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Supply chain capabilities and competitiveness of high-tech manufacturing start-ups in India

Debabrata Ghosh (MIT Global Scale Network, Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Peeyush Mehta (Department of Operations Management, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India)
Balram Avittathur (Department of Operations Management, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 31 May 2019

Issue publication date: 21 May 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the practices and policies unique to high-tech manufacturing start-ups in emerging economies, such as India. The study analyzes the main features and challenges of the high-tech manufacturing sector, and the way in which enabling environment including policy making, supply chain capability and related technologies through Industry 4.0 could be leveraged to foster growth.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper undertakes an exploratory approach through in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with high-tech manufacturing firms in various stages of their growth. The paper provides evidence of the challenges that high-tech manufacturing firms face in India, the strategies they adopt and highlights the role of institutional structures and policies.

Findings

Findings show that high-tech manufacturing start-ups in India face various challenges in the upstream, production and downstream supply chain processes. Further, issues related to availability of quality material, quality suppliers, contracts, funding and access to markets remain. Results also show that enabling operational and financial levers could be created by policy makers and other stakeholders to help the high-tech manufacturing start-ups scale faster and create value.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the R&D intensive industry and high-tech manufacturing literature in the context of emerging economies, such as India, and provides a rigorous overview of the start-up ecosystem in high-tech manufacturing.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the editor and the two referees for the comments that significantly improved the presentation of the paper. The authors would like to thank the office of principal scientific advisor to the Government of India for motivation of this study and financial support, and the entrepreneurs who took part in the study by sharing their experience of start-up ecosystem in India. The authors are grateful to incubation centers at IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore, IKP Knowledge Park Bangalore, NCL Venture Centre, Pune, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, Bangalore, for providing useful inputs on the study.

Citation

Ghosh, D., Mehta, P. and Avittathur, B. (2021), "Supply chain capabilities and competitiveness of high-tech manufacturing start-ups in India", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 1783-1808. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-12-2018-0437

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited