IESA WINWire Mar 14 - Mar 20, 2015
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Consumer Electronic Majors Warm Up To Make In India
Source: Business Standard; March 14, 2015

Sony and Samsung may not be the only consumer durable companies to announce local production plans as the chorus around 'Make in India' gets louder by the day. Firms such as Panasonic and Hitachi are also keen to expand their local manufacturing bases in an attempt to supply not only to the domestic market, but also neighbouring countries. However, the constraint is the lack of an enabling environment that prevents players from making firm commitments, industry executives say. Panasonic, according to industry sources, already exports air conditioners, washing machines and kitchen appliances to countries in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This list, however, can become bigger if the environment is conducive, persons in the know say. While the recent budget did take the first few steps in this direction by rationalising customs duty on a few key components, more needs to be done, industry executives say.

Maharashtra Government to Set Up Electronic Cluster in Pune At Rs 71 Crore
Source: Business Standard; March 15, 2015

Incubation center will promote entrepreneurship and spearhead innovation and R&D by igniting electronics development

The Maharashtra government will set up an electronics manufacturing cluster (EMC) in Pune , entailing investment of Rs 70.89 crore. The India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (ESDM) has prepared a detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed cluster in Pune, in association with Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). "Pune has a rich history of research and innovation and over the years, it has emerged as the engineering capital of our country.

“As a country striving to transform itself into an ESDM hub, Maharashtra can play a pivotal role by strengthening product design and development, primarily focused around the industries sectors that are already thriving in the state. Establishment of the EMC and incubation facility is a visionary step and we appreciate the government of Maharashtra, MIDC and MCCIA for their commitment and intense efforts to build a robust development ecosystem in the state,” said Ashok Chandak, Chairman, IESA.

ESDM Incubation Centre to Mentor 40 Start-Ups
Source: Business Standard; March 15, 2015

The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) plans to set up an ESDM (Electronic System Design & Manufacturing) incubation centre for the start-ups in Bhubaneswar with an investment of about Rs 22 crore over a year period of five years. STPI has submitted a detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed incubation centre to the state government for approval. "The sharing of funding will be equal between the state government and the Centre. STPI is nodal agency for implementation of the project," said an official. About 40 start ups in ESDM will be benefitted over a period of five years. The incubation centre aims at achieving the objectives of the ESDM vision outlined in the National Policy on Electronics and other policies. The funds will be apportioned for providing infrastructure facilities, testing labs and funding to the ESDM start-ups for creating a complete ecosystem in the state.

NXP Acquires Athena SCS
Source: EE Herald; March 15, 2015

NXP Semiconductors N.V. to acquire security-software and crypto expert Athena SCS Ltd. NXP, which focuses sharply on secure electronics solutions in wide range of applications covering Internet of Things (IoT), portable & wearables, and automotive to enhance its offering through this acquisition. “Athena has demonstrated a clear aptitude for developing leading-edge embedded software and cryptography in a wide variety of secure connectivity solutions. This expertise and knowledge complements NXP’s focus on creating secure connections for a smarter world, further strengthening our ability to provide our customers with a complete range of solutions for their particular needs,” said Steve Owen, executive vice president, sales & marketing, NXP Semiconductors. “With security becoming an intrinsic part of many new applications, it’s important to continually enhance and strengthen our offering. The acquisition will further strengthen NXP’s offering in providing secure solutions across a multitude of applications in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, Automotive and Identification.”

Exports Need a Make-In-India Push
Source: The Financial Express; March 16, 2015

Two years ago India’s export story looked strong and convincing. Merchandise exports grew at a healthy annual average growth rate of 22% in the five years preceding the Lehman crisis. After a small blip in FY10, exports smartly recovered and grew at 30% in the nexttwo years post the crisis. Come FY13, India’s export growth stalled. Exports grew at a dismal pace of 1.2% in FY13 and FY14, and this trend has continued in FY15 with exports growing at an average rate of 2.2% year to date. Is India’s promising export performance a foregone story?

