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11th Anniversary

Nominations Open for IESA Technovation Awards 2016
Source: IESA, September 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.

Mobile manufacturing growing at a fast pace
Source: Business Standard; September 5, 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India mission has achieved some success in boosting mobile manufacturing and assembling in the country. The number of handsets manufactured in India nearly doubled in FY16 from the previous year, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, information technology minister, at a recent event. Data sourced from the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) and Consumer Electronics & Appliance Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) show that 110 million handsets were produced in FY16, compared with 58 million in FY15.

While Prasad exudes confidence and industry body ICA expects the FY17 to see 175 million handsets rolling out of Indian factories, a closer look at the numbers shows that more mobile handsets were produced in India before the Nokia factory was shutdown in 2014.

Between FY11 and FY14, about125 million mobile handsets were produced in India every year, peaking at 180 million in FY13. In other words, production came down 68 per cent in FY15 to 58 million units from peak levels of 180 million, following the Nokia factory shut down that year.

While Prasad's excitement is justified, industry sources say there is still a lot of ground to cover. "Real manufacturing will take time to take off in the absence of the right ecosystem, namely, a component base in the country. While the government's Make in India programme has given a leg-up to the manufacturing/assembling scenario here, the focus should be on getting the ancillary market in place.

Entrepreneurial challenge for Kerala-based electronic startups
Source: The New Indian Express; September 5, 2016

Kochi based Maker Village, one of the three government approved electronics incubator projects in the country, has chalked out elaborate plans to attract budding entrepreneurs towards the multi billion dollar consumer electronic segment.

Considering the low success rate of electronic startups in the country, find inga scalable product or even a prototype is a daunting task. Unlike IT-based startups, the challenges before electronic startups are manifold in the forms of skills and capability. To overcome these hurdles, Maker Village has taken a pragmatic approach in the form of ‘constrained innovation’. It will introduce a product making challenge for entrepreneurs in the months of September and October.

“We have tied up with an electronics major and the challenges are set by the manufacturer for their commercial use. So the winner’s product will have an identified market.”

said S Rajeev, Chief Consultant of Maker Village and a professor at IIITM-K.

Maker Village will hold four events in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Bangalore and Chennai for the applicants. There will be two challenges and three groups for each challenge. Though the competition is open for all, Maker Village will hold campaigns in 15 engineering colleges with quality electronics departments.

Xiaomi gears up to double local phone production
Source: The Economic Times; September 6, 2016

Xiaomi is setting up its second assembly plant in partnership with Foxconn in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, which is likely to more than double its local manufacturing facility and pitchfork the Chinese smartphone maker into the top league of those who are producing devices in India.

The plant, which is likely to have a production capacity of upwards of two million units a quarter, will peg the Beijing-based company just behind the likes of Samsung, Micromax and Intex among the top local producers of handsets in India.

"The new plant will be twice the existing capacity, which can go up further,"

said a person aware of the details of the manufacturing facility, requesting anonymity.

Foxconn may combine capacities of both assembly plants into an exclusive space inside its own campus in Sri City.

Xiaomi declined comment while and Foxconn did not respond to queries seeking confirmation as of Monday press time. The plant spread across 65,000 sq ft will house production lines for most of Xiaomi's smartphones sold locally.

The plant, which has been set up by the world's largest contract manufacturer Foxconn, has already begun operations, but will take time to attain full capacity.

At present, Xiaomi sells between 1 million and 1.5 million phones a quarter from Foxconn's existing facility and about 75 per cent of these phones are made locally. Samsung is the country's largest phone manufacturer, including smartphones and feature phones.

LG Electronics India sets up academy for air-conditioning technology for in-house personnel
Source: Economic Time; September 6, 2016

LG Electronics India has set up an air-conditioning academy in New Delhi with an aim to enhance and develop the skills of its personnel in the country. In a release issued by the company, LG said India is amongst the top five priority markets for the company globally.

This is the second academy in India which will cater to the North and East zones. LG had earlier set up a similar academy in their Pune factory to focus on the West and South zones.

"Through the air conditioning academy, we want to enhance the installation and service skills of our partners, dealers and LG employees and contribute to the prime minister's skill India initiative, said Sang Bong Lee, president (B2B) at LG Electronics.

LG through this platform will showcase its products with an aim to train 1,000 personnel and invite over 400 consumers every year at the academy.

Manufacturing sector: Make in India, but not the ‘China’ way
Source: The Indian Express; September 6, 2016

Notwithstanding the growing clamour for a concerted manufacturing push and the government’s efforts to woo global investors to set up industrial units in India, there is also an emergent counterview.

