilled artisans and trained designers—a need that requires major private-public investment in vocational training and education. Sunil Sethi


Chairman & MD, NTPC


ATUL SOBTI Chairman & MD, BHEL Forging ahead on the sturdy foundation of 50 illustrious years of engineering excellence, and embracing the glorious next phase of its growth, BHEL has evolved into a solid bedrock of India’s heavy electrical equipment industry. BHEL is an integrated power-plant equipment manufacturer and one of the largest engineering and manufacturing companies of its kind in India. It is engaged in the design, engineering, manufacture, construction, testing, commissioning and servicing of a wide range of products and services for the core sectors of the economy, such as power, transmission, industry, transportation (railways), renewable energy, oil and gas as well as defence, with over 180 product offerings. BHEL also has a widespread overseas footprint, in 77 countries, with the cumulative overseas installed capacity of BHEL-manufactured power plants nearing 10,000MW and including Malaysia, Oman, Iraq, UAE, Bhutan, Egypt and New Zealand. The high quality and reliability of BHEL products is due to the adherence to international standards by adapting some of the best technologies available in the world along with tech developed in its own R&D centres. BHEL’s greatest strength is its highly skilled and committed workforce of about 45,000 employees. The concept of sustainable development is inculcated in its DNA, which is evident from its mission statement: providing sustainable business solutions in the fields of energy, industry and infrastructure. A mechanical engineer with a post-graduate degree in international management, Atul Sobti has been responsible for spearheading and strategising for the power sector of BHEL. Under his stewardship, BHEL’s power business has achieved major milestones, including the highest-ever capacity addition/synchronisation of 13,452MW and 11,941MW in 2013–14 and 2014-15, respectively. The trend has continued and BHEL has already commissioned projects of around 8,000MW in 2015-16. Sobti has been instrumental in strategising and securing a series of orders from various state utilities, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Punjab besides Central Utilities like NTPC and NLC. Yooti Bhansali


Through the 41 power plants in its fold, NTPC has the capacity to generate 45,548MW of power. To this, the company will add another 23,000MW over the next few years through new projects. With a focus on renewable energy, NTPC is building the capacity to generate 10GW of power through solar energy in five years. Last year, energy research firm Platts ranked NTPC at the second spot on its list of independent power producers and energy traders in the world, while Forbes pegged it at No 431 on its list of the planet’s 2,000 most powerful public corporations. NTPC has balanced this aggressive growth with impressive profitability. The company logged 10,291 crore as profit after tax in FY15, recording the fourth-largest net profit among public service undertakings in India. Consequently, it was among the top five dividend-paying firms in the last financial year. NTPC has gone beyond power generation and diversified itself; it now has presence in power trading and coal mining, as well as equipment manufacturing for the power sector. A workforce of 24,000 ensures that India’s power plants run ceaselessly, the wheels of the economy never running out of fuel. “As India embarks on a trajectory of economic growth through initiatives like Make In India, it is the energy sector that will have to enable this massive rise,” says Jha. “The challenge is to use advanced technologies and reduce carbon intensity while providing power at competitive rates.” Salil Deshpande




Director, Inforich Technology Solutions

Founder & CEO, Sula Vineyards An engineering student from Stanford University, Rajeev Samant quit his job in California’s Silicon Valley and did something that had never been done before—planted wine grapes in Nashik, India. More than 15 years later, Sula sells 15 varieties of wine, including a Riesling. “Ten years ago hardly anyone drank wine, in India. But today it has become a preferred beverage for those in cities,” he says. Sula is India’s largest wine producer with over 60 percent market share and exports to 23 countries. A pioneer in wine tourism, Samant’s vineyard and resort property in Sula is a popular weekend getaway. For him, India has been an inspiration in everything that he has done with Sula so far, including the packaging. “In fact, our Dindori wine is named after a taluka in Nashik,” he says. “India has tremendous potential and if there are reforms in our labour policies that make it easier for people to start manufacturing projects, the country can go a long way.” Rachana Nakra


Founder & Creative Director, Tiipoi

London-based Gopal thinks of her design studio as an Indian Muji— promoting the human element in Indian design concepts. A graduate from Central Saint Martins with a Master’s in contemporary art from Sotheby’s, she launched Tiipoi two years ago as a tool to bring together India’s manufacturing and making capabilities to a western audience. To Gopal, Make in India is a manifestation of the country’s complex and delicate history of craft and manufacturing, often a political idea as in the evolution and use of khadi. “India is also a place that has subtly developed an invisible design system purely to overcome the lack of resources and infrastructure. There is no concept of waste in India and this speaks of sustainability in a very modern sense.” She chooses to make here due to the flexibility of prototyping and experimenting with materials and design. “This can only survive if the government protects the crafts community and skilled workers by improving working conditions to restore pride both in their workmanship and workplace.” Sunil Sethi


Seven years ago, Nishant Nambiar moved to Thiruvananthapuram from Mumbai. “I’d spent most of my life there but the crowd and pace of life made me wonder if a better quality of life may be had in a smaller city,” says Nambiar. While working at Datamatics and NeST Technologies, he stumbled on a problem faced by hospitals around the world. There was nothing in the healthinformation management space to help them collate, access and use the enormous amounts of data being generated quickly and effectively. “The programmes that were available were very expensive. So we developed one that can be tailored for any speciality hospital anywhere in the world. Microsoft evaluated and endorsed its layered architecture and now, this completely Indianmade proprietary data management system is being exported from India and used in Saudi Arabian hospitals,” Nambiar says. Now, he is expanding the programme to help set up data management systems for defence and aviation. “The beauty is that it can be applied to all sorts of industries— education, oil and gas or defence,” he said. His framework can have a far-reaching impact not only in many industries, but also in many countries. He believes the Make in India initiative has come at a good time and can propel India into becoming a global power. Priyanka Pathak


PRS Oberoi

Executive Chairman, EIH Limited - The Oberoi Group The Oberoi Group, founded in 1934, now operates across six countries with 30 hotels, two Nile cruisers and a motor vessel in the backwaters of Kerala. It also engages in-flight catering, airport restaurants, travel and tour services, car rentals, project management and corporate air charters. But the group is best known for its sophisticated luxury hotels and impeccable service. “Tourism and hospitality has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in this country. India provides both an inspiration to our design and architecture, as well as a philosophy of hospitality par excellence. It combines the best of cultural experiences and unmatched luxury hospitality, which create a unique experiential blend not available anywhere else in the world. Hotels in India are setting the benchmark for luxury accommodation worldwide. I believe that, in the future, Make in India will stand for unsurpassed quality standards and create a benchmark of excellence which will inspire other countries around the world.� Divia Thani Daswani


Executive Director, Bharat Forge

Fashion Designer “I learnt the art of embroidery from my grandfather and father through design osmosis; ours is a threegeneration business. Growing up in a multicultural, unbiased environment where religion came second to love, I flourished. My family was supportive and gave me the confidence to take risks. I moved to the US at the age of 19. My strength came from my family values. My mother said that love, honesty, hard work and unconditional dedication to craft would take me far. It did. My business relies heavily on Indian embroidery—it’s part of our history and the best thing about my fashion narrative. I mix the talent of our craftsmen with what I learnt from global masters—Halston, Warhol, Martha Graham—but India will always remain the foundation of my collections. Made in India means luxury, craftsmanship and being part of a beautiful culture. With leadership and global vision, we will be the top luxury players of the world.” Bandana Tewari


Vikram Gour


MD, Lodha Group Lodha Group is currently developing 43 million sq ft of real estate, including World One, aiming to be the world’s tallest residential tower. What does Make in India mean to you? Currently, Lodha is creating 6,000 houses and over 10,00,000 sq ft of office space. The real estate market involves a huge amount of making, processing and putting things together. It creates a huge number of jobs, even indirectly. The PM’s vision of Housing for All by 2022 and Make in India are great complimentary ideas. How do you make in India? The best example is Palava City, which we’re building. It’s the largest employment site in the Mumbai metropolitan region, with 10,000 workers plus hundreds of suppliers across India producing goods for the project. We’ve even created an assembly line to make our own concrete and windows. Why India to begin with? Industries will make in India because there’s demand—the combination of a massive young population and a growing economy is available in very few countries, even though regulations elsewhere may be easier. Morever, thanks to Make in India and the thrust of the government, even regulations are getting streamlined. What is the future of Make in India? It’ll be driven by two factors: demand, and whether the government makes changes to ensure manufacturers come here because there is stability and clear policies. I am sure that with the vision of the Prime Minister and action of this team, Make in India will create millions of jobs and promote economic development of all sections of Indian society. Monica Jha



The 48-year old Punebased company makes vital components for automobiles all over the world and is a global giant in the true sense of the word. In the past few years, they’ve gone from making components for the private sector to roping in the government as a customer. Made in India forgings from Bharat Forge are standard-issue on many international products and in pulling this off, the Kalyanis have put Indian manufacturing on the global industrial map. To sum up Bharat Forge’s contribution to the Indian industry, Kapil Singh of Nomura Securities says, “Building capacity is one thing, but they’ve been building revenues in totally new segments—where it isn’t easy to get customer validation for the supply of new products.”


Brand Custodian Tata Sons

ndia is rapidly becoming a global hub for manufacturing. Innovation is allowing Indian companies to leapfrog generations. This has been vividly demonstrated in the communications sector, where India recently added its billionth mobile customer, leapfrogging conventional fixed-line technology. The same phenomenon is being witnessed across many other sectors. For instance, India is emerging as a major hub for the assembly and manufacture of aircraft and their components. When Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation relocated the fuselage manufacturing facility for its S-92 state-ofthe-art helicopter from Japan, it selected India to produce this crucial sub-assembly. Its joint venture partner, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) set up a greenfield facility in Hyderabad in record time; today, this is the single global source for the assembly of the S-92 fuselage. Using cutting-edge technology and leveraging its substantial investment in talent and skill, TASL has emerged as a leader in aerostructures, partnering with global plane-makers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus, Pilatus and RUAG Aviation. Similar developments are taking place in automobile manufacturing—where India will soon become the world’s third-largest market—and electronic systems design and manufacturing (ESDM), where India is fast becoming one of the world’s largest markets for consumer electronic products. India is also taking the lead in emerging sectors like climate-friendly technologies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently captured public imagination at the Paris Climate Talks by announcing an International Solar Alliance. With an ambitious target of creating 100GW of solar power capacity in India by 2022, India will soon become the largest solar market in the world. Recognising India’s enormous need for energy to fuel its growth and the rising aspirations of its people, the world has welcomed India’s leadership in the solar space. The growing confidence to share the best of Made in India with the world is increasingly manifested in Indian thought leadership. Think of management gurus like Vijay Govindarajan and Ram Charan, technology practitioners like Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, or global CEOs like Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo) and Rakesh Kapoor (Reckitt Benckiser). Titans of the Indian industry like Ratan Tata are periodically consulted by the global who’s who, from Bill Gates to David Cameron. Lifestyle changes across the world are being influenced by one of India’s bestknown exports—yoga. The United Nations General Assembly’s declaration of June 21st as International Yoga Day was universally welcomed and acclaimed. Proof of the growing power of the Made in India brand abroad is the remarkable internationalisation of India’s largest industrial group, Tata. From a largely Indian industrial base generating a turnover of around US$10 billion in 2000, Tata has transformed into a diversified powerhouse worth over US$100 billion, with 70 percent of the turnover generated outside India. Tata Consultancy Services has more than 3,00,000 consultants and engineers and is amongst the most profitable global IT services companies today. Tata Communications owns the world’s largest submarine cable optical fibre network, processing one in four global Internet searches. Tata Global Beverages—owner of Tetley—serves up over 250 million cups of tea daily. Tata Motors’ astonishing turnaround of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) makes it one of the most exciting automobile companies in the world. But more than its success in business, Tata is exporting its values-driven business philosophy. Its mission is ‘to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on leadership with trust’. The group is respectful of local cultures and consumer preferences; in Britain, with its acquisition of companies like Tetley and JLR, it has seen to it that these continue to be viewed as quintessential British brands. Alignment and consistency in stakeholder engagement are ensured by the group’s use of two critical tools—the Tata Business Excellence Model and the Tata Code of Conduct. The Tata group’s international success reflects the power of brand Made in India, abroad—a power that seeks to be both inclusive and impactful in elevating communities.



movers & makers Peter D’Ascoli

Founder, Talianna Studio

Ramoji Rao

Chairman, The Ramoji Group Ramoji Film City, near Hyderabad, started in 1996 with the motto ‘come with a script and go with a canned film’. But as its potential for domestic and international tourists was realised, theme parks, shows, rides and a five-star hotel were all added to the 2,000-acre space, making it a ritzy destination that attracts 1.5 million visitors a year. “The Make in India initiative is a huge inspiration to turn the nation into a global manufacturing hub, which will help create new opportunities. The manufacturing sector, in turn, will grow manifold and contribute more to India’s GDP. Meanwhile, Ramoji Film City— which is recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest film studio complex—is poised to make a big leap with pioneering initiatives. Apart from entertainment and leisure, it will cover the whole spectrum of film and commercial tourism.” Indu Mirani


New York-born D’Ascoli was invited by the Handicrafts and Handloom Exports Corporation of India to work with craftspeople and develop textiles for export. Later, he worked for several US-based companies— including a stint as studio director for Diane von Furstenberg—to create decorative collections of luxury home textiles. His growing engagement with Indian textiles led him to set up his own studio near Delhi, which produces quality prints, embroideries and jacquard weaves. “The Made in India tag on our fabrics is a point of pride—we’re not producing commodities, we’re creating luxury fabrics that require the highest aesthetic and physical quality. Although India is unique in the world for possessing craft techniques that have vanished elsewhere, its recent history is not always associated with high-quality manufacturing. Talianna Studio’s effort is to remedy this. Although exports will remain important, Make in India will eventually be driven by a domestic consumer market that’s likely to become one of the largest in the world.” Sunil Sethi

Gautam Sinha

Creative Director, Nappa Dori The Delhi-based brand is known for fine handcrafted leather accessories such as trunks, satchels and backpacks that celebrate artisanal craftsmanship and Indian heritage, all under the creative eye of NIFT graduate Sinha. “The Made in India tag automatically conveys quality and craftsmanship. Nappa Dori is an Indian brand and we take pride in where we come from. The value of Indian craft is immense and it’s important to represent it to the world in the right way. Most of our products are made by traditional artisans who have been involved in the craft of making leather goods for generations—there is an emotional connect with each product. The mindset of the people has changed over the past two decades—young Indians knows where they belong and celebrate it. This is very important for our country, as it is the real catalyst for change.” Pahull Bains

“young indians know where they belong and celebrate it”

PK Singh Chairman, SAIL The Steel Authority of India Limited is India’s largest steel maker and among the top governmentowned companies—GoI currently owns 75 percent shares. SAIL operates five integrated steel plants, three special steel plants and ferroalloy and refractory manufacturing units. The Central Marketing Organisation of SAIL, in Kolkata, is India’s largest steel marketing setup with a pan-India distribution network of over a 100 sales offices and warehouses, as well as a wide network of over 2,800 dealers. SAIL conducts numerous CSR activities, such as the maintenance of over 187 schools in its Steel Townships, the construction and reparation of roads and pathways in rural areas and providing mid-day meals to around 62,000 students across 576 government schools in the country. SAIL has been significantly contributing towards making in India

since its inception. It is consistently working towards developing niche products so as to cut down the import burden on the nation, apart from making the requisite steel available to downstream domestic manufacturers. SAIL has provided steel for the nation’s infrastructure and construction sector, road and railway networks, power generation, defence, minting of coins and kitchenware. There’s a little bit of SAIL in every Indian’s life. Recently, a special-grade, hightensile steel produced by SAIL from its Bhilai Steel Plant was used to build INS Kamorta, which is the first indigenous anti-submarine corvette built by India. Simultaneously, SAIL is supplying steel for more than 40 naval projects. By doing this, SAIL has substantially decreased the demand for Russian steel. The country practically runs on SAIL steel—Bhilai and Durgapur are the sole suppliers of rail tracks and forged wheels respectively. It has also supplied a large quantity of steel for making the Bandra-Worli

Sea link in Mumbai, as well as to metro rail projects in the country. A proposed collaboration with ArcelorMittal for automotive steel aims to fulfill the objectives of the Make in India initiative. Says Singh, “We have built a strong foundation of knowledge, experience and decades of excellence. To this we have added, through our modernisation and expansion programme, the means to attain world-class quality in our product offerings. Rails manufactured by SAIL can circumvent the globe 11 times. Special-grade plates developed by SAIL have gone into making the hull of the INS Vikrant, contributing to India’s programme of indigenously building warships. Business-friendly government policies like Make in India and the government’s thrust on infrastructure and growth augur well for the industry. We are ready to optimally use the conducive environment to transform our business, befitting the role SAIL has played as a leader in the Indian steel industry.” Yooti Bhansali


Chairman, Sona Group

Founder & CEO, OYO Rooms

If there’s one thing this 22-year-old is not, it’s predictable. And yet, the one thing Agarwal has based OYO Rooms—a company that collectively raised US$125 million and has grown over fifteen times in terms of valuation—on, is predictability. Three years ago, he set about building Oravel, a platform to aggregate budget accommodation across India. He stayed in over 150 B&Bs, guest houses and budget hotels across the country and discovered that simple aggregation wouldn’t cut it. The issue wasn’t discoverability; it was quality. “I realised that there was no standard of quality and service at budget accommodations,” says Agarwal. “It was really a matter of chance—if you were lucky, you’d end up having a good experience. Otherwise, the issues could range from bad linen to dysfunctional washrooms or rude staff. The hotels did not enjoy customer trust due to a lack of predictability in the experiences they offered.” So, he pivoted. OYO Rooms pioneered a business model that standardises budget accommodation across India to offer customers a predictable, affordable quality experience. In less than three years, Agarwal has accumulated over 4,000 hotels with 40,000 rooms across 165 Indian cities under the OYO Rooms brand. “Indians believe in value-driven experiences. They are willing to spend, but must feel that they’ve got a good deal at the end of it.” Agarwal does take pride in having created a business solution that’s addressing a problem particular to India. “OYO is a Make in India initiative wherein we created something that, until then, did not exist anywhere in the world. The Make in India label is very powerful.There is a definite sense of attachment and pride. However, for a country as beautiful, diverse and culturally rich as India, we are not able to attract as many international travellers as we could. A faster and easier process and the implementation of a visa-on-arrival policy could be a game changer.”


Divia Thani Daswani

Vikram Gour



Founded in 1987 by Surinder Kapur, the Sona Group has grown to become a vital part of the automotive industry, with engineering capabilities in the areas of precision machines, assembly and forging. Sunjay Kapur took over as chairman of the group after his father’s recent demise and is bullish about the Indian auto components giant’s future, both domestically and internationally. With over 16 plants across India, three in Germany and one in the USA, the Sona Group—of which Sona Koyo Steering Systems is a major part—has a truly global footprint. For Kapur, the inherent cost benefits and skill sets that India brings to the table as a manufacturing hub are the biggest assets for global exports at the Sona Group. With the rise in sales of passenger cars, the market is ripe for A and B segment vehicles and he strongly feels that India can be a hub for supplies. According to him, it’s not just about Made in India exports— with components being increasingly treated as commodities, it may be easier to manufacture them locally, which would lead to an expansion of the country’s international footprint.


Chairman Startup Village

ndian universities aren’t particularly known to be hotbeds of innovation and entrepreneurship—at least not yet. The emphasis on academic rotelearning in schools carries over to colleges, where students are groomed primarily for the service industry. A steady job with a reputed firm and a fat pay cheque still forms the upper layer of aspiration for many. The most successful technology entrepreneurs in India today may have come up with their ideas while inside the campus, but have had to build their companies from scratch in the outside world. Indian campuses have seldom provided the conducive, entrepreneurship-oriented ecosystem that gave rise to companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook. The good news, however, is that there are definite signs that it’s all going to change in the coming years. The Make in India initiative is not just a policy roadmap for the future; it is also a reflection of the fact that young India is very different from its risk-averse predecessors. Innovation is not something that happens to other people. College-goers no longer want to be job seekers, but job creators. My own entrepreneurial journey with MobME and Startup Village is what makes me confident that ‘Make in Universities’ can be a keystone for the Make in India initiative. My friends and I founded MobME as third-year students at the College of Engineering, Trivandrum. It was the first campus startup incubated at Technopark. When we were funded by US-based Sequoia Capital, it was the first technology investment in a Kerala startup by a venture capital firm. As representatives of MobME we had the opportunity to meet the late President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Like the true visionary he had always been, he asked us to build an entrepreneurship knowledge platform for the Indian youth, to help them access information on how to create startups and become technopreneurs. That was essentially the inspiration for Startup Village (SV). When it was set up in 2012 as India’s first PPP-model technology business incubator, SV’s modest target was to incubate some 50 companies in five years. Three years on, it has received over 6,000 applications and incubated more than 70 physical and 500 virtual startups that have, collectively, created nearly 3,000 jobs and are valued at a whopping 292 crore. Our key learning from SV is that students in colleges are overwhelmingly interested in entrepreneurship, they just need the right kind of guidance. SV.CO is our industry-academia partnership model that offers recognition to entrepreneurial learning as part of engineering degrees in India. MobME is now building SV.CO as a digital learning platform for first-time founders, backed by universities such as Gujarat Technological University (GTU), with more looking to come on board. The entrepreneurship wave is definitely sweeping into our campuses. And young India has plenty of successful Indian startups to take inspiration from. At Startup Village, among our most successful companies is Fin Robotics, which raised more than US$200,000 in global crowdfunding and went on to raise over US$2 million in Series A funding to develop the Neyya smart ring. The idea of this wearable gadget germinated in the minds of a bunch of young, small-town robotics geeks, travelled through the entrepreneurial assembly line and emerged as a chic smart ring launched by Donna Karan’s brand Urban Zen in the fashion capital of New York. That is the scale at which college students dream today and that is why we must ‘Make in Universities’ when we Make in India. The next billion-dollar company will emerge from an Indian campus; it’s just a matter of time.





MD, Forest Essentials



Head - Sales and Marketing, GreyOrange

Founded by BITS Pilani graduates Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta in 2011, GreyOrange is an outcome of their passion for robotics—they won competitions all over the world and built the first humanoid robot in India. The company provides automated on-demand robot services for logistics and warehouse management. The robots are designed, developed and manufactured in India. Today, GreyOrange can count e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong and Delhivery as its clients. Says Singh, “Robotics, along with a good human talent pool, are essential to compete in the global market where efficiency of operations is key. For hardware companies, all the elements required to make high-end advanced products are available in India and companies like ours are increasingly tapping the opportunity.”

