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'India can become global PPE hub, more R&D efforts needed'

'India can become global PPE hub, more R&D efforts needed'

Within six to seven months, India has become a major manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and even started catering to the global demand, a report said and suggested that India holds the potential to become a global hub for PPE kits.

The report by the Institute of Competitiveness points out that though India has achieved self-sufficiency in terms of localised manufacturers and production of PPE coveralls, PPE fabric and seam tapes, it still relied on imports for procuring a critical component like seam-sealing equipment.

In order to have complete control over the end-to-end manufacturing value chains for essential medical supplies and to become a fully capable manufacturer of highest quality PPE kits and other essential medical supplies, India needs to indigenise the production of critical equipment and machineries for essential medical supplies as well, it said.

The report, however, noted that there is still room for improvement in terms of quality, and research and development (R&D) efforts should be made for improving it.

It said that India could adopt strategies to transform into a global manufacturing hub for producing high-quality PPE kits. As per the report, India's achievement of gaining self-sufficiency in terms of domestic supplies was an outcome of the central government's push for indigenous production.

Moving forward, India needs to enable strong quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) processes among all the PPE manufacturers.

It will bring more consistency into the quality of the PPEs manufactured, reduce the testing and rejection overheads post-delivery, and allow local manufacturers to scale up their production to reach not only domestic markets but also global markets, the report added.

Amit Kapoor, Chairman, Institute of Competitiveness, said: "We need to shift our mindset from focusing on cost to ensuring world-class quality, if we as a nation want to be known as a high-quality PPEs manufacturer with economical costing rather than a cheap quality producing nation with low-costing."

"There is still more room for improvement in the quality of locally-manufactured PPE kits. Hence, India needs to step up the R&D efforts to improve the quality further. It will also enhance the competitiveness of the indigenous PPE industry in the global market in the near future," Kapoor added..