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11th Anniversary

Tech fillip awaits small towns
Source: Telegraph India; December 3, 2016

The state will shortly get centres of the Software Technology Parks of India in all its major three-tier towns (small towns) to boost entrepreneurship, electronics and information technology sectors.

The STPI centres will be available for entrepreneurs, especially catering to the need of start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises to start their business without any hassles.

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), under the Union ministry of electronics and information technology, has been set up to promote software export from the country.

"By 2020, there will be demand for electronic goods worth around $400 billion. To fill the gap, it is important that such items are manufactured locally. The government of Odisha provides a healthy environment for entrepreneurs in the field of electronics and we are ready to facilitate the same by setting up STPI centres across the state," said Omkar Rai, director general of STPI, while speaking at a seminar on IT and electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) at the three-day Make in Odisha Conclave that concluded here today.

Odisha is eyeing a gross annual ICT (information-communications-tech) turnover of $4 billion (Rs 27,400 crore), with direct employment potential for 60,000 professionals, by 2020. At present, Odisha has eight STPI centres that is the highest among all the states.

India takes pride of place, crosses $300 billion FDI milestone
Source: The Economic Times; December 4, 2016

India crossed the $300 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) milestone between April 2000 and September 2016, firmly establishing its credentials as a safe investment destination in the world.

Thirty three per cent of the FDI came through the Mauritius route, apparently because the investors wanted to take advantage of India's double taxation avoidance treaty with the island nation.

India received $ 101.76 billion from Mauritius between April 2000 and September 2016. The cumulative FDI inflows during the period amounted to $ 310.26 billion.

The inflows in the first half of the current financial year was $ 21.62 billion, according to data compiled by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

The other big investors have been from Singapore, the US, UK and the Netherlands.

Commenting on the $ 300 billion mark, industry bodies Ficci and CII have said that India is perceived as a safe and dynamic destination by global investors.

Ficci said that the liberalisation of the FDI policy framework, major national development programmes such as Make in India, Digital India and Skill India, besides increasing competitiveness, have made India the preferred choice for investors globally.

OnePlus unveils new phone, to start manufacturing in India
Source: Deccan Herald; December 4, 2016

Amidst a gathering of an enthusaistic OnePlus community in Bengaluru on Saturday, the company launched its OnePlus 3T, which offers key hardware and software updates on the OnePlus 3.

The phone, priced at Rs 29,999, will hit the market through ecommerce portal Amazon on December 14.

While OnePlus currently undertakes all its production activities in China, the company will soon manufacture in India, OnePlus India General Manager Vikas Agarwal said.

“By the next quarter, we will be producing a batch of the OnePlus 3T from India,” he said. While the company is yet to disclose details, the GM mentioned that it will enter into contracts to start manufacturing in India.

“OnePlus has been able to gather a market share of 18% in India. This is the outcome of building a good relationship with the user. As a participant in the premium smartphone category, OnePlus has a loyal fan base of technology enthusiasts, who swear by the overall experience and value for money propositions of OnePlus.”

OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau said, “We developed the OnePlus 3T to bring significant improvements with new technology that is available today, so that our customers do not have to wait for the best possible user experience.”

India-US defence ties closest ever: US defence secretary
Source: The Times of India; December 4, 2016

Days ahead of his visit to India, US defence secretary Ashton Carter on Sunday said that the defence relationship between the world's two largest democracies has never been as close it is now.

"The US-India defence relationship is the closest it's ever been. Through our strategic handshake — with America reaching west in the rebalance, and India reaching east in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls his Act East policy — our two nations are exercising together by air, land, and sea like never before," Carter said.

Carter, who would be in India next week, said this in his address to the Regan National Defence Forum in Simi Valley, California.

The outgoing US defence secretary's last overseas trip includes Japan, India, Israel, Bahrain, Italy and the UK.

"We also have a technological handshake — as the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, or DTTI, grasps hands with Prime Minister Modi's Make in India campaign — that's helping our countries move toward more diverse co-development and co-production of weapons systems," he said.

As he begins his last overseas tour from the Asia Pacific region, Carter reflected on the rebalance strategy of President Barack Obama.

"It will ensure DoD continues to help provide the security necessary for that consequential region - which is home to nearly half the global population and nearly half the global economy - to remain a place where everyone can rise and prosper for decades to come," he said.