Shamsheer Yousaf



Every city has a magical place that only insiders know about—the perfect spot to watch a sunset or feel the sea breeze. In Jodhpur, one such spot is now easily accessed, thanks to the transformation of an 18th-century haveli into boutique hotel RAAS. Situated in the old city, it offers a spectacular view of the 400-ft Mehrangarh Fort. Traditional architecture (think red sandstone and vivid blue) is juxtaposed with modern; there’s both authenticity and luxury. “Our monuments are inspirational,” says Nikhilendra Singh. “As is our craftspeople’s humility and their attention to detail.” RAAS is developing a 41-suite hotel in Himachal Pradesh and has taken over Devigarh, near Udaipur. “It’s about location, design and service. To make your project successful, you have to understand the locals. International tourists realise that they’re visiting a different, ancient, living culture and they leave understanding the warmth and depth of this country, with a feeling of having learnt something.” For Singh, who hopes to open the Kangra property soon, a singlewindow clearance would be a boon. “It’d be a game-changing policy.” With the huge potential of tourism to create employment, Singh and other hoteliers across India have their fingers crossed. Divia Thani Daswani


Recreating traditional ayurvedic formulations using high-quality ingredients, Forest Essentials is a leading supplier to luxury hotels. Armed with an investment by Estée Lauder Group, it boasts 44 standalone stores in 12 Indian cities, with plans for international expansion. What does Made in India mean to your business? A focus on world-class domestic manufacturing. We cater to a line of discerning consumers who are well-read, well-travelled and believe in good health and living. They trust our attention to the smallest detail for their holistic well-being. We want them to feel our pride. Why choose to Make in India? Our partnerships with local producers ensure that they harvest the highest-quality ingredients. Our workshop in Lodsi, Uttarakhand, is a social symbol—it’s the only workshop at this underdeveloped location in the Himalayas that provides employment opportunities for locals. There’s a focus on empowering women through employment, enhancing education by helping build infrastructure for schools and aiding the sourcing of clean drinking water in nearby villages. Our factory in Haridwar is a world-class manufacturing facility with pharmaceutical-grade production standards and a oneof-a-kind R&D lab for ayurveda formulations. It’s about improving skill sets on all levels. Aditi Bhimjiyani

Michael Aram

Founder, Michael Aram Inc

Trained in fine art, New York-based designer Michael Aram has worked out of India for 26 years after a life-altering trip in 1987, when he came across the metal artisans of old Delhi. It was an eye-opening experience for him. “Because objects made by hand are special in their uniqueness and reflect our own humanity, I think that the future is bright for India. It is a place that continues to innovate in impressive ways,” says Aram. Branded Michael Aram products include collaborations with Waterford Crystal and Hartmann luggage. Apart from a flagship store in NYC, his work is sold in over 60 countries and in many speciality and department stores. Aram’s fine jewellery was launched recently at Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s; he also unveiled his first public sculpture— MIGRATIONS—in New York. “For me, Made in India means handcrafted goods. When I started my company, I was very touched by the heart and soul that goes into pieces made by hand. I hope that the future of Indian artisans shines brightly and that their talents gain the recognition needed to encourage future generations of craftspeople to perpetuate traditional craft techniques.” Sunil Sethi


Founder & CEO, MakeMyTrip


Founder, AKFD Studio and Anantaya Decor

Jaipur-based Kasliwal graduated with a degree in industrial design from NID, Ahmedabad, in 1997, and began manufacturing furniture, “primarily because there were very few industries interested in design at that time.” Later, he won the Charles Wallace fellowship for his innovative work with Jaipur’s blue pottery. His brands are marked by spare, stylish modernism and a high quality of traditional craftsmanship. “Make in India means a product should be solid, reliable and maintainable. But if you’re asking why one should choose an Indian product over another from anywhere else, the truthful answer is there’s no reason unless it is functional, useful and sustainable. That’s the only way to stay ahead in the race. If design intelligence and integrity are part of a product, then an Indian product will be a global product. The world is far too small to look at making as a countryspecific activity.” Sunil Sethi



When Kalra set up MakeMyTrip (MMT) in 2000, he had no idea how things would turn out what with the dotcom bust, the SARS outbreak and 9/11 all happening soon after and hugely affecting the travel industry. “Funding was tough to come by and we were advised to shut shop,” recalls Kalra. “But we believed in the idea wholeheartedly and there was no question of giving up. This period showed us how unpredictable things could get, despite the most thorough planning and robust forecasts. Success was determined by our ability to think on our feet and not panic.” Ten years later, the risk paid off. MMT became the first Indian travel company to list overseas, on NASDAQ. Today, MakeMyTrip is much more than a travel company. It is a one-stop-travel-shop that offers the widest selection of travel products and services in India. It partners with 27,500 domestic and 2,55,000 international hotels, provides travel products and services through online as well as offline platforms, has a flight-booking service in Hindi on its mobile site and lots more. It is the dominant market-leader with 47 percent market-share (as per an independent study conducted by PhocusWright in 2013). This is especially impressive given the rate at which the Indian travel industry is growing—outbound tourism is set to hit 30 million people by 2018. Indians are increasingly willing to travel to offbeat places like Jordan and Hungary, says Kalra. “Self-belief and an unrelenting focus on innovation have been our building blocks and continue to motivate us,” he adds. Samira Sood


President & COO SoftBank Corp



here has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in India than in the last 18 months. It is heartwarming to see smart, energetic, motivated founders who are passionate about what they are trying to build and successfully raising the money to do so. Their accomplishments act as an inspiration to thousands more, the importance and impact of which cannot be overstated. Of course, with funding comes responsibility. Several entrepreneurs have spent capital aggressively to try and grab market share. This impulse is not hard to understand—look across the pond and you’ll see many examples of market leaders with large capitalisations and enviable network effects—it sometimes seems like there is a ‘winner takes all’ race going on, and it is imperative to win at all costs. This strategy is fine if you can get to the top of the ladder in your industry, solidify your position as the biggest player and then rationalise your business model. If, however, you are in a situation with multiple well-funded players pursuing the same strategy, you have to adapt and go back to your core proposition. The current wave of irrational hubris needs to stop. We are a value-oriented country—consumers will happily accept gifts in cash or kind to try a product. The challenge is making sure that trials result in a truly differentiated experience and create real habits, compelling users to come back, even when they are not being paid to do so. The media has its role to play, as do governments and established businesses. We need to celebrate ‘true success’, not construct fleeting heroes or cut our entrepreneurs down. Funding is the beginning of the journey and creating a valuable experience is key. We also need friendlier policies for startups in both service and manufacturing sectors—predictable policies, clear incentives and transparency will go a long way towards creating comfort for entrepreneurs. The current leadership is attempting to break down barriers and make innovation easier. Make in India, for instance, is an excellent initiative. We need to develop indigenous capabilities to manufacture at world-class levels—such capabilities would empower us to dream, design, build and scale great businesses. Against this backdrop, it continues to be a delight to talk to people in India who have ideas, think big, want to make a difference and are on the path to building something. I am sure we will have our wins and losses, but nothing will give me more pleasure than to see India boast its own indigenous Alibaba, Facebook and Google—they all started with an idea and a passionate entrepreneur or two, supported by nurturing ecosystems. This phase of my life is all about being able to stay young, give back, talk to entrepreneurs around the world, support their vision, help them scale their businesses and mentor them. Every fresh Indian graduate who decides to start a world-changing company and every Indian overseas who wants to come back and participate in this economy is a victory—a victory for the continuous change that we need in India.


Special Projects Lead, Team Indus and Creative Director, Threye

Founder & CEO, Zomato A major player in the Indian foodtech space even before it became a ‘thing’, Zomato’s presence now spans more than 10,000 cities across 23 countries. Founder Goyal believes that the manufacturing industry must learn from startups. “Be agile, move fast,” he says. “All companies need innovation, quick. Smaller startups empowered by the democratisation of manufacturing, are becoming significant players by optimising innovation. They’re challenging their established peers. A comparison between the Fortune 100 list from 1990 and 2010 reveals what can happen to powerful companies that refuse to reconstruct their existing product portfolio and services to gain a competitive advantage. Many global players have disappeared because they refused to rethink their product offerings, and then found that their cash cows had become commodities of the present/future. Startups have flatter organisational structures, thereby cutting down on the turnaround time on decision-making. The time taken from idea to execution in startups varies from a couple of hours to a few days, unlike large organisations where systems, processes and chains of command dictate timelines for rolling out new initiatives”. Shamsheer Yousaf



Founder, Les Ateliers 2M In 1993, Modesti visited India for academic research; he knew, then, that his career lay here. When couturier Azzedine Alaïa called to offer him a job, the young Franco-Italian accepted on the condition that he could regularly return to India to source textiles and quality craftsmanship. Five years later, Modesti set up on his own in India, growing to three dedicated workshops—two in Mumbai and one in Lucknow. His company now employs 650 people and produces fine embroideries, textiles and accessories for luxury brands like Hermès, Chanel and Saint Laurent. “It took me about eight years to figure out how Make in India works,” he chuckles. “It was a continuous series of mistakes in learning. For example, one wrongly pulled thread in techniques such as zardozi, chikankari and aari stitching means rejection on high-quality French silk by Hermès.” Still, Modesti’s quest for quality has gone from strength to strength; he even created the costumes for the character of Marie Antoinette in director Sofia Coppola’s biopic. “It was very exciting. We had access to the Versailles’ archives on India’s historic contribution to European textile. I’ve never doubted being able to offer Made in India products no other country can supply. The knowhow and variety of Indian craft is incredible. The problem is upgrading these skills.” Sunil Sethi



Sameer Joshi grew up staring at blue skies over Punjab’s fields, dreaming of becoming a fighter pilot. “Dreams do come true,” he says. “I became a fighter for the Indian Air Force, fought in Kargil and was deployed in South Africa and France.” Then, a high-altitude injury cut his dream short and Joshi opted for early retirement. After a couple of years bush flying in the Northeast, he found a new ambition—the Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge. When he and his IITian friends, Rahul Narayan, Dilip Chhabria and Julius Amrit discovered there was no participating team from India, they created Team Indus—a mission to land a robotic craft on the moon, a tech moon shot; and with Anurag Rana and Sidhant Rahi, Joshi formed a new company, Threye Interactive. Threye produced award-winning virtual simulation games like ‘Guardians of the Skies’ for the IAF and creates human interactive 3D applications for aerospace and defence, manufacturing, medical and hospitality sectors. “We want to embed the real and virtual in a way that makes our world safer,” Joshi says. “Our vision is long-term because government initiatives take time to trickle down to the grass-roots level where we are working. Tech innovation in India is where Google was in ’98—only beginning to take off.” Priyanka Pathak

N K C h au d h a ry

Founder, Jaipur Rugs Few know Chaudhary’s humble roots, one of India’s largest producer-exporters of hand-knotted wool and silk carpets. He started out as a salesman in his father’s footwear shop in the small town of Churu, Rajasthan. Having grown up watching rug weavers in his hometown and driven by an entreprenurial spirit, he started Jaipur Rugs in 1978 with two looms and nine artisans. Today, his company employs more than 40,000 weavers—about 80 percent of them women—across six states including the Bhadohi-Mirzapur belt of Uttar Pradesh and tribal districts in Gujarat. Chaudhary believes his success stems from his desire to equate quality production while enhancing

artisans’ skills “so they can lead sustainable and respectable lives,” he says. “We have always stood for Make in India. Our focus on carpetmaking is significant because, like many handicrafts in India, it is a dying art. Fewer and fewer families continue this type of work. Many weavers make carpets part-time to supplement farming incomes. Their children migrate to cities in search of more secure jobs. It is imperative that we contain this devaluation of unique traditional skills to support a major export sector. Make in India should have been adopted as a national initiative ten years ago. It must work at the bottom of the social pyramid, in our villages, where the need is greatest.” Sunil Sethi


CEO, Dynamatic Technologies

Managing Trustee & Chief Physician, Arya Vaidya Sala The Arya Vaidya Sala (AVS) started as a village clinic 113 years ago. Today, it is a multidisciplinary organisation with a presence in clinical service, medicine manufacture and medicinal plant cultivation. What is the importance of ayurveda today? Ayurveda has been noted for its ability to deal with diseases and as a disease-prevention system. Even the WHO recognises the need to integrate it. The enhanced use of synthetic drugs, a spurt in lifestyle diseases and the rising cost of healthcare have added to its importance. How are your hospitals different? We operate five hospitals, fully equipped to extend traditional Kerala-special therapies. One hospital, at Kottakkal, provides these therapies, medicines, food and accommodation absolutely free of cost. And all our hospitals and 27 clinics offer free expert medical consultation. What does Make in India mean to you? The principles and practices of ayurveda are deeply rooted in Indian philosophy. All our products are made using natural resources from various parts of the country. What is the future of Make in India? What is the future of India without Make in India? For wealth generation with equitable usage of national resources and capabilities, Make in India is the right approach. Rachana Nakra



MD & CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL)

Ever since Punit Goenka assumed the role of MD and CEO of ZEEL in 2008, his vision has been to “go beyond the boundaries of race, language and colour, accepting and adapting to new cultures and races and thus uniting the world through entertainment,” he explains. With the Zee Network beaming to 169 countries with over 959 million viewers, it is now more than just a broadcaster; it is a content company that is focused on offering rich and relevant content to audiences, irrespective of whether it is consumed on a television at home or on a connected device. “The Make in India initiative is necessary in order for India to grow further and become a manufacturing powerhouse that will generate more employment in the country, boost exports and reduce dependence on imports, attract foreign investment as well as improve the technical expertise and creative skills of the workforce. Steps like the recently announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reforms in 15 sectors, including media and entertainment, are a move in the right direction. The implementation of other measures— like the removal of barriers to doing business, investment in key sectors, the formulation of a well-developed manufacturing strategy and the creation of a favourable policy environment—will further help translate the Make in India dream into reality.” Indu Mirani



It began with a young man driving 4,000km a month through dusty country lanes in India, to establish a sales network for his grandmother’s debt-laden company, which produced hydraulic pumps. Afterwards, Malhoutra stayed in the driver’s seat, working with India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation on hydraulic parts for battle tanks, before venturing into aeronautics. Today, Dynamatic Technologies supplies complex parts to Airbus, Boeing and Bell Helicopter, and has been referred to as the ‘Infosys of aerospace manufacturing’. “The government thrust comes at the right time,” says Malhoutra. “The world is a more insecure place with wars, there is economic expansion in the East. There is a confluence of economics and a need for security.” The opportunity is palpable. “There’s no lottery in any business. Aerospace and defence are difficult industries that need know-how, artisanal skill among blue-collar workers and industrial engineering capabilities to create innovative, world-class products with utter cost competitiveness—things we’ve learned and perfected over two decades.” The Indian industry can grow in different ways, he says. “We can build a price, engineering or market model.” Priyanka Pathak


Curator, South Asia Victoria and Albert Museum



he Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations was held in London’s Hyde Park in 1851. Hailed as a marvel of modern times, the vast building housed over 1,00,000 objects ranging from steam engines to ceramics. Inside, the Indian Court showcased a spectacular array of Indian handmade textiles, decorative arts and crafts. Their exquisite craftsmanship, rich materials and harmony of pattern and colour greatly impressed the organisers. In the context of contemporary India, moving forward with this dialogue between craft, design and industry—as well as recognising what could be achieved through it—is the challenge. The ‘handmade’ in all its variety, complexity and adaptability is full of possibility—it offers a key element of differentiation and an identity that is unique and special to India. Designers such as Abraham & Thakore, Aneeth Arora, Design Temple, Sarthak Sahil Design Co and Siddhartha Das are well known for their engagement with craft—whether it is through finely woven fabrics or interior products skilfully carved from metal, stone or wood. Breaking conventions and expanding our appreciation of hand-craftsmanship is Manish Arora—his intensive use of artisan skills that incorporate fine machine-stitching, intricate hand embroidery, appliqué, beading and sequins could only happen in India. Small-scale enterprises have much to offer and designers experienced with these crafts can help further their impact on a grander scale. Abraham & Thakore not only support handloom through their fashionable clothing but their knowledge and creative skills are utilised for other equally important projects, such as the designing of uniforms for The Oberoi hotels as well as the Tata-SIA airline, Vistara. Godrej—one of India’s major manufacturers of home and office furniture—is exploring the potential of good design through their Design Lab. Their annual competition is a great platform for innovative designers to prototype and fabricate their products. Some of the most interesting submissions come from designers with an affinity towards traditional craftsmanship, who can apply that awareness to convey a sense of cutting-edge contemporary to their functional designs—the work of Rooshad Shroff is a great example. In the same vein, Serie Architects, Sameep Padora & Associates (sP+a) and The Busride Design Studio have—in their different ways—applied traditional knowledge and skill to their architectural projects. It is the resources and cultural associations with craft that keep UK-based companies like Doshi Levien and the newly-formed Tiipoi engaged with India. The marriage of craft design and industry is a part of their brand ethos. The language of craft abounds with terms such as artisanship, dexterity, skilled expertise and materiality. However, they are not confined to craft alone—their sensibilities translate to large-scale industry as well. As the Indian economy expands, it is important to recognise that craft-based enterprises can add value to industrial design and the two should co-exist together to build a mutually beneficial ecosystem.

A SUCCESS STORY MADE IN INDIA For over three decades, Welspun Group has been making history globally with a diversified portfolio of businesses spanning large diameter line pipes, home textiles and renewable energy. Today, Welspun is in fact, the epitome of Make in India


Progress, made in India

elspun Group’s Make in India story for exports has an interesting start. Way back in 1993, when the company began exporting terry towels to none other than the United States of America, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer based in the US, refused to believe that such fine towels could actually be made in India, and thought the towels had been imported from another country and then shipped to the US. Walmart soon realised that the towels were indeed ‘Made in India’ and were happy to sell them in their outlets. Today Welspun provides 20 percent of the towels sold in US. The above anecdote highlights that not only has Welspun been making in India, but has been making fine quality products that are sold worldwide. The Welspun Group is today a $3-billion conglomerate with interests in textiles, pipes, renewable energy and has forayed into oil and gas, and infrastructure. It is the world’s largest in the towel business and the second largest in the large pipes business, and has a thriving business in renewable energy. Welspun has 26,000 employees and over 100,000 stakeholders, all spread over 50 countries. Its client list includes most of the Fortune 100 companies. The Welspun journey started 30 years ago when Balkrishan Goenka returned from the UK, determined to do something on his own in India. He moved to Mumbai and, along with his cousin Rajesh Mandawewala, set up a polyester texturising yarn unit at Palghar, about 90 km north of Mumbai. With the mantra of ‘Dare to Commit’, the business was off to a roaring start, making `18 lakhs profit in its first year itself, and there was no looking back. In 1991, India changed when economic liberalisation was ushered in. Indian companies were overnight exposed to global competition and many big firms would wither away. But some would not only take the challenge head-on, they would go on to prosper using the opportunity to globalise.

Welspun was one of them. But in the early 1990s, the management sought out new ideas and Mr Goenka soon found that there was a huge demand for terry towels in the West. Grabbing the chance, Welspun set up its export oriented terry towel unit in Vapi and after winning over the West with its superior quality, is now the largest exporter of terry towels to the US and Europe. In 1997, Welspun took another Make in India step when it began to make pipes at a plant in Dahej, Gujarat. Like any business,Welspun Corp had its initial period of challenges. But it stayed the course and today, the pipes made by Welspun are sold to all the top oil companies across the world. Today, Welspun is one the world’s largest producers of large diameter

pipes. These pipes can be found in the most distant lands such as the deserts of Arabia and Sahara, in the mountains of the US, and in undersea uses. Made in India products are now seen around the world with respect. Inspired by its success in manufacturing terry towels and pipes and following its belief of ‘Dare to Commit’, Welspun began to look to work in areas that are important for India’s GDP to grow, including infrastructure. In 2010, it moved into the new and still emerging sector of renewable energy, committed to building an inclusive India. It also forayed into oil and gas, and road construction. On December 31, 2015, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, laid the foundation stone for India’s first Hybrid Annuity Model

Expressway project–Package 1 from Nizamuddin Bridge in New Delhi to the Uttar Pradesh border. The project is for a 14-lane expressway stretching 8.7 km. The Hybrid Annuity Model means Welspun will develop the project in 2.5 years and maintain it for the next 15 years. Having come so far in just one generation, Welspun is now preparing for the journey ahead with a new philosophy: ‘Leading Tomorrow Together’. This new mantra for Welspun 2.0 will define new ways of working, a new culture, and new values, to make the company an institution committed to Make in India and B K GOENKA the India growth story. As Chairman B K Goenka points out, a company has to find new ways to stay relevant. His dreams for Welspun 2.0 to stay relevant are to adapt new technologies, innovate, get customer insights, empower employees, and pursue inclusive growth. For Welspun, ‘Dare to Commit’ has never been just a tagline but a way of life. As it journeys down the next phase of its life, the company is determined to use this underlying philosophy as its springboard and its values as the impetus to surge ahead. In the next few years, the company is determined to be amongst: • The top 2 value creators in each of its business • The top 10 respected brands in India • The top 50 groups in terms of market value. To achieve these goals, the company will live by the philosophy of ‘Customer First’, and prioritise this singular message above all else. The aim is to understand the needs of the customers and always act in their best interests. Welspun will embrace technology to elevate its performance and adapt change to make things better in the future, and sees the Government of India’s Make in India initiative as a catalysing factor in this endeavour.

HOW DOES WELSPUN REPRESENT THE TRUE ESSENCE OF MAKE IN INDIA? Since its inception in 1985, Welspun Group has been committed to make India proud globally through its superior quality of innovative products and services. With state-of-the art manufacturing facilities in India and overseas, we cater to the global needs of our partners with solutions backed by innovation and cutting-edge technology, keeping customers as the key focus. Today, we export over 80 percent of what we Make in India to over 50 countries. In 2004, Welspun took a bold decision to establish its biggest manufacturing plant at Anjar (Gujarat – India) with an initial investment of `3,000 crores, which has now gone up in excess of `10,000 crore. Our other manufacturing facilities are located at Vapi and Dahej in Gujarat and Mandya in Karnataka. We proudly call ourselves a Global company with Indian soul and remain committed to contribute to the national GDP, generate employment and create wealth for our vendors, partners and investors.

Post the revised textile policy announcement last year, Welspun has invested nearly `3,000 crores in its Anjar and Vapi facilities for expansion and modernization. The new spinning facility at Anjar, Gujarat—the largest under one roof in India—represents Welspun’s long-term commitment to the Indian economy and the government’s ‘Make In India’ vision. Today, this world class manufacturing facility employs more than 20,000 people across its various manufacturing verticals. With this investment, Welspun is poised to become the largest Home Textile Company in the world. Welspun is also contributing towards the Prime Minister’s ‘Skilling India Mission’ initiative by imparting skill development training at its manufacturing facilities in India. RAJESH MANDAWEWALA



n 1985, Palghar was a sleepy little town on the border between Maharashtra and Gujarat, famous for its chikus and coconut plantations. B K Goenka set up his company, Welspun, in January 1985. It started its operations as a simple set-up: one hall with just one texturising machine and 216 spindles, capable of producing 797.5 MT yarn. Production began on 11 October 1985, on the day of Dussera.

The company began to do well from its first year of operation itself and began expanding rapidly. This included going in for a public issue, which was oversubscribed 30 times, and changing its name to Welspun India Ltd. The company began making terry towels in the 1990s. Despite doubts about the quality of Made in India products, Welspun persevered with its high quality and innovative practices

and today, it supplies products to most of the top major retailers such as Walmart, Tesco, Marks & Spencers, JC Penny, and others in 32 countries across the globe. It is the highest global exporter from India; in other words, it is sending ‘Made in India’ products to the rest of the world. In 2001, a devastating earthquake struck Gujarat with its epicentre in the Kutch region. Welspun was planning an expansion of its plant at Vapi but the then chief minister of Gujarat and current Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, urged Welspun to set up a facility at Anjar, Kutch, to help with the rehabilitation of the devastated region. Welspun responded to the call and in a record time of nine months set up a facility at Anjar. This ‘Make in India’ giant is at present a vertical one-stop shop for home textiles such as bath rugs, carpets, bed sheets and covers, etc. Innovations are a way of life at Welspun India and have contributed over 30 percent to revenues over the years. One such product is the patented Hygro® Cotton, which contains

hollow core yarn that regulates the temperature. To put it simply, regular towels used for a period of time tend to go limp. Hygro® Cotton towels, on the other hand, puff up and become super fluffy after use. These towels are more absorbent and dry quicker. The Hygro® Cotton terry towels and sheets took the US and European markets by storm and is one of the most popular products from the Welspun bouquet of products. If Welspun challenges the status quo to consumers through innovative products, it challenges the status quo to customers through efficient service and a versatile range of home textile solutions, to communities through its hands on approach, and to its stakeholders through participation in profitable global businesses. Committed to inclusive growth, Welspun is supporting the initiave of Khamir, which seeks to help traditional craftsmen in Gujarat, by marketing the products. The Indigo collection, for instance, offers the best of block printing and is made from Kala Cotton, which dates back to the days of Mohenjodaro. The Earth collection comprises block printing and hand embroidery while the Scioned collection eulogises the Rabari

community’s acclaimed embroidery work. Balance collection is traditional Bhujodi weaving techniques that accentuate fine block printing. Welspun is also backing Gramshree that works in the rural areas and has empowered 1,700 women who make quilts. In 2006, Welspun acquired Christy, the UK firm that made towels for the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. The 5,000 towels provided to the players during the Wimbledon tournament (each player is permitted two towels per match and though players are requested to return them after the match, more than half are never returned, being kept as as souvenirs) are made at Welspun’s Vapi plant. By the early 2000s, Indians too were becoming quality conscious and Welspun soon began to earn a name for itself within the country and started expanding its retail presence. Welspun also began shifting consumers away from the unorganised sector to the organised retail sector. Welspun India is one of the leaders in home textiles globally. It has been ranked Number 1 among the ‘Top 15 Home Suppliers Giants to USA’ for the last four years by Home & Textiles today, the leading magazine for home textiles.