India’s exports have diversified both in terms of markets and products in the past two decades. There is no doubt that the export sector has moved up the value chain. The share of traditional exports like primary products, textiles, readymade garments, leather products and agriculture commodities has nearly halved from 56.5% in FY92 to 27.3% in FY14. Petroleum products and engineering goods like machinery and parts, transport equipment and electronic goods together now account for over 40% of exports, as compared to 14% in FY92. India’s engineering exports have fast moved from low-value items to better quality high-value products which has helped them grow alongside Chinese engineering exports. The increase in domestic refining capacities gave a boost to exports of petroleum products.

In First Foreign Visit, Manohar Parrikar to Push Korean Firms To Make In India
Source: The Economic Times; March 16, 2015

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is determined to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi's `Make in India' initiative a success, even linking it with his firstever foreign visit after taking charge last year. The minister's first port of call will be South Korea with a visit being finalised for a sizeable delegation from the defence ministry to Seoul in the middle of April. Parrikar, who has a reputation of being a hard task master, has toured military facilities within India extensively but has not travelled abroad since taking over in November. Sources said that a 2-3 day tour to South Korea has been planned that will emphasise on joint development, encouraging Korean defence firms to manufacture in India. Officials said that the minister, who will meet his counterpart as well as the Korean National Security Advisor, is keen to study the Korean model of indigenization of the defence industry. Besides, an enhancement of bilateral military ties will also be discussed, including the possibility of increasing exchanges of personnel and joint exercises.

Vicor Corporation Expands its DCM™ DC-DC Converter Module Series
Source Press Release: The; March 16, 2015

Vicor Corporation (NASDAQ: VICR) today announced the expansion of the DCM Converter Module Series of isolated, regulated DC-DC converters within Vicor’s Converter housed in Package™ (ChiP) power component platform. This series now covers critical applications in Aerospace, EV/HEV, Rugged Systems, Industrial, and Telecom/Datacom. DCMs provide nominal input voltages of 24, 28, 48, 270, 290, and 300 Volts with nominal outputs of 48, 36, 28, 24, 15, 12, and 5 Volts and are available in packages with up to 600 Watts of power.

DCMs can be coupled with Vicor FPA™ and/or ZVS regulators enabling full power solutions that deliver dense, efficient, and scalable source-to-load power.

Make India Investor Friendly: Amitabh Kant
Source: The Times of India; March 16, 2015

"India needs to achieve higher growth trajectory and the government is committed for the same", said Amitabh Kant, secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), ministry of commerce and industry, government of India while speaking at the CII Western Region Annual Meeting 2015 organized in Mumbai on 16 March 2015. He said that ease of doing business must be ensured for India's own sake and not just for achieving higher position on the World Bank ease of doing business rankings. According to Kant, some some of the measures undertaken by the government to achieve greater else of doing business include digitizing the process of applying for industrial licenses and industrial entrepreneurial memorandum and also setting up the e-biz platform that seeks to integrate 14 services and make them available online. The e-biz platform was kicked off last fortnight. In addition, the number of forms for export and import were reduced from 9 to 3. Kant also revealed the government action plan to bring about greater ease of doing business. He said that the Centre has identified around 98 parameters that it has shared with the states for necessary action by May 2015.

Chhattisgarh Govt Plans to Set Up Startup Village To Encourage Innovation Among Young Entrepreneurs
Source: Inc42; March 16, 2015

In a bid to encourage the young entrepreneurs and promote innovation among startups,Chhattisgarh Government is planning to set up a Startup Village. The announcement was made after the high-level delegation comprising top officials of the state government visited the Kochi-based Startup Village to learn more about the incubation facility and explore ways to set up a similar service in their state. The delegation was led by Rajat Kumar, Joint Secretary to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh. During his visit, he discussed the working model of upcoming Startup Village with the executives. He also assured the possible support and expertise in setting up a facility at Naya Raipur. Speaking on the plans, Rajat Kumar said, “We are very impressed with the whole ecosystem that MobMe (the promoters), the Union Department of Science and Technology, Kerala government and other players have together created for the young entrepreneurs. The Chhattisgarh government is also planning to start a project along similar lines. We saw inspired, motivated young boys and girls turning their ideas into useful products and applications. We are sure that the environment provided here will go a long way in not only providing employment to lot of youngsters but also to make India a true IT hub.”

