Made In India: The Rise Of Timber Manufacturing And The Potential End Of China’s Dominance In The Global Market

By Michael Hermens, Group Managing Director of APP Timber, a solution-providing company for over 25 years, specialising in imported certified timber and wood-based materials.

The woodworking industry in India has been growing steadily over the past few years. It is a major contributor to the country’s economy, employing millions and generating significant revenue.

The industry is mainly divided into two segments: organised and unorganised. The organised sector is dominated by large companies that produce medium-quality, standardized products (often panel products). 

In contrast, the unorganised sector comprises small-scale enterprises that produce more customised, handcrafted products.

Surely there are good opportunities for foreign companies to invest in India, but there are several challenges that businesses face while operating in India, such as,

1.Complex regulatory environment: excessive laws and regulations governing various aspects of doing business and compliance is time-consuming and expensive.

2.Lack of skilled labour; one of the main reasons for this shortage is India’s inadequate education system, which fails to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge required by the job market. Many schools and colleges do not have access to the latest technologies or infrastructure, making it difficult for students to acquire practical skills.

3.Labour laws: India has complex labour laws, which can be difficult for businesses to comply with, and it can be challenging to hire, and lay off employees.

4.Cultural differences: India has a diverse culture, and businesses may need to adjust their strategies to adjust to the local work ethics.

5.Infrastructure challenges: India’s infrastructure is inadequate, particularly in rural areas with challenges in transportation, power, and telecommunications, which makes it difficult for businesses to operate efficiently.

6.Access to finance: this poses a significant problem for local businesses, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Banks often require collateral and other security, which can be challenging for SMEs to provide.

7.Intellectual property protection: a major concern for businesses in India (as it is in China), and it can be challenging to enforce intellectual property rights in the country.

Overall, while India presents significant business opportunities, navigating the country’s complex business environment can be challenging. I wonder if there will be a rush of foreign investments in setting up local factories.

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