HOW THE PRODUCTS THAT YOU MAKE IN INDIA ARE MAKING A MARK GLOBALLY? Welspun has continued to maintain its leadership position through quality and innovation, which is reflected in our No. 1 ranking in the US for the fourth year in a row. Today, Welspun’s home textile products go to over 50 countries and are sold by renowned global retailers like Walmart, J C Penny, Macy’s and IKEA amongst many. Welspun is also the proud supplier of towels to the prestigious sports tournaments like The Wimbledon Championship, 2015 Rugby World Cup, and ICC World Twenty20 India 2016. In fact, every 5th towel sold in US is manufactured by Welspun.

A Technology-driven future, made in India


n the mid-1990s, with economic liberalisation having taken roots in India, Welspun was looking for new areas to venture into. It had already achieved a leadership position in home textiles and was keen to diversify. Back then, oil and natural gas were mainly transported by road, which was both unsafe and expensive. Welspun saw an opportunity and ventured into making pipes for oil and natural gas companies, which stood to benefit immensely from this new method of transportation. Welspun

hired TCS to conduct a market research, post which it set up a 30,000-tonne pipes plant at Dahej, Gujarat. Welspun identified hi-tech steel submerged arc welded (SAW) pipes as a potential area for growth and began production. Despite a rocky start, Welspun Corp Ltd is today the company’s flagship brand, earning more than two-thirds of the company’s revenues. Its clients include the biggest names in the world of oil and gas, such as,

ExxonMobil, BP, British Gas, Chevron, TransCanada, Total, Petronas, Petrobras, Indian Oil, ONGC, Reliance Industries, etc. True to the Make in India spirit, Welspun has made the deepest, heaviest, longest, and highest pipelines in the world. • Deepest – 8,330 feet, Independence Trail Pipeline project; Gulf of Mexico • Heaviest – 15 MT (approx); Middle East; each pipe is 56” OD x 35.56 mm • Longest – 1,500 km; Keystone project, USA • Highest – 16,077 feet; Peru

Starting from Dahej, Welspun Corp now has manufacturing facilities at Anjar and Mandya in India, Little Rock, Arkansas in the US, and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Welspun’s state-of-the-art pipes division at Anjar is considered among the best in the world. Welspun also started manufacturing plates and coils at its Anjar division, which is now the heart of Welspun manufacturing. A firm believer in technology and innovation, Welspun created its own Looper technology to have a non-stop, continuous coil feeding line for the SAW process. The high quality and rapid rise did not go unnoticed. In 2008, Financial Times recognised Welspun as the world’s second largest, large diameter pipe manufacturer, while Economic Times awarded it as the ‘Emerging Company of the Year for Corporate Excellence’.

In 2013, Welspun achieved sales, production, and order booking for 1 million tonnes of pipes, a tribute to its Made in India quality. The same achievement was repeated the next year, and also in 2015, making it three successful years. This one-stop holistic solution provider with a capacity of 2.425 million tonnes per annum is now aiming to become the world’s biggest, large pipe manufacturer. While deploying advanced technologies like plate blasting, bar coding and SAP, Welspun is depending on the strong underpinning of its cutting-edge technology and its deep-rooted culture of ceaseless innovation and continuous drive towards engineering excellence to achieve that goal.

HOW DOES MAKE IN INDIA REVOLVE AROUND ADVANCEMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY? Through its Pipes Division, Welspun has the distinction of supplying pipes to some of the most complex oil and gas projects in the world, which include highest, deepest, longest and heaviest pipelines in the world. With state-of-the-art manufacturing plants at Dahej, Anjar and Mandya our total manufacturing capacity in our Indian plants is 1.6 MTPA. Welspun Corp currently has over 3500 people at its facilities in India as a part of its workforce. Welspun strongly believes in being a truly global and reliable partner. The distinguished clientele in the global energy sector is not only a testimony to our versatility and technological edge, but is also a proud bearer of the Make in India tag. The projects span the width and breadth of the world–from the harsh deserts of the Sahara and Saudi Arabia to the Rocky Mountains of the USA, from the unplumbed depths of the Gulf of Mexico to the unscaled heights of Peru. With a strong culture of ‘engineering excellence’, Welspun takes pride in being a preferred supplier of Line Pipes in the world. Demonstrating the true essence of Make in India, Welspun has executed some of the most challenging projects globally and has a credible list of clients, unmatched in the industry.


Green environments, made in India


elspun recognises that India is at the crossroads of development; that its economy needs to grow to meet the aspirations of the people, and yet, runaway growth can only harm the country. The need is to nurture socially inclusive development. Welspun Renewables operates as a social enterprise with the responsibility of bringing about low carbon transition in the energy sector. It was set up in 2010 and is committed to Green Energy—solar, wind, and biomass. Welspun Renewables is setting up India’s largest clean energy projects to meet global and domestic green energy capacity and climate change mitigation targets. The company is growing rapidly as planned to spread its footprint throughout the country. In a short span of time, it has pioneered solar power solutions, both in terms of plant size

and total installed capacity. This has been instrumental in bringing the solar tariff closer to grid parity. Welspun has demonstrated its ability to design, engineer and build renewable projects with high performance outputs and low cost delivery period. Its projects are among the highest energy generating projects in the country. By next year, the Government of India expects grid parity between solar and carbon based energy. Welspun is spearheading the technological developments needed to achieve long term economic competitiveness for renewable energy. The company intends to invest `34,000 crore in the coming years to create a combined wind and solar capacity of 5,000 MW. It is estimated that India’s solar energy potential is 5 trillion terawatts, one of the highest in the world. However, the country’s

solar footprint has to be expanded significantly to meet its ever-rising energy demand. Welspun is the largest solar power developer in India with over 635 MW commissioned; it is aiming to reach 1,000 MW by March 2016 and 2,000 MW by March 2017. Welspun Renewables’ power plants are among the highest generating renewable energy projects in the country. Some of them are: • Madhya Pradesh - 151 MW Neemuch: One of the largest solar power projects in the world at the time of commissioning • Rajasthan – 126 MW Pratapgarh: Located in one of the highest wind velocity sites in the state, this is the largest wind project in the company’s portfolio •Maharashtra - 52 MW Baramati: Largest solar power project to be built

under the public private partnership model in the state •Punjab – 34 MW Bhatinda: largest solar power project being developed in the state • Karnataka - 19 MW Chitradurga: largest solar project to be commissioned in the state The total generation from solar and wind plants till date is 1.510 billion units and a total of 1.3 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions are being offset by Welspun Renewables. The root cause of Welspun Renewables success is its innovation and excellence in plant design, engineering and project development. Its constant focus on innovation and excellence in design, engineering and project development is helping it build India’s largest renewable energy projects—in the shortest possible time, with highest operational efficiency. The 52 MW Baramati solar project was nominated as the ‘Solar Project of the Year 2015’ at the 5th Global Solar EPC Summit. Asian Power Magazine recognized Welspun as one of the most innovative power producers in Asia for its 15 MW solar power project at Anjar. The company is in the process of obtaining several patents for its innovations in the areas of reducing project timelines and improving efficiency of operations. Two of the four best operating assets in India belongs to Welspun, which received The Global Solar EPC Award (innovative service) for excellence 2014 in solar project development.


HOW WILL MAKE IN INDIA IMPACT RENEWABLE ENERGY? In line with Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s 175 GW renewable energy vision for India to attain energy efficiency, Welspun is committed to establishing mega renewable energy projects in India. With a 680 MW capacity, Welspun holds one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in India. Through its projects Welspun has mitigated over 1.3 million tons of carbon emission in India. Welspun’s vision is to change the social fabric of India by empowering every Indian—we strive to do it by lighting up India through clean, renewable resources of energy.



n 2004, Welspun decided to give a defined structure to its various philanthropic activities and set up the Welspun Foundation for Health & Knowledge, chaired by Dipali Goenka. A part of the Welspun Group’s profits is ploughed back into welfare initiatives of the Foundation, with the aim of providing corporate social value that serves the employees, customers, shareholders, and society. Key initiatives of the Foundation are women empowerment and education of the girl child, besides environment, health, and recreation. Most activities take place around the Welspun facilities. A key effort was setting up the Welspun Vidyamandir High School and Welspun Anganwadi at Anjar, where Welspun has one of its largest facilities for both textiles and pipes. Welspun run’s India’s Only Certified Women’s Enterprise —WeConnect International. It runs 8 vocational centres training women in cut-and-

sew, Spun, and Rags-to-Riches line of products, that seeks to market traditional crafts of artisans. Scraps of fabric that would have ended up in landfills are given new life under the Spun™ Waste Not™ collection, with trained women turning these scraps into usable textiles. These centres have developed over 900,000 products and the average earnings of women is now over Rs 5000 per month, an increase of 30% from the previous year. Welspun CSV programmes have also undertaken initiatives in education such as balwadis (primary schools) in villages, adult literacy programmes, providing scholarships to poor children, etc. Its Quality Education Programme has benefitted 8000 students in over 45 government schools. It also runs vocational training centres for disabled people: - Manav Vikas Kendra at Kutch that trains more than 100 deaf and mute, and differently-abled people.

Through 8 CSV centers, Welspun has empowered more than 5,000 women in the last 6 years for sustainable source of income by skilling them. Through its SPUN Project, Welspun is not only preserving traditional Indian arts but also empowering women and positively impacting their livelihood. Currently with a strength of nearly 3,000 women employees in the textile business, Welspun India is also certified as a women’s business enterprise by Weconnect Intl—USA. Welspun adopts the most environment friendly production processes, water effluent systems, waste disposal mechanisms and strictly follows water harvesting measures at all its facilities. Welspun City, a 2500 acre township at Anjar, is a prime example of continuous efforts to protect the environment with a strong emphasis on afforestation. The City is in the process of creating a green belt, which once completed, will have over 500,000 trees. Welspun’s vision is to have a factory in the garden rather than the other way around. For her pioneering work, Dipali Goenka has been nominated on the board of SA 8000—Social Accountability Audits.

animation nation

From Oscar-winning outsourced content to ambitious homegrown cinema, here’s why the Indian Computer-generated Imagery (CGI) and visual effects industry is raring to go. By Divya Unny



t’s 10am on a Tuesday at the Makuta Visual Effects office in Hyderabad. About 55 animation and visual effects (VFX) artists are in a tizzy, trying hard to sketch out a film sequence. “We have to simulate a 1.5km-high mass of water-and-rock structure, and recreate the whole of Mahishmati city,” Pete Draper, division head and chief technical director, is heard instructing his team. Against the backdrop of this crashing waterfall is the heroine, who’s jumping, cliff-to-cliff, to reunite with her lover. The director also wants blue butterflies around her in one sequence; and a bunch of peacocks dancing in the water in another. Makuta is working on SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Conclusion, sequel to the 2015 blockbuster Baahubali: The Beginning. The film went on to become India’s highest-grossing movie in history, raking in US$50 million in less than ten days (the film’s budget was under US$30 million). More than 600 artists and 16 studios, in addition to Makuta, put their minds together to create SS Rajamouli’s

Behind-the-scenes visual effects work in Baahubali: The Beginning


A green screen shot of actor Prabhaas in Baahubali: The Beginning

vision. The result: India’s biggest—and undoubtedly best—homegrown effort to blend the imaginary and real worlds. “The sequel will be grander and even more stylised,” said SS Rajamouli at the 2015 Busan International Film Festival. Baahubali: The Beginning got the world to take notice of the high quality (and cost-effective) work being done in the Indian animation and VFX industry for one of its own major productions, and proved that Indian studios were capable of winning box-offices in major markets such as the US and China. “A film like Baahubali has thrown down the gauntlet to other studios in India [by showing] that this can be done,” adds Draper. Until now, this is the kind of work talented Indian artists and technicians were doing for large-scale Hollywood productions, almost completely in anonymity. To the general audience, it might seem implausible that an artist in a studio in Bengaluru, Delhi or Hyderabad is creating CGI for How to Train Your Dragon 2 or The Golden Compass, but it’s true. In fact, the Indian animation industry was valued at approximately US$677 million ( 4,480 crore) in 2014 and is expected to double in size in five years.


“When I started off 15 years ago, the industry was fairly new,” remembers animation and VFX artist Vivek Ram, who has worked on films such as Incredible Hulk and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. “But within a couple of years, many international studios started approaching Indian artists 70

“A film like Baahubali has thrown down the gauntlet to other studios in India (by showing) that this can be done” Pete Draper, Makuta Visual effects to work on their films. Outsourced content increased consistently, and new artists, like me, got an opportunity to explore work that was massive in both scale and approach.” The reasons behind the boom will sound familiar: Indian artists and technicians cost up to 70 percent less than their counterparts in the US; and communicating with Indians in English was easier than in other developing countries. Many say it began back in 1956, when a local movie studio invited a Disney animator to train them. India’s first animated production, The Banyan Deer, was made a year later. According to Sheesha Prasad, who has worked in India with many bigname international animation/VFX companies including Prana Studios, Technicolor and Rhythm & Hues Studios, and is now studio manager at DreamWorks Dedicated Unit Bengaluru, the turning point was 15 years ago, “when almost every other Hollywood studio set up shop in India”. Still, the plethora of work didn’t guarantee innovation. “There was a time, between 2003 and 2005, where you would find an animation/VFX studio every few kilometres in Mumbai,” recalls Ram. “There was quantity, but no guarantee of the quality of work we were creating.”

The transition

Although the overall market was thriving, there came a point when local studios could barely afford to produce many of these films that relied heavily on special effects and computer graphics. Take, for example, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, which cost American company Rhythm & Hues Studios so heavily, they sucummed to their debts and had to declare bankruptcy just days before the film’s big Oscar win. Arun Ravi, one of the lead artists on Life of Pi says, “Ninety-five percent of the work on the film was done at the Rhythm & Hues space in Bengaluru. As an artist, that kind of work gives you immense satisfaction. It is the best place for any artist to work in; unfortunately, one film took the life out of the studio.” Varun Ramanna, who also worked with the company and other studios for more than five years before opting to work as an independent artist, adds: “When Life of Pi does a business of, say, US$500 million (approximately 3,309 crore), [the animation studios] get nothing, because they don’t own the film. And as artists, we eventually want to do more than just provide a canvas for another person’s story and vision. I have worked on some incredible films, but now I am creating my own content.”

Artist Dhimant Vyas created the clay animation for Taare Zameen Par


With a lot of international projects now being diverted to markets like China and Canada, many are of the opinion that Indian studios have hit a plateau. But studios and artists are responding to the challenge by creating content that belongs to India, right from ideation to production. Many senior artists who have spent a substantial number of years working on outsourced content, are venturing out on their own, and ensuring that the focus is on great quality, original work. “It’s so much better than depending on Hollywood studios to provide us with work,” agrees leading animation artist Vaibhav Kumaresh. Along with Dhimant Vyas who created the clay animations, Kumaresh executed the 2D animation in the hit Bollywood production Taare Zameen Par. “India has not yet seen its fullest potential when it comes to animation work, because not enough money and time is being invested into it. No matter how much we work on film franchises such as Spiderman or Avengers, it will always be their story, their idea. We have invested so much time telling other people’s stories, we have forgotten to tell tell our own.” Kumaresh now runs his own

NOW BOTH STUDIOS AND ARTISTS ARE TRYING TO CREATE CONTENT THAT BELONGS TO INDIA, RIGHT FROM IDEATION TO PRODUCTION eponymous studio, and points out that films like Hanuman, Arjun: The Warrior Prince, Krishna Aur Kans, and more recently Harry Baweja’s 2014 hit film Chaar Sahibzaade, are a major step for Indian film makers. “Who would have thought that a Punjabi animation film would make four times the money it was produced in? That means we have a market out there which is ready to consume such films.” For others like filmmaker Gitanjali Rao, whose under-production animation film Bombay Rose is among the films that have been chosen to be part of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, animated movies are just as effective as other films, as long as one can understand their potential. “For me, two animated figures expressing love for each other is as moving as two actors. It’s about being able to attach emotion to the story and that holds true for any film. If India has the potential to create films that look as beautiful as Life of Pi, why not do it for our own country? There is no dearth of ideas, one just needs the vision,” says Rao. Certainly, there’s no dearth of quality either. From crowd shots

in the Emmy Award-winning TV show Game of Thrones to full-fledged animation work on films such as Puss in Boots, the last decade has seen a substantial rise in the calibre and volume of work being done by Indian visual artists. Ram, who now works with Assemblage Entertainment, says, “Almost every Hollywood film with VFX and animation content is brought to India to be worked upon. The last film I worked on was Penguins of Madagascar, and people could not believe it was made in India. We hit a quality level that was at par with any international studio,” adds Ram. On one hand there’s Mumbaifounded animation powerhouse Prime Focus, which bought London-based Double Negative (who won an Oscar for best visual effects for Interstellar), and on the other hand is Makuta VFX, that is making history with its own creations. While passionate, independent film makers like Kumaresh are going off the beaten track, with small budget yet impressive animation films like Return of the Jungle—world-class VFX work is happening in the country and is only set to get better. “India is a huge market for production and consumption of these films; one needs to tap into that space. To be an artist or just learn the business of it or to do both is a choice one makes,” concludes Ram. 71

p r o j e c t Renaissance Indian textiles and crafts tell the story of this nation’s diversity and wealth in a unique way. Yes, they belong to us, but they can inspire the world. We journeyed across the country in search of exquisite handcrafted textiles, and invited some of the biggest international labels to mould them into something new and momentous. What you see here is a collaboration between two sartorial worlds, a sublime tribute to the historical, social and mythical magic of the Indian warp and weft. By Bandana Tewari Photographed by Matthew Shave Styled by Lorna McGee and Fabio Immediato


BURBERRY for Maheshwari silk


iving in this country, it is not difficult to be reminded every day of the magic in the crafts and textiles of India. We see the variety wherever we go, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the tip of Kanyakumari. We wear them with ease in a mix of drapes and silhouettes. And we wear them everywhere, from sweet family gettogethers to grand sit-down dinners. The Indian thread is something of an arterial lifeline that connects the spirit of this vast nation. We know this because we’ve had a small peek into its large universe of aesthetic brilliance. In the deepest alcoves of rural India, we learnt about the most sophisticated weaving techniques (the patola saris of Patan are as much a product of scientific ingenuity as indigenous dexterity); about the social structures embedded in the weaving patterns of the tribes of Nagaland; about the excruciating, loving labour of millions of minuscule mustard seeds tied in silk to create breathtaking bandhini and tie-dye fabrics in Gujarat and Rajasthan; about gold brocades from Benaras, temple-bordered Kanchipuram silks from Tamil Nadu, fragile jamavar from Kashmir and so much more that left us in awe and

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN for Kanchipuram silk

ETRO for Kashmiri jamawar & Gujarati bandhini

MISSONI for Lucknowi chikankari


ALBERTA FERRETTI for Kanchipuram silk ROGER VIVIER for Assam silk

BLUMARINE for Kashmiri embroidery

DKNY for Bishnupur Baluchari silk

wonder at this forest of exquisite threads. With every region of India we travelled to, more layers of local crafts emerged. And we are aware of a cruel truth—we have merely skimmed the surface. For Vogue’s Project Renaissance, I set off to some far-flung regions of India to hunt and gather stories and fabrics that were eventually gifted to high-fashion international labels, from Burberry to Gucci, Christian Louboutin to Salvatore Ferragamo. Each of these artists dove into the soul of the project and emerged with exquisite designs. You will see in these pages how inspiring these creations are, and how forthright and free the spirit of creativity is; and most of all, how the designs are a powerful testimony to the advantage of marrying heritage with modernity. These designs are an acknowledgement of the universal celebration of beautiful ideas; they are a validation of the ease with which international designers are able to inject their own design DNA into India’s timeless fabrics. It is as if Made in India, Made by India, Made for India are all the same thing. And now with Make in India, this is an opportunity to show the world that the strings that tug at our hearts are the very ones woven for our bodies. Hair: Ernesto Montenovo/My Management Make-up: Florrie White/D+V Management Manicure: Steph Mendiola/Caren Model: Tali/Next Models

ROBERTO CAVALLI for Rajasthani bandhini

BIBHU MOHAPATRA for Bhuj mashru TOD’S for Kanchipuram silk

NAEEM KHAN for Kanchipuram silk

EMILIO PUCCI for Lucknowi chikankari

PRABAL GURUNG for Benarasi brocade

JIMMY CHOO for Benarasi brocade 79

The Industrial Powerhouse With global industry behemoths choosing to set up shop in and around this town, Vikram Gour finds out how Pune emerged as a prime location for leading manufacturers. Photographs by Tom Parker


The assembly line at Mercedes-Benz India



rom a small university town to a manufacturing hub, Pune has seen a major wave of change. Numerous automobile manufacturers and ancillary companies have today invested heavily to set up state-of-the-art production facilities in Pune. Amongst the first movers in this segment were Tata Motors (then known as Telco) and Cummins, a leading manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines; and in recent years, Mercedes-Benz and construction and farm equipment major JCB. The Automotive Research Institute of India is also located here and provides research, development, testing and certification services. Set on driving growth in the state, the Maharashtra government has played a key role in attracting investment and widening the scope of industry. A prime example is General Electric’s (GE) Multi-modal Manufacturing Facility, one of the company’s most advanced. Anant Talaulicar, chairman and managing director of Cummins India, which is spread across 200 locations in India and had a combined turnover of more than 9,000 crore in 2014, says Pune is now a significant hub for automotive manufacturing as well as IT services. According to him, the climate for industrial development in Pune has been favourable since the ’60s, “primarily due to the developmental thrust from the state government, in the form of incentives, availability of land and improvement in core infrastructure”. His view is echoed by others. KSH Infra is a leading developer of industrial and logistics parks. Having started out as a family-owned business more than 40 years ago, the company has witnessed the rapid change in Pune over the years as more manufacturers ventured into the area to set up shop. “Pune’s strength in research and development, evinced by the presence of over 60 global multinational companies and R&D centres, and abundant availability of skilled manpower has consistently helped attract investments from domestic and foreign engineering companies,” says its director Rajiv Kirloskar. Pune is also well known as a student town; there are nine universities here, some over a century old (including Asia’s thirdoldest engineering institute, the College of Engineering, Pune), so top students from all over the country flock here. And with well-paying jobs readily available here once they graduate, many stay. “The institutes have been intrinsic to providing a talent pipeline of students from the engineering and management streams to the manufacturing sector,” says Talaulicar. On the Mercer 2015 Quality of Living ranking, Pune scores higher than other Indian cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi. This definitely adds to making what is a Tier II city an attractive destination for mid- and senior-level professionals. The many world-class manufacturing facilities that call Pune home cater to both domestic and export market requirements— and this has also contributed to putting it on the global map. “All our products are manufactured with the philosophy of ‘One Global Quality’, which means the equipment we manufacture in India can be used in any part of the world. Our Made in India products are today exported to over 60 countries,” says Vipin Sondhi, managing director and CEO, JCB India. For any business to succeed, location has always been key. Its proximity to India’s financial capital—Mumbai—is just one of the many benefits of setting up shop in Pune. The city also has three inland container depots, which facilitate the import-export of goods and raw material. Pune is conveniently located near India’s largest container shipping port, Nhava Sheva, operated by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and is well-connected to major national highways for pan-India distribution. Banmali Agrawala, president and CEO, GE South Asia explains, “A part of GE’s localisation strategy in India, manufacturing here is primarily aimed at meeting the needs of the local market. The Pune facility helps strengthen our global supply chain and grow our network of local partners and suppliers.” Recently, the Pune Municipal Corporation cleared the Smart Cities’ Mission proposal, adding impetus to the development of the city into a truly world-class location.

