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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.

Jumpstarting the startups
Source: The Indian Express; September 10, 2016

As part of its scheme to boost domestic electronic manufacturing, the government plans to incubate 50 early-stage startups and create at least five global companies in the electronic systems design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector over the next five years. If you own a relevant startup, which is in its early stage, and hasn’t started generating revenue, the incubator set up by the Centre could pitch in with commercial and technical development of the product, arrange for mentorship with industry veterans and provide services to deal with issues such as taxation, legal, accounting and business counselling, among others.

The incubator, which has been set up at the South Campus of Delhi University, is a three-way collaboration between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Software Technology Parks of India, Delhi University, and the Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association. The incubator set up, called the ‘Electropreneur Park’ will also help early-stage ESDM startups access the funding agencies to facilitate seed funding for the ventures and ensuring a transition from an incubatee to a self-sufficient electronics company.

However, the process and its results aren’t as convenient as they sound. Till late August, Electropreneur Park had received over 200 proposals for incubation, out of which only six incubatees were taken on-board. This is what the set-up suggests you do to get on-board with the incubator.

By 2020, IoT to offer around US$ 15 billion market opportunity for Indian businesses
Source: Economic Times; September 10, 2016

"India IoT Congress is very significant event and recommendations from this event will be very useful in taking forward the IoT ecosystem and its development in the country,"

J S Deepak, Telecommunication Secretary - Government of India said on Wednesday during the first Internet of Things (IoT) India Congress 2016 organized by IET-IoT panel in association with other industry bodies here.

Communication according to Deepak will actually help in such a way that IoT becomes a reality in India.

"IoT solutions will bring transformation to lives of people and provide growth opportunities for businesses. It brings huge opportunities in the area of research, communication, data analytics, system integration, IT and other application development," Deepak pointed.

In reply to query on IoT market opportunity in India, quoting experts estimate, Deepak said,

"IoT will provide a $15 billion market opportunity for Indian businesses by 2020."

In terms of initiatives to boost and support IoT ecosystem in India, he informed that government has allowed 100% equity investment in the telecom and telecom service providers segment, R&D support to startups through setting up incubation and centre of excellence (CoE) and allowing investments from venture capitalists in startups that are into IoT space.

Among the other key initiatives, the Telecommunication Department have created a M2M (machine2machine) roadmap to have synergy between different stakeholders across industries, set up the Telecom Standard Society of India to formulate M2M standards specific to India and C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics) has built first open M2M platform.

Why made in India cars will soon be safer, cleaner but costlier
Source: The Economic Times; September 11, 2016

For 16 months now, Manish Chandra, 48, has been grappling with a flaw in the Mercedes E-Class (2006 model) he had purchased in 2014 in the used car market. The Delhi-based entrepreneur first discovered the defect in May 2015 when a strong smell of fuel overwhelmed the car cabin. Multiple garage trips and technical examinations followed. The diagnosis? Leaks in the fuel system. Chandra eventually realised that the E-Class models manufactured between 2003 and 2009 have a manufacturing defect in their gas tanks. In 2014, the luxury carmaker, facing class action lawsuits and a federal investigation in the US, had extended its original warranty of two years on gas tank components of E-Class vehicles made in the 2003-09 period to 15 years.

In India, however, it seems a different story. This January, Chandra was handed a bill of roughly Rs 5 lakh to fix the problem, with the company offering to bear 25% of it. Aware of the global settlement, Chandra demanded global parity and extended warranty in India. Complaints to the company followed. He reached out to the India boss Roland Folger, and even the Germany headquarters. In May, he sent the company a legal notice. Last month he reached out to the Government of India, drawing attention to his problem and the broader issue of how global MNCs short-change Indians on issues like recalls. The government responded promptly, directing the company to address the issue within 15 days.

Digitalisation and smart manufacturing: The way ahead to a sustainable India
Source: Business Standard; September 12, 2016

Throughout industrial history, at the core of any thriving economy has been a flourishing manufacturing sector. Manufacturing industry in India has gone through various phases of development over the period of time and promises to be one of the high growth sectors in the coming years.

The government’s Make in India campaign aimed at facilitating investments, encouraging innovation and building high-class manufacturing infrastructure is expected to boost manufacturing activities in key sectors. India’s manufacturers have a golden opportunity to emerge from the shadow of the service sector and join the global league of manufacturing giants. The manufacturing sector has the potential to grow six fold by 2025 up to $ 1 trillion, creating up to 90 million jobs in the process.

Manufacturers have focused on innovation since the first assembly line was established. Every manufacturer understands that the primary way to differentiate its products is to deliver more customer-focused innovation than the competition. We have talked about best practices, but we really need to think in terms of next practices.

