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  IESA WINWire Apr 15, 2017 - Apr 21, 2017 for Subscription click here  
12th Anniversary

India, Japan look to increase trade
Source: Deccan Herald; April 15, 2017

India on Friday said Japan is a “natural partner” in achieving the goal of increasing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% in the coming years. Both the countries discussed ways of increasing bilateral trade and investments during a day-long conference in Nagoya, Japan.

A business delegation led by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman participated in that event. “India wants to increase the contribution of manufacturing sector to GDP to 25% and Japan is a natural partner in our goals,” an official statement quoting Nirmala said here.

Currently, the manufacturing sector contributes about 17% to the country’s GDP. The government is taking steps such as improving ease of doing business and relaxing FDI norms to boost the sector.

Nirmala also met Governor of Aichi Prefecture Hideaki Ohmura in Nagoya. Hideaki acknowledged that the India Conference will further encourage the companies in Aichi Prefecture to invest in India.

Japan said that although it is the third largest foreign investor in India ($25.2 billion during April 2000-December 2016), behind Mauritius and Singapore, it canbe considered a top investor as the other two countries are used by companies from across the world to route investments.

Nirmala urged Ohmura toconsider diversification of investment in other sectors such as food processing, textiles, medical equipment, electronics and IT in India. The minister invited him to lead a delegation of Japanese companies to MSME clusters in India to explore partnership and investment opportunities.

India partners with UK in Defence sector
Source: Bureaucracy Today; April 15, 2017

India and UK have agreed on a partnership in the Defence sector, Bureaucracy Today has learnt.

The enduring defence partnership will encompass not only cooperation in defence industry but also stronger military to military engagement, including training and advanced joint exercises.

The shared vision will place capability and technology development at its core and seek to harness the complementary strengths of both nations in defence manufacturing for use in both home and shared export markets.

The two countries recognised the potential for further cooperation in defence manufacturing between the UK and Indian companies under the ‘Make in India’ framework.

The Defence partnership will also extend to cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.

As India and the UK continue to transform and modernise their defence structures, the two countries have also agreed to share relevant experience in this domain.

Significantly, the two countries agreed on measures to ensure life cycle support and sustenance of UK-origin defence platforms used by India, which may include setting up joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.

The UK Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon who is on a four-day visit to India from April 11-14 held a delegation level talks yesterday.

Haryana plans new policy on electronics, IT sector
Source: Bureaucracy Today; April 15, 2017

The Haryana government is formulating a new policy on electronics, information and communication sector with an aim to develop reliable infrastructure and to create an investor-friendly environment.

An official spokesperson on Sunday said the state government has aligned its vision with three focus areas of the Digital India programme--digital infrastructure as utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand, and digital empowerment of citizens. “A new policy on electronics, information and communication sector is being formulated which would provide several incentives for IT and ITeS/BPO/electronics manufacturing and would facilitate investment by creating investor-friendly environment, providing speedy clearance and developing reliable infrastructure,” the spokesman said. He said the existing Communication and Connectivity Infrastructure Policy is being revised keeping in view the legal and administrative changes issued by the central government.

AKTU?to build start-up centres in in Greater Noida
Source: Hindustan Times; April 17, 2017

Dr Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) will build ‘start-up’ centres in Greater Noida in order to promote entrepreneurship among students.

The university administration took this decision in a meet held at Lucknow campus on Monday.

“AKTU is planning to open start-up centres in Lucknow and Greater Noida to promote entrepreneurship. Every start-up centre will receive Rs50 lakh as one time grant,” said Dr Vinay Pathak, vice-chancellor, AKTU.

A total of 900 colleges are affiliated with AKTU across the state, of which 168 are located in Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad. These colleges offer professional courses in engineering, management, medical and computer science.

The university administration has also decided to open innovation and incubation centres which will exist under the startup centres. AKTU had earlier emphasised on creating innovation and incubation centres across UP so that students can work for the betterment of rural areas and find solutions for their problems.

Government may waive off bank guarantees for mobile component imports
Source: BGR; April 17, 2017

Mobile handset makers may get some relief as the government is expected to ease bank guarantee norms for import of components at concessional duty rates for local manufacturing. According to sources, the Prime Ministers Office convened a joint meeting with industry and inter-ministerial officers last week to look into the impediments being faced by mobile makers in India.

Industry players raised concerns over huge capital getting blocked in bank guarantees given as assurance to customs that the items imported by them on concessional duty rates will not be retailed in the market and will be used solely for making mobile phones.