Its proximity to India’s Mercedes-Benz financial capital—Mumbai— is just one of the benefits of setting shop in pune

Country of Origin: Germany Founded: 1886 Number of employees in India: 1,500 Mercedes-Benz India has been manufacturing in India since 1994 out of a plant in Pimpri-Chinchwad in the Pune metropolitan region. In 2009, it set up a world-class production facility spread over 100 acres in Chakan, near Pune, with an investment of more than 1,000 crore. The new expanded facility now has the largest installed capacity of 20,000 units annually and is the only factory outside Germany to produce the Mercedes-Maybach S500. “The Mercedes-Benz India production facility is one of the best completely knocked down (CKD) facilities in the entire Daimler world. It has been a significant pillar of our growth in India. The high level of refinement and the implementation of advanced technology and flexible processes ensure our production quality conforms to the most stringent global standards,” says Ronald Folger, managing director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India. Today, this new facility rolls out eight models with localisation level upto 60 percent. These locally-manufactured models comprise 80 percent of sales volume in India.


A worker in the Mercedes-Benz body works area



Country of Origin: United Kingdom Founded: 1945 Number of employees in India: 5,000 JCB’s two world-class manufacturing facilities at Pune house the Heavyline Business for JCB in India. This includes manufacturing excavators, loaders, compaction equipment and fabrications, with an annual capacity of 4,500 units. This facility also has a global manufacturing unit for the compaction business and caters to the global demand for compaction equipment. The company started in India as a joint venture in 1979; however it is now a fully-owned subsidiary of JC Bamford Excavators. JCB’s largest Design Centre outside of the UK is in India, situated at Pune, with over 400 engineers employed here. “Encouraged by the experience of doing business in Maharashtra, we set up our dedicated Design Centre in Pune, which is today, at the forefront of some of the company’s most exciting and innovative product developments,” says Vipin Sondhi, managing director and CEO. Today, exports comprise 20 percent of JCB India’s revenues. “Over the years, we invested and expanded our manufacturing footprint as we introduced our range of Made in India products. In 2005, when we commenced our manufacturing operations at the Pune plant, it was exporting only components to the JCB group. It has now expanded into an integrated manufacturing facility. These Made in India products are also exported to over 60 countries,” Sondhi adds.


The factory floor at JCB



Country of Origin: United States Founded: 1919 Number of employees in India: 9,700 The company chose Pune as its manufacturing destination rather early on, in the ’60s. Anant Talaulicar, chairman and managing director for India, explains, “Built on a 100-acre campus, the unit builds engines for the domestic and export markets, catering to the industrial and power generation segments.” Today, the group comprises 20 manufacturing facilities across India. Amongst these, the Cummins Megasite, located in Phaltan (about 110 km from Pune), is a 225-acre state-of-the-art campus that consolidates all current operations for the Cummins Group in India. Apart from the eight projects currently located at the Megasite, the facility also has a health centre, crèche and a training and development centre for employees. In 2009, Cummins won the Business Superbrand title for the second time in a row, and in 2012, was named the best employer for women in corporate India by the WILL Forum. The company also runs the Cummins College of Engineering for Women in Pune.


Working on an engine for a locomotive at Cummins Opposite: inside the generator production unit


GE Country of Origin: United States Founded: 1892 Number of employees in India: 18,000 The company has had a long-standing presence in India spanning 110 years, and has been operating in the Pune area since 2010. In February 2015, GE’s 68-acre Multi-modal Manufacturing Facility (MMF) was inaugurated at Chakan in Pune. The MMF in Pune is one of GE’s most advanced facilities with automation, the industrial Internet and 3D printing. It is the first of its kind in the world, where GE can make products for its various businesses—oil and gas, aviation, power, renewables and transportation—under one roof. This facility aims to capitalise on the economies of scale that such a diverse production unit offers. According to Banmali Agrawala, president and CEO, GE South Asia, “It serves both domestic and export markets, working on the principle of a ‘Shared Centre of Excellence’ on process, capability and human capital aimed at driving economies of scale. It fuels opportunities in the area of skill enhancement, technology and innovation.” The MMF currently has over 500 employees, and women form more than 25 percent of the highly skilled workforce.


The spindles for wind turbines at the GE factory floor


A worker on the head of a wind turbine at the GE facility Opposite: a welder in the factory




Tata Motors Country of Origin: India Founded: 1945 Number of employees in India: About 25,000 When you think of Pune you definitely think of Tata Motors, one of the first companies to set up in the vicinity. Anil Sinha, vice -president, manufacturing operations, passenger vehicle business unit says,“Set up in 1966, the Tata Motors’ facility is spread over the regions of Pimpri-Chinchwad. As one of the first manufacturing units in the area, it today has an annual installed capacity of over half a million vehicles, catering to the requirements of both the domestic and international markets, including that of peace-keeping forces across the globe.”According to him, what makes this facility even more special is its “capability to completely design, develop and manufacture a range of passenger and commercial vehicles, and a large variety of individual components and aggregates, making it one of the most integrated automotive manufacturing centres in the country”. As part of its CSR initiative, the company has also formed a women’s cooperative society, Tata Motors Grihini Social Welfare Society at Pune, focused on skill-building and economic empowerment.

The Tata Motors production line Opposite: workers on the factory floor



photograph: TOM PARKER

photograph: Harshan Thomson

DESIGNS O N a h m ed a b a d

A history of craftsmanship, a commitment to quality and an openness to the new have made this city a centre of innovative design. Manju Sara Rajan speaks to the movers, shakers and makers. Photographed by Neville Sukhia 95

96 000



hen architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi tells you to do something, you do it. Besides being the youngest 88-year-old I’ve ever met, he is the resident legend of Ahmedabad, a Padma Shri awardee, Le Corbusier’s protégé, and the man who gave up a commission to design the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad and brought in American architect Louis Kahn. I was in the city to meet a group of design practitioners and entrepreneurs who have harnessed the creative opportunities offered by this place. Doshi told me that to put their stories in perspective I “must look at the road taken before, the road being taken now, and the likely road that will lead us to the future”. Then, of course, that’s what I must do.

photograph: Neville Sukhia

The mills

The design institute

In the 1950s, the Indian government asked legendary American designers Charles and Ray Eames to “state what India can do to resist the rapid deterioration of consumer goods. The husband-and-wife design team travelled across India and studied crafts, products, techniques and the needs of the new country. In The India Report, published in April 1958, they recommended the founding of a design institute to prepare students to ‘meet problems in design, problems which have occurred many times, and problems which have never occurred before.’ The report is the spiritual foundation stone of the National Institute of Design (NID) which was established in 1961. One of the most interesting bits in it is the Eames’ appreciation for the simple-but-effective lota. They wrote: ‘Of all the objects we have seen and admired during our visit to India, the Lota, that simple vessel of everyday use, stands out as perhaps the greatest, the most beautiful. The hope for and the reason for such an institute as we describe is that it will hasten the production of the “Lotas” of our time. By this we mean a hope that an attitude be generated that will appraise and solve the problems of our coming times with the same tremendous service, dignity and love that the Lota served its time.’

In 2009, Aamir Khan played a character called Rancho in the blockbuster, 3 Idiots. The film became such a pop-cultural ‘moment’ that the Ahmedabad bureau of The Times of India published a story titled, The First Rancho: Ranchhodlal Chhotalal. Written today, that headline wouldn’t make much sense but seven years ago, it was the best way to grab the attention of readers who, otherwise, may not have cared to know about Ranchhodlal Chhotalal. That First Rancho is the man who set up Ahmedabad’s first textile mill in 1859 when Gujarat was still part of the Bombay Presidency. “Ranchhodlal Chhotalal started it,” says Doshi. “He said, we will have our own things, not import. So he went out and ordered the machinery, and it landed in Bharuch with all kinds of crises: it broke down, got stuck in a flood. He ordered it again, and finally set up his mill, and the textile industry started.” By the time Gujarat became an independent state in 1960, Ahmedabad had more than 60 mills, turning the capital into the ‘Manchester of India’. The optimism of new-found independence, the largesse of textile riches, and the decidedly Gujarati instincts of self-reliance and community, all combined together to create what Doshi calls “The Golden Age” between the 1950s and 1970s. It was the zenith of philanthropic activity. Families like the Sarabhais—Doshi calls them the “Medicis of Ahmedabad”— contributed to science, art, literature, and the city itself. In politics, it was the generation of secular leadership focused on nation-building, when then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned Above: Architect BV Doshi at his office. Opposite page, clockwise, from top left: Le Corbusier to create the masterplan Textile designer Kinnari Panikar at the entrance to her home; the etching plates for Chandigarh, the new captial of Punjab that Jigisha Patel uses for her rugs; interiors of Doshi’s office; the lawn outside the headquarters of the Le Corbusier-designed Ahmedabad Textile Mills and Haryana. Ahmedabad’s reputation Association Previous pages: the courtyard adjoining Panikar’s studio with one of for design education also was born of her designs; a corridor at the IIM this period.


In the decades since its inception, the school’s distinguished faculty, like the late Dashrath Patel, the late MP Ranjan and his wife Aditi, who together edited the crafts bible, Handmade in India, have nurtured generations of designers who’ve made a significant impact on many different verticals of design—from textiles to industrial products. To take just a few contemporary names: textile designers Neeru Kumar and Meera Mehta, branding consultant Sujata Keshavan, product designer Nipa Doshi, fashion designers Rahul Mishra and Aneeth Arora. In fact, Mishra’s college project at NID became a launch pad that catapulted this Kanpur native, from Ahmedabad to Milan and to the Woolmark Prize in 2014. Talking about the impact of Ahmedabad and NID on his career, Mishra says, “I greatly benefitted from the interdisciplinary approach of the school, and especially MP Ranjan’s design concept and concerns class. I would sit in all sorts of classes which shaped my vision of design.” Mishra is now working on a business model that would bring scale, quality and choices to all stakeholders in the product-design process: designer, craftsman and consumer.

Aratrik Dev Varman, the 35-year-old NID diploma-holder, founder of the clothing line Tilla, also believes in a participatory design process. And he’s imbibed the spirit of the Eames’ lota. He told me decisively: “What I’m designing is not fashion, it’s clothing.” Varman grew up in Chennai and came to Ahmedabad to study textiles at NID more than a decade ago. Varman’s designs for his five-year-old brand use high-quality Indian fabrics enhanced by traditional embroidery and craft. His clothes snub trendiness and look like they could be from anywhere and be fashionable anywhere. But it is borne of the unique set of opportunities offered by Ahmedabad, from where his team dispatches their wares to ten high-end retailers around the country. “This city has a legacy of textile production, so there’s immense variety of fabrics in the local market, plus there’s a history of both industrial and craft production, karigari. Craftspeople here understand what it means to make export-quality products, and time-based commitments; the city and the craftspeople here are already geared towards that,” he says. Varman is part of a small-sized Ahmedabad-based fashion brigade that 98






A sketch by designers Shyamal and Bhumika. Clockwise, from below: the courtyard at Panikar’s home; lobby of the Tagore Memorial Hall designed by BV Doshi; Mann Singh seated on his design for Driade Opposite: a Shyamal and Bhumika creation


includes Shyamal and Bhumika Shodhan and Anuradha Vakil. One of Varman’s essential crafts-partnerships is with 56-year-old Sitaben. An expert at traditional bead embroidery, she learned the craft when she was 16; these two found each other at a crafts bazaar held at NID. When Varman and I visited Sitaben’s home in a traditional Gujarati pol (traditional housing cluster), she chided him for looking so thin, telling him “Tu khaata nahin hain.” They talked as equals, and she spoke with confidence about her work. Access to good craftspeople with varied expertise is as crucial to architecture. Soenke Hoof is Doshi’s grandson-inlaw and a partner at Vastu Shilpa, which Doshi set up in 1955. Hoof’s entire career has been spent in Ahmedabad since moving from Germany 12 years ago. I asked him if he thought the relationship between designer and artisan is different here. “I’ve only practised in Ahmedabad, though I have worked on projects in other places. Here I find a craftsman is eager to do a good job because he takes pride in that. In many other cities, that eagerness is missing.” Another designer confided, “unlike in many other places, a Gujarati craftsman will never take your design and give to another designer.”

photograph: PANKAJ ANAND

Quiet chic

Whether it is the effect of the design institutions or characteristic of Gujarati tastes, high-end interior design and architectural tastes in this state are more particular and less trend-driven than in other cities. While Delhi has adopted opulence and Mumbai’s spaces prefer to pretend they exist anywhere but in Mumbai, the design zeitgeist in Gujarat is largely modernist. The Ajmer-born Ahmedabad-based architect Gurjit Singh Matharoo graduated from the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology university (CEPT), founded by Doshi. Matharoo, who Architectural Digest magazine called one of the most influential designers in India, recently wrote to me about Ahmedabad and its influence on design: “When no one understood architecture in the country, affluent Gujaratis invited international and national talent to Ahmedabad to design some of the finest buildings, homes and institutes. People follow the examples set by patrons, and so it trickles down the line and we are the beneficiaries.” Matharoo fills the homes of Surat’s diamond millionaires with Eames chairs and Louis Poulsen’s Artichoke lights; his designs manage to be both reticent and dramatic, incorporating craftsmanship in a contemporary way. “Gujaratis have always believed in richness with simplicity,” he says of his clients. “Though patterns are changing, the core value of non-opulence has helped make buildings where architecture is the protagonist.”


Still, today’s Ahmedabad is no longer the intellectual capital of India. While other cities have grown up rambunctious and opportunistic, this place has aged. And, in the less optimistic, more practical 21st century, political and social upheavals have tarnished Ahmedabad’s image as an enterprising, liberal place. What has managed to survive is the spirit of enterprise. Creative firms here sit at the apex of a triangle that connects designer, industrial production and craft. Companies benefit from the surfeit of enthusiastic talent from NID, while factories with the means are willing to work with designers to experiment and sample. “Ahmedabad has not ended up chaotic like Bengaluru or dreary like Gurgaon,” says Matharoo. “While elsewhere, with overwhelming land prices and limited space, time and money become the sole drivers for development.” I couldn’t remember the last time I was in an Indian city where it was possible to get from one destination to another in ten minutes. Just enough time for a double-loop listen to Adele saying Hello. As Doshi says, when you don’t waste time getting places, it helps you communicate and do things. This compendium of reasons has kept a designer like Jigisha Patel in Ahmedabad. She trained as a painter in Vadodara before studying textiles at NID, where she decided to focus on felt. Felt is more a construct than fabric; it is born



The new age

Along the Sabarmati River sits the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project, which has redrawn the banks of the river. The intent is grand: to create a new waterfront with high rises, parks and shops. All through the day joggers and ramblers occupy the promenade, punctuating the concretegrey with much-needed colour and energy. But the river has been tamed so harshly that it has become a diminished version of itself. The brutal construction reminded me of Doshi’s open-ended inquiry about the “likely road that will lead us to the future”. I think that’s why it’s important to wrap up an examination of Ahmedabad’s relationship with design by looking at the way Abhay Mangaldas and Kinnari Panikar have resurrected the city’s design heritage. Mangaldas runs The House of MG, his former family home that is now an urban heritage hotel. Built in 1924, the 80,000sq-ft property is an antidote to the modernist Ahmedabad. It is a confluence of vintage styles and designs that have been updated in a typically Amdavadi way: with the help of NID students. The overall effect is eclectic; as if it were the home of an eccentric sethji. “Design solutions came as a response to functional needs,” says Mangaldas, who has just opened a new wing with an art bookstore and a textile gallery. On the other hand, the 365-year-old home of conservationist and textile designer Kinnari Panikar has been nurtured and preserved like an heirloom. When she was a child, her household extended outward and around the neighbourhood, occupying an entire alley of homes in the Jethabhai ni pol. Over the years, as relatives moved out, encroachers and tenants moved in. Fifteen years ago, when this house went up for sale, Kinnari and her late husband, photographer John Panikar, bought it. She’s been living here by herself for the past five years, when she moved back home after 25 years in the USA. Located in the city’s old quarter, this Ahmedabad is chaotic and colourful. Panikar, also NID alumna, has been able to buy back one more structure in the same lane, and she’s working to renovate the building and turn it into an artist’s residency and studio. “This is an affordable place and people are helpful,” she says. “I know writers and artists who get a fellowship to go somewhere; they can rent this place. We will have an artist-in-residence working at the studio who will also teach local children.” It is important to give back, she told me, otherwise nothing lasts. Patronage, design, education, and community: catchwords from the “The Golden Age”. A new way forward, perhaps.

photograph: Neville Sukhia

when wool fibres are subjected to pressure and moisture. Its industrial uses are insulation, polishing, etc. Patel is probably the only designer who exclusively works with felt, producing some of the most ethereal rugs I’ve ever seen. Patel’s prefelting process is entirely done by hand, by which I mean she layers woollen fibres, colouring them at each step with wool reactants, before brushing it on a custom-made carding machine. Once she’s satisfied with the visual impact and design, she gets the felt pressed in a factory. “My work is a combination of hand and industry,” she says. Her first large order was for the design company Habitat, through which she sold 300 pieces; another milestone was a Conran show for which 60 pieces were made and sold. Patel is married to Mann Singh—fellow NID-graduate, and visiting faculty in the furniture design department at CEPT. Much of Singh’s career has been spent working with designcentric companies like Jindal Steel and the Italian giant, Driade. His latest corporate association is as the creative head of an Ahmedabad-based furniture company called HOF. They want to produce cost-effective, functional Indian furniture. “Study, engage and cater with products that have a local focus, like dining chairs that allow people to sit cross-legged. Or a bamboo sofa system with khadi canvas on top and coir inside,” says Singh. Contemporary, well-priced and utterly Indian. I thought to myself… another lota.

photograph: Harshan Thomson

The IIM is an all-brick, cube-like structure. Opposite: Aratrik Dev Varman with Sitaben at her house


A LEGACY OF LUXURY Globally renowned for its unique brand of traditional Indian hospitality, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces effortlessly embodies the Make in India spirit. Allow us to take you through one of India’s biggest success stories

A legend or an indistinguishable part of Indian history, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has served as a shining example of Indian hospitality and fivestar living around the world. And here’s how it all started…


One of the many discriminations of India’s 200-year-old colonial history was that British-run institutions—

hotels, clubs and restaurants—denied entry to Indians. For instance, Watson’s Hotel—Bombay’s only luxury hotel in the 1800s—refuted entry to Jamsetji Tata. Legend has it that this encounter drove the Indian businessman to build a world-class hotel that would be open to all. And so, the foundations of the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai were laid in 1898. Five years later, the hotel took

its place as Bombay’s first and only harbour landmark, until the Gateway of India was built 21 years later. Each pillar here has a story to tell— it was the first building in Bombay to use electricity and served as the temporary home for royalty, heads of state, corporate and thought leaders, along with musicians and actors. It was the only hotel in India at the time to have American fans, German elevators,

Turkish baths and English butlers. What’s more, the hotel’s Harbour Bar has the honour of holding bar licence No 1, while Blow Up was India’s very first discotheque. The first to introduce jazz, western classical music, Shakespeare and fashion shows to the country, the hotel’s banquet halls have been at the background for many gala celebrations. A venue for many a historic moment, it’s here that independent India’s first speech to the industrial community was made and where Lord Louis Mountbatten gave his last speech on Indian soil. From Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojni Naidu, Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II and Barack Obama to The Beatles, Ravi Shankar, Mick Jagger, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie—the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai has hosted many eminent personalities under its roof. The hotel also served as the backdrop for George Harrison’s sitar lessons from Ravi Shankar. Commemorating this iconic moment, the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai houses

memorabilia from the collaboration in the Pandit Ravi Shankar Suite. But the gothic, Islamic and Rajasthani-inspired Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai is more than just a hotel; it is an emblem of refinement. A seat for all things splendid, when you check-in to the hotel, you are transported to an era of opulence. Think alabaster ceilings, sprawling silk carpets, Belgian chandeliers, Italian marble floors, 4,000 works of art and a five-storey winding staircase to take your breath away. Committed to exceed each and every expectation, the hotel’s staff includes in-house tailors, on-site astrologers and intuitive butlers—all who are ready to serve you your every indulgence at the press of a button. When actor Gregory Peck visited the hotel, his feet stuck out from the end of the bed due to his lanky six-foot tall frame. Making it their mission to ensure that Peck was comfortable, carpenters were specially called to extend the bed. And when cricketer Sachin Tendulkar stayed at the hotel the night after his final match in Mumbai, along with

For the first four decades, the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai’s kitchens were run by a series of French chefs who sourced their ingredients from overseas. the Indian cricket team, the luxurious lobby was adorned with cricketinspired floral decorations, while Tendulkar was given a personalised bathrobe and customised pillowcase embossed with his jersey number. These are just a few of the many memorable examples of the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai’s impeccable and bespoke hospitality. At a time when India was not known for the finest quality and the word innovation was rarely uttered, the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai broke all barriers and stood for world-class hospitality. Over a hundred years later, the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai is still revered as one of the finest luxury hotels in the world.

Making Destination India

Rewinding back to the early 70s, when travellers desired to visit different destinations around the country, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces made this wish a dream come true, transforming India into a popular travel haven, one luxurious property at a time. Now, whether to you wish to travel to the east, west, north or south of India, there is a Taj waiting to welcome you home. Helping the erstwhile Maharajas of India restore their palace residences to their former glory, the brand undertook the responsibility of preserving the authenticity of the palace, while

enhancing it to meet the needs of a world-class hotel. The group first ventured to Rajasthan and established the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur and the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. The group also boasts of a presence in Jodhpur with the Umaid Bhawan Palace and Hyderabad with the Taj Falaknuma Palace. And today, these hotels rank among the finest in the world. The brand was also instrumental in making Goa a paradise for leisure travel with the opening of the Fort Aguada Beach Resort—the group’s first five-star deluxe beach resort. Not only did this give the hippies that would usually travel to Goa an array of unique experiences to explore, but it also gave families and couples a chance to discover Goa through a luxurious lens. The Taj Coramandel in Chennai marked the group’s first foray into other metropolitans. Getting its name from the coramandel tree, which, according to legend, has the power to grant any wish to the person under its shade, the property has engraved the tree into its marble facade, signifying that your every wish is granted here. Beside building and acquiring luxury

properties, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is also committed to preserving India’s heritage, as well as consistently championing the cause of arts and artisans to create a platform for sustainable living. Carrying forward the vision, foundation, heritage and values of its founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces integrates local culture and traditions into its services. One such custom is the concept of Atithi Devo Bhav—where a guest is nothing short of being a God. That’s why, when you check-in to a Taj property, you are greeted with flower garlands and a traditional aarti. At the Vivanta by Taj – Kumarakom, as part of the hotel’s community initiative program, a thousand lamps are lit every night with the help of women from the locality. The proceeds from the lamp lighting ceremony are then given to support local communities. Taking their commitment to rekindle Indian traditions further, the group has pledged to be a part of the revival of the art of traditional weaving in Benaras and Pochampally by making these intricate saris the uniform for the staff at the front desk of all their properties.

