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  IESA WINWire May 14 -May 20, 2016 for Subscription click here  
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Parrikar sets $2 bn target for defence exports in two years
Source: The Times of India; May 14, 2016

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said he has set a target of raising defence exports to $2 billion in the next two years and the offsets clause will help in this. Speaking at the Aerospace & Defence Summit organised by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India, the minister said the target is not very difficult to achieve. "I think the push in exports is showing results. It has reached $350 million, almost doubling the export," Parrikar said. "In years to come, I have set a target for myself. In the next two years, the target is to touch $2 billion. It is not very impossible as offsets are the area from where exports, and expertise, both can come," he said. The minister added that in the next two years, $2 billion worth of offset obligations are to be fulfilled. Talking about Make in India, Parrikar said the project on manufacturing fighter aircraft and helicopters in India will start in a year's time. "In next one year's time, we expect the Make in India project in fighter aircraft and helicopters to take off, besides what we are doing ourselves," Parrikar said.

Expressing the intention to export the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, Parrikar said he had to make Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Indian Air Force (IAF) personally sit across the table to discuss Tejas, after which the IAF expressed the intent to take 120 of the LCAs.

Intel announces new initiative to strengthen government's 'Digital India' programme
Source: The Times of India; May 14, 2016

In an effort to contribute further to the 'Digital India' initiative, chip-making giant Intel India on Friday launched an initiative to strengthen the use of technology in the country's education ecosystem.

At an event jointly organised by Intel and the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, the company said it is collaborating with leading device manufacturers, education digital content and publishers and education solution providers to build end-to-end solutions that promote the use of technology in India's education sector.

"The initiative to create a comprehensive ecosystem is an endeavour to establish an accessible digital infrastructure that enables affordable solutions," said Debjani Ghosh, managing director of Intel South Asia, in a statement.

As part of this collaboration, Intel has made available its " Intel Pentium Processor A1020" to leading device manufacturer partners.

The processor delivers power savings and is optimal for devices designed for running education applications in semi-urban and rural India.

Manufacturing sector likely to slow down in Apr-Jun qtr.: FICCI
Source: Business Standard; May 15, 2016

Growth of India's manufacturing sector may decelerate during June quarter due to factors like bleak export outlook, poor demand and high cost of borrowing, a Ficci survey has said.

The hiring outlook for the sector also looks unpromising as over 80 per cent survey respondents said they are unlikely to hire in the said quarter, the industry body's survey said.

The outlook for export continues its downward trajectory in the first quarter of 2016-17 with the proportion of respondents, expecting higher exports in the quarter, falling.

The proportion of respondents expecting higher exports in Q1 2016-17 is 36 per cent which is much lower than 41 per cent in Q4 2015-16, the survey noted.

Besides, only 38 per cent respondents have reported higher order books for the April-June quarter which is less than that of previous quarter (44 per cent).

In terms of investment, for Q1 2016-17, 75 per cent respondents as against 68 in previous quarter reported that they don't have any plans for capacity additions for the next six months implying slack in the private sector investments in manufacturing to continue.

IPR policy to promote R&D, bring down waiting period: Nirmala Sitharaman
Source: The Economic Times; May 15, 2016

The new IPR policy will give a big boost to R&D and new innovations within the country while steps are being taken to cut waiting period for trademark and patent registrations, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. Terming the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy as "a great step forward for India ", the Commerce and Industry Minister also said it would help in creating capacities and institutions to further enhance the robustness of India's IPR regime. "The policy envisages building capacities, institutions and awareness. It will encourage research and development for greater innovation and also look at traditional knowledge systems. So this is a policy, which is going to drive all these steps," Sitharaman told PTI here. Talking about steps to reduce pendency of applications, she said the ministry is recruiting people and giving them training and modernising offices. The total number of patent applications and trademark registration requests pending as on February 1 were 2,37,029 and 5,44,171, respectively. The registration time for IPRs like trademarks "will come to in line with what is happening around the globe. So our waiting list will not be longer than the waiting list abroad".

