India is showing all the signs of becoming a significant electronics manufacturing location, despite the barriers that have to be overcome, says a report published today by Plan B Manufacturing Ltd., a manufacturing consultancy.According to Frost & Sullivan, the Indian electronics market is forecast to grow from $28.2 billion in 2005 to $363 billion in 2015, rising at 5.5 times the growth rate of global electronics equipment production during 2010 and 2015. "If this kind of growth happens, then we are going to see a corresponding rapid growth in the Indian contract manufacturing scene," says Radha Mocherla, a director of Plan B. "Demand has not always been met by local manufacturing. It has been cheaper to import. But we are beginning to see some real changes in that." Plan B's India team consists of UK- and India-based senior executives with decades of experience in the Indian manufacturing sector. "This lets us delve deeper into the realities of Indian manufacturing," says Mocherla. "We find that very little gets published about Indian manufacturing capabilities that is immediately useful for executives comparing low-cost locations." He points to an apparent pattern in reports about India by Western consultants and columnists. "They always seem to have a combination of three elements: their barely concealed dismay at the state of Indian infrastructure from the moment they arrive, usually followed by interviews with leading names in business that are extremely positive about the future and finally a brief examination of what needs to be put right for India to become more attractive as a manufacturing destination." While infrastructure issues are difficult for anyone to ignore, and talking to the same spokesmen for India is the obvious safe bet given the limited time these visitors spend in India, Mocherla argues that there is another story that needs to be told. "India has a largely invisible category of smaller manufacturers who are working hard to reach global standards and who merit attention."