Ministry to Expand Technology Centres At Rs 2,200 Cr
Source: Business Standard; March 16, 2015

The Union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) is in the process of upgrading and expanding the network of Technology Centres at a total cost of Rs 2,200 crore, including World Bank funding of $200 million, under the Technology Centre Systems Programme (TCSP). The government has called for Expression of Interest from consulting firms in the role of manufacturing technology partners for the TCSP. The EoI has been invited for two assignments - to appoint a manufacturing technology partner for the automotive sector and a manufacturing technology partner for the electronics systems design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector. Eligible firms must submit their applications by March 24, according to a document put out by the ministry. According to the document, the Office of the Development Commissioner, MSME, under the ministry, is in the process of upgrading and expanding the network of Technology Centres by upgrading existing 18 TCs and establishing 15 new TCs at a total cost of Rs 2,200 crore. This includes World Bank funding of $200 million under the TCSP. The centres are to be located in various parts of the country, and will cater to the needs of MSMEs by providing them with access to technology, skill development and consultancy services.

Smart Cities Project To Be Launched Next Month: Development Minister
Source: NDTV; March 16, 2015

The much-awaited Smart Cities project is likely to be rolled out next month as the extensive consultation process with all stakeholders has concluded. "We are close to launching the much awaited Smart Cities initiative on ground. Prolonged and extensive consultations on this new concept and initiative have finally concluded. We will have all the necessary approvals for this project by the end of this month and action on ground will begin next month onwards," Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said addressing a seminar on Smart Cities in New Delhi on Monday.

Describing the project as the "biggest buzz word and the flavour of the season" in the country now, he said, "We are collectively gearing up to meet the challenges of growing urbanisation with the goal of converting it into an opportunity." NDA government had last year declared the mission of creating 100 smart cities across the nation based on better technology, superior management and modern governance. However, Naidu said the selection of the Smart City will be strictly on the basis of the criteria laid out by the government and no other consideration, including political ones, will be taken into account. On how a smart city is different from a city in which smart things happen, the Minister said a three-fold approach was taken.

Volkswagen-Owned Scania Plans To Make India One of Its Top 5 Markets
Source: The Economic Times; March 17, 2015

Swedish truck and bus maker Scania AB is betting big on India. As the company prepares to start commercial production of buses at its factory near Bengaluru this month, it is also counting on a boom in mining activity to boost sales. "I think the mining sector where we are in, that segment is going to give us a lot of opportunity with new clarity from the government, especially in the coal blocks," Henrik Henriksson, executive vice-president, head of global sales and marketing, Scania, told ET Auto in an interview. Scania plans to start sales of locallymade tippers next month. The company owned by the Volkswagen Group introduced heavy-duty tipper trucks for the Indian mining industry in 2007 through Larsen & Toubro as its distributor and has since sold about 800 units. The Indian manufacturing subsidiary was set up about three years ago, then employing about a dozen people. Now, it has over 600 people working for Scania India. "We are using India as one of the pillars when it comes to a global production system. One of our top priorities is to focus on this market. Very soon it will be one of our top five biggest markets in the world," Henriksson said. "We are investing in people here for our global business operations."

