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  IESA WINWire Oct 15 - Oct 21, 2016 for Subscription click here  
11th Anniversary

Nominations Open for IESA Technovation Awards 2016
Source: IESA, October 2016

IESA has kick-started Technovation Awards 2016. IESA has been awarding and rewarding new breakthroughs in the ESDM space through Technovation awards for both Industry and academia. Over the years the Technovation awards have set quality standards for the electronics and semiconductor ecosystem. The Awards will honor India’s best individual contributors and organizations that drive the industry forward; and provide them with a platform to showcase their achievements and product successes.

So Hurry Up and Send your nominations now!

The last date for receipt of nominations is 21st October 2016.

Andhra Pradesh signs two shipbuilding MoUs with Russia at BRICS
Source: The Indian Express; October 15, 2016

The Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board on Saturday inked two MoUs with Russian corporations in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation. Krishna Kishore, CEO, Economic Development Board signed the MoUs at the Russia India bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Eighth Annual Summit of BRICS, Goa.

One MoU was signed between Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board and JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). USC is the biggest shipbuilding corporation in Russia and 70 per cent of the naval ships in India including submarines have been supplied by USC, its subsidiaries and partners. USC has an order book of over $20 billion with substantial orders from Indian defence.

With the signing of this MoU, shipbuilding in Andhra Pradesh will get a major fillip and the state will emerge as one of the biggest shipbuilding hubs in Asia in the years to come, Krishna Kishore said. This facility by USC will not only cater to the Indian market but also tap exports.

Another MoU was signed between the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board, JSC Alexeev’s Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau, JSC Radar MMS and JSC Morinsis – AGAT and Elcom Systems Private Limited which will facilitate investments in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Exporters need to prepare for GST
Source: The Hindu Business Line; October 16, 2016

GST will usher in a new regulatory regime for India’s exports. For the manufactured product exporters, the most significant impact would be the increased requirement and blockage of working capital.

For manufacturing a product, a firm buys locally or imports raw material and machinery. The current export schemes allow firms to buy these without payment of applicable duties through ab-initio exemption or subsequent refund of duties.

The proposed GST system mandates that all duties must be paid at the time of a transaction while refund for these can be obtained after exports. This means the exporter will have to arrange money for the inputs, manufacturing and payment of duties and taxes.
The current system of export schemes has evolved over the decades. For example, the Advance Authorisation Scheme that allows duty-free sourcing of raw material is in existence since the 1970s. The Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme that allows duty-free sourcing of machinery was introduced in early 1990s.

Both schemes have been used extensively by engineering, electronics, automobile, chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors to build an export base. The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) scheme, though introduced in 2005, was already in existence in some form since the mid-1960s.

India becomes a leading hub for robotics start-up investment
Source: Zee Biz; October 16, 2016

All is not gloom in the start-up space in India as certain start-up segments have been fairing better than others. Robotics start-ups, for instance, has picked up pace with investment growing in companies in India.

Robotics start-ups in India bagged over 5% of the deals globally in 2016. One of them included the one by Accel Partners India invested in Bengaluru-based industrial robotics start-up Systemantics in Q1 2016, according to a CB Insights report.

Some of the other robotics start-ups in India which received funding during the year include GreyOrange, Endless Robotics, Sastra Robotics, Jay Robotix, Airwood and Aarav Unmanned System.

The number of deals for start-ups outside the US has been on the rise. Deals in non-US start-ups reached a 5-year high of 43% in 2016.

China had the maximum share of the deals for robotics start-ups at around 8% of the global deal share. Intel Capital backed two startups last year: personal transportation robot Ninebot and drones startup Yuneec; Accel Partners backed drone startup DJI Innovationsin a $75M Series B round; and Sequoia Capital China backed industrial robotics startup Quotient Kinematics in a $5M Series A round. So far this year, 7 startups have raised funding rounds.

Electronic Products Policy will now focus on exports: Arvind Panagariya
Source: The Economic Times; October 17, 2016

NITI Aayog, the government’s premier think tank, has junked its first dedicated ‘Make in India Strategy for Electronic Products’ and has floated another policy that is more export-oriented and favours developing coastal economic zones.

The previous policy paper had faced opposition from the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology as well as reservations from other stakeholders mainly because of its domestic focus and its emphasis on semiconductors.

