Article: Manufacturing 2018 - The year in review

Talent Acquisition

Manufacturing 2018 - The year in review

How has the manufacturing sector progressed concerning jobs, talent and work in 2018? Here is the look into the year it was-2018 for this sector.
Manufacturing 2018 - The year in review

We are almost coming to the end of 2018. In the last 11 months, we have continued to see a flurry of advancements in the manufacturing sector. The rise of Industry 4.0 to the eye on 3D printing technology and the challenges of retention and getting quality hire catering to the manufacturing niche, in the stipulated time. We saw it all!

With our campaign, “The Year it was - 2018” People Matters brings you the year-in-review for six major industries- Manufacturing, IT/ITeS, Retail and FMCG, e-Commerce &Startups, Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance and Telecom.

Here is the year in review for the Manufacturing industry for the year 2018

India is anticipated to become the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world by the end of the year 2020. 


Top Companies in Manufacturing to work for


Hiring & Jobs

The manufacturing industry was observed to be one of the fastest growing industries and continued to be one of the biggest private sector employers in India. Industrial Products, Auto/Ancillary, Oil & Gas, and Pharmaceutical were among the top ten sectors that observed increased hiring activities. 

Abhijeet Mukherjee,, APAC and Gulf, CEO earlier shared in media, “There are already clear signs of green shoots sprouting in pockets of local manufacturing in sectors as diverse as steel, auto, chemicals and energy and this is also reflected in the 60% year-on-year growth in online hiring in the production and manufacturing sector till July 2018.”

 According to a report by Michael Page, the top three roles in demand were: Manufacturing Head, Research & Development, and Health and Safety. The same report also found that on an average, an employer interviewed six professionals before making a job offer. To secure a talent, an employer took about 4.5 months from the start of the search to the joining of the candidate. Typically, a candidate underwent three rounds of interviews before getting a job offer.

Salary and Compensation Trends

At ₹230.9 per hour, manufacturing is the only sector among the eight to see an increase of 9% in median gross hourly salary, according to the ‘Monster Salary Index’ report.

Last year the manufacturing sector was also the second highest-earning sector in India, and except the IT sector, manufacturing also remains the only other sector that has paid a median gross salary of above Rs. 200 per hour threshold.

The report observed that the IT sector paid the median wage at Rs. 317.6 per hour, the highest among all monitored sectors, but 17.8% less than the last year. Sharing his thoughts about the findings Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO,, APAC, and Gulf said, “India is well positioned to become one of the largest manufacturing economies in the world. The momentum is mirrored by the increased median gross hourly wage recorded for the manufacturing sector in the index."

According to Michael Page salary benchmark report, it was found that pay increase while changing job in 2018 was one of the highest in the engineering and manufacturing sector.


Skill Gaps

According to an earlier analysis of Manufacturing sector by People Matters, Rajesh Padmanabhan, Group CHRO at Welspun group shared, “The real challenge is not employment but employability.” 

In a conversation with People Matters, Salil Chinchore, Head-Human Resources, Godrej Agrovet shares that the year 2018 had been a year where companies within the Manufacturing sector started witnessing and embracing ‘Digitization.’ He believes that while the industry has a long way to go, but currently the sector lacks a skilled pool of talent and hence the industry needs to get the talent ready for digitization.

With the onslaught of digital, the industry will need future skills of mechatronics, cybersecurity, data analytics, sensor technologies, etc. At the heart of this initiative should be key in-house training centers and academies to help employees enhance their skills through a classroom and live application approach that intersperses class work with hands-on fieldwork in the form of operational projects.


A 2018 Survey conducted by Wheebox revealed that Retail, BPO, and ITCS were leading the diversity ratio as compared to manufacturing and core sectors. Manufacturing sector along with core sector need to push women employability as currently, it is only at 9 percent.

Salil shares while Manufacturing is still struggling to make workplace gender-balanced, the recent amendments in the Maternity Benefit Act has set a stepping stone in attracting women in this sector.

More and more companies in manufacturing are taking initiatives to not only provide benefits to white-collar women employees but also blue-collar women employees. As a result, more and more factory shop-floors have seen a boost in an increase in women employees.


The Indian manufacturing industry is at the cusp of a significant technological transformation, with a new wave of automation beginning to rise. The rise of Industry 4.0 is a challenge that the sector is struggling with. Industry 4.0 is the rise of new digital industrial technology that makes it possible to aggregate and analyze data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs.

However, the two major challenges onboard as the sector enters the fourth revolution:

  1. Attracting Millennials: Salil shares, attracting young workforce emerged as a great challenge for the manufacturing sector in the year 2018. This challenge can be attributed to some factors but according to a report, most millennials do not want to work in a manufacturing sector is because of the low perception on being treated fairly regardless of their age.

  2. Skill Gap: Make in India will prepare Indian organizations to become future ready for next decade. It will involve rewiring and reskilling for Indian organizations for developing world-class manufacturing capabilities.

Shilpa Kabra, Vice President & Head Human Resources, National Engineering Industries Ltd (NEIL), in an earlier interview with People Matters shared that companies need to begin partnering at the academic level with institutes to co-create curriculum design, induct, and orient students at an early stage. In addition to this, specialized training and apprentice centers set up by the government and specialized universities will help to build future skills.

This was the first of the six-part series of “The year it was-2018” where we reflected on how the year 2018 was for the manufacturing sector. Stay tuned for the second story on the year-end analysis on IT & ITeS industry.


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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Compensation & Benefits, Talent Management, #Hiring

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