A Multi-billion-dollar Opportunity in Industry 4.0

- Dr Aravind Chinchure

Founder & CEO QLeap Academy

Each Industrial Revolution propelled an exponential growth in human evolution and efficiency. Now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is well underway. The manufacturing industry is undergoing a major technological revolution in the way products are designed, manufactured, and distributed. Industry 4.0 involves rapid, end-to-end digitisation of all physical assets and their integration into digital ecosystems. Industry 4.0 can enable smart factories, connect the supply-chain network and logistics capabilities, and inform planning and inventory processes, along with a host of other capabilities, enabling organisations to know things they didn't know before.


Mechanisation, Steam Power, Weave loom


Mass Production,
Assemble Line,


Computers and Electronics


Cyberphysical systems, Internet of things (IoT), Networks

Industry 4.0 promises a new frontier in the manufacturing and other sectors, with enhanced value creation through higher productivity and efficiency throughout the value chain. If the steam engine, electricity and information technology powered the first, second and third Industrial Revolutions respectively, IoT and artificial intelligence powers the fourth one, blurring the boundary between the physical world and the virtual one, where the efforts of human and machine are combined to create a formidable force. The technologies that enable Industry 4.0 include smart sensors, automation devices, advanced robots, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, location detection technologies, human-machine interfaces, augmented reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, and mobile devices, among others.

Industry 4.0 is a new paradigm where devices and machines communicate with each other and take control of production on the shop floor. Machines and their software make effective decisions on production planning as well as on actual production, based on triggers in the demand of the product, thus efficiently managing manufacturing as well as distribution.

The implementation of Industry 4.0 enables manufacturing companies to increase productivity (by drastically shortening the period between the development of a new product and its delivery to customers in the market by 50%), efficiency (automation allows for greater flexibility, better quality of products and more efficient production) and energy savings (for example, while waiting for materials processing, robots can be switched off, if necessary, which saves up to 15% electricity) to ensure competitiveness in the global market. Industry 4.0 offers flexibility, efficient use of resources, and integration of customers and business partners in the business process.

The ultimate aim is to increase the top and bottom-line of business by process automation and optimisation, integration, and faster time-to-market - resulting in higher revenues, new products, and new value-added services.
While manufacturing companies progress towards Industry 4.0, there is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for Indian companies to develop products and solutions for smart manufacturing for the Indian and global markets. It is estimated that smart factories could add over $1.0 trillion in value to the global economy in the next five years.

India is a leader in the IT industry - which began in the '90s as a source of low-cost engineering talent to global companies for routine work and later transitioned to taking up full responsibility for the product and go-to-market strategies. Today, India is the world's largest sourcing destination for the IT industry, which employs about 10 million professionals. Industry 4.0 sees massive usage of IT in the manufacturing sector