“They had floated a policy paper once that never went forward since many people had reservations on it,” a senior ministry official told ET on condition of anonymity. The official added that the ministry is, however, fully supportive of the second draft paper submitted by the think tank. “They are talking of port-based electronic manufacturing clusters. They seem to have discussed it with the industry and then floated the paper.”

It’s a good paper, which nicely analyses the prospects. We are fully supportive of it. However, it is still a policy paper and may take some time to take shape,” the official said.

Apple seeking newer screens to make or break Japan suppliers
Source: Mint; October 17, 2016

Pick up a high-end smartphone these days and chances are it will have a crisp, energy-sipping organic LED display—unless it’s an iPhone.

That will change next year, when Apple Inc. plans to adopt the technology for the next major upgrade to its flagship product. To do so, the Cupertino, California-based company will have to get its hands on millions of OLED screens.

As a result, Japanese suppliers are under pressure to build up manufacturing operations. Apple, which usually prefers to have multiple suppliers, is in negotiations with Sharp Corp. to procure OLEDs. Japan Display Inc. is moving to build up its own OLED production capabilities. Initial costs could reach $2 billion for each, stretching their finances even before they get any firm orders. Even so, they may not have a choice.

“If they don’t invest in OLED, they will have to get out of the smartphone supplier business altogether,” said Takeo Miyamoto, an analyst at MUFJ Morgan Stanley.

JDI shares rose as much as 11% on Monday to their highest in almost three months. SMBC Nikko Securities raised its rating on the company to outperform from neutral.

Samsung to invest Rs 1,970 cr to double manufacturing capacity by 2019 end
Source: The Economic Times; October 17, 2016

Samsung India will invest Rs 1,970 crore for doubling capacity at its Noida, Uttar Pradesh manufacturing facility by 2019-end, from where it plans to export mobile phones and white goods.

“In line with our commitment to ‘Make in India’ and living by our promise to ‘Make for India’, we are pleased to receive the Uttar Pradesh Government’s approval to invest in the state and expand our manufacturing base here in India,” said HC Hong, President and CEO of Samsung India.

“A bigger and more robust manufacturing facility will help us address the needs and demands of our growing customer base across the country and the region,” Hong added.? ??

The UP government approved the investment under Super Mega A by the state’s Cabinet Committee in Lucknow Monday. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Rahul Bhatnagar and Samsung’s Hong.

“Today’s MoU is yet another step in converting Noida into the electronics hub of India. I am happy Samsung is pioneering this transformation yet again,” UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said.

Samsung started its Noida plant in 1996 and has since been making white goods and mobile phones from the 1.3 lakh square metre facility. A large ecosystem of suppliers in the National Capital Region has also come up since the South Korean company began operations in the area.

Make in India: Ashok Leyland launches first indigenous zero-emission electric bus
Source: Business Standard; October 17, 2016

Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland on Monday launched ‘Circuit’ Series – first Electric Bus Made in India.

Designed and engineered in India, for India, by Indians – the 100 per cent electric bus is a zero-emission, non-polluting vehicle, created specifically for Indian roads and passenger conditions, the company said in a statement.

This new Circuit range of vehicles will be offered on multiple platforms.

Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, said, “The Circuit series of buses is another testament to Ashok Leyland’s commitment to leverage India’s technological innovation to deliver relevant and best-in-class solutions for India and the world".

In April 2015, at FAME Delhi workshop, the company had committed to vehicles with full electric power trains by January 2017. The first vehicle in this new Circuit series, ahead of schedule.

"The product that will enhance the environment in the cities - this is in keeping with Ashok Leyland’s philosophy of ‘Aapki Jeet, Hamari Jeet’," said Dasari.

The Circuit series vehicles are all exclusively engineered on India-specific platforms that can tackle varied topography, gradients, and usage conditions. Integrated with a fire detection and suppression system (FDSS), this truly Indian innovation can travel 120 kilometers on a single charge.

T-Hub’s new program T-Bridge to connect Indian startups with global market
Source: The Indian Express; October 18, 2016

T-Hub, India’s largest startup ecosystem builder at Hyderabad, in partnership with Uber and TiE Silicon Valley Monday announced the launch of T-Bridge, a new program that will connect Indian startups with global market opportunities, and help bring global startups to India. T-Bridge will enable startup communities in India and around the world to cross-pollinate ideas, innovate and create channels for knowledge transfer. It will also create a network of mentors, VCs, incubators and accelerators that is advantageous to the Indian startup ecosystem. T-Bridge will provide a platform for fast-track tech companies looking to tap into India’s huge consumer market for technology. T-Bridge will help startups access UberEXCHANGE, Uber’s flagship startup mentorship program and TiE Silicon Valley’s mentor network.

