The 7th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit was held on 28th September 2018 at Conrad Hotel,  Pune, which was attended by more than 250 people. India is the second-largest sales market in Asia for the German engineering industry.

The Summit commenced with a welcome from Mr. Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India. Mr.Nath spoke about the completion of 4 years of the current government led by the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra bhai Modi. During these 4 years, India had experienced unprecedented and impactful reforms and the need for consolidation in the next few years before the economy sets itself up for the next phase of development.

The country’s economic growth soared to an over two year high in the April to June 2018 quarter, powered by solid expansion in the manufacturing, the farm sector and gathering the strength in consumer spending, bolstering the government’s reform record. The biggest tax reform in independent India, the goods & services tax (GST) was finally rolled out on July 1,2017 after going through 17 years of brainstorming and a lot of political deliberation.

It also paved the way for proactive and mult-pronged approach of the government to simplify Indian tax structure and also do away with the legacy tax issues. VDMA India also opened up two new offices one in Mumbai and the other in Bangalore which covers the Southern Region.

VDMA India also organised an ECTS(European Ceramic Technology Suppliers. The Textile Machinery division within VDMA organised a visit of 32 German companies from the sector and a two day seminar was organised in Mumbai. A new initiative of bringing the members of the North Region in Delhi was well received by the members.

The Business Climate Survey among the German companies conducted by VDMA had a positive outcome as 62% of the participants said the climate is good, whereas 35% considered it normal and only 3% termed it slower than last year.

The Chief Guest, Mrs RashmiUrdhwareshe, Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) congratulated VDMA for acting as a bridge between the German and Indian industry and also made a presentation on “Implementation of BIS–VI-Way forward for the Automobile industry”.

It is an autonomous research association of the Automotive Industry with Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India.  It has been playing a crucial role in assuring safe,less polluting and more efficient vehicles. ARAI provides technical expertise in R&D,testing,certification, homologation and framing of vehicle regulations.

Recently two more testing centres have opened up in Pune. It works in harmony and complete confidence with its members,customers and the Government of India to offer the finest services and is well equipped with state of the art infrastructural facilities and highly qualified manpower.

Dr.JurgenMorhard Consul General, Federal Republic of Germany, Mumbaigave a special address on “ Indo German Trade in western part of India”. He considered VDMA as an excellent platform of providing network for German companies and helping them to establish their businesses in India. He also mentioned about a lot of things happening between India & Germany starting from technology transfers, investments, boost to tourism, students travelling to Germany for higher studies, increase in business travellers etc.

There is also a fast track mechanism set up to expedite certain important issues of the German companies with the Indian government. The key challenges lying ahead are the safety issues and the complexity of labour laws. There are plans to set up training institutes in Pune and also mentioned that in the field of Mechanical Engineering, VDMA plays a very important role in establishing network between their members.

Mr. Carl Martin Welcker, Managing Director,  VDMA Frankfurt was extremely delighted to see the large response  of VDMA members for the Summit. At present VDMA have around 3250 members. Mr.Welcker is more optimistic with trade with India as exports have grown to 1.6 billion euro.

The capital goods export have also increased and it will continue to grow in the coming years. The challenge way forward is how to cope up with China which is investing hugely on quality and quantity.

TheVDMA  summit special issue was released and for the first time a robot was used to hand over the publication to the dignitaries. The dignitaries also released the Knowledge paper on ” Primary user industry for Machinery manufacturers. 

It was followed by a presentation on“ Primary user industry for Machinery manufacturers ” prepared by The Knowledge Partner, BDB India Private Limited.

The Technical session I commenced by Mr.AdityaLakhanpal, Director Corporate Treasury solutions Global Markets, The Hongkongand Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited India (HSBC,India).

He spoke on the importance of meeting the fiscal targets and monetary policy remains focussed on meeting inflation targets.. The next speaker wasMr.PrashantDeshpande, Partner Indirect Tax, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLPwho gave an overview on Impact  from GST Taxation and Anti Profiteering.

Thereafter, Mr.NileshJajodia, CFO, Wirtgen India Private Limited, who shared his views on his organisation’s experience of GST in the last one year.

