Vidhu Nevatia who took the office as the President of ICTMA from November 2019, vows to bring all cutting tool manufactures under one umbrella

· He envisions working with Government of India to improve the basic infrastructure and sustained availability of raw materials

· Tungsten and Cobalt is now mostly supplied controlled from China

India will celebrate its 75 year of Independence in 2022, and the growth India achieved being a developing country with many challenges are appreciable. With economic reforms in 1991, we witnessed many global manufacturing companies setting their facilities in the country, collaborations at Defence, Space, Automotive, Medical, Railways, Oil & Gas, etc.witnessed Indian companies competing with many leading technological giants in the world. From Make In India appeal to Atmanirbhar Bharat, Prime Minister Modi is always vocal about manufacturing being localized for the global market. When we have such greater stories to tell about Indian Manufacturing Industry, grown manifold times, it's also important to look at some bitter shadow on a few of its branches.

No one can neglect the role of cutting tools when it comes to making metalworking. Be it a micro precision component for aerospace, or an engine part for a two-wheeler, the cutting tool plays a major role, but with so much opportunities around a very few Indian companies you will find manufacturing cutting tools locally. To find an answer, we spoke to Vidhu Nevatia, who is the President of Indian Cutting Tools Manufacturing Association (ICTMA), who took charge of his office during the first last quarter of 2020 2019, which and soon after also witnessed the entry of pandemic and further lockdown in the country.

“Indian cutting tool manufacturing and its existence in India is over more than sixty years now. No engineering runs without a cutting tool, the primary link between the components and the machines. Being a critical role to play, the industry was never recognized as a strategic business, and due to this neglect the local manufacturers are struggling to grow and stabilize their business”, shares Mr. Nevatia. He is the Managing Director of Zecha Precision Tools Limited, based at Aurangabad, part of Zecha GmbH, Germany.

My primary mission as the President of ICTMA is to ensure the Government of India recognizes Cutting Tool Manufacturing as a strategic business, and take steps to support local manufacturing, and bring all the manufacturers under the roof of our organization

Owing to the nature and significance of the industry the country and its machinery has yet not succeeded in giving the industry their equitable share of representation. The non-availability of raw materials locally, lack of modern equipment, high tech machines and an even more obsolete ecosystem is the major challenges faced by this sector. The slowdown in the Indian automotive sector and further COVID19 are the major challenges the cutting tool manufacturers, majorly from the MSME sector is facing today. “Not just automotive industries, every industry that has its roots attached to engineering is served by cutting tool manufactures be it aerospace, defense, railways, medical, power plants, pharma industries”, adds Mr. Nevatia.

Indian cutting tool industry has evolved not just in itself in terms of technology, innovation, creativity, but the trained workforce mobility which forms the pillar for the cutting (machining?) industry and its establishment, which the industry cannot lose at any cost. The government should intervene and recognize cutting tools industry as a strategic industry in the country

“It is not important about the time lost, but what we can do today”, says Vidhu Nevatia. It is now necessary that the government finally intervenes and recognizes the cutting tools industry as a strategic industry and create an ecosystem that fosters the growth of the cutting tools industry. One of the major crises that this capital intensive industry faces is the immense effort that needs to be put in order to import the two major raw materials for the industry, i.e., Tungsten and Cobalt.

“China being one of the major supplier of these raw materials, the Government should actively take steps to develop other supply chain channels so that the local manufacturers are not depended dependant on the global uncertainties”. Added Mr. Nevatia, “Indian Cutting Tool industry rightfully deserves its basic recognition from the authorities, government infrastructure in terms of official frameworks that aim at sustainability, which can reduce the hindrances which are slowing down the industry’s growth”.

There are immense opportunities for the Indian cutting tool industry to grow owing to the fact that many European countries are looking for more reliable centers to shift their base of production. Provided the basic foundation and with a holistic approach, India can emerge as the leading producer of cutting tools in the world

ICTMA is taking several initiatives to bring all these points in from of the authorities, looking towards Indian government establishing a task force and coordinate on all the needful to create recognition for the industry. “Our association will take adequate measures creating the awareness about the importance of the industry’s existence and how the existence of cutting tool industry is beneficial in terms of reducing dependency on import of cutting tools, and also improve the exports, in line with PM’s AtmanirbharBharat”, says Mr. Nevatia. The association expects Government regulations such as establishing trade agreements or inviting tungsten carbide manufacturers to set up plants in the country. This will not only keep a check on the outflow of Indian currency but also help in reprocessing the industrial waste to recycle instead of exporting it.

Facing the current scenario of the country at the hour of the pandemic, Mr. Nevatia further elucidates that an even more immediate challenge that the MSME tool makers face currently is with the dynamic rules about the movement of labourers, workforce attendance and the likes. It is of utmost importance to have a consistent legal boundary that would compliment the work force mobility and the related information on how the industries might get the manufacturing started. With almost two months of inactivity and no relief from the government except the moratorium, the situation calls for immediate consideration and considerably stable and consistent laws.

Vidhu Nevatia is clear about his role for the next two years as the President of ICTMA. Bring Government’s intervention to announce Cutting Tool Manufacturing as a Strategic Industry in the country, improve basic infrastructure when it comes to the availability of quality equipment for local manufacturing, sustainable availability of raw materials, and primarily bringing all cutting tool members under the umbrella of ICTMA. You can reach out to Vidhu Nevatia at

Vidhu Nevatia



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