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  IESA WINWire June 17, 2017 - June 23, 2017 for Subscription click here  
12th Anniversary

72 mobile firms set up plants in India
Source: Deccan Herald; June 17, 2017

As many as 72 mobile manufacturing companies have set up their plants in India in the last 30 months and produced Rs 89,756 crore worth handsets.

Since the NDA government came to power (May 2014) till June 10, 2017, one lakh direct and three lakh indirect jobs have been created in mobile manufacturing sector, claimed Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in its report card. Samsung, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Oppo are among top players that make their mobile handsets in India. Among the most recent entrant is contract manufacturer Wistron Corp, which makes the Apple iPhone SE at its Bengaluru plant. The world’s leading contract manufacturer Foxconn has set up five assembly plants in Andhra Pradesh and is working on another in Maharashtra. Samsung has already announced an investment of Rs 5,000 crore to double mobile phone manufacturing by 2020.

Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, who released the report card during his interaction with top IT and Electronics industry leaders here on Friday, said even in electronic manufacturing segment, production of LCD/LED television sets have gone up from 82 lakh units in 2014-15 to 1.5 crore units in 2016-17.

As the government set the target to achieve Indian digital economy $1 trillion by 2022 from around $450 billion at present, the government is aggressively pushing growth in electronic manufacturing, IT/ITeS, cyber security, telecom, ecommerce and digital payments.

India’s initial start-up district will have its first incubation centre soon
Source: The Times of India; June 17, 2017

The Port city of India's first startup district will get the first start-up incubation centre at Mallikatta. It will be operational in the next four months. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union minister for commerce and industry, visited the spaced identified for the centre in MCC Building near Mallikatta on Friday.

She said that the 6,000 sqft centre with 60 seats intake will be set up within four months with an initial funds of Rs 1.18 crore.

"This is a place where we want to give necessary basic infrastructure for any start-ups which are looking for space. They can come and get the necessary infrastructure whether it is internet connection and other necessary plug and play facilities for a very nominal rate. There are start-ups who come and ask for space for one hour per day for next three days, some others ask for working space for one week. Few may ask for space for a whole month. Depending on the demand of a start-up there should be a place to sit and work and ideate. After that they should be able to convert that into commercial strategy.

They can also sit and talk business with partners and clients. NASSCOM also has agreed to give one representative, who will be here to facilitate," the minister said.

The centre can accommodate 60 seats for start-ups who will come and have the plug and play facility for short-term or medium term, she said.

‘We’re absolutely capable of developing and producing Level 3 of autonomy and are working towards Level 4.
Source: Autocar Professional; June 19, 2017

Sachin Lawande, Visteon Corporation's president and CEO, who visited Chennai recently, speaks on the speedy digitisation of the vehicle cockpit, autonomous driving technologies, bringing artificial intelligence into cars, the dynamic Phoenix infotainment platform, and challenging his team to introduce the world's best technologies to India. An interview by Kiran Bajad.

Automotive electronics is a rapidly evolving industry. What are the new technologies that Visteon is currently working on?

Automotive electronics certainly is the most interesting and fastest evolving of the various sub-segments that make up the automotive industry, especially the passenger vehicle market. There are different trends that are cutting across.

In the 17-odd years that I’ve been in the industry, I have never seen a time like we are experiencing right now in terms of different kinds of innovations. Of all the technologies which have driven so much of the innovation in the consumer electronics space, the Cloud, information displays and artificial intelligence (AI) are all starting to have an impact in the automotive industry.

What, in your opinion, will be among the most exciting developments in the near future in vehicle electronics?

Over the past 20 years or so, automotive electronics has changed substantially. Electronic Control Units (ECUs), which are essentially the computers that drive various functions inside vehicles, have steadily grown from less than 10 in the early years now to 150 in some cars.

Duty on mobiles after GST: iPhones to get costlier; local brands won't gain
Source: Business Standard; June 19, 2017

The Union government is mulling imposing a 15 per cent basic customs duty (BCD) on the import of finished mobile handsets once the Goods and Services Tax (GST) comes into effect.

The move is intended to protect manufacturers who have set up units in India and put a curb on the outflow of foreign exchange to countries like China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Boosting local manufacturing or assembly of mobile phones is a key part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project — Make in India.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry had proposed a customs duty of 15 per cent on smartphone imports. Under the Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP) developed by the ministry of electronics and information technology, the government aims to enable large-scale manufacturing of mobile phones. As local value addition in handsets remains as low as two per cent at present, sub-parts such as mechanics, microphones, receivers, keypads, and USB cables, among others, have been targeted in the initial stage.

