Robotics

India’s robot boom hits an all-time high

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India’s operational stock of industrial robots hit an all-time high.

Sales of industrial robots in India hit a new record with 4,945 installed units. This is an increase of 54 percent over the previous year (2020: 3,215 units). In terms of annual installations, India now ranks tenth in the world. These are the findings of the World Robotics report, presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

“India is one of the fastest growing industrialized economies in the world,” said Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “In five years, the operational stock of industrial robots has more than doubled, reaching 33,220 units in 2021. This corresponds to an average annual growth rate of 16% since 2016.”

Today, India is the world’s fifth largest economy measured by manufacturing output. According to World Bank data, India’s manufacturing value added in 2021 was USD 443.9 billion, an increase of 21.6% from 2020.

The automotive industry remains the largest customer of the robotics industry in India with a 31% share in 2021. Installments more than doubled to 1,547 units (+108%). The general industry in India is led by the metal industry with 308 units (-9%), the rubber and plastic industry with 246 units (+27%) and the electrical/electronic industry with 215 units (+98%).

Impressive potential for India

The long-term potential of robotics in India is even clearer when compared to China: India’s robot density in the automotive industry, which is the number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees, reached 148 robots in 2021. China’s robot density reached 131 units in 2010 and skyrocketed to 772 units in 2021.

The Government of India supports growth in the industrial sector as one of the vital figures influencing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Currently, the country’s GDP of around USD 3 trillion ranks fifth, going head-to-head with the UK and France – behind Germany, Japan, China and the US – the International Monetary Fund reports.

Prospects for India

“As a result of the recent supply chain disruptions, companies are rethinking their nearshoring strategy in Southeast Asia,” said Marina Bill. “India has traditionally been a popular destination for nearshoring in the manufacturing segment. The Indian government wants the country to be considered for new diversification options like friendshoring, which partners with countries that share the same values ​​and interests.”

The manufacturing sector is also expected to benefit from government initiatives to increase competitiveness and attract investors. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, for example, currently set to run until 2025, subsidizes companies that create production capacity in India in robot customer industries such as autos, metals, pharmaceuticals and food processing.

Robots help create new jobs

India’s new manufacturing capacity is an important step towards providing its people with adequate education and employment opportunities: According to United Nations projections, India now has a population of 1.4 billion, surpassing China for the first time. This means that India has a large and young workforce that can drive economic growth and innovation. India is expected to have the world’s largest working age population by 2027.


The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) connects robotics worldwide. We aim to promote the positive benefits of robots for productivity, competitiveness, economic growth, and quality of work and life.

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) connects robotics worldwide. We aim to promote the positive benefits of robots for productivity, competitiveness, economic growth, and quality of work and life.

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