Indian, Japanese officials to discuss bullet train project
Source: DD News; May 15, 2016

This is the second meeting of the joint committee set up to execute the bullet train project, according to Railway Ministry. During the meeting, the committee will finalise the schedule of the project, terms related to the appointment of general consultant and procurement conditions, it said. Besides Panagariya, the Indian delegation will comprise A K Mital, Chairman Railway Board, Shaktikanta Das, Secretary Department of Economic Affairs, S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary, and Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industry Policy and Promotion. The Japanese side will be led by Hiroto Izumi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan. Other members from Japanese side will comprise senior officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and senior officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The flagship project is being financed by JICA, which is providing a soft loan of about Rs 79,380 crore, amounting to 81 per cent of the total project cost. Since the loan negotiation and finalisation of loan agreement will take some time, the government has requested for a proper schedule of project implementation to achieve timely completion, the railways said in a statement. India had also requested for appointment of general consultant, will enable start of preparatory activities like designing and preparation of tender documents, before the finalisation of loan agreement.

How Make In India Has The Potential To Transform India Into A Design & Innovation Powerhouse!
Source: Techstory; May 16, 2016

The Government of India’s ambitious initiative, Make in India seeks to raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25% of the GDP by 2020. The Government, believes and rightly so that this will create an impact in allied sectors leading to job creation and provide an overall boost to the Indian economy. The program is definitely a step in the right direction and with support from all quarters could achieve the desired impact. There are some aspects which we however need to keep in mind with respect to this initiative. While the program is aimed at transforming India into a design and manufacturing hub, the larger focus seems to be on manufacturing. That offcourse is the stated intent of the program but maybe the other opportunity linked to design and innovation needs to be strongly integrated into the core theme. The thought behind this is simple. While we would definitely want to see a larger part of the global manufacturing pie, it is design, innovation and IP creation that presents itself as a long-term opportunity. We should ideally focus on creating a mindset where the entire value of product creation starting with product concept to design and ultimately manufacturing is completely done out of India. Hence, the need is to build a comprehensive ecosystem of companies and various stakeholders who are working across the manufacturing value chain with capabilities to conceptualize and deliver the final product out of India.

MAIT, Govt of Maharashtra emphasise on adoption of good IT Practices
Source: SME Channels; May 16, 2016

Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) has organized a sensitization workshop on ‘Good Procurement Practices for Information Technology’ on invitation by the Department of Information Technology, Government of Maharashtra, BSA and Accenture as knowledge partners, and the workshop was supported by HP. The workshop was designed to highlight the importance of good IT procurement practices for government and semi-government organizations. The workshop was inaugurated by Shri Muthukrishnan Sankarnarayanan, Director-IT, Department of Information Technology, Govt. of Maharashtra. It was attended by ninety senior and mid-level officials of various departments of the state government.Shri Sankaranarayanan explained how Department of IT, Govt. of Maharashtra aims to collaborate with the industry to help in speedy adoption of IT solutions, to improve the effectiveness of e-Governance programs in Maharashtra.

Other prominent speakers at the workshop included Anwar Shirpurwala, Executive Director, MAIT and Mr Ankur Malhotra, VP-GR and PP, Accenture. The speakers emphasized the need to change legacy IT procurement practices, identify susceptibilities and review processes to make them more impactful and efficient. They also advocated why IT procurement is important for the overall development of the State.

ISRO set to make history: India to be fifth nation to launch its own space shuttle
Source: Firstpost; May 17, 2016

The Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to add another feather in its cap. Come 23 May, and Isro will be launching its first space shuttle, with India becoming the fifth nation to do so. Until now, only US, Russia, France and Japan have successfully launched space shuttle. What is more special about it is the fact that it is an indigenous initiative. The RLV-TD (Reusable Launch Vehicle - Technology Development) took five years to be built, at a cost of just Rs 95 crore, according to The Financial Express. A full-fledged reusable space shuttle will, however, take at least another 10 to 15 years to build, an Indian Express report said. “It is a technology demonstrator launch. It is a baby step,” an Isro official who declined to be named was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying. The experimental space shuttle that is going to be launched from the space port at Sriharikota, is expected to return to the Bay of Bengal. However, it is unlikely to be recovered from the sea as it is expected to be destroyed on impact with water. The purpose of the experiment is to see whether it can glide and navigate at a velocity which would be five times faster than sound, onto a virtual runway, The Indian Express further added. The present design is basically “a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, namely hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion using a scramjet engine”, The Hindu quoted the Isro website.