Close on the heels of former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s December 2014 call for a rethink on the replication of China’s export-led manufacturing strategy, Nandan Nilekani, the former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and ex-chairman of Infosys, too, has argued in favour of a domestic consumption-led growth, alongside a concerted push in the services sector. In a presentation titled “An alternative view of the future — India in the age of technological disruption” delivered at the 10th anniversary of IDG Ventures in Bengaluru, Nilekani also pointed to the future growth and job creation being led by small businesses, backed by technology platform and not by large employers.

When China, South Korea and Japan took upon the manufacturing path to push their economic growth around two to three decades ago, their call was supported by global demand and also there was no established competition, Nilekani feels. He however, said that the dynamics of manufacturing have changed a lot now and that might not be the right path to tread as there are issues of overcapacity and disruption on account of the automation in manufacturing.

M-SIPS for electronic manufactuing set for revamp over Finance Ministry's subsidy concerns
Source: The Economic Times; September 6, 2016

A key programme of the government, aimed at boosting electronic manufacturing, is set for a revamp after a prolonged tussle between the Department of Electronics and Information Technology and the finance ministry led to scores of investment proposals getting stuck.

This is after the finance ministry raised concerns over the lack of clarity in the quantum of subsidy outgo under the open-ended M-SIPS (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme) framework, valid till 2020.

"The matter has been resolved now. The DeitY will revise the guidelines to remove the lacunae," said a senior finance ministry official.

The two sides have been in discussions on the subject at various levels over the past few months.

"The idea is to make the framework for the scheme more robust,"

said the official without elaborating on the loopholes that currently exist in the policy.

The M-SIPS policy incentivises companies to manufacture domestically by providing them a 20-25 per cent subsidy on capital expenditure. Approvals under the scheme have been on hold for the last couple of months after the finance ministry raised the concerns. The hiatus has upset an industry that had started to look 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.

Foxconn's Sri City facility touches 1 million handset capacity, provides more than 10,000 jobs
Source: Business Standard; September 6, 2016

The workforce at Foxconn's smart phone manufacturing facility in Sri City, currently the only Indian facility run by the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing major, has crossed 10,000 people in a matter of 16 months.

With India's potential market size pegged at 125 million mobile phones in the current year, Foxconn's relentless capacity addition at Sri City only demonstrates the kind of job creation potential mobile phone segment holds in coming days in the country.

Foxconn had started its smart phone assembly plant in a 40,000 square-foot facility in May 2015 at Sri City industrial park in Andhra Pradesh. Three months later Chinese smart phone company Xiaomi had rolled out its first 'Made in India' smart phone Redmi Prime from Sri City facility on August 11, 2015.

Gionee, yet another customer of Foxconn, launched its new 'Made in India' F Series phone F 103 in October, 2015, which too was produced at Sri City facility.

As more number of companies opted Foxconn for their 'Made in India' plans, the company had almost continuously added the assembly capacity at its Sri City factory, whose combined shop floor area now runs into 2.65 lakh square feet. Apart from these two brands, Foxconn also makes mobile phones for Micromax, Lava, Asus among other brands from here.

Jindal Steel sets up India’s first high speed rail manufacturing facility at Rs 200cr
Source: RTN.Asia; September 6, 2016

Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL), one of India’s leading steel manufacturers, said it will set up a plant to manufacture rails for metro & high speed rail projects with an investment of Rs 200 crores.

The plant is capable of producing 30,000 MT of rails per month and has been set up in technical tie-up with a German compnay M/S SMS MEER and the first of its kind in India, the company added.

The facility also propels JSPL into the club of 7 global steel majors who have the capability to manufacture head hardened rails in the world, added the company.

Head Hardening technology involves a special heat treatment process which requires very precise temperature control to achieve nearly 50% higher hardness as compared to a normal rail, the company said.

Naveen Jindal, Chairman of JSPL said,

“In line with the Government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’, JSPL has successfully completed trials of Head Hardened Rails and is all set for commercial production. JSPL being the only producer of Head Hardened Rails in the country, is poised to play an important role in the growth of India’s rail infrastructure.”

Ravi Uppal, MD & Group CEO of JSPL said – “The government’s renewed impetus on railway infrastructure development and the proposed introduction of high speed and bullet trains necessitates the establishment of domestic facility to fulfill the need of Indian Railways.

Medical device parks to bring down manufacturing cost by 30%
Source: Business Standard; September 6, 2016

Through medical devices parks, the government aims to increase competitiveness of the Indian industry globally by helping it to bring down the manufacturing cost significantly.