In 2016, the Umaid Bhawan Palace was named as the World’s Best Hotel by TripAdvisor—the first Indian hotel to receive this honour.


From being a one-hotel company to spreading their wings throughout India, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces took its legacy to newer destinations overseas, putting India on the map of international hospitality. This started in the 80s with the historical acquisition and opening of St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel followed by Taj 51 Buckingham Suites And Residences in London, making the brand the first Indian hotel group to go global and with it, taking Indian hospitality to new heights. Entering the new millennium, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces continued to establish Indian hospitality internationally and opened the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives. Determined to see the Indian flag soar even higher, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces then set its sights across the Atlantic Ocean and acquired some iconic

properties in North America and converted them to meet Taj standards. With The Pierre, A Taj Hotel in New York, Taj Boston and San Francisco’s Taj Campton Place, the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces established itself as a global hospitality chain, making them a benchmark for others to follow. Cape Town, Dubai, Langkawi, Lusaka, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan among others—the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has a strong presence in several countries, each offering a unique blend of the local culture with a touch of authentic Indian experiences, making a stay at any Taj property truly memorable.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has over 130 hotels in 80 destinations across 4 continents.


The Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces began its journey over a century ago with a single landmark—The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. Today, each hotel in the group’s portfolio personifies the Make in India spirit. Here’s a look at some of the brand’s significant and special moments:


Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces opens its first hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai

Legend has it that the British architect who designed the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai got the shock of his life when he came back to find the finished building with the entrance facing the rear.




The company started renovating Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur and Rambagh Palace, Jaipur as an attempt to preserve India’s former royal residences and communities


The Rambagh Palace started out as a modest residence for Kesar Badaran, the reigning Queen’s handmade. It was later refurbished as a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge and renamed Rambagh, after the then reigning Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II.


According to folklore, during the famous Indian Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, Maharana Swaroop Singh offered several European families asylum at the Lake Palace and destroyed all the town’s boats to protect them.


The Taj Falaknuma Palace has the honour of housing the world’s longest table—108 feet—that can accommodate 100 people at a time, along with being home to the world’s largest collection of Venetian chandeliers.


In 1928, Maharaja Umaid Singh started construction of the grand Umaid Bhawan Palace to provide employment to the locals during the famine that gripped the city.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces’ extends its international footprint by acquiring The St. James’ Court hotel in London

The company goes global with its first international hotel

The group acquires the management contract to operate The Pierre, New York, while restoring and opening the historic Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

The company acquires the iconic Ritz-Carlton hotel in Boston, which is later renamed as the Taj Boston www.tajhotels.com







capital Is Bengaluru India’s Silicon Valley? Entrepreneurs tell Shamsheer Yousaf why they moved here—and stayed. Photographed by Pankaj Anand



hen Shubham Mishra and his friends, Vrushali Prasade and Harikrishna Valiyath, students at BITS Pilani Goa, began working on their summer project in 2014, they quickly realised that their biggest problem was going to be procuring electronics. Mishra and his team were attempting to design a virtual reality headset, which allows users to view content and play games in 3D. Unlike the California-founded Oculus Rift (which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for US$2 billion), their Tesseract was designed to project even 2D content as 3D, using algorithms developed by them. At first, the team shifted to Mumbai, where the parts were available, but they found that the project wasn’t getting any traction. “The ecosystem was not that great for what we were doing,” says Mishra. After briefly flirting with the idea of moving to Gurgaon, the trio shifted base to Bengaluru. For 21-year-old Mishra and his young colleagues, all of whom decided to drop out in the third year of their course, the move to Bengaluru paid off immediately. Their project was showcased by a community of inventors, and quickly got a lot of attention. They incorporated their startup, Absentia Virtual Reality in, July 2015, and in November, raised about US$ 180,000 ( 1.2 crore) in funding. After hiring three of their batchmates, who also dropped out, the team is gearing up to showcase the project at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Bengaluru, as reported in the 2015 edition of the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking by San Francisco-based research firm Compass, has emerged as the world’s second-fastest growing startup ecosystem, bested only by Berlin. Depending on your source, it is estimated that there are anywhere between 3,500 and 4,900 startups here, the largest number in India.

the biggest champions of startups are successful startup founders themselves 112

Bengaluru is also the Garden City of India. Right, from top to bottom: Mayank Kumar of Opinio; Lakshmi Dasaka of Dropkaffe; Tarun Mehta of Ather Energy Previous page, from left: a group of employees at the Opinio office; the Infosys office

Science capital to startup capital How did Bengaluru turn into the mecca of India’s startups? The city has always been home to the Indian Institute of Science, India’s premier science institute, and the presence of several government institutions, such as the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), also helped instill a culture of engineering excellence here. Parag Naik, a 40-year-old entrepreneur who worked with DRDO labs in the early ’90s, says, “Whatever their faults, these institutions did world-class work. The government labs provided a reason for multinational companies (MNCs) to come and establish shop here.” While the MNCs did provide Indian engineers a platform, there weren’t many entrepreneurial options. The only viable choice was to move out of India.“But the success of Infosys and Wipro in the late ’90s provided a role model for us to start on our own,” says Naik, who in 1999 founded Smart Yantra Technologies, a video-streaming Internet protocol company. With the recent success of e-commerce firms such as Flipkart, there has been an explosion of startups in the city. Naik sold his startup in 2004, and in 2007 started Saankhya Labs, designing a chip to provide Internet connectivity to rural areas using wasted television spectrum, or white noise. Success begets success, and in the entrepreneurial world, the biggest champions of startups are successful startup founders themselves. Mayank Kumar, the CEO of Opinio, a company that provides hyper-local delivery services to small businesses, says that the primary reason for Bengaluru’s success is that it has a highly developed ecosystem. “Not only have most big venture capital (VC) firms set up shop here, but a lot of the VCs in the city have been entrepreneurs,” he says. This proximity is crucial, according to Kumar, when you are starting up, as guidance and mentoring can be provided much more easily. Lakshmi Dasaka, who is the co-founder of DropKaffe, an online coffee brand that’s part of the flourishing food tech space, says that Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem is comparable to those across the world. “I’ve lived in New York and Hyderabad; the startup ecosystem here is right up there with the best,” she says. For many NRIs who want to come back to India and start up, the pleasant weather and cosmopolitan culture make it easy. “For those with kids, the social climate is pretty safe and there is no culture shock,” Dasaka adds. 113

Shradha Sharma, founder and CEO of YourStory, has been writing about startups since 2008, and believes that intangible assets play a role too. “Bengaluru has a potpourri of ideas, engineering talent and capital that makes it ideal for startups to thrive.” According to Sharma, there is an open, inviting atmosphere and culture here that encourages an exchange of ideas, but she also believes that this culture can expand to other parts of the country. She points to the success of the NCR as another hub, and cities like Pune and Hyderabad, where startups are doing well. YourStory itself is betting that the startup boom will expand across India. Earlier this year, it raised US$5 million (approximately 33 crore) from investors such as Kalaari Capital, Ratan Tata, TV Mohandas Pai and Qualcomm Ventures. Following this, YourStory has expanded its reach by publishing their startup stories (there are now more than 10,000 of them) in 13 languages including Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi. Even the old guard is taking notice as startups have succeeded in encroaching on their business turf. Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys, now 114

“there’s a potpourri of ideas, talent and capital that startups thrive on” Shradha Sharma, founder, YourStory advises companies on how to deal with disruption that startups are responsible for. According to him, incumbent companies want to learn about these changes. “I think they came from diffferent mindsets, the disruptors are technologically very savvy, they understand code, they understand how to use data. The big difference I see between incumbents and disruptors is their use of data. If you are building your entire application on a phone or website, then every piece of data that you capture is useful. While incumbent companies may have this data, they don’t know how to use it to improve customer satisfaction,” he says.

FROM IDEA TO CREATION It’s not just in numbers that Bengaluru leads, but also in diversity, and VCs have been encouraging

Tarun Mehta of Ather Energy. Opposite page, from left: Shradha Sharma of YourStory; the lake view at CV Raman Nagar

startups even outside their core areas of expertise. Take Ather Energy, which is attempting to design and manufacture a smart electric scooter at par with any petrol scooter. In 2014, Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal provided them with US$1 million (approximately 6.7 crore) in seed funding, and in May 2015, the company raised another US$12 million (approximately 80 crore). Ather Energy CEO Tarun Mehta says that product thinking is something that is new in India. “Most companies in the automotive space here are not product companies. They just take a design from companies outside India, build it here and sell. Whereas almost 80 percent of our workforce are just engineers and designers,” says Mehta. He frequently invokes Apple when he talks about product thinking, and discusses how every part of its electric scooter has been custom designed. Other product companies such as Teewe, which manufactures devices that enable you to stream content from your phone or laptop to your television, point to Bengaluru’s history

with hardware companies in the technology space. “Every major hardware company has an office here, and in lots of cases, they are the only offices they have in India,” says Teewe CEO Sai Srinivas. According to him, while India is strong in the design department, it lags in manufacturing. “For smaller companies, it is difficult to understand how the manufacturing ecosystem works. Support is poor, and we slowly realised that there was no one who could manufacture what we needed,” he adds. While it’s possible to assemble in India, key components such as screens and PCBs are often imported from China. “Larger companies may be able to import parts, but for smaller companies, you want everything to be in one place, and iterate rapidly,” says Srinivas. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attempts to push both manufacturing and startups—the former with the Make in India programme, and the latter with the Start-Up India campaign—the country can fully capture the benefits only when a complete integration of both design and manufacturing processes occurs in India. Take the case of Cardiac Design Labs (CDL), which is about


Parag Naik of Saankhya Labs. Clockwise, from right: Anand Madanagopal of CDL; equipment at the CDL office, the Infosys office building; the garage adjoining Madanagopal’s home is now the CDL office


to go into production with a cardiac monitoring device completely manufactured in India. This device can replace big machines that are not only prohibitively expensive, but require a huge team to maintain. Their device can be operated handsfree, and perform remote diagnostics using the Cloud. CDL’s CEO Anand Madanagopal, 41, says that the fundamental difficulty of manufacturing in India is quality. “Make in India has been a great marketing campaign, and it has reduced the stigma for consumers that comes with a ‘Made in India’ product. But there is a need to push quality,” he adds. Echoing Teewe’s Srinivas, Madanagopal says more focus is required earlier on in the cycle. “An exclusive prototyping facility, which can support low-volume manufacturing, is much needed,” he says. Srinivas points to firms like PCH in Silicon Valley, which help startups translate hardware prototypes to scalable manufacturing. Both cite China (and Shenzhen in particular), where the ecosystem, in their words, is “unparalleled”.

TALKING POLICY Ather’s Mehta says we need to think bigger. “Manufacturing provides the least value-add in the entire process,” he says. “Unless you do the design, research and development, marketing and branding in India, manufacturing will only result in low-wage, entry-level jobs,” he adds. All these other aspects must work in parallel. Saankhya Lab’s Parag Naik concurs, saying that there needs to be a huge mindset change to allow for manufacturing to be tied to intellectual property rights. “For instance, working with a lowest-bidder policy is not conducive to such thinking,” he says. There is also a lack of clarity on regulatory issues affecting startups, especially as many are rooted in new technology and laws have yet to catch up. E-commerce is notably a grey area. Labour laws can also be ambiguous, as Opinio discovered, in the process of hiring delivery boys. But there have been encouraging signs, too. “In early 2013, it took us nearly four months to set up our company. And frankly, I didn’t understand half of the regulations involved,” says Opinio’s Kumar. In 2015, the government relaxed several procedures, making it easier for startups to register companies with just one integrated form, and the process has been reduced to 15—20 days. Banking laws need to be updated too, says Nishith Rastogi, who runs Locus.sh, a company that helps businesses such as restaurants and e-commerce websites improve efficiency in transportation, using algorithms that track locations and traffic. “Banking in India 117

Sai Srinivas of Teewee Right: Belandur lake Opposite page: Nishith Rastogi of Locus.sh in a local auto rickshaw

is extremely geared towards big enterprises, revolving around things like turnover and revenue. Many startups don’t make any revenue until much later in their existence,” Rastogi says. According to him, bankruptcy protection laws in India are unclear and significantly raise the cost of failure. Nakul Saxena, a fellow on industrial policy at the startup think-tank iSPIRIT, says that unless the government eases business rules in setting up and shutting down, and increases remittances to startups, there is a danger that the most successful ones will leave the country. “What we will be left with is only failed startups,” Saxena warns. “Imagine if Amazon and Facebook left the United States; the impact would be similar,” he says. The government is expected to introduce a new policy in 2016 as a follow-up to the Start-up India initiative announced by Modi in his speech on Independence Day—many young entrepreneurs in Bengaluru will be listening carefully. Regardless, the optimism and entrepreneurial spirit in India’s Garden City is in full bloom. 118

An entrepreneur’s guide to Bengaluru

If you’re looking to startup but don’t have enough money to rent an office space, Bengaluru’s numerous cafés with their free (or reasonably priced) wi-fi could come to your rescue. Starbucks has been quite popular with many startups, while others such as Costa Coffee in Indiranagar and Matteo on Church Street are popular locations for meetings. Also available are a number of co-working spaces suitable for startups—Cobalt on Church Street, Jaaga on Richmond Road, Workshaala in Bellandur are some of the popular ones. These spaces provide you with required infrastructure including furniture, meeting rooms, 24X7 security, Internet, a cafeteria and power backup. If you’re itching to start up on your own, a plethora of groups will help you. For instance, the Open Coffee Club (OCC) frequently runs events bringing together early-stage entrepreneurs, students, aspiring entrepreneurs, and investors for informal chats. Other groups such as The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Blrstartups.com and Startupsclub.org, also provide similar interactions.

venture capitalists are encouraging startups even outside their core areas of expertise



From the mountains of Gulmarg to the beaches of Tranquebar and the jungles of Madhya Pradesh, India’s diverse landscapes have inspired ingenious hoteliers, restoration experts and entrepreneurs to build exquisite spots from where you can truly experience India.

T H E K H Y B E R H I M A L AYA N R E S O RT & S PA , G U L M A R G , J A M M U & K A S H M I R

The opening of this hotel in 2013 repositioned Gulmarg on the map of India’s luxury traveller; by 2015, it already won a Condé Nast Traveller award for Favourite Boutique Hotel in India. The 85 rooms and cottages boast staggeringly beautiful views of the snow-covered Apharwat mountains and pine forests, as well as cosy, wooden and slate interiors. A multicuisine restaurant, outdoor dining deck, tea room and sheesha lounge make apt dining settings whether you’re in the mood for rich wazwan or fragrant kahwa. But the pampering doesn’t end there—the Khyber Spa by L’OCCITANE boasts over 50 European and Asian influenced wellness treatments. The heated pool is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls to showcase the stunning landscape. The question is not if you should visit, but when? Winter brings powdery white snow and skiers from across the world; in spring, Kashmir’s flora bursts into full glory and also opens up trekking routes. Perhaps both? (www.khyberhotels.com) JASREEN MAYAL KHANNA




T h e B u n g a l ow o n t h e B e a c h , T RAN Q UE B A R , Ta m i l N a d u The grand 17th-century sea-facing structure was once home to the Danish Collector of Tranquebar, a prized colony of the Netherlands, that Tamils now call Tharangambadi or land of the singing waves. Given the name, it’s perfect that this eight-room Neemrana hotel sits facing the beach—the first floor rooms offer unobstructed views of the sparkling blue Indian Ocean. A thoughtful restoration of the property has ensured that it’s a tasteful study in colonial décor. The rooms, each of which is named after a Danish ship that sailed to Tranquebar (Christianus Septimus, Countess Moltke, Oldenburg), have lofty ceilings with exposed wood purlins, elegant four-poster beds with trailing drapes, woven-straw planter chairs and antique wooden writing desks, transporting the visitor to another era. Your top activities for the day will include a visit to the tiny 17th-century Fort Dansborg, around 400 metres to the hotel’s right, and the 14th-century Masilamani Nathar temple, which almost shares a wall with the property, to its left. A 20-minute walk will cover the walled township and take in Dutch-era residences, which sit cheek-to-jowl with traditional Tamil homes. When you’re done, dig into the Chettinad fare on offer and later, recline in a chair by the pool, cold nimbu pani in hand (the hotel does not serve alcohol), and let the sea breeze blow your cares away. (www.neemranahotels.com)

photograph: MICHEL FIGUET



S a m o d e PA L A C E , J a i p u r , RA J A ST H A N

There are hotels, and there are palace hotels. And then there is Samode. It’s an authentic, 400-year-old example of what happens when fabulous wealth is placed in the hands of those with fantastically good taste (namely, the royal family of Samode, back in the 16th century). The best features of Rajput and Mughal design are showcased in its scalloped arches, bulbous domes, minarets and pavilions; ceilings are ornately handpainted; tiny mirrors cast dancing reflections; flowers are everywhere, in patterns on Jaipur carpets and strewn about four-poster beds in the 43 rooms and suites. Even the outside pool is tiled with dazzling mosaic. Current owners, brothers Rawal Raghavendra Singh and Yadavendra Singh, have inherited their ancestors’ attention to detail. They keep the palace in pristine condition and ensure that the service matches up, making Samode Palace truly unique and luxurious. A favourite for destination weddings, it’s where to check-in to feel like a princess (or prince) for a day. (www.samode.com) DIVIA THANI DASWANI



photograph: ADRIAAN LOUW

V i v e n d a d o s Pa l h a ç o s , G o a

In the middle of South Goa’s Majorda village, surrounded by the ebb and flow of such life—the cry of the pao delivery man, kids playing outside, pigs and chickens running helter-skelter—sits a gloriously restored early 20th-century Portuguese villa with an old Hindu portion of rammed earth walls and low ceilings at the rear, leading out to a serene palm‑lined garden and pool. But it’s not just the house. It’s the people who make it, and those who stay within its walls, giving Vivenda dos Palhaços: The House of Clowns, its utterly unique personality. The name is entirely appropriate, as ironic, eccentric, (sometimes) rowdy, comedic and charming as sibling-owners Simon and Charlotte Hayward themselves. Resolutely English, but thoroughly Indian, in the sense they were born and raised here, in a family with four generations of history with the nation (take their surname and think of gin and beer), they’ve created a boutique hotel unlike any other, a sanctuary both timeless and modern, jumbling together the best of India in a way only an Indian knows how. (www.vivendagoa.com) DEEPTI KAPOOR

J A M TA RA W I L D E R N E S S C A M P , P E N C H , M A D H YA P RA D E S H Walking distance from the Pench Tiger Reserve’s Jamtara gate, this ten-tent property spells luxury from the moment you cross the river bridge and enter. The rooms are spacious with antique writing desks (some of which once sat in the offices of the Supreme Court of India) and planter chairs. But Jamatara’s true allure lies in the freedom it offers from the daily grind. Your home’s in the middle of the woods, bordering farmland. You wake up to birdsong and crickets hum lullabies. Food is so fresh you can pluck the produce yourself (there’s an on-site organic garden) and present it to the cook. The resident naturalist will introduce you, not just to the tiger, but to the range of flora and fauna that call this place home: teak, arjuna and kusum; leopards, civets and deer. In between safaris and village walks, take a dip in the pool or lounge on plush leather couches, under a canopy of trees. That Jamtara wears its eco-creds on its sleeve is obvious—from the weathered wood flooring salvaged from a ship-breaking yard in Gujarat to the man who set the camp up, Amit Sankhala. His grandfather was the founder-director of Project Tiger, his father a pioneer of tiger tourism in Madhya Pradesh, and Sankhala himself is a trustee of the Tiger Trust. (www.jamtarawilderness.com) PRASAD RAMAMURTHY 125


photograph: LISA LIMER

N e e l e s h wa r H e r m i ta g e , PA D N E K A D , K e ra l a Hermitages in the mountains have a touch of melancholy. The ones by the seashore are happier but no less conducive to quiet introspection. It might be a stretch to call Neeleshwar an actual hermitage but it offers many of the qualities. Its true luxury is the impression of austerity, while offering everything that a luxury resort does. Smoking is prohibited and there are no TVs in the rooms. Beer and wine are the only forms of liquor on offer here. An Ayurvedic doctor is often actively involved with the guests as they book their rooms. Short stays are discouraged. Among the interests around the hermitage are spots in the backwaters where fishermen cast their nets at night, sometimes well after midnight, for an easier catch. Visitors serious about fishing may approach any amiable boatman to be shown a bit of night fishing. (www.neeleshwarhermitage.com) SANJAY KOSHY



photograph: anthony d’souza

T h e H o u s e o f M G , A h m e d a b a d , G U J A RAT Built in 1924, this Baroque-faced boutique heritage hotel sits like a dowager in the heart of the historic quarter of Ahmedabad. The hotel was originally a home for Mangaldas Girdhardas (MG), a prosperous mill owner in the textile trade. Tidal waves of change came, first with the death of the patriarch, and the subsequent departure of the entire family from the building by 1950. In the 1990s, Abhay Mangaldas, great-grandson to MG, took over the building and reinvented it. Today, the 80,000 sq-ft hotel is an eccentric blend of elegant old-worldliness, parsimonious contemporary design and a colonial sense of comfort offered by canopied four-poster beds, vintage furniture and swing seats. You feel like you’re visiting the home of a particularly detail-oriented, old-moneyed Gujarati friend, which—given the large number of Mangaldas family pictures and life-size cutouts in the rooms—is exactly the intent. But with 38 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a gift shop, salon, indoor swimming pool, health club, a banquet and conference space, plus their textile gallery and an art bookstore, it is far more ambitious. (www.houseofmg.com) MANJU SARA RAJAN

G l e n b u r n T e a E stat e a n d B o ut i q u e H ot e l , D a r j e e l i n G , W EST BEN G AL

photograph: MARTIN MORrELL

There are few experiences as deeply satisfying as a perfectly brewed cup of tea. But when that cup is accompanied by a glorious view of the world’s third-highest mountain peak, the experience is elevated to another level. All eight of the casually elegant suites of the Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Hotel boast spectacular views of Kanchenjunga. Set in the hills high above the Rangeet River, the hotel is in the middle of a verdant 1,600-acre working tea estate. The property consists of two colonial style bungalows. Perfect not only for couples, but also groups, the hotel offers several activities including tea tastings, bird and butterfly watching and trekking. Guests can trek down to the river and take advantage of the hotel’s lodge and campsite, where the staff is happy to organise candlelit dinners and barbecues. Spend a night at the rustic lodge and wake up to the sounds of hornbills and wild geese. The communal dining room encourages travellers to mingle and share tales over a glass of wine and tea-leaf pakoras, a local favourite. The estate’s award-winning teas are also available to buy, so the next time you feel the need to get away, all you need to do is turn the kettle on. (www.glenburnteaestate.com) RENUKA MODI



photograph: ADRIAAN LOUW

la Villa Shanti, Puducherry

Too fancy to be a homestay, too cool to be called a hotel, La Villa Shanti brings Puducherry pretty French quarter indoors and draws you in too. You’re likely to come across the property while discovering the neighbourhood, tucked away on an inner road, but just a few steps away from the seafront. If you lose the smell of the sea, you’ve gone too far. A 19th century house plays host to just 15 rooms, complete with a café and restaurant. The predominant white palette through the interiors evokes Europe, the tile work and dark woods that complement it are all Indian. On the menu are delicate crêpes and Indian fare, that come with a courtyard and garden for company. Or sandwiches at the café, to be coupled with a cocktail. An ideal property to stay at when you want to be in the centre of everything and yet far from it all (a request that is not unheard of). Put it on your must-see list as a perfect marriage of French finesse and raw Indian beauty. (www.lavillashanti.com) AYESHA ALEEM

photograph: TOM PARKER

R i K y n j a i , S H I L L O N G , M e gh a l aya

The Khasi language, in its inimitable mellifluous manner, has a name for this hotel: Ri Kynjai, whose meaning is as soul-pleasing as its gentle phonetics—serenity by the lake. Serenity is indeed served up in spades here. Step out of your exquisitely appointed Khasi thatch cottage, and if you listen hard enough, beyond the insect-buzz and birdsong, you may hear the gentle splash of an oar cutting through water, propelling a solitary fishing boat over a shimmering expanse of the Umiam Lake, past verdant headlands that poke their mossy heads into a perennial duvet of fluffy clouds. The upside-down boat motif makes up the roof of every structure of Ri Kynjai, a design necessity against the recordshattering rain that hammers these parts. Nature, and an exotic culture surround you, so make the most of it. Trek the sweeping hills, have a beach picnic after a serene boat ride. Eat exquisite Khasi food at the lakefront Sao Aiom (four seasons in Khasi) restaurant, indulge in a traditional massage, or just lie by the fireplace (in winter). Caution: returning to the city may prove difficult. (www.rikynjai.com) KERSI KHAMBATTA





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Everything you know about Indian agriculture is wrong


ontrary to popular perception, India’s agricultural sector has been outperforming the muchdiscussed services and manufacturing sectors. We are now the world’s second-largest agriculture producer, thanks to a combination of natural and created strengths: India is not only blessed with land, light, water and labour, Indian companies also produce everything required for agriculture, from seeds, fertilizers and irrigation equipment to farm machinery and plant health technologies. Until 2000, Indian agricultural production was driven predominantly by food grains. Subsequent diversification into high-value crops (fruit and vegetables) and milk, aided by continuous improvements in communication, infrastructure and innovative techniques have transformed this into a dynamic enterprise. One thing is clear, Indian agriculture is no longer an underdog.