The PMP covers mechanics, die cut parts, microphone and receiver, keypad and USB cable in the current financial year. It also aims to promote the indigenous manufacturing of populated printed circuit boards, camera modules and connectors in 2018-19, and display assembly, touch panels, vibrator motor and ringer in 2019-20.

The government is also in the process of formulating the second phase of the PMP, which it expects will enhance value addition to 58.3 per cent in feature phones and 39.6 per cent in smartphones.

Lockheed signs pact with Tata to make F-16 planes in India
Source: The Hindu; June 19, 2017

In announcing their agreement at the Paris Airshow, Lockheed and Tata said moving the production base to India would still retain jobs in the US.

Weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. aircraft major Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) signed an agreement to make the F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft in India to meet the IAF’s single-engine jet requirement.

The IAF is about to initiate the process for selection of a single-engine fighter aircraft to replace the Russian MiGs under the Strategic Partnership model of the Defence Procurement Procedure. The announcement from Paris Air Show, where among those present was Ratan Tata, came ahead of Mr. Modi’s meeting with Trump later this month.

“This agreement builds on the already established joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Tata and underscores the relationship and commitment between the two companies,” said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons.

The Strategic Partnership model has four segments — submarines, single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks — and specifically intends to open up defence manufacturing to the private sector. The deal for 100- plus fighter aircraft is estimated to be worth over ?60,000 crore.

The contenders for the deal are F-16 of Lockheed Martin and Gripen of SAAB. The likely Indian private sector players in the race are TASL and Mahindra group, both of which have a footprint in the aerospace sector.

DC MSME for upgradation and expansion of existing Technology Centres
Source: KNN India; June 20, 2017

The Development Commissioner (MSME) is in the process of upgrade and expand the existing Technology Centres set up across India under World Bank Funded Technology Centre Systems Programme (TCSP).

The Programme, amounting to USD 400 Million, has been approved by Government of India and World Bank Board. The design phase got over on 15 January 2015.The implementation phase of 6 year duration has commenced since then.

Recent evaluation studies have reported success of TCs in serving MSMEs and therefore the Ministry is working to replicate these at more locations across the country so that MSMEs in the remaining states can also benefit from such centres.

Accordingly, the Government of India has approved to upgrade and expand the network of MSME Technology Centres across India.

In this regard, the Development Commissioner (MSME), Ministry of MSME has invited on-line bids from bidders for the Supply of Machines and Equipment required at existing Technology Centers.

Currently there are 18 operational Technology Centres out of which10 are for the tooling industry and 8 are for other industries such as ESDM (electronics system design and manufacturing), glass, footwear, and fragrance and flavour and sports.

Some of the existing TCs that are under implementation are - Indo German Tool Room (IGTR), Aurangabad (Maharashtra); Institute for Design of Electrical Measuring Instruments (IDEMI), Mumbai, (Maharashtra); Central Tool Room & Training Centre (CTTC), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) etc.

Duty rationalisation a must for electronics manufacturing
Source: ET Telecom; June 20, 2017

ELCINA supports GST as a landmark step towards indirect tax reform and is confident that this will have a huge positive impact on trade and industry in the country. This reform will also strengthen the benefits from the many policies announced by the Government in recent years commencing from the NPE 2012. Our recommendations and comments on GST policy and implementation include:

Merit Rate on ICTE products and Electronics Components in the GST regime

ICTE products, equipment and components the world over have come to be accepted as key enablers in national development, an index of development competitiveness and driver of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth. Thus it is recommended that in the GST regime, taxation on ICTE products be kept at the lowest merit rate. Referring to the proposed GST rates announced by the government (please see Annexure) many of the finished products have been placed at a demerit rate of 28% which increases cost and puts these items outside the range of lower middle and middle income groups who constitute a key segment of its consumers and have limited purchasing power.

Secondly, many electromechanical components such as switches, relays, connectors, fuses, cables etc. have been placed at 28% demerit rate which is detrimental to this industry segment. These are basic inputs for manufacturing of Electronic Equipment and India has a substantial industry manufacturing these components. In fact, this is the only segment of electronic components where India has considerable capacity and capability.