“The PMO has assured that it has noted concerns of mobile manufacturers on IGCR and will take it up so that at least the formalities of bank guarantee is waived for companies with good track record,” a source who attended the meeting told PTI.

Bank guarantees of as much as Rs 29,000 crore have been furnished by companies. ”The accounting period of bank guarantees is 3 month for IGCR (Import of goods at concessional rate of duty for manufacture of excisable goods). A company cannot free the bank guarantee if the imported goods have been exhausted even in 5 days so the capital remains block for long period,” said a representative of a mobile company.

When contacted, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) National President Pankaj Mohindroo appreciated the support of Prime Ministers office.“The Task Force is committed to achieving the target of manufacturing 500 million mobile phones in the country by 2019. We have already achieved 40 per cent of this target.

Semiconductor market 2017 spiked by DDR DRAM and flash memory chips
Source: EE Herald; April 17, 2017

Semiconductor memory chips again take the control of semiconductor market in 2017, the overall semiconductor market started growing in the 1st quarter of 2017 itself due to the growth of DDR4/3 DRAM and NAND flash memory chip sales. Smartphone buyers are preferring smart phones with higher DRAM, so that it runs faster with multiple apps running in the backgroud. Without any doubt, one of the attribute for the growth of semiconductor market is the offering of free data and voice calls by Indian telecom service provider JIO, where it insists people should have 4G phones for the SIM to operate. So more people in India started buying 4G smart phones to avail the free data and voice calls benefits. The cost of the phone not really mattered compared to the money they can save by having free data and voice calls. A smart buyer would prefer to buy a 4G smart phone phone with higher DDR DRAM memory in their smart phones.

Not only during this season, even during PC market boom, the DRAM and SRAM market growth has given a big boost of growth to the semiconductor market in early and late 90s. But it was dangerously risky business for memory makers who have seen sudden rise and fall of sales revenues.

Reliance Defence partners South Korea's LIG Nexl for smart sensors
Source: Business Standard; April 17, 2017

Reliance Defence Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Limited (an infrastructure arm of the Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Group), has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with South Korea’s LIG Nexl for smart sensors used in weapons and ammunition systems of armed forces.

As part of the agreement, two companies will explore opportunities in the identified range of defence products required by the Indian Armed Forces. LIG Nex1 are emerging leaders in smart heavy weapons in category of anti-ship missiles, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), and guided rockets.

Currently, there are multiple programs for the Indian Armed Forces that the two companies plan to address together. This will potentially include improvements to the existing weapon systems which are part of LIG Nex1 portfolio to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. Cumulative value of programs being targeted will exceed multi billion.

Two companies have also identified air defence & surveillance radar that can be manufactured in India, as potential area of co-operation. They will also work on performance enhancement for various systems / platforms in the portfolio of LIG Nex1, to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.

Health-tech startup Navia Life Care gets angel funding
Source: VC Circle; April 17, 2017

Delhi-based healthcare technology startup Navia Life Care Pvt. Ltd has raised angel funding from Benori Ventures LLP, which is led by former Evalueserve chief operating officer Ashish Gupta.

Navia is the first healthcare company in which the newly formed Benori Ventures has invested. Benori Ventures focuses on incubating and investing in startups in India.

The startup will use the funds for technology and business development, Kunal Kishore Dhawan, co-founder and CEO, told VCCircle. He didn’t disclose the amount raised.

Navia was founded in 2015 by Dhawan, Shourjo Banerjee and Gaurav Gupta. The digital health management platform offers customized mobile apps for doctors, clinics, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies for patient monitoring, engagement and compliance.

The startup got its first two customers last month. It has created one homeopathy-specific app for a clinic and is about to launch an app for Delhi-based Radix Healthcare hospital. Navia aims to close two more clients soon.

It charges its enterprise customers through a yearly subscription model. The average cost per app varies between Rs 35,000 and Rs 2 lakh a year depending on the scale and size of customers. For example, a clinic may shell out around Rs 35,000 a year while big hospitals may have to spend about Rs 2 lakh a year.

“The cost includes app development, licensing and other expenses. We own the intellectual property and all patients are registered on our platform,” Dhawan said.

BRABO: How India got its first Made in India industrial robot
Source: Mint; April 18, 2017

Till even six years back, R.S. Thakur, who was then the managing director and chief executive of Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd, harboured one niggling grouse. Despite having 18,000 employees, he was finding it increasingly difficult to get “employees to man certain positions that were slightly on the dangerous side”.

