Smart Factory India 2019 - French Expertise for Indian Industries

NEW DELHI : On the 2nd of December 2019, the 1st edition of 'Smart Factory India' - the Indo-French Business Forum was organised by Business France, the French Trade & Investment Commission under the aegis of the Embassy of France in India, to unite the Indian & French ecosystem from the healthcare, automotive & aeronautics sectors. The Smart Factory India event aims to bring together the French know-how and the Indian industries under one roof and assist in creating business synergies.

Concept behind the first edition of Smart Factory India

For many years, the Indian manufacturing sector has been a significant contributor to the national GDP. To maintain this continuous growth, it becomes necessary for companies to increase productivity, competitiveness and profitability. Innovation and Investment capabilities of these industries also play an important role in the global arena. The Smart Factory concept represents a revolution in manufacturing processes based on disruptive technologies, digitalization, connectivity and innovation which are key to optimize the entire manufacturing value chain.

According to IBEF, the Government of India has set an ambitious target of increasing the contribution of manufacturing output to 25% of the GDP by 2025, from 16% currently. Thus, in line with India's focus on automation in manufacturing and France's initiative to promote its 'Factory of the Future' know-how, Business France India organised Smart Factory India 2019.

The success of an action plan depends on the meeting - and collaboration - of all public and private actors, upstream and downstream and this formed the basis of the event. This platform gave Indian and French stakeholders a unique opportunity to exchange views on several important issues and facilitate collaborations between both sides at such a vital time for the Indian industry.

The CEO Meet

The CEO meet facilitated as a precursor to the Smart Factory India Event. The CEO meet was organised by Business France in partnership with the Foreign French Trade Advisers (CCE) - India Committee. This exclusive session gathered more than 15 CEO of French subsidiaries in India from large groups like Safran, Accor, Suez, Thales etc. and SMEs like Ultra Confidentiel, Wedge India, Citelum etc. The event witnessed the presence of His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Lenain - The Ambassador of France to India, Mr Daniel Maître - Minister Counsellor & Head of the Regional Economic Department for South Asia and Mr. Jean-Michel Cassé - President of the CCE. The objective of this session was to share with the French delegation the best practices for doing business in India. As it is rightly said "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much", Business France united the SMEs as well as the larger groups on one single platform to promote synergies within the French ecosystem.

The Plenary session and the launch of the Smart Factory Report

The plenary session inaugurated by His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Lenain, gathered a wide range of speakers from all arenas - Government agencies like Niti Aayog and Invest India; big groups like Schneider Electric India; Trade associations like NASSCOM, IFCCI & CII; SMEs like Sandhar Technologies, Sona Comstar & AI Foundry; and Intellectuals like Mr. Pranjal Sharma. The session ended with two panel discussions about the Indo-French political perspective on the Industry of the Future & French businesses' view on India as the next industrial hub.

The First edition of a special Report Smart Factory India 2020 was officially released by the Ambassador of France to India. This insightful report published interviews of Indian and French stakeholders from, Mahindra Aerostructures, Air Liquide medical Systems, Safran India and Gilbert Jain Laboratory Pvt Ltd that analyse the requirements of the current market in terms of technological upgradation. Mr Anil Kumar, MD Air Liquide Medical Systems rightly said, "In India, there are a lot of skilled employees and the cost of labour is low. So, we can make globalized product at affordable pricing here. Modernised processes have enhanced our productivity and we have increased our production output by over 150%." The report also presents a detailed overview of the French delegation that attended the Smart Factory 2019 event and focused on their expertise as well as their current projects in India.

Breakout Sessions and Meetings

Furthermore, the event concluded with the sectoral breakout sessions for three sectors namely Healthcare, Automotive & Aeronautics, that took place parallelly. These sessions were not just informative but also interactive. Each session was moderated by Indian Industry experts, who gave an overview of the current market trends to the participants. The French delegation then presented their solutions in detail which helped the interested Indian companies to identify opportunities for collaboration. There were special arrangements for one to one meeting between the French and Indian companies to facilitate further discussions.

The French Delegation

The French delegation comprising of 8 French companies focusing on Technology, Productivity and Efficiency in factories, showcased their innovative and adaptable solutions having the potential to fulfil the demands of the Indian manufacturing sector.

While Artelia provides comprehensive assistance to all industries throughout their projects, from design to implementation, Suez assists industries to achieve water sustainability and become water positive. DFD Dense Fluid Degreasing offers an environmentally friendly process for the cleaning of mechanical parts for industry which substitutes toxic, harmful and polluting solvents which are currently being used. Companies like Axon Cables (innovative cabling & interconnect solutions for high tech applications), Sopra Steria (information technology consultancy firm in digital transformation) & Expleo (end-to-end, integrated engineering, quality services and management consulting for digital transformation) are helping businesses harness unrelenting technological change to successfully deliver innovations. Keeping customization at the forefront, Mécanyvois (Tooling and special machines for the Aeronautic, Automotive and General Industry) & Numalliance (productivity solutions for the wire, tube and flatstock bending processes) disrupt the traditional standard manufacturing solutions market.

The Success of Smart Factory 2019

The Smart Factory India 2019 Event was a platform for sharing knowledge and business practices. It acted as a unique platform for Indo- French trade exchanges. The event sponsors for the Smart Factory 2019: Suez and Sopra Steria played an important part in the success.

The Smart Factory India 2019 was one of the most important Indo-French Events organised in India which united the entire Industry value chain in sync with the Make in India initiative and the French Fab concept of Factory of the Future. Owing to the success of this pilot event the Business France Team plans to make this an annual entity to boost the Indo-French collaboration across industrial sectors in India.

About Business France

Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, is responsible for fostering export growth of French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes France's companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment destination, and runs the VIE international internship programme.

Business France has 1,500 personnel, in France and in 58 other countries throughout the world, who work with a network of partners.

Source : The Week

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