David N. Farr, Chairman and CEO of the $24 billion Emerson, has been betting big on India for decades. The company is into process management, network power, industrial automation and climate technologies. Recently, Farr shared his thoughts on India with BT's N. Madhavan. Excerpts:
On Indian skillsets: India is an engineering country. The capabilities here are world class and we use them to develop high-quality products that are used not just locally but also elsewhere in the world. I wouldn't call India a low-cost manufacturing base but a best-cost destination for value-added engineering.
India as a growth engine: Emerging markets account for 35 per cent of our revenues and we expect this to grow to 45 per cent in the next five years. India sales, currently at $700 million, will touch $1 billion soon. While the US and Europe have slowed down, growth in India is intact. We expect it to contribute up to five per cent of revenues (currently less than three per cent) in the next few years.
Challenges in India: Today, it is lot easier to do business and this environment has enabled us to set up 15 manufacturing facilities, employing 9,000 people. But challenges remain, especially when it comes to infrastructure and logistics. Bureaucracy is another major challenge. Though these have improved since I first came to India in 1982, a lot more needs to be done.