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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 10th October 2019: Russell Reynolds Associates, a global leadership advisory and search firm, recently conducted an in-depth survey with top manufacturing firms in India to assess the thrust areas essential for India to leapfrog to Industry Revolution 4.0. In its report “Transforming Manufacturing in the Era of Industry 4.0 “RRA details India’s preparedness to embrace technology and leapfrog stages of development toward rapidly becoming a top manufacturing destination in the world.

The survey revealed that Indian companies – both multinational and local companies – faced multiple challenges in driving this transformation to Industry 4.0 in the highly labor-intensive manufacturing environment of India. Some of the most interesting implications that were surfaced focused on challenges around training: knowledge gaps and lack of the right culture to absorb 4.0 changes, which were revealed as the biggest hurdles for transforming manufacturing in India, followed by lack of risk appetite and the sociopolitical environment, while other challenges mentioned were short investment horizons, paucity of talent and lack of funds.

Interestingly, around 62 percent of the survey participants claimed to still be at the third industrial revolution in terms of their technology journey in manufacturing.

The survey identifies two thrust areas that would enable Indian companies to match their counterparts and stay ahead in the game: leadership competencies to drive transformation across its various stages beginning with creating the business case from design to implementation and cultivating the right organizational enablers to ensure transformation succeeds and continues to add value sustainably.

Hence, the question now arises of who are the most capable change agents to drive this manufacturing transformation in an organization. The answer is, leading from the front. The major change agents in an organization are as follows: CEOs (69%) followed by COOs (45%); 4.0 leaders (31%) ranked third, while CHROs (24%) and the board (21%) ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

A report was compiled through surveys and roundtable discussions with CEOs, CHROs, COOs and operations leaders from a mix of Indian companies and MNCs with significant operations in India, across 30 different manufacturing organizations in India.

Commenting on the findings, Vijuraj Eranazhath, a member of Russell Reynold Associates’ Industrial and Natural Resources and Global Supply Chain Sectors, stated, “The survey clearly states that Industry Revolution 4.0 is a journey and not a binary switch. Organizations not only need a grand unifying digital vision, they also need a plan to address that vision through a series of actionable steps that create bottom-up culture champions to encourage people to contribute to the transformation and that establish a champion in every location and within every major group.”