$52.7 BILLION: India’s net export earnings from agricultural trade, 2012-2014. (In the same period, India earned $10 billion surplus from manufacturing, and $48 billion from services) International Trade Statistics 2015, WTO

98% #6

India’s position in the world in agricultural exports (it ranks 19th in merchandise exports)

#2 #1

India is the second-largest agricultural producer in the world

India is the world’s fastesT growing agricultural exporter

of India’s agricultural commodities comply with legal upper limits for pesticide residues, making Indian food products among the world’s safest


MILLION: Number of people engaged in agriculture in India. It is the country’s biggest private enterprise



PL is a global plant health and seed company headquartered in Mumbai, India. It recognizes the need to bring farmers high quality, modern and ecologically compatible solutions. UPL’s vision is to ensure sustainable, conscientious agricultural growth and rural prosperity while meeting our increasing population’s demands.

1,344 13

Manufacturing units in India, many of which have won awards for efficient water usage and Green Manufacturing Excellence





UPL is the the fifth-largest post-patent agrochemical company in the world

122 Countries in which UPL is present


Employees, representing 25 nationalities from across the world

26% 22

CAGR of UPL revenue for the last five years

Number of acquisitions made by UPL


The number of years that UPL has been consistently outperforming global sectoral growth




ounded in 1969 for the first-ever indigenous production of red phosphorus, United Phosphorus was the brainchild of Rajnikant D Shroff. It began its first exports in 1976, and made its first international acquisition in 1994. Later, UPL diversified into plant health products, in order to reduce our dependence on their imports. UPL has grown rapidly over the past 15 years. In 2014-15, growth was 2.6 times that of the industry average—from a niche specialty-chemicals player focused on the domestic market to the world’s fifth-largest producer of post-patent agrochemicals. What makes UPL’s Made in India story stand out? UPL has succeeded in taking its low-cost manufacturing base in India and bolting onto it the front-end components—product registration, marketing and distribution—that are needed to take its branded products directly to international consumer markets everywhere from Australia to Latin America. UPL has made 22 strategic company acquisitions across India and around the globe, extending its footprint and the Made in India brand. It is among the leaders in the world of agrochemicals and seeds, investing in research and development. Amongst the 122 countries it has a presence in, UPL has also identified agricultural majors—in Africa, Brazil and China—for future growth opportunities.


UPL’s quality control approach is based on the clear target of ‘zero defect’. Each stage of production from raw material sourcing through manufacturing to post-production is closely monitored. UPL has also committed substantial investments to maintain and improve its high standard of environmental care and consciousness.

PLANT HEALTH SOLUTIONS: UPL’s offerings range from preplanting to post-harvest requirements. Its products include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, miticides, soil and plant health products, rodenticides, grain fumigants, fruit coatings, cleaners, sanitizers and storage treatments.

Seeds: UPL is a global leader in plant breeding and application of biotechnology, and develops value-added new hybrids and a variety of crops. UPL is committed to drive sustained future growth with world-class genetics and innovative technology. Across the globe, UPL enjoys a leadership position in sorghum, sunflower, tropical corn, tropical cauliflower, green peas and late cabbage. In India, its strengths also lie in hybrid rice, pearl millet, okra, roots, sweet corn, cucur beets and mustard.

Adjacent technologies & innovations: • Seed treatment • Drought mitigation technologies • Biological solutions • Bio activators and adjuvants • Crop nutrition and soil health • Vector control • Crop solutions and services

Building a Made in India brand: UPL’s focus is to build brands across the agri value chain. They also supply products for organic agriculture. They invest in cutting-edge R&D, creating game-changing formulations, including Satellite CS, Eros WDG, Lifeline SL and Unizeb Gold.

FARMER ADVISORY AND SERVICES: Since July 2014, UPL Adarsh Kisan Centre has been dedicated to the farming community for free-of-cost guidance on five crops. The service is available in six languages, 365 days of the year, via a toll-free number to provide farmers reliable information on various aspects, from land preparation to market prices for produce.

More than a million farmers have already been registered, and this number is steadily increasing. The Adarsh Kisan Centre already receives more than one lakh calls per month, and is quickly becoming established within the agricultural communities. UPL also took a bold step by offering farmers complimentary spray services using hi-tech tractors mounted spray equipment. More than 100,000 acres of wheat, cotton, potato, cluster bean, groundnut, cumin, various pulses and orchards of kinnow, pomegranate and grapes have been sprayed by UPL Adarsh Farm Services teams. About 15,000 farmers have experienced the precise and rapid spray operations, which provide superior efficacy of the products used and a saving of both labour and time. Encouraged by the overwhelming response and demand from farmers, UPL plans to deploy additional equipment and teams to expand the reach of Adarsh Farm Services. UNIMART, UPL’s chain of farm advisory and solution centres, was established with an objective to contribute towards improving Indian farming by working directly with farmers at their fields. Since the establishment of the first Unimart centre at Manchar-Pune in December 2009, UNIMART has been instrumental in improving farmers’ standards of living by helping increase their per acre profitability. There are now ten UNIMART centres across India, where welltrained and qualified staff help guide farmers with the best agricultural practices, technological know-how and post-harvest activities to ensure a better price for their produce. They also provide information on government schemes, access to library services and training sessions. 000

MAKing for india

UPL is helping make India a global leader in agriculture


Taking fodder from laggard to legacy India is the world’s largest milk producer, with 139 million tonnes per year. The livestock sector contributes seven percent to India’s GDP and is a source of employment and livelihood for 70 percent of the country’s rural population. However, there exists a major lack of awareness and education regarding the importance of high-nutritive forage (grass, hay, fodder, etc) for livestock. The costs are great: cattle that is not well nourished produces little milk; farmers often compensate for this by using a high level of concentrates. The health and wellness of the animal is compromised and the low yield/high cost of concentrates eventually results in a lack of profits for the farmers. Therefore, UPL kick-started a Forage Laggard to Legacy campaign, aimed at creating awareness of new-generation, technologically advanced nutritive forages. The use of branded products such as Nutrifeed, Sugargraze and Makkhan Grass gives livestock high-protein, highenergy balanced diets, making them healthier and more productive. UPL worked with farmers in villages across Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. UPL intends to reach out to a total of 1.2 million farmers, thereby boosting productivity in the dairy sector significantly.


Enhancing yield through IRIS and SAAF Soybean has an important place in the world’s oilseed cultivation, due to its vast coverage, high productivity, profitability and vital contribution towards maintaining soil fertility. The major soybean-producing nations are the US, Brazil and Argentina. India ranks 5th in the global production of soybean; it contributes 36 percent to the nation’s total oilseed production. To cater to the increasing demand, it is imperative to increase our productivity of soybean. India’s average production is 0.97 mt/ha, in comparison to the world average of 2.48 MT/ ha (FAOSTAT, 2013). The reasons for this low yield include the selection of incorrect variety of soybean, lack of seed treatments, inadequate weed control, high insect pest infestation, disease incidence, etc. UPL is working with farmers to improve soybean yield and production through new technologies, including IRIS, an innovative weed management solution. In comparison to other herbicides, the use of IRIS is hassle-free and it does not limit crop vigor and growth. Seeing these benefits, IRIS has been well accepted by the farming community and is on its way to becoming the preferred weed management solution in soybean. Additionally, from its international experience, UPL has found that two applications of SAAF fungicide in soybean results in disease-free healthy crop and a yield increase to the tune of 40 percent. In India too, UPL is educating farmers to adopt SAAF usage to enhance their soybean yield.


Saving our favourite vegetables from disease India ranks first globally in the production of okra, with about 6.3 million tonnes annually. Okra—also known as ladies’ finger or bhindi—is produced primarily in states such as West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat. For many years, farmers have known the nuisance that Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus (YVMV) can have on okra. However, in the past three years, the Okra Leaf Curl Virus (OLCV) has gone from being a minor disease to a major issue, as okra varieties have little tolerance or resistance towards it. Moreover, the disease occurs in the early life cycle of the okra plant, stunting its growth and leading to very low yield—and often, complete crop failure. For five years now, UPL has been working pre-emptively for YVMV and OLCV tolerance combination in its seeds, and has launched three varieties known as Taj, Mona and Venus Plus. All three show not only high tolerance but also allow a greater number of pickings, leading to a higher yield, as well as a smaller requirement of plant protection, saving the farmer costs.

MAKing for the world

UPL is India’s largest exporter of plant health products


Modern methods to combat disease resistance In 2011, UPL Brazil found that soybean crop in that country had developed resistance to systematic fungicides. After much analysis, UPL’s team of field experts, plant pathologists and scientists developed the Mancozeb Mixtures Strategy (MMX) for disease resistance management, using a family of products called Unizeb. The initial results were impressive: soybean crops treated with the new technology produced about 10 percent more than the standard used by farmers. In October 2014, UPL obtained registration for the commercialisation of Unizeb Gold in Brazil. In December that year, it was confirmed that soybean rust biotypes had developed resistance to strobilurin chemical group. UPL has two products in the Unizeb family being marketed in Brazil. It is also working on four more solutions so that farmers can have wider options for the management of disease in crops. UPL anticipates becoming one of the largest players in crop protection in Brazil, and also expects that Unizeb will come to represent more than 50 percent of its business there. UPL has named the people behind this technology the Eagle Team; their expertise will help Brazilian farmers achieve a healthier cultivation.


Meeting post-harvest protection needs A farmer’s work is only half-done at harvest time; transportation and storage are equally important in determining the final crop quality and output. Thus, it is crucial for grains to be protected from pests post harvest. UPL is one the largest producers of metal phosphides in the world, and offers farmers solutions through QuickPhos, MagnaPhos and QuickPHlo-R. The phosphine fumigation method is acknowledged world-over as the most effective way of controlling the pest menace and keeping thousands of tons of grain safe for human consumption. QuickPhos, with its principal ingredient aluminium phosphide, is a solid, highly potent fumigant in tablet, pellet and bag presentation. The active ingredient in MagnaPhos is Magnesium Phosphide. The most popular presentation is the plate, an ammonia-free formulation with a fast gas release. And UPL’s QuickPHlo-R system is a state-of-theart technology under patent in many countries. The goal of UPL, as one of the world’s leading agrochemicals companies, is to ensure the safe and sustainable use of our products, by offering seminars, training and technical support to our stockists, distributors and end users to ensure products are applied, transported, stored and disposed of correctly.


Innovative technology to address water stress Zeba is a starch-based granule that absorbs more than 400 times its weight in water. Applied to the soil at planting, Zeba absorbs and then releases water and nutrients to crops over and over throughout the growing season, even between irrigation cycles. Zeba essentially provides daily, round-the-clock nourishment for all parts and growth stages. This reduces plant stress that is caused due to shortage of water, and results in a lower need for irrigation. This gives farmers several benefits: it cuts the usage of water substantially, lowering the cost of cultivation as well as reduces environmental damage. As Zeba is made from cornstarch, it is fully biodegradable. In fact, the moisture- and nutrientrich environment improves soil porosity and microbial activity. It greatly improves germination, helps establish plants better, keeps plants cooler increasing the photosynthesis rate, and boosts the yield, resulting in a better—and more uniform—quality output for the farmer.


Give us the macro picture of the state of the global agricultural production. Is the world poised to meet its food demands in the future? The anatomy of global agriculture has undergone a complete metamorphosis in recent decades and is structurally very different now. According to the World Factbook of the CIA, in 2014, the global agricultural output was $4,771 billion. But a full 42 percent of this output comes from just six countries: China ($1,005 billion) is the largest producer, followed by India ($367 billion). The United States is third ($279 billion), followed by Brazil ($130), Nigeria ($122 billion) and Indonesia ($121 billion). As you can see, five of the six global leaders in agricultural output are developing countries. In fact, China and India alone account for close to 30 percent of the global total. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are more than 570 million farms in the world, and 70-80 percent of them are family farms, accounting for more than 80 percent of the world’s food in terms of value. Only four percent of these farms are present in high-income countries. Clearly, family farming forms the backbone of agriculture in developing countries. This is where UPL comes in. Being a global company of Indian origin, UPL has the expertise and passion required to understand and service the evolving needs of family farms across the globe. Meanwhile, the world’s population is projected to grow from about 7 billion in 2012 to 9.6 billion people by 2050. According to Alexandratos, N and J Bruinsma, in “World agriculture towards 2030/2050”, food supplies need to increase by 60 percent (estimated at

“Indian agriculture is no longer an underdog. Our agricultural production is far above that of the United States, which once supplied food grains to India to tide over our domestic food shortage.”

2005 food production levels) in order to meet the food demand in 2050. India’s domestic demand for food and fibre is expected to go up considerably as we have the second-largest economically active population in the world. The need of the hour is strategic thinking and rapid but thoughtful action. We need to produce more and reduce wastage. The UN-FAO estimates that nearly 30 percent of foods produced are wasted post-harvest, resulting in huge economic losses in addition to a negative environmental footprint. Food availability and accessibility can be made better by increasing production, improving distribution, and reducing these losses. Thus, reduction of post-harvest food loss is a critical component of ensuring global food security. In the next 10-15 years, we expect 75 percent of primary agricultural production to come from Asia, South America and Africa. We have already turned our focus towards these three continents. Our domain knowledge is qualitatively different and superior both in spectrum and scale. We have a range of products that protect crops from pre-planting to post-harvest, thus playing a lead role in establishing food security globally. For instance, the top three foods in the world in terms of human consumption are rice, wheat and potato. UPL has an impressive range of products that protect and preserve them on-field and off-field (while in storage) as well. Crop protection is a key component in guaranteeing food security. How does India fit into this global equation? Contrary to popular perception, India’s agriculture is a success story, worthy of professional discussions in global forums. India ranks 11th and 12th globally in services and manufacturing sectors respectively, and 2nd in the world in the agricultural sector. Indian agriculture in the 21st century is structurally dissimilar, diverse, stronger and superior to the one that existed during the Green Revolution. In the three decades from the 1970s until the late ‘90s, India’s agricultural GDP grew from $25 billion to $101 billion,

registering an absolute growth of $76 billion. However, in the next 14 years from 2000 to 2014, it leaped from $101 billion to $367 billion, registering an astonishing growth of $266 billion. In other words, the growth in agriculture in the last 14 years was 350 percent higher than the one achieved in the previous 30 years. Another fact that many are unaware of is that this growth is being led by states not conventionally perceived as agriculturally progressive. The drivers of India’s growth are actually high-value segments such as dairy, horticulture and inland fisheries. These three segments provide farmers with year-round income and account for 60 percent of India’s agricultural GDP. No wonder, the states of Uttar Pradesh, undivided Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra now make up the top three in agricultural production, relegating grain-centric states like Punjab and Haryana to 10th and 12th rank respectively. Indian agriculture is no longer an underdog. It has progressed rapidly in recent years and ranks now as the second-largest food producer in the world, touching $367 billion in 2014. Our agricultural production is far above that of the US, which once supplied food grains to India to tide over our domestic food shortage. Unknown to many, India’s international trade in agricultural products fetches higher earnings for the country than trade in services or manufacturing. As a nation, we have several strengths that poise us well. India has a high diversity of topography, climate and soil, so we are inherently a multi-product agricultural powerhouse. No other country produces as many crops as we do. Our cropping intensity is the highest in the world. India’s small-sized, family farms practice a unique kind of mixed agri-horti-livestock farming, which is a cost-effective model ideal for other developing nations with small farms. Our farmers multi-task, and shift with ease from crop cultivation to animal husbandry, thereby remaining engaged throughout the year. By and large, this versatility has transformed the Indian agricultural sector into a global leader.

As per the WTO, India ranks 19th in merchandize exports, but 6th in agricultural exports. This shows India’s global competitiveness in agriculture. In 2014, the world’s exports in agricultural products stood at $1,765 billion— India’s share of this was 2.5 percent. With better focus, India’s agri-exports can easily achieve at least 5 percent share within the next three years. India must focus its resources, attention, skills and expertise on the agriculture sector to ensure self-reliance in terms of future food supply, and a steady growth of income from exports. With this view, UPL has drawn up plans to aid and enhance India’s agricultural production with proven technologies and products. For instance, despite India growing the maximum varieties of edible oils, we are the largest importer—14 million tonnes, worth $10 billion per year. We must aim to change this. This matter is receiving priority attention within UPL, where we are working on developing state-of-the-art technology that can be applied to this sector. The second largest agri commodity that India imports is pulses, predominantly dry peas (Pisum sativum). UPL has recently introduced a high-yielding peas variety

that has the potential to double the yield over traditional varieties. Step by step, we can move India forward to achieving self-sufficiency in these crops, furthering our nation’s food security. How do we ensure rural prosperity? Seventy percent of India’s population is rural, and contributes about 50 percent of India’s GDP. Agriculture is the biggest private enterprise in India in over 600,000 villages. That India ranks second globally in agricultural production demonstrates that it is rural economic activity that is responsible for (and key to) India’s growth and place on the world stage. A study by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Solution Network shows that improved farming practices result in increased productivity in agriculture, livestock and fisheries. Improved infrastructure and better access to markets promote rural prosperity. UPL is committed to providing Indian farmers the best farming solutions. What role should the government play? To quote the World Bank: ‘India has brought about a landmark agricultural revolution that has transformed the nation from chronic dependence on grain exports into a global agricultural

powerhouse that is now a net exporter of food. The government must recognize Indian agriculture as being export-oriented and a significant foreign exchange earner. This recognition and aggressive promotion will build the right image of Indian agriculture and also stop the negative narratives. Proactive promotion will further increase our farm exports, in turn bringing price and income stability and contribute to our rural prosperity. Finally, fast-track clearance of investment/ production proposals including innovative technologies for agri inputs will considerably help, too. The Make in India initiative is a stage with great potential to recognise and champion our farmers, and provide the country with opportunities for a brighter future.

Global Headquarters: UPL House, 610 B/2 Bandra Village, Off Western Express Highway, Bandra (East), Mumbai 400 051, India Tel: +91 22 7152 8000 (Board) Email: info@uniphos.com www.uplonline.com

photograph: bharat sikka

Telling inspiring India stories



Video Digital

T h e S on g Rural tourism provides travellers the opportunity to experience first-hand the unique


of odisha rhythm of India’s villages, its people, crafts and traditions. By Chandrahas Choudhury Photographs by Tom Parker



ix am on a Friday morning in Koraput, Odisha, and my only achievements so far had been leaving a most comfortable bed at four to travel to the weekly village market in Kundli and the purchase, clearly not thought through, of a kilo of green chillies from an old tribal woman who had arrived even earlier than I had. It was an unpromising scene. Around me, a few folks huddled around their sacks of tomatoes, cauliflowers and yams, threadbare shawls pulled tight around their stringy bodies. I was almost ready to leave. Then the sun appeared above the mountains, and suddenly, so did Jeeps from all directions. And what Jeeps! These were no ordinary passenger vehicles, but entire worlds packed to bursting point, as if setting out to settle another planet. It took a while for those inside to disentangle themselves from one another and their wares. Here emerged a wrinkled limb amidst bushels of bananas and bunches of radishes; there popped out a thin body, right side up, with a pair of clucking chickens, upside down. Back in the darkness a touch of gold glinted, then enlarged into a face resplendent with the large


nose-ring favoured by women of the Paraja, a major tribe of these parts. The sellers—men and women, young and elderly and ancient—fanned out further off the road and higher (there being almost no surface in these uplands, part of the Eastern Ghats, that is not a slope). Slowly, they segregated themselves into lanes of fresh produce, live chickens and goats, oil and soap. Locally brewed spirits were presented in clay and aluminium pots right at the back, and a cattle market had the honour of its very own field. A market­—one of humanity’s oldest and most venerable institutions— had sprung up under my nose. It was impossible not to want to participate. “Namaskaar, aagya! How much for this rooster here?” “Six hundred.” “That’s a lot!” “Here, hold him for yourself, sir. Feel him. Then you’ll understand.” But if the sellers politely answered all queries, they did little to actively solicit customers. No advertising of wares, no shouting out of prices. Cautious buyers themselves, used to making a lot out of a little, they exuded a strange empathy as

sellers, as if saying, “Well, buy only if you must.” Other than the professional traders on the prowl in their shirts and trousers, seeking to spirit off produce bought wholesale to bigger markets in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, no one seemed to think their business especially urgent. The market economy was not at the centre of their material lives, as it was of mine and others in the city; if anything, the weekly market was for them a social event as much as a commercial one. And perhaps the journey to the market was a moment to remind themselves of the beauty and hardship of their land. The narrow, but good, roads of Koraput (on which, more later) lead through a gently undulating landscape, hill and valley, hill and valley, red and green and straw-coloured, like the endless variations on a theme produced by a musician in love. Driving through them—and sometimes one does not pass another car for many kilometres—brings on a strange state of peace and pleasure, especially as one watches the clouds above and their shadows drifting over the slopes like cows grazing. The low mountains have long been domesticated, their gentle inclines cut painstakingly