The reality of fast-moving markets and changing economic conditions has resulted in an increased emphasis on flexibility in both product and process. Modular and network approaches to development and manufacturing have become the norm. An increasing proportion of the overall innovation in a product will come from the interaction between product and process components.

Startup incubator Udgam to be launched in Delhi
Source: The Economic Times; September 12, 2016

A new startup incubator, UDGAM, will be launched this week in partnership with Starthub Miami and the National Entrepreneur Center, Florida. Udgam is being launched by Jagan Institute of Management Studies Founder Manish Gupta.

"A lot of younsters are coming up with brilliant ideas but what they lack is mentorship and the right direction. We aim to provide them a building platform from where they can take off and reach greater heights. The launch is also coming at a time when the startup funding is going slow. We don't want great ideas to go in a rut just because there isn't enough money in the market," said Gupta.

The incubator will select its first batch of incubatee startups later this week.

It is calling this event the 'Weirdo's Startup Meetup' as the focus is on finding 'weird ideas' that can change the shape of the world, it said. The selected startups will be given an opportunity to be a part of Udgam's Incubation Program at Gurugram and Jaipur for six months, to be a part of an Entrepreneurship course of six weeks and also be provided financial support through seed-funding.

The incubator will provide startups with office space, assistance in marketing, networking, logistics, mentoring and recruitment and capital funding. Gupta said that the plan was to nurture fifty early stage startups across Delhi and Jaipur over the next year.

Rafale deal in sight, 50% offset clause added
Source: The Hindu; September 12, 2016

Seventeen months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s intent to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in flyaway condition, a final agreement seems to be a week or two away from being concluded.

“The final points and language of the contract are being worked out. It is expected to be signed very soon,” government sources said on Monday.

The high-power committee set up to negotiate the terms and conditions of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) has already submitted its report and the file is with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Final clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is awaited.

The deal, expected to cost just under $8 billion, was announced by Mr. Modi in Paris last year, setting aside the original medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal under which Rafale was initially selected, in view of the “critical operational requirements” of the India Air Force (IAF).

However, talks then dragged on because of the differences over pricing, offsets, customisations sought by the Air Force and sovereign guarantees the Defence Ministry was pushing for.

All issues have now been resolved, and the deal now includes a 50 per cent offset clause as per India’s procurement procedure under which French companies would have to invest that value in India for goods and services.

Chinese tech major LeEco looks to firm up presence in large-screen TVs
Source: Hindu Business Line; September 12, 2016

Chinese tech major LeEco is looking at a firm footing in the large screen – 50 inches and above – television set market in the country.

According to Atul Jain, Chief Operating Officer — Smart Electronics Business, LeEco India, the idea is to create a “disruption” — firstly through “pricing” in order to overcome the affordability barrier. And then, through the company’s content ecosystem.

LeEco entered the TV market almost a month back.

“We intend at disrupting the TV space. The large screen segment has been growing at 50 per cent per annum,” he told BusinessLine in an interview.

The target for the tech company is to be the number one online player by December (it currently sells through Flipkart and its own website); and break into the top three (with a presence through off-line stores) by 2018.

“There is pent-up demand for conversion and upgrade to larger screen TVs; but price has come in as the barrier. We benchmark ourselves against international majors,” Jain added.

The market for high-end TVs are dominated by the likes of Sony, Samsung and LG. Price points vary upwards of ?52,000 for 40 inch screens, while 55 inches and above are priced upwards of ?1 lakh.

LeEco’s attempt at present is to break this price barrier. For example, its three offerings (currently imported) — a 55 inch and two 65 inch ones — are priced between ?59,000 and ?1.5 lakh; far lesser than international competition.

Young entrepreneurs to get more funding from govt
Source: Business Standard; September 13, 2016

To support young entrepreneurs, the central government will launch ‘special funds’ for those in the 16-21 years and 21-26 years age groups.

“It’s on the drawing board. We have accumulated funds worth Rs 9,000 crore under the technology cess category, and we want to use this. We might launch incubation centres, innovation hubs and even funds. This country requires investments of Rs 10,000 crore annually if we want to give boost to entrepreneurship,”

said Y S Chowdary, ministry of state for science & technology and earth sciences.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the 11th edition of Indian Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park & Business Incubators Association (Isba) here on Saturday.

The fund will be over and above the Rs 10,000 crore fund-of-funds for start-ups announced by the government early this year.

Over the past two years, the funding to several government departments supporting incubation in India has seen a spurt. H K Mittal, advisor, Department of Science and Technology (DST), said that the support for incubators has gone up 10 times.