“Setting up of these parks can bring down the manufacturing cost by another 30 per cent and make Indian medical technology sector globally competitive, due to pooling of common facilities,”

said Ananth Kumar, Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, at the medical technology conference in New Delhi recently.

The first medical technology park has already been set up in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, with an investment of Rs 1200 crore. Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra have also shown interest in setting up such parks.

Indian medical technology sector is pegged at about $ 5.5 billion contributing to about 7 to 8 per cent of the healthcare spent in India. It is placed 20th in the global ranking and 4th in Asia.

The Government is taking several steps to promote the medical devices sector in the country.

“The inverted duty structure has been set right. GST will further bring down the taxation in the sector by almost 12 per cent,” informed Ananth Kumar.

Stressing on the need to customise medical devices for Indian conditions and requirements, Ananth Kumar called upon the medical devices manufacturers to undertake research and innovation, and not confine themselves to reverse engineering or re-engineering.

HAL's light utility helicopter takes inaugural flight
Source: Business Standard; September 7, 2016

On Tuesday, nine months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone at Tumakuru (Karnataka) for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)’s new helicopter manufacturing complex, the helicopter to be built there made its inaugural flight.

The light utility helicopter (LUH) will replace the military’s obsolescent fleet of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters that have flown for over three decades. The defence ministry is following a dual track — HAL is designing, developing and building 187 LUHs, while importing-cum-building 197 Kamov-226T light helicopters with technology from Russia.

“Apart from replacing ageing fleet of Cheetah/Chetak, LUH is expected to capture a sizeable share both in domestic and international market,” HAL stated.

In the test, which HAL described as “flawless”, veteran test pilots, Wing Commanders Unni Pillai and Anil Bhambari, got airborne and carried out a few basic turns and manoeuvres. Helicopter testing is unforgiving, since pilots have no way of bailing out of a chopper that loses control.

Veteran test pilots like Pillai are part of an experienced HAL helicopter division that has already masterminded two successful indigenous programmes — the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) that is serving the army in large numbers; and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) that is undergoing flight-testing before being inducted into the Army and Air Force.

Govt commits Rs 500cr for Narendra Modi’s Startup India vision, launches another set of initiatives
Source: Yourstory; September 7, 2016

While addressing the media in New Delhi, the Ministry of Science and Technology today announced the launch of the National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI), an umbrella programme which aims to nurture ideas and innovations in the startup ecosystem.

With the intent to speed up the process and also scale, the ministry will be infusing Rs 500 crore into the programme in the next few years. Notably this year, the ministry has received a 450 percent increase in allocation — Rs 180 crore more — to drive startup initiatives.

NIDHI focuses on building a seamless entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially by making a positive impact on socio-economic development. The programme aims to provide technological solutions as well as create new avenues for wealth and job creation.

PRAYAS (Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators & Startups), launched last week, is one of the components of NIDHI. The idea is to encourage innovators by providing access to the Fabrication Laboratory as well as a grant of up to Rs10 lakh. Additionally, there is the Seed Support System, providing up to Rs 1 crore per startup and implemented through technology business incubators.

The key stakeholders of the newly launched programme include various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists, industry champions, and private sectors.

Fuji Electric expands business operations in India; announces JV with Gemco Controls
Source: India Info Line; September 7, 2016

Japanese electric & thermal energy major Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. announced a Joint Venture (JV) with Gemco Controls Limited (Gemco), one of the leading manufacturers of Industrial Automation and Power Control Systems in India. The JV establishes a new entity in India – ‘Fuji Gemco Pvt. Ltd.’ in which Fuji Electric has a 51% stake. The JV has been established by the company with the aim of expanding its business operations in India. Fuji Electric invested approximately USD 200mn to expand outside Japan business from 2013 to 2015 and one of the investments is Fuji Gemco.

Through this alliance Fuji Electric India is looking to set itself apart by offering systems solutions in sync with its “Innovating Energy Technology” philosophy. Gemco is a leading engineering firm in India with a successful track record of delivering Automation Control Systems to steelmakers as well as companies manufacturing paper, tube, wire & cable, sugar and a variety of other material. By tapping into Gemco’s outstanding engineering, manufacturing capabilities & far flung market reach, the company intends to jumpstart sales in Industrial Automation systems with it’s offerings of low/ medium voltage inverters, PLC’s, sensing & condition monitoring products, monitoring control systems, motors, and other Fuji Electric products that have already been successful in the industrial infrastructure sector.

