Monday, April 13, 2020

Digitalization in Sales & Service and revival of ‘Make in India’ to be the key enablers for Indian Automotive Industry in the post lockdown phase - NRI Consulting Report

As the novel Coronavirus disease is wreaking havoc across the world and posing one of the biggest challenges to humanity, the devastating effect of this crisis on economies including India is very much visible with the impact only expected to increase in the coming months.

Since the automotive industry makes up about 50% of India’s industrial GDP and is one of the biggest employers both through direct and indirect employment, Nomura Research Institute (NRI) Consulting & Solutions India has put across a detailed study on the ways in which the industry can restart operations to cushion out the impact to some extent. While scenarios of the impact have been well documented by both national and international bodies and firms, this report dwells on the challenges at a micro level across the stages of the Automotive value chain in India and suggests suitable solutions that could be incorporated to run operations.

The report identifies the challenges faced at each stage of the value chain i.e. Product Development, Procurement, Manufacturing, Finance, Logistics, Sales, Marketing & Aftersales, based on the context and configuration of each of the stages for different players.

The report suggests a set of Strategic Imperatives for each of the aforementioned subsets, clearly defining the immediate focus and the subsequent steps that will help stabilize and eventually bring the automotive sector back on track once the lockdown is relaxed.

Key recommendations:
  • Product development measures aimed at significant trimming of cost to market for new products, and evolving customer needs, e.g. adoption of cosmetic design changes to facilitate ease of surface disinfecting, will be key enablers, along with continued focus on existing clean mobility solutions
  • Push for localization and ensuring supply continuity along with critical review of inventory policies based on supply hiccups
  • In-plant stay of labour, enhanced health and safety practices and increase in degree of automation
  • Investment in digitization, innovations in financing, tweaking SoPs for health at Dealerships and Service centres
  • Enhanced track and trace measures across the supply chain for not just parts but also workers coming in contact with them for effective containments in case of infections
  • Consistency on govt. policies related to safety, emissions, etc. to avoid undue stress and continuity of business plans
  • Stimulus packages to catalyze the restart of the industry

The report also highlights that this crisis brings to the fore an opportunity for Indian auto part makers increase their participation in the global value chain by becoming an alternative to China in the changing geopolitical world order and for this in some cases, a technology acquisition maybe imperative. Given the financial distress across the world, the more financially sound players in the country could also acquire firms and technologies in this period and that would help position them as effective alternatives while also furthering the true Make in India spirit.

Ashim Sharma, Partner & Group Head – Business Performance Improvement (Auto, Engineering & Logistics), NRI (Nomura Research Institute) Consulting & Solutions, said, Evolving product features based on emerging hygiene and disinfection needs, localization, increased degree of automation, digitization and innovations in financing, and a set of economic stimulus by the government are the needs of hour that will see us through this crisis. A clear guideline and policy for safe working similar to running of hospitals to start work at factories, interstate movement of goods, reduced interest rates, adequate moratorium period, demand generation through fiscal & non fiscal measures such as subsidies and scrappage policy, and last but not the least, a massive push to the ‘Make in India’ campaign will prove to the key differentiators for Indian automotive sector in the post lockdown phase.”

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