Panasonic plans refrigerator plant in India
Source: The Economic Times; May 17, 2016

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic plans to make refrigerators in India to tap into the huge market in the country where it is currently a marginal player. The company's India unit plans to invest Rs 250 crore towards setting up a manufacturing plant for refrigerators and is also drawing up plans for a unit to make mobile phones.

Panasonic India and South Asia president Manish Sharma said the move is triggered by the huge market for refrigerators in India where the company has failed to make much headway in the last five years. "We are currently importing refrigerators from Thailand, which is not working for us. Once we have the factory, we will build more sales volume in that category.

Even today, the refrigerator market is the biggest in consumer durables, which is a big potential," said Sharma. The company is evaluating Jhajjar in Haryana and several locations in Maharashtra for the refrigerator plant, which will be functional in two years. It is also investing Rs 20 crore on an assembly unit for lithium ion batteries in the next 8-10 months at its existing facility in Jhajjar.

Currently, Panasonic manufactures air-conditioners, televisions, kitchen appliances and welding systems in the country. Sharma said the market for televisions is about 10 million units annually, while for refrigerators it is more than 11 million.

Hyderabad-based startup iBot aims at driving IoT-led innovation for Indian businesses
Source: Firstpost; May 17, 2016

A lot has already been said and written about how Internet of Things (IoT) is the tech trend of the future. Big tech giants and startups alike are trying to leverage the technology and get everything we use in our day-to-day lives connected. iBot Control Systems is one such Hyderabad-based company in the startup space that claims to be on a mission to drive IoT innovation for Indian businesses in alignment with the Make in India initiative. This B2B IoT startup is working with Microsoft across three continents and also bags a position among Nasscom’s Top 5 Iconic Startups in India. In a year, founder Ravi Subramanyam aims at making iBot world’s pioneering company in the IoT space. Subramanyam said it was during a conversation with a CEO (of a large durables company) that he realised consumer durables companies or manufacturers were losing a lot sales and services were channel driven and had no consumer connect. This resulted into misplaced warranties and losses. This gave birth to iBot Control Systems in 2011. “iBot was started with the objective of connecting manufacturers and owners of products/machines with themselves, thereby enabling two-way chatter which would lead to improved efficiencies and better consumer satisfaction,” he tells us.

Moving all IoT data to cloud is a recipe for disaster
Source: Express Computer; May 18, 2016

To directly transport sensor data onto the cloud through a gateway is a recipe for disaster. This leads to a surge in the Opex. The Capex investments will also have to be made at the same scale. The radio that enables wireless data transmission has to be always on, which will abuse the battery capacity. IoT is all about creating a ‘Sensor to the cloud’ system, which is solving a business problem at a good RoI. On the contrary, we are spending more energy transmitting wirelessly compared to doing computing at a given node. It requires a fat pipe. The right way would be to do the initial analysis on-premise, sense the data, analyse it and only send the relevant data that needs to be processed upon on the cloud. for e.g. In case of a CCTV footage at a particular showroom has to be transferred to a nearest police station in case of a theft incident, the conventional method is the police takes the DVR and checks the footage frame by frame however by then the culprit has gone too far. How about writing an algorithm which triggers a series of snapshots from the footage about the incident, when it’s happening? It is then relayed in real time to the nearest police station. This way the police can respond to the situation immediately and not after the culprit is at large. Analogue devices’ forte is about writing such algorithms. If IoT has to be realised at a cheapest possible cost, not all but selected data has to be moved to the cloud.

As China falters, here’s how India can be Apple’s next manufacturing hub
Source: Hindustan Times; May 18, 2016

Apple’s CEO is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week as part of his Asian tour. This happens amid reports that Foxconn , Apple’s leading contract manufacturer, is considering locating some of its iPhone manufacturing to India—which is overtaking China as the world’s fastest growing market. Foxconn has also been speculating about setting up robotic manufacturing plants in the US.

