India is becoming a major economic power in the world with an ever increasing demand for industrial automation. The country has more than 1.2 billion habitants now, and by 2050 it is expected to be the most populous country in the world with the third largest gross domestic product – right after China and USA.

As India’s manufacturing sector rapidly expands, competition between manufacturers forces them to adopt advanced automation solutions to produce higher quality products in larger number with less human intervention[1]. The size of the Indian economy, the changes in the age structure of the population and the relatively high economic growth make the Indian subcontinent an important market of the future. Only a few years back, there was no need for automation technology in India – but today, it has a growth potential of more than 10-12% per annum. Nevertheless, there are still market constraints to overcome: missing or poorly developed infrastructure and the lack of quality of the technicians will complicate sustained growth.

Indian economists have a great hope on the new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his “Make in India” campaign, where the focus lies on a simplification of production processes for foreign investors. The share of industrial production in GDP is expected to rise from the current 15% to 25%. That implies an immense rise in demand for automation technology and technical education and training as well.

For the near future, economists see great growth potential in the consumer electronics, biotech/pharma, water, food and automotive industries – all of which can benefit from higher automation. The development of Indian infrastructure and industries such as agriculture, education and other consumer goods provide great growth opportunities as well.

India’s automation fits into the wider picture where the Asian market for automation technology has been one of the fastest growing markets in the last couple of years – led by China, Korea and India. This trend is expected to continue (according to Desmond Teo, Senior Vice President Region Pacific Business of Festo Group), and the Make in India campaign gives foreign investors an opportunity to get a foothold in one of the top countries in this fast growing region.

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[1] http://www.cewindia.com/vikas_chadha_industry.html. Mr. Vikas Chadha, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India Ltd. and Indian leader, Honeywell Process Solution (HPS)