Apple is planning iPhone manufacturing in India with Foxconn: Report
Source: BGR; September 7, 2016

Apple's aim to manufacture iPhones in India is no secret. Apple is said to have approached Foxconn for a possibility of manufacturing iPhones here in the next 2-3 years.

Ever since PM Narendra Modi met Apple CEO Tim Cook during his visit to the US last year, there have been wide spread speculations about when the iPhone-maker will start manufacturing in India. Though Cook wouldn’t reveal Apple’s plans during his recent India visit, he did say that manufacturing was something they would “logically look at.” Now a report claims that Apple has approached Foxconn to look at a possibility of manufacturing iPhones in India in the next two to three years.

Foxconn is one of Apple’s chief manufacturing partners and has been operating in India for quite a while now. According to ET, the earliest we can expect iPhones to be locally manufactured would be in two to three years, but Apple and Foxconn could start assembling iPhones in the country before that. “There’s definitely interest,” one of the publication’s sources was quoted as saying, and the talks are believed to have started during Cook’s visit to India earlier this year. Though there is no timeline mentioned yet, recent reports claim that the Maharashtra government approached Foxconn to set up a $10 billion manufacturing plant on a 1,200-acre land, which will be operational by 2017-end.

It’s not the first time we are hearing about plans to start manufacturing iPhones in India, and there does seem to be genuine interest on Apple’s part.

MoS defence meets UK minister to boost defence cooperation
Source: Sify; September 7, 2016

Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre on Wednesday met United Kingdom Minister of Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin and discussed a wide range of issues covering the entire spectrum of defence cooperation between the two nations. The two leaderships discussed various issues, including the Indo-United Kingdom collaboration in joint research, development and production, which has tremendous potential for growth. Dr. Bhamre reiterated India's resolve in enhancing its defence capability and improving its defence industrial base, aiming towards becoming self-sufficient and also invited greater British participation in the 'Make in India' programme.

Meanwhile, India also drew attention to the challenges being faced by both countries due to increased terrorist activities globally, and cross-border terrorism being faced by India.

"Terrorism is a global phenomenon and a clear message must go to countries supporting terrorism. There could be no differentiation between good and bad terrorists," he said.

The UK Minister acknowledged India's stand on terrorism and expressed UK's resolve to cooperate in the field of counterterrorism.

London acknowledged India's tremendous experience in UN Peacekeeping operations worldwide and expressed its desire for learning. Dr. Bhamre is in the UK to attend 'United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference 2016' scheduled to begin on September 8

Volkswagen in talks with China’s JAC Motor to build electric cars
Source: The Economic Times; September 8, 2016

German auto giant Volkswagen and China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile are in talks to build electric cars together, the firms announced on Wednesday, the latest possible tieup in a burgeoning Chinese market for clean-energy vehicles.

Volkswagen said the two carmakers had signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the possibility of a joint venture focussed on the research and development, manufacturing and sales of "new energy vehicles".In its own statement, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC) said it expected to sign an official agreement with Volkswagen within five months. JAC chairman An Jin said the firm was looking forward to "a full-scale cooperation" with Volkswagen "to provide Chinese consumers with highly cost-effective battery electric vehicle products".

There were no immediate details about the scope of the planned agreement. The mooted deal comes as Beijing is seeking to develop its nascent but growing electric car industry with incentives and other government support in a bid to boost the country's environmental credentials and tackle crippling air pollution.

Some 247,000 "zero emissions cars" were sold in China last year, quadruple the number in 2014, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Under Chinese law, foreign companies must enter into joint ventures with domestic firms to produce vehicles in what is now the world's largest auto market.

We Are Looking at a Market Opportunity of $40B of Electronics and Mobile Business in India’– Says Neeraj Jain, CEO & Co-founder, Zopper
Source: BW Businessworld; September 8, 2016

We are looking at a market opportunity of $40 billion of Electronics and Mobile business in India. Only a small part of this is Online today through tradition e-commerce players. We can capture 10% of the market in next 3-5 years, which would make us one of the largest player in this category in India. is Indian hyper local mobile marketplace featuring over 15,000+ offline retailers. Founded by serial entrepreneurs Surjendu Kulia and Neeraj Jain, Zopper taps on the benefits of shopping at a retail store and marries them with the convenience of shopping via mobile phones. Users can buy from the comfort of their homes/offices and get the product instantly from their nearby trusted stores. Backed by marquee investors such as Tiger Global, Blume Ventures and Nirvana Ventures Advisors, the company has raised over $27 million in venture funding.

Compiled by IESA Research

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