This seems very unlikely because of Apple’s massive presence in China and the complexity of the manufacturing value chain of its products’ electronics components. But this may not be as far-fetched as it seems and could provide Apple a badly needed way of diversifying its manufacturing base—and entering the Indian market in force. When American companies moved manufacturing to China, it was all about cost. China’s wages were amongst the lowest in the world and its government provided subsidies and turned a blind eye to labour abuse and environmental destruction. Things have changed. China’s labour, real estate, and energy costs have increased to the point that they are comparable to some parts of the United States. Subsidies are also harder to get and Chinese labour is not tolerating the abuse that it once did. China is now a more expensive place to manufacture than Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, and India, according to Boston Consulting Group.

Apple’s app, design accelerator in Bengaluru to speed India growth
Source: The Hindu Business line; May 18, 2016

As part of Apple's new thrust on expanding operations in India, the iconic phone maker is setting up a Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru. The new initiative is aimed at supporting engineering talent and accelerate growth in India’s iOS developer community. The announcement comes even as Apple CEO Tim Cook is on an official visit to India. “India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” Cook said. “With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we’re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.” Each week, Apple experts will lead briefings and provide one-on-one app reviews for developers. The facility will also provide support and guidance on Swift™, Apple’s programming language created to build apps for iOS, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch. Bengaluru is now home to more technology start-ups than any other part of India. Over one million people in the city work in the tech sector, and over 40 per cent of graduates from local universities specialise in engineering or information technology. “This is a huge vote of confidence in India’s developer community and a tremendous opportunity to gain world-class design and development expertise,” said Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal.

Nokia to make mobile, tablets comeback
Source: The Times of India; May 18, 2016

Nokia, once the world's top mobile phone maker, on Wednesday announced its return to the fiercely competitive handsets and tablets market years after being crushed there by Samsung and Apple.

Nokia, which is now a leading telecom equipment maker, said it would licence its brand to a new Finnish company which will produce phones and tablets under the Nokia name.

The new company, HMD Global, "has been founded to provide a focused, independent home for a full range of Nokia-branded feature phones, smartphones and tablets," Nokia said in a statement.

As part of the process, HMD Global and its Taiwanese partner, FIH Mobile of FoxConn Technology Group, will take over Microsoft's feature phone business for $350 million (310.5 million euros), Microsoft said separately. The US company had bought the business from Nokia in 2014.

Nokia was the world's leading mobile phone maker from 1998 until 2011 when it bet on Microsoft's Windows mobile platform which proved to be a flop. Analysts say the company failed to grasp the growing importance of smartphone apps compared to hardware. The new product portfolio will be based on Google's Android.

The Finnish company sold its unprofitable handset unit in 2014 for some $7.2 billion to Microsoft, which dropped the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphone handsets.

Meanwhile Nokia has concentrated on developing its mobile network equipment business by acquiring its French-American rival Alcatel-Lucent.

Assembling imported parts not ‘Make in India’ says Broadband Forum
Source: Indian Television; May 19, 2016

Observing that assembling in India goes against the very principle of Make in India, the Broadband India Forum has criticized the decision to roll back import duties levied on mobile phone components and said this “is a step not in sync with encouraging manufacture of these items in India.” BIF, a dedicated Forum with representation from Telecom Service Providers, Technology Providers, R&D and Chip Design Companies, System Integrator, Project Management, Service & Solution Provide, MSO and DTH, Satellite & VSAT Service Providers, in its appeal to the Communication and Information Technology ministry has requested immediate withdrawal of the import duty rollback on populated PCBs and phone accessories in the interest of ‘Design in India’ as these equipments provide maximum opportunity for design and R&D. In its recent Notification of 5 May 2016, the government decided to roll back import duties levied on components of mobile phones in the Union Budget 2016. The notification brought down the duty on chargers, batteries and headsets from 29 percent to 12.5 percent (at par with that of imported handsets) and lowered the duty on populated PCBs (printed circuit boards) to 0 percent from 2 percent (instead of raising it to 12.5 percent).

Compiled by IESA Research

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