The growth of the tooling industry is an effort that needs to be realised by associations like TAGMA, which is why it has undertaken the reskilling of MSME labour. D Shanmugasundaram, Vice President, TAGMA and MD, S&T Engineers P Ltd speaks to APF about TAGMA’s efforts to reskill the needful in order to boost the manufacturing sector and how the growth of the tooling industry really is an effort required from the TAGMA association, the industry and the government. He also elaborates on the TAGMA training centre in Pune which will be an important step in the attempt to skill Indian workers.TAGMA has a lot of education-based initiatives. Could you tell us about your latest initiative?In collaboration with the Government of India, TAGMA is coming out with a centre of excellence (CoE) in Chakan, Pune. The infrastructure is already in place and the machines have been ordered. Within six months time, the CoE should be ready for use with a complete set of softwares and machinery to help the mould makers. In addition to this TAGMA has its own library and a directory. With the help of this traning centre, our idea is to increase the efficiency of the mould making, so that we can cater to the exports and meet out the quality standards of countries. In this way we can get in touch with FADMA (Federation of Asian Die and Mould Associations) and other parts of the Asian industries. How much investment has been made in the training centre?This CoE will have an investment of Rs 500 million in total. Of that Rs 300 million will come in from the GoI’s Department of Heavy Industries (DHI). The remaining Rs 200 million be invested by TAGMA and the industry. This participation by the GoI is in tandem with their Capital Goods Improvement Scheme. Whom is this CoE meant for and how will training be provided?Around the Chakan area there are several small mould makers who cannot afford to buy for themselves the kind of machines that will be available in the CoE. With the help of the centre, they will be trained to make tools and moulds using these state-of-the-art machines and technology. We will have a "no profit-no loss" condition. As far as training is concerned, we intend on calling the experts and retired industrialists who will impart training to them in design and technology. As TAGMA is also one of the members of FADMA, could you provide an overview of the Asian scene in terms of tooling and die moulding industry?As far as Asian tooling is concerned, China is the leading nation. We produce 2 billion units per year. China is presently outputing 35 billion. So you can understand the disparity between 2 billion to 35 billion. China not only annually produces 35 billion most of which goes towards domestic production. They are also exporting 2 billion per year. At the same time, you can understand the potential growth that Indian tool industry can have. In the case of the Indian tooling industry, we are bigger importers than exporters. And we import close to 20 billion right now. Previously it was 34 billion, but since our mould making industry is trying to be self sufficient the number has come down. In this way we make an opportunity to grow and cater to the Asian countries.What occupies majority of India's import share?We are primarily importing moulds because we cannot do in-time delivery. This can be a problem as the automobile industry is quick in coming up with models and OEMs need the moulds in time. This is forcing them to look out for the imports.How will a TAGMA directory be useful to the industry?The directory will be useful for the OEMs and will have all the useful information about TAGMA. The directory will be a one-stop solution about TAGMA and its huge membership. Would you say we have a friendly competition with China?In a sense, yes. It’s not that we can use the word competition. We can learn a lot of things from our neighbours in terms of production and execution. Even the Chairman of Chinese Die and Mould Industry Association (CDMIA) has mentioned that we can have an exchange of technology. China is also open to us taking our delegates there and seeing the Chinese toolrooms. So you can’t really say that they have any competitive animosity towards us.How do you propose we increase our domestic production? How do we match with China?It will take us a while. It will take us at least two decades to match them as we have to improve our skills. While this is happening already, another thing we have to consider is our infrastructure. The current government is doing a massive expansion of infrastructure. We are on the right path and we will grow in a phenomenal way in the coming years.