Santosh Kasture is the Director of Pune-based Fast Track Management Consultants – a dynamic and fastest-growing Corporate Solutions Provider company offering customized corporate solutions for business growth. With more than two decades of experience in the corporate world, Mr. Santosh has hands-on experience in successfully setting up businesses, driving people and sales revenues, creating the right products and product mix, identifying the right markets and market opportunities, driving business growth and profitability with strong roots in Manufacturing and Operations.
Always inclined towards contributing to the Indian manufacturing industry on a wider platform, Mr. Santosh founded Fast Track Management Consultants 7 years back. Currently, Fast Track is India’s only HR Recruitment Company to have a dedicated wing for hiring the right talent exclusively for the 3D Printing industry. He has been actively involved in the Indian 3D Printing industry and has an in-depth understanding of the Indian 3D Printing Market, potential applications, and future trends.
In an exclusive interview with Manufactur3D Magazine, Mr. Santosh shares his valuable insights about the 3D printing market penetration in India, industry size, the challenges, and the way forward…
Q Tell us a bit about yourself, your company and how did you get associated with the 3D Printing Industry?
A I have been part of the corporate world for 25 years and having experience in setting up, leading, and growing businesses in India and different parts of the world.
I specialize in the areas of Strategic Vision, Business Strategy, Business Growth, Leadership, Corporate Branding, Manufacturing Excellence, Supply chain innovations, Market Intelligence, Sales revenue growth, Human Resources, and Performance management techniques.
With my hands-on experience in successfully setting up businesses, driving People and Sales revenues, creating the right products and product mix, identifying the right markets and market opportunities, driving Business growth and Profitability with strong roots in Manufacturing and Operations, I was always inclined towards contributing to Indian manufacturing industry on a wider platform and so founded Fast Track Management Consultants 7 years back.
Today, Fast Track Management Consultants is one of the leading Complete Corporate Solutions Provider Company in India and we are providing Customized Solutions in the areas including Management Consulting, HR Recruitments, Training, Outsourcing, Business and Market intelligence and Interim Management areas for Indian and global clients. We have a network and client base across India and overseas locations.
I am glad to share with you that Fast Track Management Consultants, is India’s only HR Recruitment Company having a dedicated wing for hiring the right talent exclusively for the 3D Printing industry. We are proud to be associated with and supporting talent hiring’s for all leading 3D Printing companies; including OEMs, Software Providers & 3D Printing Component manufacturing companies in India. Hiring for the 3D Printing industry is not similar to other industry hiring’s as it needs a complete understanding of 3D Printing technology, skills requirements, strong industry network and exclusive candidate database, and even understanding of market and applications.
“3D printing is a unique example of technology and manufacturing working together to become more sensible, sustainable, flexible and responsible; ensuring enhanced efficiency and quality. 3D Printing helps industry think faster, innovate better, broaden up the horizons of manufacturing and produce what one could imagine”
With my roots in Manufacturing, I have always been enthusiastic and very much involved in Industry 4.0 initiatives and so 3D Printing was a very natural choice for me in person to get associated with when I came across the right potential company 3 years back. Since then, I have been associated as an Advisory board member and supporting Corporate Strategy and growth initiatives for one of India’s leading 3D Printing Company.
3D Printing is a unique example of technology and manufacturing working together to become more sensible, sustainable, flexible, and responsible; ensuring enhanced efficiency and quality. 3D Printing is the future of the manufacturing industry and I can see it has the potential to even replace conventional manufacturing sooner than later. Today the world is changing faster than what we could imagine a few years back and this change would help the 3D Printing industry to grow faster than anticipation.
3D Printing helps industry think faster, innovate better, broaden up the horizons of manufacturing and produce what one could imagine and this is what industry needs today.
Q How do you assess the Indian 3D Printing Industry? What are the challenges and opportunities for growth? Is it the lack of Government support, Indian mindset, unique business challenges, etc.?
A The Indian 3D printing industry is still at a nascent stage. However, it offers huge growth opportunities in the coming years. In numbers, I would put that Indian 3D Printing Industry is currently below $100 million, but holds the potential of becoming $1billion in coming years. We are at this size with hardly any penetration in a few segments and very low penetration within those few segments and so you can imagine the real potential for growth.
“Indian 3D printing industry is still at a nascent stage. However, it offers huge growth opportunities in coming years. In numbers, Indian 3D Printing Industry is currently below $100 million, but holds the potential of becoming $1billion in coming few years”
I could see four major challenges for the Indian 3D printing industry as of now:
- Performance limitations of low-cost printers and expensive nature of advanced Machines
- Poor industry ecosystem and inefficient supply chain for raw materials to components
- Limited availability of knowledge, skills, technical support, and experience zones for Indian 3D Printing manufacturers
- Highly cost-sensitive market due to many players with very low capacity utilization and cheaper CNC options within the limited market place
Despite all these challenges, I still see a high growth for the 3D printing industry in India considering the expected increase in domestic production post-Covid-19 situation, low cost of manufacturing, and increasing penetration of 3D printing across various applications now coupled with the Make-in-India and Atmanirbhar Bharat campaigns should spur the 3D printer market in India.
Q From the past several years, the Indian 3D Printing Industry is seeing stable but gradual growth. What, according to you, is needed to fast track the growth of India’s 3D Printing Industry?