Startups with global operations attract funds from Indian venture capital firms
Source: The Economic Times; December 4, 2016

John Paul, founder of period tracker app Maya, had to wait for four long years before starting operations in India this year. Started in 2012 in the US, the tracker has had over 6.5 million downloads across 190 countries; was available in 12 languages; and has Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Russia and South Korea as its top five markets. Still it remained bootstrapped. Reason: It was operating out of Bengaluru and catering to global markets. Global investors were keener on investing in a venture with offices across the globe.

Cut to 2016. Paul has raised two rounds of funding from Indian investors since its debut in the country in March this year. While it raised Rs 5 crore from Bengaluru-based Prime Venture Partners in March, it recently bagged an undisclosed amount from Rajan Anandan of Google India.

So what changed? Simple, Maya rolled out operations in India, and added two more languages, Hindi and Tamil. What also nudged Paul to start local operations was a perceptible change in mindset. “Back in 2012, a product like Maya had cultural barriers in India,” he recalls, adding that India is now the main focus. “If India is a focus market, it definitely makes sense to raise money from Indian investors,” he says.

Paul is not an aberration. Over the last few months, a bunch of global startups, including those that don’t have operations here, had raised money from Indian investors.

India key to our team for product development: Mark Papermaster, AMD chief technological officer
Source: The Economic Times; December 5, 2016

Mark Papermaster took charge as the chief technological officer at semiconductor-maker AMD in 2011, bringing with him three decades of experience across companies like Cisco, Apple and IBM.

His time at the chipmaker has seen it reposition itself to a more rounded technology- and graphics company with a strong focus on the gaming sector. In an interview with Priyanka Sangani, Papermaster said AMD has worked for several years to strengthen tech arsenal and create compelling products. India is a key element of our development team and every aspect of product development. We have over 1,000 engineers here. The AMD strategy is focused on three pillars: gaming and immersive apps, which is VR and AR, compute – which is data centres, high-performance computing and high performance graphics – and semi-custom solutions, where we work with partners on products like the Xbox 1or PS4. The India design centre does a lot of key software and IP development with gaming and graphics, chip design and software as well as to create tailored solutions.

As with any new technology, some people are skeptical but there are always early adopters who are trailblazers and over time, we will see demand take off. We already have head mounted displays that provide high-end experiences and are seeing sufficient amount of content being created in the travel and education space.

Panasonic to Buy ZKW for 1 Billion to Accelerate Push into Automotive Electronics
Source: News 18; December 5, 2016

Japan's Panasonic Corp is in talks to buy European automotive light maker ZKW Group, accelerating its push into the automotive electronics market, a person familiar with the matter said.

The deal could be worth up to $1 billion and the two companies could reach a basic agreement as early as this month, the Nikkei business daily reported Monday.

An acquisition of ZKW would expand Panasonic's automotive lineup, which currently centers on batteries and navigation systems, as it shifts its focus to corporate clients to escape price competition from lower-margin consumer electronics manufacturers.

Panasonic said in a statement the reported deal was not something it had announced, and declined to comment further.

Privately held ZKW supplies light-emitting diode headlights and lighting modules to U.S. and European automakers such as General Motors Co (GM.N) and BMW (BMWG.DE). It forecasts sales of about 900 million euros ($949.59 million) in 2016.

"ZKW is among various deals that Panasonic is considering," said the source, who was not authorized to discuss the matter and asked not to be named.

"But no details have been decided and the deal could fall through," he said.

Panasonic has earmarked 1 trillion yen ($8.80 billion) for strategic investments including mergers and acquisitions for the four years through March 2019. Of that amount, 70 percent has been already completed or allocated for specific deals, the company has said

Now, a first-of-its kind digital-simulation centre to power India's dream of becoming a manufacturing hub
Source: The Times of India; December 5, 2016

National Institute of Technical Teachers Training & Research, Chandigarh today signed an MoU with technology firm ABB India to create a first-of-its-kind digital simulation centre, to help students, teachers and engineers better understand physics and design principles involved in electro-mechanical equipment manufacturing.

This Simulation Center of Excellence (SCoE), which ABB India's Chief Technology Officer Giandomenico Testi called a "bid to partner India's vision of becoming a manufacturing hub," is expected to be operational by 2017.

