Interacting with Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in an event organised by e-commerce major Amazon, Nooyi also stressed on the need to revamp the education system in India stating that all of the country’s 1.3 billion people deserve the opportunity to have access to outstanding education and then participate in any way in its economic growth.
“Anytime when there is a major disruptive action, like the pandemic, it gives countries, companies an opportunity to stop and think about how to reset for the future....now coming out of COVID-19, India has to really rethink what its place is going to be in the global supply chain,” she said.
Elaborating her point, Nooyi said India has to identify what kind of manufacturing is it going to control, what kind of critical supplies is it going to manufacture for itself in the country.
“One of the things that COVID has shown around the world is that if you don’t control your destiny in critical items, you could in fact be left holding at the negative end of the whole supply chain,” she said, citing examples of non-availability of PPEs, vaccines and critical drugs in many countries.
Many of them are now “beginning to say we have to rethink what we control in terms of critical components in terms of global supply chain”, she added.
“If India were to approach this whole self-sufficiency in a very systematic, carefully thought through way, India could well be a major centre for the supply of critical life-saving drugs, vaccines, PPE, ventilators, you name it, critical components for today and tomorrow and you can be an innovative, low cost, high scale manufacturing country,” Nooyi asserted.
Stating that India’s future is very bright, “especially if you marry the message of cost and quality with education”, Nooyi said, “To me the big issue is education. As you start shifting towards more manufacturing, more high tech stuff, more software driving products and services, you are going to need a lot of people in India to service the industries of the future.”