The Post Lunch Technical Session began, with the release of the report “ Best HR Practices in the Engineering Industry” prepared by HR Strategy Partner Ms Deepmala Datta, HR Consultant Mier +Vidorna.

The theme of Technical Session II was primarily on Early adoption of Industry 4.0 and its challenges in Manufacturing. It began with the presentation on Industry 4.0–Adoption, opportunities & challenges and it was presented by Mr.Lokesh Payik, Chief of Digital Enterprise and connected Industry Bosch. 

This was followed with a presentation by Rittal India Private Limited. Mr.Sanjeev Kumar Head –MTS, Marcomof Rittal India Private Limited .The presentation gave an overview about their automation systems which is a comprehensive equipment for a professional workshop operation covering machine tools to fully automated machine technology.

Then there was a presentation Mr.Umesh Pal Managing Director, EPLAN Software & Services Private Limited He explained the challenges in Adoption of Industry 4.0 and the success lies in reduction of complexity and total integration. Inter communication of all technical systems is the key success factor.

The last presentation of Technical session 2 was on Adoption of Industry 4.0 and its challenges in the Manufacturing sector. It was presented by Mr.Neeraj Athalye Vice President – Innovation & Digital Business ,SAP Indian subcontinent.

The presentation focused on the need to have more Mega cities, new customer segments, improved supply chain infrastructure, better regulatory environment, higher global integration and Innovative & Affordable Technologies.

The final Session of the Summit after the Tea Break was devoted on the Panel discussion on “ From Red Tape to Red carpet – Ease of Doing business ”. This Panel discussion was moderated by Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India. 

The participants in the discussion were Mr.Carl Martin Welcker, VDMA President Germany , Mr. Georg Sparschuh, President, SCHOTT Glass India Private Limited, Mr.DharmeshArora CEO, Schaeffler India, Mr.GirishKetkar Whole Time Director & CFO, Thyssenkrupp Industries India Private Limited &Mr.BipinJirge , Managing Director, ifm electronic India Private Limited. 

The discussions commenced by Mr. Rajesh Nath, asking each of the panel members to explain the implications of  GST in their business in the last one year and the upcoming challenges like anti profiteering, getting skilled workers etc.

The various hurdles/challenges that the Panel Leaders overcame during their career stint in their organizations were: Skills training, Gender Diversity, Meeting Global Standards of manufacturing & Quality processes while locally manufacturing in India.

Though India has jumped up a few places in the ranking of Ease of doing business but the ground reality does not give a very positive reflection.Skill Development activity is still not giving the desired result and there is a need to fine tune the education system in India and introduce technical education from the high school level.

Discussions also covered on the challenges on customer side in adoption of technology, Indian taxation and Legal system, Indian Infrastructure impeding logistics and movement, Labour issues, Poor vocational training system, Price sensitiveness of the Indian customer/market, bridging aspirations of the older generation people with the millennial, passing knowledge from the older to newer generation, attrition of skilled labour and adopting/suiting German products to Indian needs.

The Panel Leaders displayed innovative methods and processes adopted by their organization in overcoming the specific challenges in their respective organisations.

After the panel discussion the stage was set for the 1st VDMA Manufacturing Awards. Manufacturing has changed its focus and approaches from pure cost to quality, productivity, energy efficiency and delivery performance in the last 2 decades.

Since energy consumption having paramount importance for manufacturing companies, continuous improvement in energy management is now integrated into strategies of companies for a sustainable growth. On the other hand, ecosystem of better work condition and safety standards ensures higher productivity and profitability for the organisations.

Against this backdrop, VDMA India associated with SKP Business Consulting as partner conferred the 1st VDMA Manufacturing Excellence Awards under the following categories namely “Energy Efficient and Conservation Award” and “ Work Condition and Work Safety Award”.

There were maximum 2 companies against each category. The winners were Milacron India Limited  and runner up were Siemens Limited under the category “Energy Efficient and Conservation Award” .

In the “ Work Condition and Work Safety Award ” the winners were Siemens Limited and runner up were Bosch Limited ( Nashik Plant).  The trophies were handed over to the winning teams by Mr. Carl Martin Welcker, VDMA President.

The Summit concluded with an evening presentation by Mr.Rahul Oza, Partner, Roedl & Partner Consulting Private Limited providing an overview of their organization.