Finance Minister’s ‘Briefcase’ Opens up Growth Prospects for ESDM Industry
Source: EFY Times; March 17, 2015

The NDA government presented its much awaited first Union Budget on February 28, 2015. Those in the ESDM and allied industries were keen to know what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in ‘The Briefcase’ for them. It surely offered a lot to the ESDM industry, by promoting the ‘Make in India’, ‘100 Smart Cities’ and ‘Digital India’ drives. The government has also paid special attention to the solar energy sector by announcing the targeted solar energy capacities and ensuring a strong role for solar power in the Indian Railways. The most awaited announcement was that relating to the GST, which according to the government will be implemented by April 1, 2016. All of these developments will be backed by better skills development programmes, initiatives to promote start-ups and also bring forward the under-developed regions of the country.

What the Associations say:
Ashok Chandak, chairman, IESA
Members of the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) appreciate the government’s intent of making India a manufacturing hub through various initiatives, including enhancing the ease of doing business. The Union Budget 2015-16 will accelerate growth, investments, manufacturing footprints and job creation, in general, and pass the benefits to the people. Measures such as encouraging start-ups, addressing disabilities (at least partially), skills development, funds with states, ensuring duty benefits for some products, etc, will have an incremental positive impact on the ESDM sector. This budget will lay the foundation for the electronics and technology industry to drive manufacturing and innovation from India. However, it lacks any major stimulus for a quick impact to bring down the electronics import bill in the near term.

Hitachi India, Siemens Sign Mou With CII For Smart Cities
Source: The Hindu Business line; March 17, 2015

Hitachi India Ltd and Siemens Ltd on Tuesday signed an MoU with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to form a consortium that would create pilots and replicate them throughout the country for setting up 100 smart cities, according to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The two companies will prepare and undertake demonstration projects/initiatives, prepare prototypes to showcase best practices in various fields related to smart cities, a statement from CII added. The MoU aims to establish a national mission for such cities as a platform comprising industry leaders and experts and provide policy advocacy and thought leadership to Government and other stakeholders. It would also manage a knowledge repository to provide inputs to the Ministry of Urban Development on best practices. Hitachi MD Ichiro Iino and Siemens MD Sunil Mathur signed the pact with CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee in the presence of DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant.

Kant said: “Smart city initiative shall be driven by technology driven companies and that learnings gathered from the best practices across the world in the management of water, public resources, public spaces and technology shall be shared while implementing the concept.”

CISCO Plans to Set up Manufacturing Unit in India
Source: The Economic Times; March 18, 2015

Networking solutions giant Cisco is planning to set up a manufacturing facility in India and evaluating various sops offered by the government to promote the Electronic System Design & Manufacturing sector, Parliament was informed today. Besides, the government has so far received proposals from seven companies from the US and Japan or their subsidiaries for investment in the country under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS), Minister for Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. "Several companies, including Cisco are evaluating the various incentives offered by the government for investments in the Electronic System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) sector," Prasad informed the House. At present, the over $47 billion US-based firm has its largest research and development (R&D) facility outside the US in India. But, it does not have any manufacturing facility in the country. Cisco, which manufactures wireless access points or modems, has various manufacturing facilities across the globe. When contacted, a Cisco spokesperson said: "Cisco believes that the government and industry should work together to remove roadblocks and provide enablers so that India can become a leader in manufacturing."

‘Make in India’ Should Not Be Just assembling, says LG
Source: The Times of India; March 19, 2015

Soon Kwon, MD of LG in India, feels government's 'Make in India' campaign, while being good in spirit, requires a lot more support and enablers to help India emerge as global manufacturing hub on the lines of China. We already have a strong manufacturing base with two plants. However, we will not shy away from making new investments, whenever required. Our routine investment in India is around Rs 1,200 crore annually. While half of it is for marketing and campaigns, the other half is invested on research and development and manufacturing activities. To make that happen, India has to develop a more robust eco-system of the whole business pipelines. For example, most of the components for the consumer electronics products have to be imported. Thus, 'Make in India' should not be just assembling in India, but it has to be a real make in India of all components. So, I hope the government may have some agenda about how to motivate companies from other industries, like suppliers, to also make investments.

Compiled by IESA Research

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