If we look at the evolution of industry in India, when even before the industrial revolution took place, India was one of the leaders in the cotton textile industry. India’s cotton textile used to get exported across various countries including US, UK and other Middle East states. Moreover, they were the dominant leaders in the cotton industry in 1750, as India provided a cheap labour base which could provide high quality production with low prices calicoes. However, things slowly took a different turn with the dawn Industrial revolution.
Adding to it, the development of steam power and its practice in the year 1815 posed a serious threat for the textile industry. Also, the invention of the spinning mule and power loom became more robust and efficient due the development of steam power. As under UKs dominance, Indian farmers were forced to produce cottons so as to satisfy and fuel the growth for Britain’s industries.
Instead of growing food crops these farmers were forced to produce cash crops, which slowly resulted in deadly famines across the sub-continent in those periods. Furthermore, a larger section of unskilled women and children were hired to work for various industries in minimum wages to increase their production rates where they use to work around 14 hours a day.
However, there is always a good side to every story, as they succeeded in creating a new version of life as education was given priority, and also child labor rules were amended more robustly. Hence, it not only helped in the growth of the economy, but also gave people a situation to transition themselves towards the new working and living standard.
The first Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. Then came the second revolution with the use of electric power in creating mass production. Further, the third revolution came through the electronics and information technology to automate production.
India has witnessed numerous changes in the industrial segment till now. And if we talk about the present situation, the fourth revolution which is termed as Industry 4.0 is the greatest revolution in the history of Indian Industry segment. Today, these technologies have become an utmost necessity for the players in the industry across the globe, so as to stay relevant with all the disruptions that are currently taking place across every marketplace.
Moreover, with the outbreak of COVID-19 virus, it has never been so favourable time than today to transition oneself towards a technology-driven world. This current phase can also be termed as the technological age and it is the fourth industrial era since its initial inception of the Industrial revolution in the 18th century. This change has been clearly attributed due to the advancement of various next-generation technologies that includes Cloud, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, AR/VR, among others; especially during these times of pandemic.
WEF report has mentioned, “The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry across every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.”
Today, innovation and adoption of next-generation technologies have been witnessing an unprecedented growth, especially during these times of pandemic. Moreover, it is also advancing rapidly creating new ways to do business more effectively and remotely in this volatile period.