Above, from left: a goat in the village of Khajuriput; local dancers Opposite page, from left: a herdsman with cows; Chandooori Sai Guest House in Goudaguda Previous pages: sunrise from Jhalaguda

into terraces where the tribals sow mandia (a local millet) and olsi (a local oilseed), and at the bases, paddy. More recently, on the flats between the slopes, groves of tall, thin eucalyptus have come up, a cash crop for the paper industry. When I stopped to enter the paddy fields, the standing crops being harvested laboriously by rows of bent figures with sickles, I was reminded afresh of how much hard work it is to produce food (while in the cities, we tend to think of cooking as the burdensome task). In many villages, a pleasant burbling also often reached my ears: the sound of the perennial streams running down from the mountains, and guided into village fields by neat channels. Schooled by Hindu religious life, the eye searched in vain in the villages for the usual temple or shrine, the faces of deities. Depending on your perspective, religion here was recalcitrant, or more all-pervading. As one of the tribals said to me, “Nature itself is our deity.” A few hours later, I sat down to brunch served by Paraja women at a small table neatly arrayed with forks and knives, plates and napkins. A small miracle: dense, crusty bread topped with tomatoes, 147

chandoori sai offers much more than elegant diversion in a uniquely austro-odia cast. it is also a gateway into the experience of a different indian imagination




olive oil, crushed black pepper, and sweet basil, a salad of beans, cauliflower and pears, washed down with strong black locally grown coffee and a tart drink made from passion fruit. The bread came from an oven ten metres from me; much of the produce from a garden right behind me. The kitchen of Chandoori Sai Guest House, a delightful five-room establishment in the village of Goudaguda (literally, “settlement of cowherds”), is staffed entirely by a band of women from the village. Led by the intrepid Rita Muduli (to whom I entrusted my gargantuan reserve of chillies) they bake bread, roast chicken, pinch pasta dough into ravioli, laughing and joking amongst themselves in Kuvi, the Paraja language. There couldn’t be any better poster-girls for rural tourism in India. A warm Australian accent suddenly spiced the air: Leon Mahoney, the force behind Chandoori Sai. A grizzled, voluble Australian in his early sixties, Mahoney set up in Koraput ten years ago because “by that time I’d driven three hundred thousand

Dancers in Khajuriput Previous pages, from left: a local tribeswoman; farmers near Goudaguda

kilometres around India, and never come across another place as beautiful as this.” He could have just built a house, instead he built a business. Going against the received wisdom that Koraput was too remote and backward for luxury tourism, Mahoney set out to source locally for the hotel, and to hire and train staff within walking distance of the place. Local artisans fired the russet-red tiles that give the establishment such a regal appearance. But the ceiling beats the floor. Visitors who settle down to read or eat in the main hall look up at an ingenious false ceiling of colourful saris strung out across lines and hooks, simulating the undulating curves of the Koraput landscape. The large, airy rooms are tastefully appointed and lack nothing for modern amenities; their porches open onto a lawn that offers excellent views of the nearby mountains in the day and the stars at night. It’s a place worth going a long way for. But Chandoori Sai offers much more than elegant diversion in a uniquely Austro-Odia cast. 151

here in koraput, the villages were connected up now to the It is also a gateway into the experience of a different Indian imagination: of space and time, work and water, religion and the animal world, the self and society. In partnership with Grass Routes, a travel company that specialises in Odisha and sustainable tourism and designs tours that take the questing traveller well beyond the usual ‘Golden Triangle’ of Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark, the hotel serves as a window into the lives and worlds of the tribal communities of the region—mainly the Paraja, Kondh and Mali—and of other communities practising traditional Indian arts and crafts. The spectacle begins a stone’s throw from the hotel, where an entire kumbhara basti—a community of potters—lives and plies its trade. Every Sunday evening the potters can be seen depositing their week’s work at their wheels into a furnace made of mud, straw and cow dung. The flames hover all night long, and the next morning, their eyes smarting from the smoke, they pull out with long sticks hundreds of beautifully fired, red clay pots, pitchers and glasses for sale in the local weekly market at Kakiriguma that morning. 152

Above, from left: staff at the guest house; sickles for rice harvesting Opposite page, from left: a truck loaded with goods for the market at Kudipadar; local tribeswoman winnowing wheat

At dawn another day, I drove with Pulak Mohanty, the founder of Grass Routes and an authority on Odisha’s many cultures, up to the nearby village of Khajuriput. Here we walked right into another convulsion of life, this time a symphony of hooves and bells, mooing and bleating. Rapidly rounding the corners of the village’s central street, the hundreds of cows and goats of Khajuriput were heading out to graze for the day in the nearby hills. The stampede reminded me of commuters exiting Mumbai’s Churchgate station at 10am. (And also the doleful talk of the elders of my own village in Odisha, Kumaranga Sasan, now almost exclusively a community of old people. “I remember a time,” one of them had lamented a few months back, “when you could tell the time merely by the sound of the cows going out to graze in the morning. Now all the cows are gone, and even we buy packet milk.”) Marshalling the flock here in Khajuriput were a couple of wizened, staff-holding cowherds, their clothes as tattered as the pelts of their wards were sleek. One of them had a fat cheroot stuck behind his ear, like a carpenter’s pencil.

wider world but had kept their own nature and strength “Namaskar, aagya! Where are you headed?” “Out into the hills for the day.” “And will that cheroot last you the whole time?” “Of course not. I’ve got another one here, in my pocket.” As in the villages of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the cow is an integral part of the tribal household and lives adjacent to its owners, but with an interesting difference. For the most part, the cow is not a source of dairy, and the milk is drunk mainly by its own calves. Nor is it usually a source of meat. The most precious and useful contribution it makes to the tribal economy is dung, which returns as cakes for fuel, plaster and disinfectant for houses, and fertiliser for fields. Now, with the winter crop of paddy just harvested, cows could often be seen in the fields, threshing the golden sheaves underfoot in small circular clearings, then refuelling on the stalks they had just shaken free of rice. At the top of Khajuriput village, we entered the house of Disa Saunta, a mild-mannered Kondh tribal in a t-shirt and dhoti. We were his guests for a reason: he would climb a tree for us. We wanted

to sample the mind-lightening wares of one of the Kondh world’s most precious possessions: a sagopalm tree in one’s own backyard. The sap from this tree, dripping all night long into an earthen pot strung midway up the trunk, yields the vinegary drink locally called salap, alcoholic when allowed to ferment all day and not without a little buzz even when drunk fresh in the morning. In Kondh lore, there is no better way to start off a newborn in this world than with a taste of strength-giving salap. (Those drinking it for the first time in their thirties, meanwhile, may feel newly born.) For all that his house was dark and smoky and his material possessions scarce, Disa’s household seemed to me one of the most charming and complete I had ever been to, and a complete showcase of his many skills. From his vantage up in the palm tree, he looked down upon his neatly fenced garden, where he had planted rows of vegetables. Further across the slope of the mountain, he had a larger field of his own. Abutting both his house and the garden was a shed for his cows, now gone to graze. On his front porch lay a 153


the market economy was not at the centre of their material lives, as it was of mine and others in the city; if anything, the weekly market was for them a social event as much as a commercial one



half-finished wooden sofa: he was also a carpenter, working with local wood from the jackfruit tree to make furniture. Although unlettered himself, he watched with satisfaction as his daughter Subhadra wrote her name in my notebook in lovely letters in both Odia and English (the Kuvi language has no script). At a traditional Kondh dance performance called the dhemsa the next afternoon, he played both the cymbals and the shrill, plaintive pipe to which the village girls danced. His life was entirely in this little world, and in turn he kept this world alive. But for all that villages like Khajuriput seem timeless, even idyllic, very profound transformations were taking place in this world. Only within the last decade, Khajuriput and many of the villages in the neighbourhood had been linked up by good-quality all-weather roads with funds from the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Our guide pointed out new homes being constructed under the auspices of the Indira Awaas Yojana. Alongside the tribal motifs and splashes of colour on many walls of the village homes was another kind of artwork, much more prosaic but no less meaningful: long lists of public works done under various schemes in

Above, from left: sunset in Jhalaguda; chickens are popular at the weekly markets. Opposite page: the lobby at the guest house. Previous pages: the market at Kudipadar

consultation with local panchayats, put up for all to see with detailed budgets. People here had achieved an awareness of how they could improve their lives in conjunction with a state that had for long seemed remote or corrupt or indifferent; they saw themselves not just as indigenous peoples native to a place but citizens of a country they had never seen. Here in Koraput, the villages were connected up now to the wider world but had kept their own nature and strength. As India urbanises on a scale matched only a few times in history, our society is experiencing a corresponding contraction in our imagination of the rural. The city understands the village only on its own terms: as a provider of labour and resources, as a place where civilisation and material comforts recede. But all the building blocks, all the small advances by which man reached his present place in the world, are back here, as is a rich streak of independence, of skill, of pleasure in earth and sky, work and play. As Koraput shows, village India has so much to offer. Take what help you can to get to its soul, and on the way back, don’t dust all the cow dung off your heels. 157

SPOTLIGHT Volvo already exports intercity coaches and city buses to South Asia and South Africa, and will next year export the first batch of India-made buses to Europe

the swedish way

KNOW your swedes

Can Make in India change assembly to manufacture? Aparna Kalra finds out


The company works in partnership with a number of regional players includng Parle Agro, Godrej, Dabur India, Jaipur Dairy etc


Illustrations: himanshu lakhwani


amal Bali is excited; it is a good time to be the managing director of Swedish bus-maker Volvo in India, what with Make in India and Digital India, two initiatives of the government, off the ground. The company entered India in the late 1990s, as part of a third wave of Swedish flag-bearers to invest in the country. It manufactures 40 percent of its trucks and buses in India and intends to increase production. Volvo employs close to 3,500 people and has two factories in Hosakote near Bengaluru. While it already exports intercity coaches and city buses to South Asia and South Africa, Volvo will soon export the first batch of its India-made buses to Europe. The company has the pick of the untapped, expanding Indian market, where ‘take a Volvo’ is close to becoming a verb, just as ‘Ubering it’ has become. “It was the consequence of pent-up demand for a good quality ride,” says Bali. The company has sold 5,300 buses in India since 2001. It has about 1,500 city buses running in 34 cities, and will launch hybrid versions in Navi Mumbai soon.

The company wants to make sure that travelling by bus and using public transport becomes cool in India. But it has its work cut out; Indians are buying cars and upgrading to fuel-guzzling SUVs and MUVs faster than ever. What worries Bali more than the car-loving middle class is that for a long time post-reforms, India has seen jobless growth (or growth without employment) in manufacturing, with multinationals assembling their products in India rather than making them here. “The main inputs came from overseas. But Make in India strikes at the heart, it can be a huge job creator if properly implemented. The initiative should encourage people to manufacture the entire value chain inside India, not just import the kits and assemble them here,” says Bali.

The Volvo bus factory. Left: the Tetra Pak plant in Pune

This direct selling beauty company allows individuals a unique opportunity to join its sales force and start their own business


This communications technology and services giant employs about 18,700 people in India

Inflection point

For Tetra Pak’s Kandarp Singh, Make in India is an umbrella initiative that mobilises people around a common agenda. “Even from a corporate standpoint, we have strategic initiatives and we give a name to it,” says Singh, who also heads the Swedish Chamber of Commerce India (SCCI).


This power and automation company has seven corporate research centres around the world, and one of them is based in India


SPOTLIGHT Eighty-three percent of Swedish companies operating in India participated in the 2014-15 India Business Climate survey, and endorsed the business climate as better than before

A Volvo bus on Bangalore roads

Tetra Pak has 37 factories worldwide, and distributes its packages in more than 170 countries. In 2013, the company invested around US$121 million ( 800 crore) in a new factory in Chakan, near Pune, the second-largest outside Sweden, employing 500 people. The Chakan factory’s contribution, says Singh, besides packaging and producing five percent of what Tetra Pak makes worldwide, is to co-formulate liquid food products, such as Moo milkshakes—launched by an Odishabased dairy products company Milk Mantra. Interestingly, the company uses ayurvedic elements, like turmeric derivatives, in its drinks. In a 2014-15 India Business Climate (IBC) survey, by the SCCI and the Embassy of Sweden, 83 percent of Swedish companies operating in India participated and endorsed the business climate as better than before. Of those surveyed, 42 percent manufacture in India and one out of three produce for both the local and export markets. And in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report, India moved four places up to 130, among 189 countries surveyed. This is a marked improvement from August 2015, when Bloomberg reported that financial investors who poured money into India were dialing down expectations. The ‘dialing down’ has been attributed to the delay of key reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST). But today the industry appears confident that things will move on 160

Make in India. “There is a dialogue around it—some of the initiatives around FDI, the recent slew of announcements. For me, the last few months have been positive, before that some cynicism had started to set in,” says Singh. That India’s promise is increasingly drawing Swedish companies to do business here is obvious. The IBC survey states that the number of Swedish companies in India rose from 85 in 2007 to 153 in 2015. H&M, the world’s second-biggest fast fashion retailer with stores in 60 markets, entered its 61st with the opening of its store in Delhi, in October 2015. In an interview to Business of Fashion, the company’s global CEO Karl-Johan Persson has said H&M is working with over a hundred suppliers in India, mostly around Bengaluru, and according to The Wall Street Journal H&M is expected to open 50 stores in the next five years here.

Staying the course

The world’s largest furniture retailer, Swedish giant IKEA, is waiting in the wings. Known for its flat-pack, selfassembly furniture, it has signed an MoU with the Telangana government and purchased 13 acres of land in Hyderabad to open its first India store. In the past year it has held supplier workshops in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Poland to promote the making of products in India. It sources “in the region of €300 million” or

2,170 crore, from within the country, India CEO Juvencio Maeztu told Business Standard. Touching upon the Make in India and Smart City initiatives of the government to that newspaper, the Spaniard said, “These are good concepts. I read somewhere that this (campaign) is a software and now we need a hardware to execute it.” Swedish experts believe the ‘hardware’ for Make in India will come from proper skills training, cutting down of red tape, easing land acquisition and better taxation policy such as the GST. Volvo’s Bali is most animated when discussing skilling. He feels Digital India will support automated or smart manufacturing and shatter old skill sets. Government should allow industry to train people, introducing digital methods of imparting training, he says, and that Industrial Training Institutes should be handed over to the private sector. Another hurdle cited in the IBC report is red tape. Getting licences and government approvals along with clearing goods through customs to a large extent slows down business, said the surveyed Swedish companies. IKEA, for instance, struggled to convince the Indian government to allow it to open restaurants within its stores. The biggest lesson for anyone willing to invest in manufacturing in India—and the Swedes know it well—is staying the course. “The first ten years were not easy for us. Volatility is inherent—political, social, economic—but you will grow. You have to be resilient, this is not a market that is just going to give you short-term returns,” says Singh of Tetra Pak. His views are echoed by Sweden’s Consul General, Fredrika Ornbrant. “When it comes to Swedish companies, they have a long-term view on India. What these companies also tell us is that they look positively at the reforms agenda that this government has set.” Bali seems to sum it up best when he says that, in a democracy things move slowly and not always in the most efficient manner. “India always held promise. The pace will gather.”


From right- Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director – PAHO, Dr. Jose A. Cordova Villalobos, Secretary of Health (Mexico), Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla and Dr. Jon Andrus, Deputy Director – PAHO.

★★★★★ What makes a collared blouse and skirt the star of the show? A smattering of sequins and rich zari threadwork in detailed floral motifs. Floral threadwork embellished blouse, Erdem. Taffeta lehenga with metallic sequin embroidery, Manish Malhotra. Shoes, JF London. Emeralds and diamonds set in gold earrings, uncut diamonds and pearls set in gold ring, uncut diamonds and round diamonds set in gold ring; all Anmol Jewellers. ‘Be Dior’ bag, sunglasses; both Dior


s u i n b ess E H T OF


HHH Photographed by ERRIKOS ANDREOU HHH HHH styled by Anaita Shroff Adajania & Priyanka Kapadia HHH



From a German-language Bollywood magazine to China’s love for Aamir Khan films—with its immense popularity in various parts of the world, Hindi cinema has now come to symbolise India. By Anupama Chopra


hat is Bollywood? It is a style of filmmaking. It is also a culture and a religion. Hindi cinema accounts for approximately 200 movies of the 1,000-odd that are annually produced in India. But the films made in Mumbai don’t just entertain. They dictate our fashions, our language, our hairstyles, the way we conduct our love affairs, the songs we sing when our hearts break and the way in which we get married­— rehearsed, synchronised dancing by relatives at weddings is, I believe, the direct fallout of Karan Johar movies. Across the world, Hollywood has flattened out local film industries—except in India. Hollywood films have budgets that routinely run into thousands of crores. The marketing budget of a big Hollywood film is usually larger than the actual budget of the biggest Bollywood film. And yet Hollywood only has 10 percent of the market share in India. When an A-list Bollywood film arrives, even the biggest Hollywood film gives way­—in November 2015 the James Bond adventure Spectre was shifted to avoid a clash with Salman Khan’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. In fact, Shah Rukh Khan has often argued that Hindi cinema’s star system has enabled it to thrive. George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise might be bigger in terms of eyeballs and budgets but the first choice for India is local stars. Stars have also enabled Hindi cinema to travel. Bollywood is arguably India’s biggest brand. Hindi films have devoted fans amongst the 28.5 million Indians living overseas. But Bollywood’s unique cocktail of song, dance, emotions and operatic drama has also seduced non-Indians. Hindi films have been travelling to Soviet Russia, Africa and the Middle East since the 1950s and ’60s, but in the last decade, Bollywood has cracked open many new markets. According to box-office tracking company Rentrak, revenues for Indian films across 36 territories rose from US$66.2 million (approximately 438 crore) for 69 titles in 2009 to US$289 million (approximately 1,913 crore) for 170 titles in 2013. The Germans have been besotted with Shah Rukh Khan since 2004, when a German television station programmed a prime spot for Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. The multi generational melodrama opened the door not only in Germany, but also in Austria and Switzerland—so much so

that the three territories have a German-language Bollywood magazine called Ishq. A few years later, the Chinese discovered Aamir Khan—first through pirated versions of 3 Idiots­­­­—and in 2015 with PK. A dubbed version of PK was released in 4,600 screens in China. The film grossed over US$16 million dollars (approx 106 crore) in the territory. PK is one of India’s highest-grossing films overseas, with a cumulative box-office collection (including India) of over US$114 million (approximately 755 crore). Over the years, Hindi films have also evolved. Bollywood is no longer a monolithic entity defined by song and dance. A new generation of directors is creating more personal indie productions, which are making inroads locally and globally. The Lunchbox made US$10 million (approximately 66 crore) at the global box office. Last year, Masaan became the first Indian film to win two awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The term Bollywood polarises the film industry, but the truth is that it has become shorthand for India. From Meerut to Marrakech to Malaysia, Hindi cinema has become a necessary comfort and a collective expression of hope. It symbolises the true power of Make in India.

HHHHH Opposite page, above: The two faces of modern Indian fashion—the humble gamcha melded with strips of polythene is the perfect foil for bold, Indi-pop colours. Embellished blouse, lehenga; both Indian by Manish Arora. Ruffle cape in handwoven gamcha and recycled polythene, AM.IT. Earrings, Curio Cottage. Sandals, Dior

HHHHH Opposite page, below: Maharashtrian Paithani, Bengali Jamdhani, and classic Kutchi mirrorwork, all uniquely individual crafts, are woven together seamlessly in the classic bridal hue. Kutch mirror embroidery blouse, khadi Jamdhani Paithani ghagra; both Gaurang Shah. ‘Piloutin Maharaja’ bag, Christian Louboutin. Necklace, Shourouk. Hand chain, House of Milk



The 2015 Forbes list of highest-paid actors in the world includes Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan at No 7 (US$33.5 million or approximately 222 crore), Akshay Kumar at No 9 (US$32.5 million or approximately 215 crore) and Shah Rukh Khan at No 18 (US$26 million or approximately 172 crore)­­—all of them earning more than Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Hugh Jackman.

HHHHH A Parsi-inspired pearl encrusted blouse, cross stitch florals and embroidered polka dots make this a look for a modern maharani. Pearl embellished blouse, Ashdeen. Polka dot and cross stitch sari, Payal Pratap. Beaded tassel earrings, Shourouk. Uncut diamonds set in gold bangles, Gehna Jewellers. Clutch, Ethan K



Director Kabir Khan’s blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan made US$95 million (or approximately 629crore) globally, and sold out its biggest screening, a 5,000 seat amphitheatre event at Korea’s Busan International Film Festival

HHHHH Above: An unconventional mix of textures—handwoven silk, embroidered cotton and rich brocade—brings heirloom-worthy pieces into the current scenario. Handwoven silk kurta, Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta. Embroidered wrap, Dries Van Noten. Brocade trousers, Payal Khandwala. Rosecut diamonds set in 18K gold earrings, Renu Oberoi. Rings, Aquamarine. Shoes, Jimmy Choo

HHHHH Opposite page: A sumptuous silk lehenga takes on the appearance of ikat with intricate resham embroidery. A second layer of ornate gold threadwork adds yet another dimension to the unconventional lehenga. Silk thread embellished blouse, raw silk lehenga with ikat-inspired resham embroidery; both Jade by Monica & Karishma. Handwoven scarf with latkans, [Ka] [Sha] by Karishma Shahani Khan. Mirror-embellished leather shoes, Fizzy Goblet. Necklace, Ritika Sachdeva


172 000

HHHHH There are several layers of modernity to peel back here—the off-colour pairing of mustard and purple; the mixing of metals (pale gold gota with burnt zari and a silver Banarasi weave); the traditional bird motifs that have been magnified. Angavastra kaftan with pale gold gota work, Divya Sheth. Banaras hand woven lehenga, Anita Dongre. Uncut diamonds set in gold earrings, Gehna Jewellers. Passa, hand chain; both Aquamarine


Hair by: Marcelo Pedrozo/Toabh Management. Make-up by: George Kritikos/Anima Creatives. Models: Mitali Rannorey/Toabh Management and Piyush Walia. Production: Temple Road Productions; Divya Jagwani Production Assistant: Janine Dubash, Saakshi Kaushik. Set design, props: Bindiya and Narii. Photographer’s assistants: Sajna Sivan. Photographer’s agency: DEU Creative Management. Location Courtesy: Rambo Circus, Mumbai. Special Thanks to: Sujit Dilip (Rambo Circus) Extra cast, Director: Kersi Khambatta. Producer: Baladutt Papne. Duplicate Amitabh Bachchan: Zuber Khan. Duplicate Govinda: Vinod. Duplicate Shah Rukh Khan: Raju Rahikwar. Dancers: Rita & Mithu. Spot Boy: Sajul. Helper: Biju Nair (Joker)


India sells the highest number of film tickets worldwide. In 2014, there were about 1,900 million tickets sold in the country. In second place was the US and Canada with sales of 1,270 million. China was at third position with 830 million tickets

HHHHH Above: Old-world glamour comes to life with a traditional silhouette hits a modern note with tone-on-tone threadwork and all-over zardozi. Threadwork and zardozi kurta with sharara, Sabyasachi. Uncut diamonds, South Sea pearls and round diamonds set in 18K gold earrings and necklace, Anmol Jewellers. Kundan hand chains; both Curio Cottage

HHHHH Opposite page: Handwoven mashru silk needn’t be stowed away for special occasions. Mix and match separates to your liking—to create the new ‘three-piece’ skirt suit perhaps? Nokha silk blouse, marigold silk skirt, rahmat organza dupatta; all Sanjay Garg. Silver ear-cuffs, Amrapali. Necklace, Aquamarine. Shoes, Christian Louboutin. Bag, SVJ by Sanya V Jain


s p ot l i g h t

The Making of Terminal 2

Despite several challenges, Mumbai’s international airport got a breathtaking makeover. By Aatish Nath


t’s not an easy task to build an all-new airport terminal; but doing so while the current airport is still fully operating and passengers are checking in, boarding and taking off like clockwork is even more difficult. That’s what happened as the integrated Terminal 2 (T2) at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport was being constructed—the existing half-moon shaped airport was still heavily in use. But this was only one of a series of hurdles during the build.