The event also saw the signing of the first Indo-US Joint Early Stage Fund with a corpus of $40 million. About 50 per cent contribution for the fund comes from incubators that come under Isba and India Electronics & Semiconductor Association and the rest of the funds will have contribution from high net worth individuals based out of the US and serial entrepreneurs such as Sanjay Sharma, CEO of Roambee Corporation.

New Delhi to play host to India-UK tech summit in November
Source: Times of India; September 13, 2016

The national capital will play host to India-UK tech summit in November this year which aims to bring together leaders in government, industry and research from both countries to broker new partnerships.

The India UK TECH Summit 2016, scheduled to take place from November 7-9, 2016 will provide a platform for promoting technology-intensive trade and investments between the two countries.

"Tech summit will show that when we work together, the UK and India are an 'unbeatable combination' as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated. Britain is open for business and we want to do even more business with India.

"The UK has been the top G20 investor in India, consistently, since the turn of the century, and India invests more in the UK than it does in all other European Union countries combined. Our trade relationship is booming, our researchers collaborate on all manner of issues, and our people visit each other countries for study and tourism.

"The TECH Summit will see British and Indian entrepreneurs, experts and leaders in various fields related to technology converge and drive our partnership further still,"

a British High Commission statement quoting British Deputy High Commissioner to India Alexander Evans said.

The summit will comprise of separate thematic summits on 'Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship' and 'British Expertise in Higher Education', 'Design and Intellectual Property'.

Modi government's Invest India programme sets in motion a quiet revolution for India-bound investors
Source: The Economic Times; September 13, 2016

In July, British high street retailer Marks and Spencer found itself in a peculiar pickle in India, the first of its kind since it entered the country nearly 16 years ago. The aviation ministry asked the company to shut down the stores it operated in the domestic and international terminals of the Delhi and Mumbai airports.

M&S had entered into a joint venture with Reliance Retail Ltd (RRL) to operate its stores in India. The approval for the joint venture MSRIPL expired in August 2015, but the stores operated thanks to provisional extensions. Despite fervent requests, the renewal of the approvals was delayed. But finally the company managed to secure all the clearances within a week thanks to the intervention of a government body.

In 2016, the Wanda Group of China, which owns the world's largest property firm, said it will invest $10 billion to build an industrial city in Haryana. From engaging with the state government to identifying the location in Haryana Wanda Group had a glitch-free experience thanks to the same government body.

The ease and swiftness with which both Marks and Spencer and Wanda were able to press ahead with their plans in India was thanks to a little known government body named Invest India. It was Invest India that approached the aviation ministry and pushed for the clearances for the company, according to Venu Nair, MD, Marks and Spencer India. "Invest India has helped Marks and Spencer navigate requirements and regulatory practices in India."

Army set to issue RFPs for Rs 16,000 crore air defence gun programme
Source: The Financial Express; September 13, 2016

The Indian Army is likely to soon issue requests for proposal (RFPs) for a Rs 16,000-crore air defence gun manufacturing programme to around 10 local firms. The 30-mm towed guns that will replace the Army’s obsolete air defence assets dating back to the 1970s were accorded approval in July 2015 by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by defence minister Manohar Parrikar.

These 428 guns will be required to fire 500 rounds of ‘smart ammunition’ and 300 rounds of standard rounds per minute under all climatic conditions, even at night, and engaging aerial targets 4 km away.

“The minimum firing rate of these guns needs to be 300 rounds of 30mm ammunition per minute to inflict significant damage to incoming aerial targets,” a military source said.

They should also be capable of being transported swiftly to different locations, he added.

The proposed guns will replace the Army’s 1360 obsolete Bofors L 70 40mm single barrel and Soviet-era ZU-23-2 towed 23 mm twin-barrel weapon systems.

In May 2014, the ministry of defence (MoD) had sent a request for information (RFI) to local defence companies to develop replacements for these aged air defence guns.

The RFI to Bharat Forge, the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Larsen & Toubro, Punj Lloyd and Tata Power SED, followed the MoD’s inability in 2013 to import 428 air defence guns and 3.25 million ammunition rounds from overseas vendors for an estimated $440 million.

State inks memorandum of understanding worth 3,401 crore
Source: The Times of India; September 14, 2016

Chhattisgarh government has signed five memorandum of understanding (MoUs) bringing in an investment of Rs 3401 crore in cement, power, solar, coal washery, engineering and electronics sectors that aims to create nearly 2400 employment opportunities.

State government has inked MoU with Neco Industries for setting up of 3 MTPA cement plant and 60 MW captive power plant in Balodabazar with an investment of Rs 1832 crore.

MoU signed with Lanco Solar Energy for manufacturing of Solar PV panels and modules in Rajnandgaon and will bring an investment of Rs 1435 crore.