It will have a high-performance computing platform, and advanced computational tools.

The SCoE will provide researchers, teachers, scientists and engineers "exposure, currently scarce, in the areas of modeling, simulations and design with expert guidance," Testi said.

"The center will be a key step in providing a differentiating technology platform and focus on quality in the midst of increasing price pressure and competition in the sector," he added.

One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship schemes is the Make In India initiative, which seeks to make India a world-renowmed manufacturing hub. There's now a need for high-quality electro-mechanical equipment to support domestic and export demand in the power generation, transmission and distribition sector, and manufacturing sector.

Tuem ESDM hub gets Centre’s nod
Source: The Times of India; December 6, 2016

The Union minstry of electronics and information technology, at a meeting held in Delhi, on Friday, has reportedly given its final approval for the greenfield electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) hub at Tuem, proposed by the government of Goa. The ministry has also recommended that Goa receives 75 crore as funding for the project, instead of 50 crore, as was earlier promised.

"The project has received final approval and, based on the size and other facilities, the funding has been increased to 75 crore," chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar told reporters, adding that the ministry of information and technology, headed by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, recently held a meeting to evaluate Goa's proposal to put up an electronic city at Tuem. The director of information and technology and special secretary to Parsekar, Ameya Abhyankar, was present for the meeting in Delhi.

Parsekar added, "We have not received any official information. The file will now move to the ministry and we are expecting a written intimation in the next eight days," Parsekar said.

According to Parsekar, the Union government decided to increase the fund allocation for the project to the state, based on the size of the land earmarked at Tuem and the anchor units that have shown interest in the ESDM hub.

IIT-B placements: Electronics giants double jobs offers
Source: Hindustan Times; December 6, 2016

Placements at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) seem to be brighter for students opting for core engineering firms, especially in the electronics sector. By the end of five days of interviews this season, electronics companies have managed to offer more jobs compared to last year. This year, job offers from electronics giants — such as Intel, General Electric, Samsung, etc — have doubled.

“We are still analysing data from the first five days, but it is very clear that core fields, especially the electrical sector, have witnessed a significant rise in jobs offered compared to last year,” said a member from the IIT-B placement committee.

For example, in the first four days, Intel has offered 27 jobs compared to 14 in the first four days of 2015. Similarly, IBM offered seven jobs this year, compared to two in the same period last year. Most of these profiles are related to research and development and based in India.

South Korean conglomerate Samsung has been on the IIT-B campus on two out of the first four days, and has offered 21 jobs, compared to 15 that they had offered in the same period last season. “Technology will continue to shape the future with companies such as IBM being at the forefront. Therefore, core technology companies will continue to hunt for the best talent from institutes like IIT and they are also ready to pay for it. This is not a surprising trend,” said Kamal Karanth, an entrepreneur and an HR expert, based in Bangalore.

India can quickly accelerate to 5G: Intel president Murthy
Source: Times of India; December 6, 2016

Hyderabad-born Venkata Murthy Renduchintala is seen as the No. 2 at Intel. Brought in late last year from Qualcomm with a whopping $25-million compensation, Murthy is designated president, the only person in the chip maker's executive management team to carry that title. All others, barring CEO Brian Krzanich, are VPs. Murthy's responsibilities include the PC chip business, Intel's biggest, as also internet-of-things, a space that many expect is set to explode. In his first interaction with Indian media, Murthy spoke exclusively with TOI on his mandate to transform Intel.

We are very strong in the PC and the data centre spaces. But as we look at the future opportunities for Intel, they require a much greater assimilation of the total skill set of Intel. For example, if you look at internet-of-things, at its grandest scale, while a lot of emphasis is placed on the client environment (end devices), we always talk about everything becoming interconnected and being able to share information. That communication needs to be supported by an underlying network and data centre infrastructure. So, Intel, I think, is uniquely positioned in being able to play not only in the client space - providing compute capability, connectivity and application diversity be it in connected sensors, robotics, drones, connected cars, vehicle telematics - but also in providing the network infrastructure and data analytics in the data centre, thereby providing end-to-end capabilities in IoT.

