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  IESA WINWire June 24, 2017 - June 30, 2017 for Subscription click here  
12th Anniversary

‘India Is Definitely One of Hottest Business Destinations in World Today’
Source: Business World; June 24, 2017

A global leader in the field of automation and other related activities, Mitsubishi has a footprint across 80 countries. Its Indian arm Mitsubishi Electric India has a substantial turnover. Since the onset of its operations in India in the 1920s, Mitsubishi Electric has slowly set its foot in the Indian market by offering a wide range of pioneering and high-quality products. Mitsubishi Electric was first brand to introduce 5 star rated products in India. Katsunori Ushiku, Managing Director, Mitsubishi Electric India spoke to BW Businessworld’s Roy Varghese recently.

How did MEI evolve over the years and your plans for capex?

The first business of Mitsubishi Electric in India was supply of equipment for electric locomotives to the Indian Railways in the early 1960’s by Transportation Systems, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan. From there, we started with a small liaison office in India and grown the company strength by strength. Today, we have a strong network of 3 Manufacturing Facilities, Office and Technical Centres in 23 Locations across the country and one R&D Centre in Pune.

Till some years ago, there were electric and electronic goods companies that had been struggling in the already saturated urban markets. It was during those times that we began to understand that their marketing wisdom often keeps underestimating the importance of affordability in India’s non-metro and tire-2 cities.

Xiaomi may consider manufacturing multiple products in India: country head
Source: The Hindu Business Line; June 26, 2017

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi is looking at expanding its manufacturing base in India, to have not just smartphones, but even other products manufactured locally.

“We want to open manufacturing for more products, the question is just about scale,” Xiaomi India head and Vice-President Manu Kumar Jain told BusinessLine. “We started importing because initially we go small; but once we scale up, we are open to setting up manufacturing lines for many other categories such as Mi (fitness) bands, power banks, cases, etc. On other categories such as air purifiers and routers, we’ll be open to setting up manufacturing plants.”

Xiaomi currently has two manufacturing facilities in India. The two facilities in Visakhapatnam and Sri City in Andhra Pradesh are operated by Foxconn, and produce over 95 per cent of the mobilephones the company sells in the country. Although Xiaomi doesn’t reveal its actual manufacturing numbers, the company says it currently produces one smartphone each second at the two factories, which are running at near capacity.

However, all other products, including fitness bands, power bands, phone covers, routers and air purifiers that Xiaomi sell in India, are fully imported from China.

“Local manufacturing requires huge investments, not just in terms of money, but also manpower and bandwidth. We have to find the right partners, State governments, hire people, import machinery, etc.

LG, Vedanta JV to invest 16k cr in Mihan, says CM
Source: The Times of India; June 26, 2017

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Sunday that Twinstar company, which is a joint venture between local Vedanta Group and Korean company LG, will set up an electronics product manufacturing facility in Mihan investing Rs16,000 crore and creating large number of jobs.

"The company has already purchased land in Mihan and has applied to state and central governments for clearances. It will be the biggest investment in Mihan," he told the gathering after bhoomipuja of new Khapri railway overbridge (RoB).

"It will manufacture electronic hardware here. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between state government and company officials in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The company is starting its facility under a central government scheme. It has already purchased land and has submitted the allotment letter to central government for availing the facilities under the scheme," he said.

Officials of Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), however, said that none of the three companies—Vedanta, LG, Twinstar— have purchased land in Mihan.

Praising union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, the CM said that previously, the state only had 6,000km length of national highways but Gadkari had started work on 22,000km length of national highways. "This will transform the entire state and create lot of jobs," he added.

In his address, Gadkari promised that while the completion period of the new Khapri RoB was 24 months as per the contract, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would complete it in 12 months.

Zopo Mobile Plans to Set Up a Manufacturing Plant in India to Support ‘Make in India’ Initiative
Source: BW Disrupt; June 26, 2017

Zopo Mobile also known as Shenzhen ZOPO Communication Equipment Co., Ltd., headquartered in Shenzhen, China and established in 2008, is a hi-tech enterprise engaged in the design, manufacture and marketing of mobile intelligent terminal products. With clients spread across 135 countries, ZOPO is an internationalized enterprise in the communications industry, with a design team in Europe, and sales location teams in Europe, Southeast Asia, Middle East and South America. ZOPO Europe Operations Center has been established on April 1st 2015 to support the marketing and after-sales service in the European market. