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President's Messages

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From President's Desk 2015

Dilip Sawhney- President AIA

2014 - 2016

So much has changed in the course of the last twelve months in the country. Most of all, there is an air of confidence, a ‘can-do’ spirit with a belief that India emergence as a global power is imminent. Where we are starting this phase of an exciting journey from is challenging. Manufacturing is a perfect example.

At 14%, its share in the GDP is a mere fraction of economies at a similar stage. Also, the challenges we face are amongst the toughest; be it lack of infrastructure or a global perception of ease of doing business. What balances it out, though, are some of our best strengths – human capital and growing consumer demand. What is needed then is the belief that we can alter the status-quo. It is heartening, therefore, to witness the recent policy direction, particularly around manufacturing. Being an automation professional, one cannot help but notice the near omnipresence of automation across most of the recent programme (which are already a part of our vernacular) – be it the ‘Make in India’ initiative, or the supporting initiatives like ‘zero defect - zero effect’, ‘skill India’ etc. Essentially, we are talking about leveraging contemporary technologies for enhancing manufacturing competitiveness – the essence of industrial automation.

India’s challenges are unique and not only technological. They are about linking the silos of excellence, adopting systems for shared working, caring for last mile completion and igniting the passion of shop floor careers! The solutions, hence, need to be unique and local, that will have to push the envelope of creativity, innovation and frugal engineering. Automation industry surely recognizes this moment of partnership and opportunity to build a strong foundation


From President's Desk 2011

Dear Friends,

AIA has established a reputation for creating awareness about the latest trends and global best practices across the large process and manufacturing community. However the penetration of Automation is way below the mark when we look at our SME sector. System Integrators can be our Industry’s most effective channel to service this sector which is spread far and wide across every region. At AIA, we are particularly proud of our integrators and application solution providers and the quality of service they offer to their customers. I look forward to supporting and involving this segment of our membership. Equally important, our effort towards manpower development would be directed in an equitable manner so that smaller towns and industrial belts can enhance the skill set of their existing talent pool.

Warm regards,


From President's Desk 2010

Dear Friends,

AIA has established a reputation for the latest trends and global best practices across the process, manufacturing and consumer community. The technologies available today have served to transform whole of the industry landscape and advanced automation provided by Distributed Control systems, Robotics and wireless field instrumentation continues to elude some end users, particularly in SME industries and food & beverage and textiles in our country.

We are committed to driving continued technological progress and maintaining a strong commitment. Our approach includes extensive research on both emerging technology trends and key global market trends and challenges.

At AIA, we are particularly proud of the array of technology solutions and products that help industrial users, commercial businesses, and consumers.  Today we are hard at work developing the next generation of technologies and services that can continue to improve energy efficiency, lessen impact on the environment, and provide energy resources for our world. We take pride in developing forward-thinking technologies that help us to stay ahead of the curve.

My experience of leading AIA has been very satisfying and I look forward to supporting the body with as much vigor as always. My best wishes to the automation community, the technology users, innovators and challengers who all keep us interested in giving our best.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!!

Warm regards,


From President's Desk 2009

Dear Friends,

The world is presently experiencing changes of momentous magnitude. The automation industry is no exception. Information revolution has swept all aspects of our lives. Physical and financial boundaries have virtually collapsed.

The economy has given us a timely wake up call. We are alive to the fact that the cooling period will continue for some more time. Nevertheless, technology development will continue unabated since researchers and engineers thrive on challenges. This is a good time for our customers to invest in knowledge upgrade, both at the people level and within the process management systems.

As usual, AIA continues to organize learning events that are vendor-neutral. We also endeavor to tap into emerging segments. The focus on Infrastructure was seen with WaterTech 2008 and recently we have created a technology forum for packaging OEMs. In each of these we have been successful in sharing global best practices and neutralize the perception that high-end automation is the monopoly of large process industries. This shifting is unique and augers well for the general economy.

Indian Industry has a galaxy of remarkable leaders and we are grateful that they bring in a passion for building an inclusive and growing economy. I am pleased to announce that at our last Executive Council meeting, we decided to open AIA and bring in eminent leaders from the Industry on our Industry Leadership Councils. This decision confirms our commitment to be guided by the aspirations and concerns of our customers. The Industry Leadership Council will be drawn from an eminent pool of people who have infused an integrated business approach to manufacturing and infrastructure.

We dropped our plans to hold the September 2009 Automation Expo; instead, we have a more austere event planned this November. Hopefully the intensity of knowledge sharing will be made up through sustained interaction before and after the event. I hope the Industry Leadership councils will come up with innovative ways to foster this. AIA team members at the Executive Council are alive to this responsibility and I am grateful for their unstinted support on this initiative.

Best wishes,



From President's Desk 2008

Dear Friends,

In the few years since our inception, AIA as an apex body of all the leading automation companies in India has been successful in increasing awareness amongst users about the benefits of automation. Various 'industry-specific' seminars and user meets have been conducted that evinced keen interest from new users who were hitherto skeptical about investing in automation and deriving the benefits from a resultant reliable, safer and efficient production facility. Pharma Tech 2008 and the previous summits in Automotive, Textile, Food Processing, Mining & Metals, have been successful in sharing the global best practices and change the perception that enterprise level automation is not just the monopoly of large process industries. AIA continues to be a nodal, vendor-neutral, platform for users, integrators and academia to exchange ideas and disseminate information on latest technological developments.

The economy seems to be looking up. Many major Projects have been cleared and it seems that we are back on GDP growth rate of +8%. The lowering interest rates, high liquidity in the economy and an increased consumption, is surely creating a "feel good factor" within the businesses. The question, however, remains of building new investments around cutting edge technologies and getting the best to work for the Automation Industry in India. In today's world of global competitive existence, it is the quality and efficiency, which would differentiate one stream from the other. Going forward we will explore with many other stakeholders to enhance mindshare for our industry. As you all know we are soon organizing India Automation 2009 Expo at Mumbai in collaboration with CII and look forward to everyone's active involvement in making this event a success.

On behalf of the new Executive Council, I take this opportunity to compliment and thank my predecessor, JP Singh, on his untiring efforts and leadership during his tenure and would like to place on record our gratitude for the contribution made by him.

Best wishes,


From President's Desk 2007

Dear Friends,

Manufacturing industries in India - be they process manufacturing or discrete manufacturing have, over the last 2-3 years, achieved a higher growth trajectory than ever before in our history. Demand is burgeoning - be it cement and steel - the basic building blocks of an economy, or be it consumer durables, automobiles, electronics or white goods. Driven by growing disposable incomes, domestic demand alone accounts for much of the growth. Given that global economies too are going through an unprecedented growth cycle, clearly India has a huge opportunity to participate in global demand fulfillment, particularly of "engineered manufactured" goods - not to talk of product design and engineering services - PES.

Whilst China leads in terms of mass manufactured goods, India has a great window of opportunity in the "engineered-manufactured" space. In close competition for this space are the emerging economies of Eastern Europe. If one analyses for manufactured goods, Automation and productive use of assets would be high on the list of key enablers that could have a positive impact on our global competitiveness.

Global competitive pressures mandate that manufacturers seek higher economic returns from production assets. At the same time, integrating these assets has become quite a challenge, where disparate systems of various generations - supplied by multiple vendors - are now the norm. Automation and plant information system integration would necessarily play a key role in achieving both objectives - asset management and information integration.

Then there is infrastructure. Power generation and distribution, transportation infrastructure - airports, metro rail, highways; upstream oil and gas exploration and development and transportation of hydrocarbons - pipelines, in particular, are vital infrastructure elements that will fuel competitiveness. What is interesting for both Automation providers and infrastructure developers is that Automation is the key to maximizing the returns from infrastructure assets too. SCADA for electrical transmission & distribution networks for pipeline grids and water management systems; integrated airport automation, automated ticketing, traffic management for rail and road networks as well as efficient use of power generation assets are just some of the areas that automation is crucial to.

Automation Tech 2007 and the CEO Roundtable featuring eminent industry leaders, will highlight many of the areas of Manufacturing and Infrastructure that impact Global competitiveness of Indian Industry. AIA believes this event will be the forerunner to many such events that will focus attention on this crucial aspect of national endeavour.

Automation is clearly then a key next enabler to global competitiveness in manufacturing and infrastructure. IT is good, but can contribute little without the right Automation at the plant or field level. AIA newsletters will continue to present themes that will drive interest in our community to educate, collaborate, innovate and upgrade.

Best wishes,


From President's Desk 2006

Dear Friends,

The application of automation is currently transitioning from the traditional productivity enhancement and cost reduction thrust to more encompasing areas like quality, flexibility and time-to-market. Another major shift in automation is the increased emphasis on reliability of operations & "convertibility" in the industrial process. Business owners are increasingly demanding the ability to easily switch from producing Product 'A' to Product 'B' without having to completely rebuild the production lines.


As market conditions continue to change, manufacturers are looking for any extra advantage they can get to differentiate themselves in their competitive space. World-class organizations are spending considerable effort and money to invest in real-time data connectivity, aligning their manufacturing with the rest of their supply chain to gain strategic advantage and make their manufacturing operations drive business leadership. Automation technologies can empower manufacturers with the intelligence and ability to "sense" critical activity at the equipment, factory and enterprise levels as well as fluctuations in the supply and purchase pipelines; "analyse" how to leverage production resources throughout the manufacturing system; and "respond" by executing informed, automated commands - all in real-time.

AIA represents a rapidly expanding body of technology providers who encompass all three facets in their value proposition.

Having overseen the successful launch of Automation Industry Association (AIA), Mr. Uppal handed over charge to the new team of myself and Hon. Vice President Mr Ranjan De at the Executive Council meeting on Feb 25, 2006. On behalf of members of the Executive Council, I want to place on record our sincere thanks to Mr Ravi Uppal for championing the cause of AIA in its formative period.

Best wishes,

JP Singh

From President's Desk 2005

Dear Friends,

India is gaining recognition as one of the fastest growing economies in the world and industry will play a vital role in achieving our macro ambitions of 7-8% GDP growth. Indian Industry is presently in growth mode as existing capacities get augmented & modernized and new capacities come onstream. At the same time, global aspirations are bringing focus to critical aspects such as productivity, efficiency, quality etc. and automation technologies have a key role to play here.


It is encouraging to see a positive trend, whereby Indian industry is becoming increasingly mindful of this, though we still have a long way to go in order to attain world standards.

In this journey, the Automation solution providers look forward to partnering industry in an era of collaborative commerce as we work together in helping India realize its true potential.

Best wishes,

Ravi Uppal