Indian Government is certainly taking many right steps. I came across interesting news about Govt’s push to use indigenous products by State Run Oil & Gas Industry.
Oil & Gas industry uses many imported items including Crude itself. Unfortunately India does not have many oil reserves. So it has to depend upon imports which drains huge amount of foreign exchange. But it is possible to save it on other industrial items required by Oil & Gas Sector.
Many Automation & Safety, Security & Surveillance (A3S) products are required by O&G sector. But almost all of them are imported. e.g. gas detectors. Safety is utmost important in such plants and one can not really give preference to locally made gas detectors by compromising on safety. So Made in India Gas Detectors have to be as safe as possible by any other company. In this sector Proven Track Record (PTR) is very important. So Indian Companies can not start selling just by making products. They have to be certified by NABL test laboratory followed by obtaining PTR. Testing & PTR calls for huge investment which SMEs can not afford. Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) may have technology but may not have deep pockets to sustain long time cycles and investment in obtaining test certificates according to various standards. So it is a Chicken & Egg problem.
I have few suggestions for the break out.
Oil & Gas Cos. should have vendor development cells like Automotive Companies. They should closely work with technically strong SMEs to develop required products. Funds could be provided by State O&G Cos, DSIR & SIDBI in form of low interest rate loans for R&D, testing and PTRs. CCOE & Labs can give priority to test & certification of these products. Engineers India Ltd. can closely work with these companies for PTRs and quality assurance, and finally recommend them to O&G Companies.
Similar methodology could be used by other state run sectors like Defence, Engineering, Chemical etc.