Growth in Number of Indian Women in Manufacturing

India’s manufacturing workforce is growing following an increase in female participation. From Tata Motors to Wacol, women are driving progress

Manufacturers are expanding their supply chains to stabilise their output and India is opening up its manufacturing potential to the world. As a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme, the country is increasing its manufacturing output - with women at the helm. 

The World Bank Managing Director Operations, Anna Bjerde, reported that if India increased its female labour force participation to 50%, this would help boost GDP growth by 1%. 

"Such a pleasure to exchange with the students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras – under the brilliant moderating skills of Sree Divya Josyula & Priyavrata Tiwari,” Bjerde said of her recent trip to India. “We need your help to achieve our mission of a world free of poverty on a livable planet.”

So what are the women of India getting up to?

Women at work in the Indian automotive industry

According to Subburathinam P, Chief Strategy Officer at staffing firm TeamLease Services, women bring distinct competencies to their manufacturing roles, such as adeptness in part handling, meticulous attention to detail, integrity and a strong sense of accountability.

“Major automotive firms are actively seeking to augment their shopfloor workforce with a substantial influx of female employees, aiming for a representation between 30% and 50%,” he said.

Motor vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors builds cars, sports utility vehicles, trucks, buses and defence vehicles. The manufacturer has over 6,500 female shopfloor technicians, where women are responsible for manufacturing electric cars, SUVs and various commercial vehicles. 

“Tata Motors has always remained committed towards cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace,” says Ravindra Kumar, President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Tata Motors. “The all-women TCF-2 production line was driven by a desire to transform the traditionally male- dominated automobile industry by placing women at the very heart of its operations.”

Meanwhile, 3,500 women work on the shopfloors at Hero MotoCorp and women account for 34% of MG Motor India’s 3,000-strong workforce, at its Gujarat manufacturing facility. 

In our ‘Top 10 Indian manufacturing companies’, we looked at the impact of vehicle manufacturers such as Bajaj Auto and Apollo Tyres.

Read the full article here.

Indian women in textile manufacturing

Using AI and VR in women’s clothing manufacturing - and shopping experiences 

Beyond the factory floor, Pooja Merani, Chief Operating Officer of female fashion brand Wacoal, is excited by the potential AI and virtual reality have for the fashion manufacturing process, as well as for women when they are shopping. 

“Incorporating technological advancements throughout the retail supply chain can bring about significant transformations,” said Merani. “From product design to manufacturing and distribution, the integration of technologies like 3D printing, virtual reality and augmented reality can streamline processes, reduce costs and enhance efficiency.” 

Merani suggests that these innovations could enable faster prototyping, customisation and faster time-to-market, ultimately meeting demands from female customers more effectively. But first, female manufacturers will have to be trained on how to use these technologies - and India’s higher education is ready to meet the demand. 

At Rava Demi Women’s University, a Centre of Excellence on AI and robotics was recently opened to help train women for India’s manufacturing workforce. 

“AI is the future technology and students should acquire the skill now, that is why the Centre of Excellence has to be set up in the women’s university” said Aravind Agrawal, India’s Higher Education Department Secretary.

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