Coimbatore has embarked on a journey to establish itself as a prominent global hub for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing through the launch of the Tamil Nadu MSME EV Skilling Program. This collaborative initiative, orchestrated by the World Resources Institute (WRI) India and Facilitating MSMEs (FaMe) Tamil Nadu, is geared towards equipping Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the essential skills and knowledge required to thrive in the rapidly burgeoning EV sector.

The grand inauguration of this program took place at the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) Fair Grounds in Coimbatore, drawing the attention of over 180 enthusiastic MSMEs. In partnership with CODDISIA, Laghu Udyog Bharati (LUB), Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF), Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association (SIEMA), and Scientific and Industrial Testing and Research Centre (SiTarc), this innovative skilling program exemplifies WRI India’s unwavering commitment to facilitating a just transition for MSMEs and workers within India’s automotive and textile sectors.

This program presents meticulously structured training opportunities catering to individuals at all levels within EV MSMEs, including senior and mid-management, as well as both white- and blue-collar workers. It has been meticulously designed to operate along two concurrent tracks from September to November, capitalizing on Coimbatore’s existing industrial ecosystem to expedite the integration of local businesses into the EV traction motor supply chain.

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Furthermore, it aims to equip a broader spectrum of MSMEs with the expertise necessary to engage in various facets of EV manufacturing. This initiative seamlessly aligns with the recent proclamation by the Tamil Nadu government regarding the establishment of an EV motor manufacturing cluster and a dedicated common facility center for the development and testing of electric vehicle motors in Coimbatore.

In the upcoming phases, the program will extend its reach to other regions within the state, commencing with the Chennai automotive cluster. The collaboration between WRI India and FaMe TN stems from a Memorandum of Understanding inked last year, with the overarching goal of fortifying Tamil Nadu’s MSME sector by promoting the adoption of EVs and ensuring a smooth transition from the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) industry to the burgeoning EV industry.

V Arun Roy, Secretary to Government, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, lauded this groundbreaking initiative, underscoring Tamil Nadu’s aspirations to emerge as a global EV manufacturing hub. He fervently urged MSMEs to seize the opportunities presented by this skilling program, positioning themselves as pivotal suppliers in this burgeoning industry.

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Ashwini Hingne, Associate Program Director, WRI India, accentuated the paramount importance of reskilling and upskilling MSMEs and workers to harness opportunities within the evolving EV component manufacturing sphere, thereby ensuring job security during the transition.

V Thirugnanam, President, CODISSIA, aptly pointed out the program’s alignment with the government’s initiatives to boost EV manufacturing in Coimbatore. With a well-thought-out strategic approach and a multitude of partnerships in play, Coimbatore is firmly on the trajectory to becoming a global nucleus for electric vehicle manufacturing, fostering the growth of the MSME sector and ushering in a new era of green employment opportunities in India’s clean mobility ecosystem.