9th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit

VDMA India

The 9th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit – the annual flagship event of VDMA India was held on 22nd January 2021 at hotel Hyatt Regency, Pune. Over 200 participants, mostly VDMA members from 17 states of India, attended this prestigious event.

The summit commenced with the welcome address by Mr. Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India. Mr. Nath not only described the blow to the economy and industry during the pandemic months, but also celebrated the resurgence and recovery from it. He alludes to the lockdown as a learning experience of sorts – how it has highlighted criticality in the manufacturing sector, that companies need to review existing conditions, explore automation possibilities, and thus counter the setbacks of the lockdown.  Mr. Nath highlighted some of the key activities undertaken by VDMA India office in 2020 like German Technology day event at Guwahati, International symposium on Industry 4.0 at Gurgaon & Indore; a CEO roundtable on Electromobility in Mumbai; European Ceramic Technology Symposium (ECTS) in Ahmedabad; web seminars on wide ranging topics like safety, frugal engineering and value engineering, automation trend in manufacturing and CEO Thought Leadership series.

On occasion of the 9th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit, the Summit Special issue was released by the dignitaries. This was followed by the address of the “Chief Guest” by Dr P. Anbalagan, IAS, C.E.O., M.I.D.C who spoke on ‘Investment opportunities and new initiatives by the state administration for enhancing the development of manufacturing industry in Maharashtra. He mentioned about Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0- a new initiative to facilitate business in the state.  Some of the features are the plug and play infrastructure, a landbank of more than 40,000 acres, flexible rental and pricing structures, automatic permissions in 48 hours, specialized Labour Protection guidance, and an Industry Employment Bureau for locally skilled people. In his special address, the ’Guest of Honour” Dr. Juergen Morhard, Consul General, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mumbai informed the audience on the latest FTA updates. He also mentioned that the strength of Germany is not just industries but also how the industries organize themselves. He highlighted the importance of exchange between India and Germany and a need for continuous dialogue to facilitate better understanding and mutual benefits.

The recorded video message of Mr. Ulrich Ackermann, Managing Director, Foreign Trade division, VDMA Frankfurt highlighted three prognosis like slow economic recovery, rising global protectionism and necessity of reforms to improve competitiveness of the other members of the EU. According to him, India is the second most important mechanical engineering industry in Asia after China for the german industry.

On occasion of the Summit, a Knowledge paper on ‘Prospects of selected industries in the new normal era of post COVID-19” was released by the “Knowledge partner” BDB India Pvt Ltd.  In his brief presentation, Mr Chetan Ligade, Director, BDB India Pvt Ltd, highlighted the economic overview and manufacturing trends in India. 

The Technical session I commenced with the presentation by Mr. Sachin Shinde, Director of Indirect Tax, Deloitte India who spoke on Ease of Doing Business- New Tax Initiatives. He hightlighted the recent initiatives by Government of India on e-invoicing and how it has gained momentum in the last 10 years. He also touched upon other topics of different GSTR, input tax reconciliation, and the challenges faced due to non-compliance.
Mr. Dharam Veer Singh Krishnawat Associate Partner, Team Lead- Mumbai, Roedl & Partner, the next speaker, made an overview on the recently introduced new Labour Law Reforms. He highlighted the importance of the four new laws which consumes 100 state laws and 40 central laws previously governing the labour law matters.
The last speaker of the technical session I was Mr. Aditya Nagarajan, Vice President Guidance Tamil Nadu, the nodal investment promotion body of Tamil Nadu Government. He shared his views on realigning the global value chain in the new normal. He highlighted the importance of Germany as a country for the state of Tamil Nadu with a 35% share in FDI.

The technical session II, devoted to the theme on “Emerging Trends in Manufacturing” which started with the presentation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in manufacturing, by Mr Stephen Raj Arokiasamy, Head- Data Science and AI, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions. He highlighted the importance of AI, the growth it has seen in the last years, and how it has become an integral part of the latest developments. Dr. Shiv Venkatarami, Vice President Operations, Lapp India Pvt. Ltd., the next speaker, presented on the smart value chain systems enabled by the digital factory. He mentioned that more organizations were operating remotely during the Pandemic period. He stressed the need for a prerequisite digital environment with a digital supply chain to use AI effectively and the importance of analytics. The final leg of this session was the presentation from Mr. Anup Kapadia, Product Manager-Device Connectivity HARTING India, who presented the technology leaps in connectivity solutions for smart manufacturing. He explained extensively about the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) on its features, benefits, applications, and how it considerably improves the existing multi-pair ethernet.
The final session of the summit was devoted to a very interesting and thought-provoking panel discussion on “Atmanirbhar Bharat propelling Indian Manufacturing sector towards 1 trillion-dollar economy? The Panel discussion was moderated by Mr Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India. The panellist was Mr. Vivek Bhatia, Managing Director & CEO, thyssenkrupp Industries India Private Limited; Mr. Harsha Kadam, CEO and MD, Schaeffler India Limited; Mr. Suresh K V, President & Head of Region India, ZF India Pvt. Ltd.; Mr. Rashmikant Joshi, Managing Director, Festo India Private Limited; Mr. Sanjeebit Choudhury, CEO -India, Vice President -Asia Pacific, WEISS Automation Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. & Mr. Nobert Wirth, Managing Director, Haver & Boecker India. The discussion began with Mr. Nath, posed questions to each panellist and asked them to share their opinion on various topics such as Atmanirbhar Bharat, Ease of doing business, economic and infrastructure growth, labour reforms, job creation.  Post panel discussions, a pitch by Start-Ups session connected to manufacturing sector was organised. Mr Rahul Lahane, Founder and CEO, Chistats Labs, and Mr Mohan Babu, Business Development, Utthunga Technologies shared about their start-ups and its activities.  A short question and answer session with the panellist was followed, immediately after the pitch session.
After the panel discussion, the stage was set for the 3rd VDMA Manufacturing Excellence Awards aiming to recognize the VDMA members who have implemented methods either in energy efficiency and conservation or improvement in work condition and work safety in their manufacturing process. VDMA India associated with Roedl & Partner as award partner, for the 3rd VDMA Manufacturing Excellence Awards under the following categories namely “Energy Efficiency and Conservation Award” and “Work Condition and Work Safety Award”. Maximum 2 companies against each category, were awarded. The co-winners were Bosch Limited and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., and the runner-up was Schaeffler India Limited under the large category “Energy Efficient and Conservation Award”. Bucher Hydraulics Pvt. Ltd. was the winner and Hella India was the runner up under the medium size in the same category. In the “Work Condition and Work Safety Award,” the winners were SKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited and the runner-up was Voith Hydro Private Limited under the large category. KERN-LIEBERS India Private Limited was the winner and SMS India Pvt. Ltd. was the runner up under the medium category of “Work Condition and Work Safety Award”.  The trophies were handed over to the winning teams by Mr. Pramod Patil, Vice President – MTB, Bharat Forge Ltd, Pune (who was also one of the jury member); Mr Rajesh Nath, Mr Rahul Oza, Partner, Head of Mumbai & Pune office, Roedl & Partner and Mr. Sandip Roy, Regional Head-East, VDMA India.

The summit ended with a concluding remark by Mr. Rajesh Nath, who thanked speakers, panellists, participants, award winners, sponsors, and colleagues of VDMA India. He wished them luck for the year ahead and invited them to the 10th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit to be held at Bengaluru in the last quarter of 2021. The members appreciated the initiative taken by VDMA India in organising the event physically in spite of challenging time which provided good networking opportunity for both the members and speakers at the event.