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Navigating India’s manufacturing horizon: Tech trends and skills shaping 2024

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By Somnath Mukherjee Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), Greenpanel Industries Ltd

The manufacturing sector is poised to be a pivotal force propelling India towards the four trillion-dollar economy envisioned by the Prime Minister post-COVID. India is emerging as a production hub, with a surge in domestic manufacturing. The Outlook report by TeamLease reveals a significant hiring intent of 65% among large manufacturing firms, driven by escalating demand and the need to optimise production capacities. Amidst this transformation, the wooden manufacturing industry is also gaining prominence, presenting new opportunities and challenges. As manufacturing evolves, it becomes a linchpin for global health, national security, and economic prosperity, fueling India’s journey to economic prominence.

According to my close observation, I believe that the following top 3 skills will dominate the manufacturing industry in 2024

Emerging trend of digital fluency & emergence of AI
The essential need for digital fluency in manufacturing is undeniable. Traditionally seen as a conservative industry, manufacturing is evolving with the times, demanding a deep understanding of digital tools. Today, manufacturing experts must be well-versed in diverse digital systems, technologies, and AI applications. Proficiency in manufacturing-related digital tools empowers individuals to leverage their computer and tech skills, contributing to the enhancement of a company’s software, hardware, and digital networks. This shift towards digital fluency is crucial for improving manufacturing efficiency and keeping pace with the evolving landscape of technology in the industry.

Essential software skills for manufacturing roles
In the manufacturing industry, possessing proficiency in specialised software is crucial for prospective hires. Companies actively seek candidates familiar with manufacturing-specific tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). This emphasis stems from the necessity for individuals joining the sector to seamlessly integrate into roles that require an understanding of intricate technical software. Whether in design, production, or management positions, firsthand experience with these tools not only streamlines processes but also positions candidates as valuable assets in driving innovation and efficiency within the manufacturing landscape.

Lean manufacturing: Revolutionising efficiency, empowering teams

Lean manufacturing is a transformative approach, finely tuning efficiency and reducing costs through waste elimination. Educating the workforce about lean principles is pivotal for instilling a culture of continuous improvement. By imparting this knowledge, organisations empower teams to proactively identify and eliminate inefficiencies, fostering a dynamic and engaged workforce. This proactive mindset not only boosts productivity but also ensures sustained competitiveness in the ever-evolving manufacturing landscape. In a world where adaptability is key, teaching the workforce about lean manufacturing becomes an essential investment, aligning teams with the principles that drive operational excellence and long-term success.

Conclusion
As India charts its course to a 4 trillion-dollar economy, the manufacturing sector stands as a linchpin for global impact. Digital fluency, essential software skills, and the transformative power of lean manufacturing emerge as pivotal forces. Embracing these trends positions India at the forefront of innovation, propelling economic prosperity, and ensuring a competitive edge in the evolving manufacturing landscape.

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