Moving towards making India self-reliant in Defence: PM Narendra Modi
Source: The Economic Times; June 21, 2017

With India still importing 65 per cent of its military requirements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today strongly favoured making the country self-reliant in the defence sector.

"We are moving forward with the dream of making India self-dependent in the field of defence and security," he said at the APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) here.

"Can we not make India self-reliant in defence sector?" the prime minister asked.We are marching ahead with this dream and for this we have made policy changes and allowed 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the defence sector, Modi said. He lauded the successful launch of 104 satellites by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and said the world took notice when it was done. We have such potential and have to take it forward, Modi said.

He said that India "reached Mars in a budget less than that of a Bollywood movie due to technological advancement. Our expense in reaching Mars was Rs 7 per kilometer." Lauding scientists, Modi called them "modern rishis".

"Scientists are facing a challenge to produce cheap but effective drugs for the poor and needy. They are devoted to the objective of ridding the humanity of pain. Science is universal, but technology is local. We have to defeat diseases with science" he said,.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology launches GST portal
Source: The Economic Times; June 21, 2017

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched a dedicated webpage to address issues related to Information Technology Services and Electronics goods ahead of the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1.

The ministry said in a statement that the webpage can be accessed through Ministry’s Web Portal at

"Individuals, companies and entrepreneurs in IT and Electronics sector can visit the webpage for sector-specific information," it said. The web page also enables filing of grievances in relation to implementation of GST.

Hailed as the biggest tax reform the GST will subsume all the existing taxes into a single tax.

Chinese Treble India Smartphone Market Share; Squeeze Out Indian Players
Source: BloombergQuint; June 21, 2017

Indian mobile phone makers’ business profile has been adversely impacted due to the rapidly increasing market share of Chinese players and fierce competition, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra).

The increasing strength of Chinese mobile phone manufacturers in smartphone market is reflected in the 3.4 times growth in market share to 51 percent in Q1CY17.

There is a complete change in the market position of the top five smartphone players in FY17, as Micromax Informatics, Lava International Ltd. and Karbonn Mobiles Pvt Ltd were replaced by Xiaomi Inc., Vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd. and Oppo Mobiles India Pvt Ltd.

While the global vendor Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. remained the market leader with 28 percent share in Q1CY17, the share of Indian vendors downsized to a mere 14 percent. Lenovo also sustained its position due to the established brands and products in the diversified price segments. Oppo and Vivo India have recorded sales increases of seven to nine times over FY17 respectively.

India-Ratings expects Vivo India and Oppo’s smartphone sales to grow by around 40-50 percent over FY18.

The recent success of Chinese players can be attributed to their strong brand through substantial advertising expenditure and sales channel building funded by the sponsors. Chinese smartphone makers enjoy a debt-light capital structure and healthy liquidity due to the long payable period extended by their suppliers. Better technological capabilities of the Chinese players leading to superior product offerings have also contributed to their success.

Aruna Sundararajan gets full charge as DoT secretary, Ajay Prakash Sawhney new IT secretary
Source: The Economic Times; June 21, 2017

Aruna Sundararajan, secretary of IT and electronics will now be taking full charge of the department of telecom (DoT), which till now was an additional charge given to her in May.

A notification to this effect was issued by the department of personnel, Wednesday, according to which Sundararajan will be at the helm of telecom department filing a vacancy created by posting of former telecom secretary JS Deepak to the WTO as India representative. After Deepak, power secretary PK Pujari was handling DoT as additional charge for a few months before Sundararajan was brought in.

Ajay Prakash Sawhney will take over as secretary for electronics and IT, the government notification added.

One of the key challenges ahead of Sundararajan is the critical condition of the financial health of the sector, for which telecom minister Manoj Sinha and the secretary will be meeting promoters of leading Indian carriers on Thursday.

The meeting - to be attended by Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal, Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani and chief executives of Reliance Jio, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular - is part of deliberations on solutions for the massive stress on the sector's financials. Banking sector puts the debt associated with telecom at Rs 7.29 lakh crore.

Reliance Defence forms JV with Thales for IAF's Rafale jet production
Source: Business Standard; June 22, 2017

French defence firm Thales, a supplier of radar and electronic warfare, display systems, software, communication solution to Rafale jet fighters set up a joint venture with Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Ltd to integrate India-specific capabilities for 36 Rafale jet fighters and maintain radars and manufacture high-performance airborne electronics.