To address the issue, he “did bounce the idea of making an industrial robot at a couple of board meetings”.

The concept, Thakur explained, was to take away “dull, dangerous and monotonous work like welding, etc., from workers who could then concentrate on higher levels of productivity”.

However, nothing firm materialized from those meetings.

A couple of years passed by and, in 2013, Thakur retired from Tata AutoComp and became non-executive director and chairman of TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd, a subsidiary of Tata Motors Ltd.

Yet, the thought of making an industrial robot lingered. “After all, it was a subject close to my heart,” Thakur said.

CSIDC Begins Task Of Developing EMC Infra
Source: The Pioneer; April 19, 2017

The Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (CSIDC) has commenced the process for developing full-fledged infrastructure at the proposed Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) at Sector 22 in the new capital city. The EMC is located at about 7 kms from the Swami Vivekananda Airport, Raipur. The site enjoys abundant water supply from the Mahanadi river and also have also sufficient power connection to cater the needs of operation in EMC, officials stated.

The location of the EMC is at Tuta village of Naya Raipur . The chief promoter of the project is Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation (CSIDC) and the project is to be established in an area measuring 70 acres .

As of now, there is minimal presence of Electronic System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) sector in the State. However, with its inherent strengths, the State has immense potential to become an ESDM hub of the country, officials stated.

Notably, Chhattisgarh has emerged as a lucrative investment hub among its competing states with sectors like power, mining and minerals, manufacturing, sponge iron and steel, IT/ITes, biotechnology, food processing, etc. becoming key investment drivers and has attracted both domestic and foreign investment over the past few years.

NASSCOM Brings Back INNOTREK 2017, A Platform That Provides an Opportunity to Tech Startups to Go to Silicon Valley
Source: BW Disrupt; April 18, 2017

Aiming to bridge India’s Start-up Success dream, National Association of Software and Services Companies’ (NASSCOM) 10,000 Startups program is all set to give wings to select innovators and entrepreneurs from the country, giving them a chance to explore new opportunities. For the 4th consecutive year, NASSCOM brings back INNOTREK 2017, a platform that provides the best technology startups of the country a chance to go to Silicon Valley and interact with global investors as well as attend workshops and sessions from stalwarts of the technology space. The program will have Mr. R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, Mr. Ravi Gururaj, Chairman, Product Council NASSCOM and dignitaries such as Shri N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, DIPP Secretary and Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Electronic & IT Secretary will be accompanying the delegation of entrepreneurs to the Valley this year.

Between the 1st and 6th of May 2017, the weeklong journey for the delegation will be full of learning and networking that will allow some of India’s upcoming technology startups with a chance to explore new horizons and grow their domain expertise exponentially. The Innotrekkers will get a chance to visit campuses of Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, IBM, and Target as part of their agenda. They will be given the opportunity to showcase their cutting-edge, future ready innovations to various stakeholders. The networking activities and site visits will help entrepreneurs to get a better understanding of the global work culture and exchange views on building a constructive work environment for their own ventures.

Investment upto $1 million in tech startups: 50K Ventures
Source: IIFL; April 18, 2017

The technology startups space of the country stands to gain as early stage venture capital firm, 50K Ventures, is likely to invest $1 million in emerging tech startups. The technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning, augmented reality and the latest one being internet of things are in huge demand as they have applications in almost every field. The firm has funded about 10 deep technology startups in the past in partnership with IIIT-H. 50K Ventures reportedly plans to invest $50,000 to $1,00,000 in each of the startups it finalises. The financial support programme will provide 18-months of mentoring and go-to-market access.

The financial support for this programme has been provided by domain experts, so that keeping a tab on the performance of the startup will become easy, as mentioned on a national news portal.

IP creation – The crux of ESDM self-reliance
Source: BWCIO; April 19, 2017

The “Make in India” mission is well on its way, taking small but sure steps towards transforming India into an ESDM manufacturing hub. Of critical importance is to build an ecosystem that encourages entrepreneurs to create products. The challenge for an entrepreneur in electronics lies in not just building products but building products which can be commercialized and scaled up. The product may not necessarily be physical; it can be a design tool or a blueprint for making a physical product, which should culminate in an the Intellectual Property (IP). In the ESDM space, the product can be the recipe to make a complete semiconductor chip or parts of the chip, the code fed into the semiconductor fab to fabricate the chip.

The semiconductor design services is well established in India. There are many companies operating in this space. They generate revenue by helping MNCs create their IPs. Not owning IP entails long-term risks. Timing is a very crucial element in the highly competitive semiconductor chip business, and hence chip makers look for ready solutions for blocks of chip design where they don't have the resource or expertise. Creating IP sounds like a very exciting business.

It is a tough game where any shortfall in performance viz-a-viz its promise/the expectations, is not only unacceptable but is associated with risks of huge losses. An IP company not only has to build a product, but it also needs to get it designed into a SoC. The SoC has to get designed into a system and the system has to achieve volume production.

Government to widen entry for foreign funds while shuttering FIPB
Source: The Economic Times; April 20, 2017

The proposed dismantling of Foreign Investment Promotion Board, which vets proposals involving fund inflows from overseas, is likely to be bundled with related policy reforms.

On top of the list is doing away with prior government approval for investments in most sectors, including single-brand retail, which could see dilution of the 30% domestic sourcing clause.

“Contours of the proposed changes to the foreign direct investment policy are almost ready... Non-strategic sectors should be on automatic,” said a senior government official privy to discussions on the matter.

With domestic private investment not picking up, the government is largely counting on foreign funds to speed up infrastructure creation. India needs an estimated $1.5 trillion over 10 years to build infrastructure such as roads, airports and power projects.

“The multiple layers in clearance often lead to unnecessary delays,” the official said, justifying the decision to put more sectors on the automatic approval route.

Most sectors have automatic approval for investments up to 49%. Government approval is required for investments in sectors such as telecom services, food products retailing, mining and minerals, multi-brand retail and private security agencies.

IESA Elects Ashwini K Aggarwal as Chairman of Executive Council for 2017
Source: Digital Terminal; April 20, 2017

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) announced Ashwini K Aggarwal, Director, Applied Materials, India as Chairman of the Board of Director & Executive Committee effective immediately. Ashwini succeeds Mr. K Krishna Moorthy, who will continue as an advisor to the board. Mr. Anilkumar Muniswamy is the new Vice Chairman with Rajesh Krishnan, VP, Memory Solutions, Samsung Semiconductor India Research serving as the new Treasurer.

Ashwini joined IESA’s board in 2015. Prior to being named Chairman, he served as member of the board of Electronics Sector Skills Council and member/chair of various industry Special Interest Groups.

A veteran of the electronics industry for more than three decades, Mr. Aggarwal, is known for his global business, industry and operational expertise. He spent eighteen years as an executive at Hewlett- Packard Company, in various capacities including Country Sales, Country Marketing and Product Management. Mr. Aggarwal currently is the Director-Government Affairs at Applied Materials India and has been working on various industry enabling projects.

Speaking about his current role at IESA, Mr. Ashwini Aggarwal, Chairman, IESA said, “As a member of the IESA board, I have been inspired by the association’s ability to push the boundaries of industry networking, create enabling innovations and policies that drive the Indian Electronics Systems and Design ecosystem forward.” He further added, “I am honored to serve as Chairman and would like to thank Mr. Krishna Moorthy for his many contributions to IESA and the Indian ESDM industry during a benchmark performance year.”

Apple To Start Assembling iPhones in India From Next Month
Source: Trak; April 20, 2017

As the parley between Apple and central government is almost settled with no concession grants, the smartphone company has stepped forward for manufacturing iPhones in India by soon starting “trial assembly” of iPhones within the political borders of the country.

The manufacturing will take place in Bengaluru suburb – Peenya, by a Taiwanese original design manufacturer – Wistron, with whom Apple has a contract. The state is keeping a proactive approach to help pursue Apple’s case with the Centre government.

As cited on ET, a Karnataka state official said “We are working to see that (Apple) brings its entire component making ecosystem to Bengaluru and begins to export from here,” one of the officials said. “We are not much concerned about Apple making iPhones for the domestic market, which will happen anyway.”

The luxury phone maker is still in talks with the central government to get some additional benefits to the usual policies that government has set for companies making investments within the region. The benefits include the waiver of countervailing duty (CVD) on the import of components that go into making of iPhones.

“The application (of Apple) has not made much headway after passing through key ministries such as commerce, technology and finance,” according to a Karnataka government official, as cited on ET. The stated person is of the view that the Centre might be concerned of a waiver thatd will not fit into the framework of the proposed goods and services tax that is expected to start off from July 1.

Compiled by IESA Research

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