M-SIPS Back with cabinet for fresh nod
Source: ET Tech; December 7, 2016

The ministry of Electronics and IT has reworked one of its flagship incentive schemes for electronics manufacturing and is taking the draft to the Cabinet for a fresh approval.

Approvals under M-SIPS (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme) have been pending for over six months after the finance ministry expressed certain reservations.

The scheme is key to the Make in India programme and provides a host of incentives including a 2025% subsidy on capital expenditure for companies that set up manufacturing units of electronics equipment or components locally.

A senior government official said, “They will take the amended scheme to Cabinet soon for its nod."

A Cabinet note has been circulated for discussion and is likely to be tabled in the coming weeks. The finance ministry had raised concerns over the lack of clarity in the quantum of subsidy outgo under the open-ended M-SIPS framework, which is valid till 2020. The hiatus has upset an industry that had begun looking at India as a manufacturing hub.

So far, proposals worth Rs. 18,000 crore have been approved under the programme with an estimated subsidy of around Rs. 4,000 crore to be paid over the next 10 years. The policy is seen as key to achieving PM Modi's goal of having net zero balance of electronics, and imports & exports.

Manufacturing of Airbus under 'Make in India' Initiative
Source: Business Standard; December 7, 2016

Manufacturing of Airbus Under 'Make in India' Initiative

None of the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) under the administrative control of Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) have tied up with Airbus to manufacture in India under Make in India initiative. Ministry of Civil Aviation has replied that the information sought in the Question may be treated as Nil.

Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion has informed that the data with regard to the domestic and multi-national companies which have invested or have shown interest to invest in the country under the Make in India initiative is not centrally maintained. However, after the launch of Make in India initiative in September, 2014, there has been unprecedented increase in the (Foreign Direct Investment) FDI in the country. During the period starting from October, 2014 to September, 2016, total FDI equity inflows of US$ 77.86 bn. was recorded as against US$ 48.57 bn. received during the preceding 24 months with an increase of 60%.

This information was given by Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Shri Babul Supriyo in reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha today.

Panasonic to start manufacturing refrigerators in India
Source: Business Standard; December 8, 2016

Panasonic Corporation, the Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics & home appliances products, will build a facility at Jhajjar in Haryana to start production of refrigerators to meet the demand for Indian market. The company has also decided to strengthen its R&D functions in the country by setting up two technical divisions. With this, Panasonic aims to expand its appliances business in India by accelerating the localising, production and sales activities to develop products that match the local needs.

Panasonic started local production with rice cookers from 1990, TVs from 1996 and air conditioners from 2013 to address the growing demand in the market. Keeping in mind the rising demand for value-added refrigerators, the new factory will be built at Technopark (Jhajjar) and will be operational starting November 2017. With an annual production capacity of approximately 500,000 units, the new plant will manufacture refrigerators comprising of unique features such as energy-saving, long-lasting freshness and design. Sales for the same will commence from April 2018 in India.

To accelerate the product development, Panasonic will also establish the India R&D center for appliances consisting of two technical divisions - design division of appliances (focusing on India) and offshore development division. It will strengthen the design division targeting the complete local product development process for India and surrounding countries and focusing on appliances such as air-conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators.

India’s 87 per cent solar cell imports from China in April-September: Piyush Goyal
Source: The Indian Express; December 9, 2016

India imported solar and photovoltaic cells worth about USD 826 million from China in the first six months of the current fiscal, which is over 87 per cent of the country’s total such imports. India’s total imports of these cells were worth USD 948.88 million, including USD 825.98 million from China, constituting 87.05 per cent, during the April-September period of 2016-17, New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal stated in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Thursday.

India had imported USD 2,344.56 million worth of cells last fiscal, out of which USD 1,960.26 million was from China constituting 83.61 per cent of the total. In 2014-15, the proportion of solar and photovoltaic cells imports from China was 73.49 per cent of the total imports at USD 603.34 million. India imported solar cells and photovoltaic cells worth USD 820.95 million in that fiscal.

Goyal informed the house that India does not have enough manufacturing capacity currently for cells and modules to cover its full demand. He further said that the development of solar power in the country is taking place with indigenous as well as imported solar equipment and components.

In order to make National Solar Mission (NSM) a success, he said, the government has launched several schemes and is providing benefits to indigenous manufacturers including concessional excise and custom duties.

Compiled by IESA Research

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