A Yes, the Indian 3D printing industry is not growing at the required pace in the last couple of years due to both domestic and global known reasons and situations. We all were expecting a CAGR of 30% during the last three years but we could see almost flat growth in the last two years. This is a huge setback to the industry and moreover to the players who invested heavily in their infrastructure and capacities during the last couple of years in anticipation of high growth projections.
If you see the capacity utilisation, the Indian 3D printing industry is still working below 40% capacity utilisation. This is true for both Plastic and Metal 3D Printing segments.
“3D printing industry needs to work together and focus more on increasing market awareness and creating new market segments. We still have very low penetration in various industry segments compared to global penetrations”
I personally think that 3D Printing OEMs (Machine, Software, and Material Manufacturers) and Component Manufacturers should work together on building a strong ecosystem for the Indian 3D Printing industry. They should focus more on increasing market awareness and creating new markets than just catering to known applications and clients. They must keep a long term view in their thinking and approach. This will help them to build a high growth and sustainable industry, which finally will help everyone in their business growth. This is missing now and requires prompt attention from major OEMs and Component Manufacturing companies.
In India, 3D printing still has been used primarily in Automotive Prototype, Industrials, Tooling, Aerospace, Defence, Medical, and Jewellery applications, where automotive application accounts for the largest of the revenue & volume share. Over the next few years, I expect Engineering, Industrial, Tooling, Architecture, Education, Medical and Aerospace &Defence application segments should exhibit promising growth in India’s 3D printing market, owing to the impact which 3D Printing Technology can make in these segments along with an increase in spending towards R&D of Aerospace & Defence related equipment and various Government initiatives and campaigns.
“Creating Powerful Ecosystems Essential for the Growth of Indian 3D Printing Industry. 3D Printing players must look beyond Cost”
For example, let’s talk about the Tooling Market. Worldwide, Tooling is one of the huge market segments for the 3D Printing industry. If I have to put it in numbers, Tooling and Moulds is a US$300 billion market globally and we can see Tooling (Conformal Cooling) as a US$ 30~50 billion opportunity for the 3D Printing industry globally.
Now, compared to the global market, in India, we hardly have any market for Tooling as of now and the worst part is we just talk about cost whenever we get any Tooling/Conformal cooling project. It’s time to think beyond cost and look at the quality, efficiency, improved tool life, and finally value addition to the end customer. Here too 3D Printing players need to educate the Tool and Mould manufacturers more on technology and the benefits of going for and investing in this technology in their tools rather than just focusing on “somehow get and deliver the order”.
I can see a huge growth opportunity for 3D Printing in the Medical segment considering the need for customized medical implants and medical devices for Neurology, Oral and Maxillofacial, and Ortho segments to name a few. There can’t be a better solution for these medical implants other than customized 3D Printed implants.
“Over the next few years, I expect Engineering, Industrials, Tooling, Education, Medical and Aerospace & Defence segments should exhibit promising growth in India’s 3D printing market”
In addition, we are still far behind in many good segments including food and culinary, printed electronics, education and energy, arts and crafts, interior decoration, personalised gifting, fashion accessories, footwear designs, jewellery designs, animation and gaming, furniture and modelling areas to name a few. These are the new verticals that can be created with focused efforts from the industry.
Q Where does India lack in terms of global competition?
A India lacks market awareness and building industry ecosystem in terms of global competition. In India, everyone is just focusing on individual company sales numbers and survival and so they are naturally killing each other by just focusing on product cost all the time for no reason.
Also, you can see everyone is approaching similar segments, few known applications, and clients which lead to multiple choices for one requirement and finally cost win over everything. This approach will not help in building and expanding the industry and future growth. They all must avoid making this industry similar to the Airline industry, which itself never grows and allow any player to grow. I personally see this current situation and trend as one of the major risks for the 3D Printing industry in India.
I feel, they must work together on creating new segments, new markets, and building a sustainable ecosystem. They should also focus more on R&D, new material developments, and providing better products and solutions, quality, and value addition to their customers.
Q Why is it that India’s share in the Global AM Market is so low? Do you think there is a dearth of accurate data measuring the 3D printing industry of India?
A We are almost 10 years behind the world in 3D Printing adoption and it’s high time India should catch up with the global market. Indian players are yet to establish their identity, brands and lack volumes now also. About five years ago, there were almost no sizeable companies in this industry and the situation now is changing for the better.
Yes, you are absolutely right. There is no data at all…forget about accurate data, measuring the 3D Printing industry of India. Companies here in India are still very conservative and happy in their own shells and not open to sharing the data. This also is one of the reasons why this industry in India is not growing at the pace of the globe.
We, at Fast Track, have been working on collecting the industry data for a few months now and hopefully should contribute in providing the highly required data on Indian 3D Printing Industry soon.
Q What, according to you needs to be done to know and understand the real size of 3D printing industry in India?
A As I share, the companies like yours and us should work together and try to connect all stakeholders, collect and publish Indian 3D Market data which will be helpful for everyone in understanding the real size and real market potential of the 3D Printing industry in India.
We at Fast Track already have a fair understanding and data available for the Indian 3D printing industry and if we could involve all major 3D Printing companies to work together and support this initiative, we can always help this industry to get the true and authentic industry data in a short time. We would be happy if we could do so in 2021 and contribute further to the Indian 3D printing industry growth.
In our Opinion section, we come up with interviews where experts from the 3D printing industry share their insights on the technology, the developments in the global 3D printing industry in general, and India’s 3D printing industry in particular. To share your thoughts, insights or to feature in our magazine, kindly get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org