The Indian government signed a contract to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition for Indian Air Force in last September for $8.8 billion. The JV will also serve to leverage Dassault's offset commitment as part of the deal for the supply of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft to IAF. The Rafale deal with French aerospace major Dassault had an agreement of 50 per cent offset clause which means that Indian companies will get businesses of around 74 per cent in goods and supply. The company in which Reliance Defence will hold 51 per cent stake will develop the technology at their facility at Mihan Special Economic Zone near Nagpur.

Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Group, called the "strategic partnership" with Thales yet another milestone for his company. "The strategic partnership with global leader Thales is another major milestone in our march towards best in the class manufacturing at support facilities for military hardware in India," he said. The group set up a joint venture- Dassault Reliance Aerospace Pvt. Ltd last year with Dassault after the Rafale deal. Thales CEO, Patrice Caine said the partnership signals the company's intent to strengthen footprint in India.

India seeks Russian firms' support in defence manufacturing
Source: The Economic Times; June 22, 2017

Showcasing policy initiatives for defence production in India, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today invited Russian firms to join hands with Indian companies in developing high-end military platforms and weapons systems.

In an address at a leading forum for technological development, Jaitley said Russian defence majors which already have a long experience of working in India are well placed to take advantage of the policy changes effected to encourage tie-ups between Indian and foreign companies.

Jaitley, here on a three-day visit beginning today, asked Russian companies to come forward with proposals for technology transfer to Indian companies and facilitate manufacturing of advanced military platforms.

"We have initiated a series of policy and procedural changes to facilitate tie-ups, including joint ventures and technology partnerships between Indian and foreign companies.

"Russian companies, which already have a long experience of working in India and working with India are well placed to take a leading role in this process," he said.

In a major step towards defence indigenisation, the Indian government last month unveiled a "strategic partnership" model under which select private firms will be engaged along with foreign entities to build military platforms like fighter jets, submarines and battle tanks. "In the days to come, we hope to fully harness the energies, entrepreneurial spirit and enterprise of the private sector in the area of defence manufacturing.

Govt seeks details of proposed investments in India from Apple
Source: Outlook India; June 22, 2017

The government has sought investment and job creation details from iPhone maker Apple in order to facilitate setting up its proposed manufacturing facility in India.

A view on Apple's application for tax concessions would be taken up after considering the levels of investments and the benefits that are likely to accrue to the Indian economy, sources said.

Departments including revenue, electronics and information technology, and industry are deliberating upon the Cupertino-based technology major's proposal to set up smartphone manufacturing facility in India.

Earlier, Apple Inc had indicated to the government that it is ready with a blueprint to begin manufacturing iPhones in India, but wants fiscal concessions, including customs duty exemptions, duty waiver on import of components, permission to repair and re-export smartphones and continuation of certain tax incentives after implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Sources added the government is actively considering their proposal.

With sales tapering off in the US and China, Apple is eyeing India - the fastest growing smartphone market in the world -- and looking to set up a local manufacturing unit to cut costs.

Apple, however, does not manufacture devices on its own but gets the job done through contract manufacturers. Besides exemption from the Customs duty on imports of components and equipment for 15 years, Apple has sought relaxation in the mandated 30 per cent local sourcing of components. Apple sells its products through company-owned retail stores in countries like China, Germany, the US, the UK and France, among others.

India: GE signs 140 MW inverter deal with Solairedirect
Source: pv magazine; June 23, 2017

GE Energy Connections, the inverter division of global digital industrial firm General Electric (GE), has today announced it has signed a 140 MW inverter supply deal with Solairedirect, the solar development arm of French utility Engie, for a couple of PV projects in India.

The contract agreement will see GE ship its LV5 1 MW central inverter solutions to two 70 MW PV projects in India under a 25-year, long-term service agreement. GE will ensure parts provision and post-installation maintenance manpower is on-hand as and when the inverters require it.

“In an ever more competitive solar industry, service becomes the differentiator,” said Solairedirect in a statement. “Thanks to the long-term service agreement provided by GE, lifetime support is guaranteed for our plants. We are confident in the knowledge that we will be able to continue efficiently supplying solar power.”

GE claims that its service agreement gives Solairedirect improved project bankability, which can reduce the overall cost of ownership of the two plants over the course of their lifetime. In an increasingly competitive Indian solar market, allied to further global consolidation of the inverter industry, such bankability is becoming increasingly attractive for developers and plant owners, not just in India but in other new and emerging solar markets worldwide.

Compiled by IESA Research

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