The Challenges

In 2006, GVK, one of India’s largest private sector airport operators, won the bid to build and manage the Mumbai airport. “It had huge challenges, not the least of which was the lack of sufficient land, making it the most constrained airport in the world,” says GV Sanjay Reddy, vice chairman of Hyderabad-based GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited. Only 1,400 acres was available for operations, as opposed to the 2,000 acres the airport tender announced (the difference of 600 acres was occupied by slums). Thus, the original plans had to 176

be rethought. Reddy decided to think of the constraints as an opportunity to truly innovate: his new dream became to set a new trend in airport design and to bring pride to the people of Mumbai. The small size would compromise efficiency or aesthetics. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the firm behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and One World Trade Center in New York, created the design plan for a distinctive X-shaped structure, which allows for two-way docking of aircraft and passenger bays. GVK broke ground in February 2009, but not without it’s share of hiccups. Some of which included the fact that the Mumbai airport has two intersecting runways, which means that neither could be completely closed for the duration of the widening. Instead, they repaved the intersection on Tuesdays between 11am and 5pm, allowing only small aircrafts that can land on shorter runways, to fly. Many travellers may be unaware that one of the runways at the airport is built over the Mithi River. The original channel, which allowed the river to flow underneath, couldn’t

withstand the torrential rains that beat down on the city in 2005—the runways were flooded under almost 2.5 feet of water, and muck had settled into the radio and lighting equipment. When the construction was in full swing, a decision was taken to build a second channel that could take excess water. The existing underground waterway was also widened to allow more water to flow through.

The Changes

Passengers were welcomed into the new terminal in February 2014. It certainly was a moment of pride: T2 boasts a white peacock-inspired contemporary design theme with some truly aesthetic elements, including water bodies and lotus light fixtures. The old terminal could handle 9.93 million passengers annually; T2 is capable of taking 40 million. The number of flights it can handle per hour has risen to 52 (from 30) owing to runway and airfield efficiency. “Terminal 2 integrates an iconic design with operational efficiency. It reflects modern India like no other building in the country does,” Reddy says.

The Jaya He GVK New Museum Clockwise, from below: the construction site; the new integrated Terminal 2; the airport lounge

“We had to build an icon, a monument which would stand the test of time. While the idea was simple, the task at hand was daring and ambitious” GV SANJAY REDDY

Mumbai airport now also welcomes the world’s largest passenger jet, the double-decker Airbus A380 as the runway has been strengthened and re-carpeted to handle its weight. Singapore Airlines and Emirates operate A380s to and from the city. But perhaps the most well-known feature of the airport is its magnificent display of Indian art. Jaya He is touted as the largest public art project in the world (outside a museum); it hosts 6,000 works sourced from every state in India. Many are antiques dating back to the 18th century (a personal passion of Reddy and his wife Pinky). Other works are by contemporary artists such as Riyas Komu, Mithu Sen and Anjolie Ela Menon. A single 3km-long wall showcases 97,815 sq ft of art, curated by Rajeev Sethi. “The wall is holding about 700 tonnes of artwork put together,” explains Sukhvindar Singh Chaggar, general manager of project construction. Divided into six sections, the wall features art curated from all over the country by Rajeev Sethi, telling the story of India under six broad themes—India Moves, India Greets, India Elemental, India Global, India Silent Sentinels and India Seamless. Antique doors and windows were sourced for the India Greets section, while India Seamless features work that paired artists with craftspeople from various parts of the country. T2 is also LEED Gold certified (it’s also the first airport to use bio fuel), and its GVK Lounge was awarded the world’s best First Class lounge at the 2015 World Travel Awards. (T2 has unique, combined lounges across all airlines; another bold decision by Reddy.) In October 2015, phase 3 of the airport opened, allowing Air India to shift most operations there. Tellingly, the Airport Service Quality rating has gone from 3.3 out of 5 in 2006, to 4.98 in 2015. “We converted an adversity into an opportunity by bringing to the fore India’s biggest strength: its tradition of art and design,” says Reddy. And, he adds, most importantly, it brings pride to Mumbaikars who pass through its glass façade. 177

The steps of the Chet Singh Ghat have been draped, from left to right, with the ‘Enso Evergreen’ velvet from The Pure Concept; the ‘Mezzo’ jacquard ikat is from Rumors; the Cotton ikat from SuketDhir, the ‘Edo Juniper’ velvet is from The Pure Concept; the ‘Echo’ cotton canvas is by Cord; the‘Mystique’ ombre jacquard by Rumors. On the upper steps is the ‘Ginger Spice’ linen by Sarita Handa, the ‘Char Bagh’ cotton, linen, polyester and acrylic ikat is by Atmosphere and at the top is the hand-knotted silk carpet (Benarasi Collection) by Qaleen


Fa b r i c s of india

Pure handwoven textiles are a legacy of our country that local brands are reviving in the form of modern furnishings and fashion. The magical riverbanks and temples of Varanasi form the perfect backdrop for these treasures. Photographed by Ashish Sahi Styled by Aaditya Walia



The two dhurries on the floor are ‘Sarah’ in yellow handloom wool and ‘Shalimar’ in navy handloom cotton, both by Shyam Ahuja. The fabrics covering the umbrellas, from front to back, are Pavo white terracotta cotton and linen by Sarita Handa; ‘Palette’ purple velvet jacquard from Kanchi Designs; the ‘Austin’ pink damask motif velvet from Rumors; ‘Kesar Baug’ silk yarn white floral fabric by Tulips and ‘Excelsior’ abstract multi coloured digital print on viscose cotton by D’decor Opposite page: The kilim stool is by Sarita Handa and the Persian wool kilim by The Carpet Cella


The boat on the river displays the ‘Green Cosmos’ abstract embroidery sheer by D’decor. Laid out on the platform is the ‘Azam’ handloom cotton dhurrie by Shyam Ahuja. The boatman is wearing a ‘Korea Patchwork’ handloom cotton silk stripe fabric lungi from 11.11, and holding the ‘Sanskrit’ Gayatri Mantra embroidered organza fabric from Kanchi Designs


On the wall hangs the ‘Mogul lady’ leather embroidered handbag, the ‘Omessa’ viscose crepe dress, the ‘Tulika Rd’ cambric Texo jacket, all by Ritu Kumar; the cover on the cushion next to the dress is ‘Ooty’ handembroidered satin with velvet detailing from Lesage Intérieurs. On the ground is the hand-knotted silk carpet (Benarasi Collection), from Qaleen



The ghats and the tilted temple have been made colourful with handwoven saris. On the steps, from front to back, are the yellow Mashru silk and ‘Krishnakumari’ green silk saris, both by Raw Mango; the pink ‘Fulia’ sari next to them is by Abraham & Thakore; the blue Benarasi handwoven silk sari is from Jaypore.com and next to it are the double ikat silk saris, both by Abraham & Thakore. Hanging inside the temple are ‘Crush Turrie’ embroidered crush tulle in orange and teal, both by Kanchi Designs Opposite page: The akhara has been decorated with a silk ikat carpet from Cocoon. On it, is a classic sheet metal trunk from Nappa Dori and the ‘Rainglass’ cotton canvas bag is by Cord. Hanging on the wall is the ‘Paperboat’ block print jhola by Jaipur Modern



For morning aarti, the ‘Jarigoza’ silk yarn floral fabric that is draped on the pooja table is by Tulips, the ‘Phuket’ plastic bag with leather strap next to it is by Jaipur Modern. The gold zari velvet covering the umbrella is by The Carpet Cellar. The pandit stands on a ‘Prisma’ silk hand-knotted carpet from Qaleen. Opposite page: The boy stands in front of the art silk hand-knotted carpet from Qaleen. Hanging on the wall is the ‘Washi’ cotton sheer fabric by The Pure Concept. On the wall at the back is the ‘Marsh’ digitally printed woven linen by Talianna Studio and the ‘Calypso’ cotton watercolour floral fabric from Rumors


The cushion at the front end of the boat is ‘Navina’ in embroidered linen by No-Mad. The other four cushions are all by Sarita Handa. The fabrics, clockwise from the front end of the boat, are ‘Albano’ embroidered viscose and linen fabric by Sarita Handa; ‘Lindow’ abstract multi-coloured digital print cotton from D’decor; the ‘Chinar Bagh’ cotton bedcover is by Good Earth; the ‘Mosaic’ abstract multi coloured digital print cotton fabric is from D’decor. At the bottom boards are the ‘Liberty’ Handloom cotton zaminda dhurrie by Shyam Ahuja; ‘Aylen Doctor’ hand-woven fabric bag by Nappa Dori and the ‘Kala cotton stripes’ khadi fabric from 11.11 Photo Editor Kim Sidhu Production Anomaly Productions Pvt. Ltd.


Classical instruments are intrinsic to Varanasi; the musician practises his sitar sitting on the hand-knotted Merino wool (Indo Patch Collection) by Qaleen; the ‘Marsala’ vintage revival hand-knotted carpet from Cocoon; the ‘Bharatpur’ woven linen and the ‘Coromandel’ silk satin woven, both by Talianna Studio. Around him are ‘Omar’ silk cushions, ‘Sarover’ silk bolster and ‘Uditi Sevantika’ linen cushion, all by Good Earth


Telling inspiring India stories



Video Digital

SPOTLIGHT There are more than 1,600 German companies in India and over 600 Indo-German JVs in operation. The 30 largest companies alone employ about 2,00,000 people

localising for the future

German companies are investing not only in manufacturing facilities but in R&D and technology. By Angshumitra C Rakshit

The Mangalore factory of BASF Left: the Volkswagen factory in Chakan, Pune

photographs: GETTY IMAGES; BASF SE Illustrations: Shutterstock


rime Minister Narendra Modi visited Germany to inaugurate the Hannover Messe in April 2015, but economic relations between the European heavyweight and India can be traced back to the 16th century. This was when famous trading companies from Augsburg and Nuremberg developed a new sea route around Africa, and the first German ships arrived in Goa. Since then, many companies were set up to establish trade with India. In 1867, engineers working for Siemens started laying the world’s first undersea cable from London to Kolkata. But it was in the 1950s that German companies began manufacturing in India. While Krupp AG and Demag set up the Rourkela Steel Plant, the first integrated steel plant in the public sector in India, the construction of Bosch’s first unit to make spark plugs started in 1953. Siemens set up its first factory in ’57, and Bayer established Bayer Agrochem. Joining the manufacturing bandwagon was Daimler-Benz that tied up with Tata Motors (then Telco) for the production of commercial vehicles.

Investing in opportunity

Today, there are more than 1,600 German companies in India and over 600 Indo-German joint ventures (JVs) in operation. “The latest Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) Annual Business Monitor shows that the 30 largest German companies alone employ about 2,00,000 people and another 1,65,000 by way of franchises, agents, exclusive suppliers and partners,” says IGCC director general Bernhard Steinruecke. Germany is India’s biggest trading partner in Europe and one of the top ten globally. Among foreign direct investors in India, it ranks eighth since the year 2000, with the main sectors for investment being automobiles, mechanical and engineering industries, services, chemicals and trading. “These companies with an annual turnover of about €16 billion (approximately 1,15,680 crore) have invested around €2.7 billion (approximately 19,521 crore) in the last three years, and intend to invest another €1.6 billion (approximately


German companies employing the most number of people, directly and indirectly, in India

Bosch Ltd

29,500 people

DHL Group India 29,000 people

siemens Group 18,000 people

Bajaj Allianz Life & General Insurance 17,300 people


SPOTLIGHT Germany is India’s biggest trading partner in Europe and among the top ten globally. Among foreign direct investors in India, it ranks eighth since the year 2000

11,568 crore) in the next three years with plans to recruit another 40,000 people. In the last two to three years, more than 120 factories were opened, along with the formation of more than 100 new companies,” Steinruecke adds. With the business environment conducive for growth, large companies across various sectors are stepping up their investments in India. The BMW Group, which has been making cars in India since 2007, in support of the Make in India initiative has further strengthened its commitment to the local market by increasing the level of localisation at their plant in Chennai up to 50 percent. “We have always looked towards India with a long-term perspective and our strategy is based on an inclusive approach,” says Philipp von Sahr, president, BMW Group India.

Localising is key

With its approach of ‘production follows the market’, BMW has partnered with Force Motors, ZF Hero Chassis, Draexlmaier India, Tenneco Automotive India, Valeo India, Mahle Behr and Lear India for sourcing components for local production of its cars at their plant in Chennai. While BMW has been sourcing components here, Bosch, the engineering behemoth, inaugurated a new manufacturing facility in Gangaikondan, Tamil Nadu, in January 192

2015. Built with an investment of around US$ 7.5 million ( 50 crore) and spread across almost 70,000 sq ft, this new facility will allow the company’s gasoline systems business to further localise manufacturing and increase cost-competitiveness. In September 2015, when Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens AG (parent company of Siemens Ltd), visited India, he committed an investment of more than €1 billion (approximately 7,230 crore) to participate in the Make in India initiative. Siemens, which was among the first multinationals to set up shop in the country, has 22 factories across India employing around 18,000 people. Merck India, the Indian arm of the German pharma major Merck, has also recently set up a factory in Bengaluru and upgraded the one in Goa. “A strong conviction from the government, the right strategy and a few policy changes that recognise and promote our competitive advantages can propel India into becoming a manufacturing location. The true success of manufacturing lies in the ability to service the global market,” says Anand Nambiar, managing director, Merck India. In November 2015, the German software major SAP opened 25 National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) centres in 12 cities across India in partnership with the IT industry’s trade body Nasscom Foundation. SAP India

also plans to bring its existing 15 training centres under the NDLM umbrella. Since January 2015, SAP has trained over 7,000 people at these 15 centres. SAP’s longterm aim through the NDLM programme is to train 1,00,000 individuals in digital literacy over the next three years. Investment in new factories is not enough, it’s important to put money into research and development (R&D): BASF, the largest chemical company in the world, is investing US$ 54.5 million (approximately 361 crore) in a new state-of-the-art R&D centre in Mumbai, and both Bosch and Siemens are using India as their hub for frugal engineering and SMART products.While SAP Labs India is the company’s third-largest in the world, the Mercedes-Benz R&D centre in Bengaluru is also its biggest outside Germany. And if new factories and R&D centres were not enough, chew on this: DHL, the global market leader in logistics industry, plans to introduce drones for deliveries and managing logistics. It also plans to invest about US$16.3 million (approximately 108 crore) across all its business segments in India. But what makes India such an exciting place for manufacturing? Steinruecke has the answer: “The main argument for manufacturing in India is the huge local market. It is also comparatively cost effective due to affordable and qualified labour and currently, globally competitive exchange rates.”

photographs: GETTY IMAGES

The BMW factory in Chennai. Right: the interiors of the BMW 525d



When the universe is your workspace, the sky is the limit, and there’s no such thing as a glass ceiling. Divia Thani Daswani meets the women behind Mangalyaan



The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft lifts off. Above: scientist Moumita Dutta was a project manager on MOM. Opposite page: visually impaired students visit the Space Application Centre (SAC) Ahmedabad. Previous pages, from left: Mars and Earth; scientist Minal Rohit in the Clean Room at SAC Ahmedabad


hat does it take to make sure your little girl grows up to be a rocket scientist? Start her young. Some 30 years ago, Ritu Karidhal was a little girl, looking up at the stars twinkling in the Lucknow sky, and wondering why the moon changed its shape and size every night. In her teens, she began following the activities of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the newspapers, cutting and collecting clippings. Around the same time, Moumita Dutta was reading about India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan 1, in the Anandabazar Patrika in her hometown of Kolkata, and thinking ‘How lucky those people are to have the opportunity to be part of this.’ Flash forward to 2015, and both women are top ISRO scientists, part of a team that worked on India’s acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), aka Mangalyaan. Unless you’ve been hiding in a crater, you know that Mangalyaan catapulted India’s space programme to international stardom. In an astonishing 15 months from the day it was announced (by the then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a speech on August 15, 2012), the team at ISRO conceptualised, planned and implemented the mission, successfully sending off the autorickshawsized satellite out of Earth’s orbit and into Mars’, a journey of 660 million km and 300 days. Armed with five payloads, including a methane sensor and tri-colour Mars Colour Camera, the satellite cost a total of US$70 million only. (For perspective, a similar NASA mission cost US$671 million; and the Sandra Bullock film, Gravity, cost US$100 million.) The amazing success of the mission brought worldwide attention and not a small dose of national pride and glory. If geeks are now the cool kids, ISRO scientists like Dutta and Karidhal are worthy of prom queen status. “I’ve worked on 14 missions over my 20 years at ISRO,” says Nandini Harinath, who served as deputy operations director on MOM, “and each one you work on feels like it’s the most important. But Mangalyaan was special because of the number of people watching us. And it feels great to be recognised for your expertise and competence. The PM shook hands with us. NASA congratulated us; they’re now collaborating with us. But it’s not just the industry, it’s the wider public, institutions, schools—they’re all so interested! They’re even following it on social media.” What we didn’t follow were the demanding schedules, intense pressure and tireless effort along the way: consecutive 20-hour days of endless permutations and combinations and rigorous testing, and many heart-in-your-mouth moments. The scientists are quick to dismiss it all, (“When you are working for a mission, for your country, whatever sacrifices you make seem worth it,” says Dutta), but equally so to credit their cooperative colleagues, supportive husbands, encouraging parents (who never let them believe that girls were any different than boys, and continue to pitch in) and in-laws for pitching in to help with their kids. Nandini’s mother, for instance, would move from Andhra Pradesh to Bengaluru for a month at a time during satellite launches to help with Nandini’s two daughters. In fact, her elder daughter was studying for her 12th standard exams while Nandini worked on MOM. “I’d only get home around



midnight, but I’d wake up at 4am so we could study together. Luckily, we were both too busy to stress each other out!” Minal Rohit, a spunky 38-year-old project manager on MOM and mother of a six-year-old boy, has a unique approach to balancing work and family life. “We think of our satellites and payloads as our babies, too,” she says. “To us, they have lives. So the rules for office and home are common: Patience, Procedures, Priorities. If you’re patient, that’s half the battle won. Don’t allow for single-point failure; have backup plans in your mind all the time to avoid chaos. And you can’t be everywhere at once; so assign your priorities. The mind and heart have to be in sync. You must always be true to yourself.” Still, all the scientists are clear that ISRO (whether in Bengaluru or Ahmedabad) is a brilliant work environment. “Nobody cares if you’re a man or woman here,” says the softspoken Karidhal. “It’s talent and good ideas that matter. There’s equal opportunity.” Women constitute only 20 percent of ISRO’s 16,000-strong workforce, but female engineers are increasingly joining in. “There’s greater awareness and education among young women now,” says Nandini. “Parents are being supportive of their daughters pursuing careers. The problem is that many highly educated women drop out before reaching leadership positions. That’s the mindset we need to change. Women have to realise that they can manage having careers and families. It’s possible! You can do it if you want to.” The passion in their voices is palpable. Karidhal, Dutta, Nandini and Minal have all worked at ISRO for 10 to 20 years, and each calls it a “dream come true.” (Dutta turned down a chance to pursue a PhD in Dublin while her husband studied for his in Spain; she moved to Ahmedabad instead, for her job. And Minal still recalls her father paying for her first-ever flight, to Bengaluru, for the job interview.) These are women who clearly derive great joy from their professions, and speak of their research as having higher goals, of helping solve many of our current problems. “Satellite data can be used in so many ways to benefit day-to-day living,” explains Nandini. The examples are many: Ocean Colour Monitors help fisherfolk throughout India’s 7,500km coastal belt locate areas with a high density of fish (they receive the information on their mobile phones); the Oceansat-2 Scatterometer measures currents to model and predict cyclone patterns to aid with disaster management efforts (as it did recently in Odisha); crop estimates are generated up to three months in advance thanks to Resourcesat imagery. According to sources, the technology is boosting transparency in government by verifying claims made by states. “Mangalyaan was a triumph, but we have a long way to go, a lot more to achieve,” says Minal. Dutta agrees: “We have to think of space research the same way we think of parents going to great lengths to educate their children. The fruit will be harvested by others, but we must invest now for sweet returns.” Want your little girl to grow up to be a rocket scientist? Clearly you have to start her young—and then get on board for the long haul.


Scientist Nandini Harinath at the ISRO Satellite Centre in Bengaluru. Opposite page, from top: scientist Ritu Karidhal in the library of the Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad; the Clean Room at SHAR in Sriharikota

I N D I A AT WO R K For the last seven years, British travel photographer Tom Parker has been photographing a side of India he felt was under-represented in the mainstream international press. “I wanted to capture the industries of this economic powerhouse rather than the romantic, post-colonial version that holds India’s reputation hostage in the western media,” explains Parker. The result is The Ind* Project, a collection of photographs which will be published as a book and multimedia project. “The project remains ongoing as I strive to keep pace with the speed of India’s insatiable growth.”


biocon lab

Biocon is a leading biopharmaceutical company founded by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Parker first struggled to find an interesting shot as he’d photographed there several times in the past. Then he managed to capture this image, in 2014, of a technician at one of its labs in Bengaluru. “I like this because you don’t quite know if you are looking at a man or a machine”

bandra-worli sea link

Previous page Hindustan Construction Company’s building of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai was a long anticipated and much talked-about process. Parker, who lived and worked in Mumbai, could follow it by looking out of his bedroom window. “In fact, the construction of this now-iconic structure was one of the inspirations for this project, back in 2009”



workshop, godrej industries

While shooting the ultra-modern Godrej One campus at Vikhroli in Mumbai in 2014, Parker stumbled upon an adjoining workshop housing gargantuan precisionengineered steel pipes used in the oil and gas industry. “It was like walking into another world—the sheer size of the pipes took my breath away”



diamond-polishing workshop

Ninety percent of the world’s diamonds are first polished in Surat in Gujarat—in hi-tech workshops like the one pictured here and shot in 2013—before making their way to trading centres like Antwerp and Dubai. “While working on this project, I have been constantly surprised by the staggering statistics of the industries I photograph”




Rajasthan is known for its sprawling quarries—marble from its famed Makrana region was used in the construction of the Taj Mahal. “I stumbled onto this marble quarry— one of the largest in the world—while on holiday in 2008,” says Parker. “One thing that struck me about working in India is how easy it is to get access as a photographer. I have yet to find a place in India I cannot photograph. The only place that’s been off-limits so far was a research lab at ISRO”



rolls-royce aerospace facility

Part of the burgeoning aerospace industry in India, the state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce facility in Bengaluru is home to highly specialised, hi-tech equipment. “These gloves in a radiation chamber—used to check for faults in jet-engine components—caught my eye,” says Parker, who shot this image in 2014. “This is, so far, one of my favourite shots from the project”



Founded in India, yoga is now a global phenomenon, says practitioner and teacher Deepika Mehta


I have seen that most people get introduced to yoga to improve their physical health, but eventually get drawn to its spiritual aspect. I travel frequently to various parts of the world to teach—from the smallest towns in the United States to parts of Europe and South America—and when I meet people there, I realise that yoga is a universal language and we are all connected through this common passion. It may be from India, but now it belongs to the world. Yoga has created a tribe of people who subscribe to a particular way of life—that of living more consciously. Today, industries such as fashion and food are also seeing an offshoot of the yogic way of being, with ethical and sustainable brands of lifestyle wear and organic produce becoming popular. For me, if you are a responsible human who is helping create a better world, then you are a yogi.

Profile for Condé Nast India

Make In India Magazine  

Make in India and Condé Nast India have created the official #MakeInIndiaMagazine, a special edition which launches during the #MakeInIndia...

Make In India Magazine  

Make in India and Condé Nast India have created the official #MakeInIndiaMagazine, a special edition which launches during the #MakeInIndia...


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