K T Rama Rao, Minister for IT E&C, s inaugurated T-Bridge in association with Uber and TiE Silicon Valley at Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco.

Rao said, “We have a strong vision to make Hyderabad one of the top 10 startup cities in the world. T–Bridge is one such move towards opening a channel of investment from the world to the state of Telangana. I am proud to open our first outpost in the US in association with Uber and TiE Silicon Valley and believe that this association will forge new partnerships and spur investment and innovation between the two countries”

PM Narendra Modi’s big boost for Make in India: Prayas plan for solar energy to get $3.1 billion boost
Source: The Financial Express; October 18, 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is planning a 210 billion-rupee ($3.1 billion) package of state aid for India’s solar panel manufacturing industry, according to two officials.

The so-called Prayas initiative, short for for “ Pradhan Mantri Yojana for Augmenting Solar Manufacturing,” a central-government plan designed to lift India’s installed photovoltaic capacity as well as to create an export industry, according to two senior government officials with direct knowledge of the plan. They asked not to be identified because the policy isn’t yet public.

Modi wants to raise renewable capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 from 45 gigawatts at present. In addition to meeting its own energy targets, which Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates may cost $200 billion, India wants to emulate industrial developments in neighboring China, where solar manufacturers have created a world-leading export industry.

The Prayas program, part of Modi’s “ make in India” campaign, is intended to create 5 gigawatts of photovoltaic manufacturing capacity from 2019 and build 20 gigawatts of projects in the country by 2026, according to the officials. The policy, which is being developed by the ministry in charge of renewable energy and industrial policy, along with the Niti Aayog government research group, will be presented to the Finance Ministry within a month before going to the cabinet for final approval, they said.

Defence budget hike needed to pay for new purchases: Report
Source: The Times of India; October 18, 2016

Having signed the 8.8-billion-euro Rafale deal, the government will have to increase the defence budget midway through this financial year to pay for new orders, domestic brokerage ICICI Securities said today.

"The amount earmarked for new purchases is so low that it has been exhausted on just one purchase alone -- the Rafale fighter, whose 15 per cent signing advance amounts to Rs 8,700 crore," it said in a note.

"Additional allocations are now required for fresh acquisitions over the remaining half of FY2016-17," it said, adding the additional allocations are "inevitable".

However, the report did not quantify the increase it sees in the budget.

The revision will take the defence spending up to 2.5 per cent of the GDP, as against the originally envisaged Rs 3.41 trillion or 2.26 per cent of the GDP, it said.

The report said 90 per cent of the budgeted defence spending goes towards payments for already announced projects and added that over the past two years, the capital allocation has been unchanged at Rs 86,300 crore.

Pointing to the deal with Russia announced at the just-concluded BRICS Summit, it said this shows the country's "inability to wait for the domestic 'primes' to catch up to global technology standards".

'Primes' are domestic manufacturers like Tata Power SED, Bharat Electronics and Larsen & Toubro, which are vying for a pie of the defence spending pie.

Affordable healthcare tech startups get backing from Mazumdar-Shaw, Healthquad
Source: Forbes India; October 18, 2016

While rapid urbanisation is the future of India over the next few decades, much of the country’s 1.2 billion people still live in villages that don’t have access to health care. Slowly, a few startups are coming up in the country that are attempting to solve the problem, and finding backers for their efforts.

Neurosynaptics Communications, a Bengaluru company that is pioneering low-cost, high-tech access to health care via remote diagnostics and telemedicine, has just won its next round of funding—the money will help the startup expand its services and deepen its technological capabilities.

Leading the investment is Healthquad, a health care-focussed venture capital firm. Its investors include Infosys founder SD Shibulal’s Axilor Ventures, and the Indian Angel Network’s Nagaraja Prakasam.

