The Chinese government has a great support policy. The land available to any manufacturer is subsidised, the electricity cost is subsidised, and they are encouraged to put up big projects instead of small ones. The bigger the project, the better the advantages. The practice of each town or province specialising only in one aspect too works in the country's favour. Besides, China has invested so heavily in infrastructure that even the remotest town is well connected, says Anil Anand, MD-Hari Chand Anand and Co.

 

The industrial sewing machine manufacturing today happens mostly in China, and at very few places in Europe, mainly Turkey. But here too China rules since the European giants of sewing machines of yesteryears are now owned by various Chinese companies. There is a reason for China's dominance of the industry: the support that it gets from the Chinese government.

 

The machinery prices that we get today are thanks to China and the industries that have been developed there. It is worth noting how the industry works there and how they work in sync with each other. Each town or small province in China usually concentrates on just one type of part manufacturing. If they are into basic machine die casting - that is what they do and nothing else. And the biggest or the smallest company of the sewing machinery industry will go there, give them the drawings, and get the basic frame of the machine manufactured from there. Since these clusters concentrate on one thing only, they are able to give prices which are virtually unimaginable.

 

The Chinese government for its part has a great support policy. The land available to any manufacturer is subsidised, the electricity cost is subsidised, and they are encouraged to put up big projects instead of small ones. The bigger the project, the better the advantages. Similar is the case with all internal parts of textile machinery. Most importantly, the Chinese never say no. You can ask them to manufacture the best possible quality, and at the same time they can manufacture the worst possible quality as well. It depends totally on the price that the buyer is ready to give. You can find similar parallels in the toy industry as well.

 

There is a flipside too - there are barely any new products or new technological developments to be seen. For this, China looks up to Japan and some parts of Europe and America. These countries today are concentrating primarily on productivity enhancing, efficiency increasing - automats i.e. automatic machinery. The basic heads are made in China, but all R&D and the automatic controlling systems are built in those countries.

 

So, how does India stand w.r.t China in the given context?

 

We, unfortunately, do not have any support for our machinery industry, unlike what the Chinese government does for its own industry. Instead, we have to look towards China for the requirement of any spare parts or machines, because our cost of everything is extremely high and nonsubsidised. Electricity is available with ease at only the Tier A, B cities but the cost of land and power is huge, and so is the cost of construction without any subsidies. For cheaper lands, the other problematic issues like logistics, power lines, etc, invariably crop up. China on the other hand has invested so heavily in infrastructure that even the remotest part is extremely well connected.

 

So, India is trying to do what Japan, Europe and America do as well- concentrate a little more on automats and let the basics come from China. It will therefore take time before India can compete with the automats coming from abroad, but the possibility is high.