The ‘Make in India’ initiative has a lot to catch up, as the global list of top 100 R&D spenders has just one Indian company – Tata Motors. Listed at 99th position globally, Tata Motors spent Rs 2,397.5 crore on R&D during FY 2017-18.
However, if Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is taken together with Tata Motors, then the combined entity stands at 13th position, with a massive R&D spending of Rs 19,444 crore. This is more than the combined R&D spending of the next 9 Indian companies featured in the list.
Other Indian auto companies featured in the list are Mahindra & Mahindra (114th rank with R&D spending of Rs 1991.9 crore) and Maruti Suzuki (227th rank with R&D spending of Rs 831.6 crore). Other Indian non-auto companies featured in the list include Sun Pharma at 104th position; Lupin at 120th; Dr Reddy’s Labs at 121st; Reliance Industries at 122nd; Glenmark Pharma at 163rd; Cipla at 200th and Bharat Heavy Electricals at 244th position. It’s apparent that the list is dominated by Indian auto and pharma companies.
With only one Indian company featured in the top 100 list of global R&D spenders, it sends a clear message that the world is far ahead of us. It’s through R&D that some of the world’s best products and brands have been created such as Ford, General Motors, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc.
If Indian companies want to compete at the global level, they will have to increase their spending on R&D. As of now, there’s hardly any Indian brand or product that can be said to be truly global.
India’s spending on R&D in proportion to its GDP is also miniscule at 0.6 – 0.7 per cent. This is significantly less as compared to R&D spends of other countries such as Israel (4.3 % of GDP); South Korea (4.2 % of GPD); United States (2.8 % of GDP); and China (2.1 % of GDP). India’s spending on R&D is low even when there’s a 150% deduction of expenditure for R&D.