Lanco has formed a consortium with HongKong Company assigned by Forty-Eight Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC-48) and Asia Pacific Geraldton Limited (APG).

Besides, an MoU with Ranju Infracon has been inked for setting up of coal washery and railway siding in Gharghoda, Raigarh with a capacity of 60 LTPA.

The project will bring an investment of Rs 80 crore. Besides, another MoU has been signed with RR Ispat, a unit of Godawari Power & Ispat Ltd, for setting up of galvinising unit in Achholi, Raipur with an investment of Rs 25 crore.

The state government also signed another MOU with Osheen Electronics for setting up of manufacturing unit of LED bulbs, tube light, panels and street lights in Electronics Manufacturing Cluster, Naya Raipur with an investment of Rs 29 crore.

Goa not an investor’s paradise: industry body
Source: O Herald; September 15, 2016

Inflow of new investments in Goa dipped to nine percent in 2015-16, a study by industry body ASSOCHAM has found.

“Goa has virtually failed to attract investments as year-on-year growth rate for inflow of new investments dipped to about nine percent in 2015-16 from a level of over 91 percent in 2014-15, probably due to a fluid economic situation prevailing in the state,” highlighted the ASSOCHAM study titled ‘Goa: Economic & Investment Scenario’.

ASSOCHAM has suggested that the government urgently take corrective measures and facilitate ease of doing business to infuse confidence in investor community in wake of falling investments.

Reacting to this, Officer on Special Duty with the Investment Promotion Board (IPB), Tulasidas Pai, said IPB has already achieved its target of attracting Rs 5000 crore worth of investments each year since its inception.

“We have approved more than 100 projects so far and more are in the pipeline. With the TechStartup scene across the State, ESDM Park in Tuem, international airport at Mopa and Defence Ministry’s mega order to GSL shaping up well, future prospects remain buoyant and the concern raised by ASSOCHAM is unfounded,” Pai told Herald.

He expressed confidence that the BRICS Summit will provide a platform for Goa to promote itself as an ideal investment destination.

Shekhar Sardessai, Chairman CCI, Goa Chapter said,

“I am unaware about the source of statistics and data used to prepare such a report.

With Rafale, a Game-Changer Missile That Puts India Ahead Of China: Exclusive
Source: NDTV?; September 15, 2016

As India and France get set to sign a Euro 7.87 billion contract for 36 French Rafale fighters, details are emerging on a previously undisclosed part of the deal, which will see India acquiring the Meteor, arguably the world's most advanced air-to-air missile.

Sources tracking the final negotiations have confirmed to NDTV that the IAF's Rafales will come equipped with the Meteor designed to knock out enemy aircraft and cruise missiles significantly more than 100 km away.

The acquisition of this weapon is likely to be game changer in South Asia. Neither Pakistan nor China, India's traditional military adversaries, possess a weapon of the same class.

The only other air-to-air missile as capable as the Meteor is the AIM-120D, the latest variant of the US Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile which is also designed to hit targets more than 100 km away.

Analysts, however, point out that the Meteor is likely to be significantly more capable because of its ramjet engine.

According to War is Boring, a leading international website that explores high technology weapons systems, "A conventional solid-fuel booster accelerates the Meteor after launch, like most air-to-air missiles. But while roaring through the air, the missile opens up a chute, allowing air to rush into the engine, which heats up the oxygen and propels the supersonic missile to Mach 4 (four times the speed of sound)."

Cadence Opens New World-class Facility in Bengaluru, Its Third Largest Site Worldwide
Source: Business Wire?; September 15, 2016

Cadence Design Systems today announced the inauguration of its new, world-class office space at RMZ EcoWorld Business Park on Sarjapur Outer Ring Road in Bengaluru. Over 700 employees work in the new office; it is Cadence’s second largest site in India after Noida, and the third largest globally.

Covering an area of 192,000 square feet over two-and-a-half floors, the premises complies with Cadence’s strict efficiency and environmental standards and features a state-of-the-art workspace that facilitates collaboration, team work and continuing innovation. Teams at the Bangalore site are primarily involved in IP R&D, core electronic design automation (EDA) R&D, customer-facing activities and global IT support.

Speaking on the occasion of the inauguration, Cadence® President and CEO Lip-Bu Tan said,

“Cadence was one of the first companies to set up operations in India almost 30 years ago. The India operations have contributed significantly to all of Cadence’s technology verticals, and we continue to grow our presence here. The availability of world-class talent and proximity to customers make the Bengaluru office an important one for Cadence. I look forward to more growth, innovation and success in India.”

Compiled by IESA Research

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