“As only 2 percent of doctors are in rural area where 68 percent of India lives, the medical expenses for them is triplefold—loss of wages, travel to nearby town, expenses for a person to accompany them,” says Prakasam in the press release. “This makes them not to seek health care until it’s very late, thus health care expenses are one of the top reasons for the poor not being able to come out of poverty or puts them back in poverty.”

Neurosynatpic was started in 2002 by Sameer Subhash Sawarkar and Rajeev Kumar.

Suman Narayan to head semiconductor business unit at Cyient
Source: Business Standard; October 18, 2016

Hyderabad-based IT and engineering solutions provider Cyient on Tuesday announced the appointment of Suman Narayan as the senior vice president and head for the Semiconductor Business Unit of the company.

Narayanan comes with 20 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and had worked in various leadership roles at ON Semiconductor and Texas Instruments, according to a statement issued by Cyient.

"Suman brings a proven commercial track record and a wealth of semiconductor domain experience that will complement and strengthen our existing strategy," Cyient managing director Krishna Bodanapu said. Cyient's semiconductor business unit has contributed 4.1 per cent to the total revenues of the company during the second quarter ended September, 2016.

Xiaomi sells 1 million smartphones in 18 days in India, says will be No 1 in 3-5 years
Source: Financial Express; October 19, 2016

Chinese electronics company, Xiaomi claims to have sold a record 1 million smartphones in the last 18 days, that is since the beginning of October. This has been achievable especially due to the major sales on e-commerce platforms like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. This sale of a record number of smartphones has made Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun say that the company will target get the highest market share in India within three to five years. There has been a huge sale on e-commerce websites, and also on Xiaomi’s own website. Xiaomi sells smartphones only through online portals, hence the surge is sales is not surprising, given its popularity. In an open letter by Lei Jun, on the company’s Facebook page, he congratulated the Mi India team and also the online platforms by saying, “A big round of thanks to Manu and Hugo for their outstanding leadership, to everyone at Mi India for their dedication, and to the business teams in China for their support. I am extremely proud of each one of you! I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our partners in India, especially Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, for their support.”

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), in the month of September this year, Xiaomi became the third-largest smartphone vendor in Top 30 Indian cities and had a market share of 8.4 percent. From July to August 2016 Xiaomi has become the top online smartphone brand in the country.

IT ministry to float request for proposal for national cyber coordination centre
Source: VCCircle; October 20, 2016

The ministry of electronics and information technology (IT) plans to shortly issue a request for proposal (RFP) to set up a national cyber coordination centre (NCCC) which will safeguard India’s cyberspace against potential threats.

The process has been fast tracked since the government runs many critical websites, with DigiLocker being one of online scheme wherein users upload their personal information and documents. NCCC will also be critical to the success of the National Democratic Alliance government’s Digital India programme.

An RFP is issued by an agency to invite bids for a particular project from interested parties.

It comes in the backdrop of at least 30 government websites, mainly state departments or ministries, being hacked in the last few weeks, according to a senior official from the IT ministry who did not want to be named.

NCCC, which will entail an investment of about Rs.900 crore, will ensure real-time threat assessment and an RFP is expected to be issued in the next few weeks and expected to be finalised by December-January, the official added.

However, the official declined to name the government websites which have been hacked but said efforts are being stepped up to prevent any such cyber attack on a large scale given the government’s thrust on providing governance services through online platform.

Karnataka fares better than most states on innovation front
Source: Times of India; October 20, 2016

The number of patents filed is usually an indication of the amount of innovation being done by a particular institution and is also linked to the growth of a nation. The latest report of the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks & Geographical Indications shows that Karnataka is faring better than most states in this direction.

With 2,102 patent applications filed from the state, Karnataka ranked second in the state-wise list of applications filed by Indian applicants. Maharashtra with 3,193 applications topped the list, while Kerala occupied the third position with 1,412 applications in 2014-15, which are the latest figures computed. Further, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, occupied the third position among the top 10 Indian applicants for patents from institutes and universities; and Siddaganga Institute of Technology in Karnataka was ranked ninth with 19 applications.

"The IITs (collectively) continued to occupy the first position (337 applications filed) among educational institutions, though there was a marginal decrease in the number of applications that originated from the IITs as compared to the previous year (342 were filed in the previous year). IISc (with 46 applications) raised its position to the third place with about 43 per cent increase in the filing in 2014-15 as compared to the previous year (32 were filed in 2013-14)," said an official.

Compiled by IESA Research

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