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Flash Story:

Navigating the Gears: Challenges and Opportunities in India’s Transmission Sector

An Exclusive Interview with Mr Rajesh Nath, the MD of VDMA India

Q1. Could you share your perspective on the recent growth trends within the gear transmission industry in India, and what factors have been driving this growth?

According to Transparency Market Research, the global industrial gear market is expected to grow at around 5% CAGR and reach a value of 111 billion USD by 2030. 

In India, Government investments in the expansion of the power-generating industry especially wind energy and the rapid industrialization in the country are driving the demand for the industrial gearbox. Application of industrial gearbox in sectors including agriculture machinery, machine tools, construction and mining equipment, material handling, transportation and food processing are other key industrial segments driving the growth.

Q2. What new opportunities have emerged in the Indian gear transmission sector, especially with advancements in technology and government initiatives like Make-in-India?

Advancements in technology and initiatives like Make-in-India have ushered in a wave of new opportunities in the Indian gear transmission sector. These include the integration of smart technologies for enhanced efficiency and performance, the rise of eco-friendly and sustainable gear manufacturing processes, and the bolstering of domestic production capacities. Moreover, initiatives such as Make-in-India have spurred investment and innovation, fostering partnerships and collaborations both domestically and globally, thus broadening the sector’s horizons for growth and development.

Q3. What are the most significant challenges currently facing the gear transmission industry in India, and how can they be addressed?

The gear transmission industry in India grapples with multifaceted challenges, including the continuous technological evolution to remain competitive globally, coupled with the need to uphold quality standards and comply with international regulations. Tackling these demands involves substantial investments in research and development, as well as bolstering skill development initiatives to ensure a proficient workforce capable of meeting market expectations.

Moreover, infrastructure deficiencies, such as inadequate transportation and power supply, pose operational hurdles, compounded by regulatory complexities that hinder industry expansion. Addressing these challenges mandates collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to invest in infrastructure upgrades, streamline regulatory processes, and cultivate a conducive business environment, thus empowering the gear transmission sector to navigate obstacles and flourish sustainably.

Q4. How do you envision the future of the gear transmission industry in India, and what role will innovation play in shaping it?

The gear transmission industry in India is poised for a promising future, driven by technological advancements and supportive policies. Innovation will be instrumental in shaping this future, with a focus on smart and sustainable solutions. These innovations include digital integration for efficiency, eco-friendly manufacturing, and collaborative efforts under initiatives like Make-in-India. Overall, innovation will drive growth and competitiveness in the sector, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for gear transmission in India.

Q5. In terms of India-Germany trade relations, can you provide how many German companies are operating in India, and what could be the approximate trade between the two nations in the gear transmission industry?

Currently, approximately 1,800 German companies are operating in India across various sectors. 

The bilateral trade between India and Germany touched record figures of around 31 billion Euros. The machinery sector contributes almost 30% to the bilateral trade between the 2 countries. In 2023, the German exports of machinery attained a value of around 4.2 billion Euros whereas the Indian machinery and component exports reached around 1.3 billion Euros. The export of power transmission (mechanical) from Germany to India was around 450 million Euros

Q6. Can you elaborate on the role of VDMA in fostering Indo-German collaboration within the gear transmission industry?

VDMA plays a pivotal role in fostering Indo-German collaboration within the gear transmission industry through its extensive network and initiatives, VDMA facilitates dialogue and partnerships between Indian and German companies, promoting knowledge exchange and business cooperation.

One of VDMA’s key functions is providing a platform for industry players to connect and explore potential collaborations. It organizes trade fairs, seminars, and business matchmaking events, where Indian and German companies can showcase their products, discuss industry trends, and explore partnership opportunities.

Moreover, VDMA offers support and guidance to companies seeking to enter or expand their presence in the Indian market. It provides valuable insights into local regulations, market dynamics, and business practices, enabling German companies to navigate the Indian business landscape more effectively.

Overall, VDMA catalyses Indo-German collaboration in the gear transmission industry by facilitating interactions, fostering relationships, and supporting mutual growth and development.

Q7. Where does India stand in the global gear transmission market, and what steps are necessary to elevate its position?

India holds a significant position in the global gear transmission market, buoyed by its expanding industrial base and skilled workforce.

To elevate its global standing, India needs to invest in R&D for innovation, forge partnerships with international players for knowledge transfer, enhance infrastructure to boost efficiency and ensure adherence to quality standards. These measures will strengthen India’s position in the global gear transmission market, opening avenues for growth and expansion.

Q8. How is the integration of digital technologies like AI and IoT transforming the gear transmission industry?

AI algorithms enable predictive maintenance, optimizing gear performance and reducing downtime by detecting potential issues before they occur. IoT connectivity allows real-time monitoring of gear systems, providing valuable data for analysis and decision-making. Additionally, digital twin technology creates virtual replicas of gear systems, facilitating simulation and testing for improved design and performance optimization. 

Overall, these digital innovations enhance efficiency, reliability, and productivity in the gear transmission industry, driving advancements and transforming traditional manufacturing processes.

Q9. What role does research and development play in the gear transmission industry, and how is VDMA India contributing to it?

R&D is vital for innovation and competitiveness in gear transmission. It advances materials, designs, and manufacturing processes for more efficient, reliable gears. Integrating AI, IoT, and digital twin simulations keeps manufacturers ahead, meeting evolving market needs.

VDMA India fosters R&D in the gear transmission sector through collaboration, knowledge exchange, and technology transfer between Indian and German companies. It hosts events and workshops and partners with academic institutions, often organising delegation visits, thus facilitating industry stakeholders’ engagement and sharing of insights. Overall, the aim rests on bolstering R&D and innovation, enhancing the sector’s competitiveness in India.