Today, India’s manufacturing industry stands at a defining juncture. Global trade headwinds and the COVID-19 crisis have put it in a unique position. At home, the industry has upon it the responsibility of providing the economy a much-needed push in a new normal. Globally, manufacturers and consumers look for new manufacturing hubs in the wake of the trade war. And India, with its massive educated workforce and democratic institutions, finds itself among the top contenders.

However, by all accounts, India’s manufacturing sector is punching far below its weight. Even though, at 16 percent, the sector’s contribution to GDP is comparable to other large economies such as Japan (19 percent) and the US (12 percent), at the global level it has miles to go. Currently, India accounts for 3 percent of global manufacturing output, far below that of Germany (7 percent), the US (18 percent), and of course, China (20 percent).

Clearly, a lot needs to be done, and the government’s Make In India campaign envisages a fast growth and a vibrant future for the sector. Among the campaign’s chief objectives is to bring the industry to the front and centre of people’s imagination and aspirations.

In its small way, MeshMix Media, through its publishing platforms — Dynamic Manufacturing India magazine (DMI) and www.machine-insider.com — has been doing its part to contribute to this cause. Over the last four years, we have captured the voices and experiences of manufacturers of industries such as aerospace, space, automotive, machine tools, disruptive tech, and medical devices.

The COVID-19 crisis affected us as deeply it did the rest of the industry. But, much like the industry, we responded to it with positivity and aplomb. From March to May 2020, we conducted a series of webinars with seventeen industry leaders from the manufacturing and associated supply chain sectors. We spoke to them about the prevailing scenario, and what the industry can do to emerge stronger out of this crisis. We are soon releasing a special edition of our magazine, titled Seventeen Samurai. The title, Samurai, was to honour the industry’s grit and resilience it is showing in the face of this crisis.

Taking it a step forward, MeshMix Media has instituted an award titled Industry Samurai Awards™ to recognize and felicitate manufacturing and supply chain companies and stakeholders who responded boldly and bravely to inarguably the severest Black Swan event of the last hundred years.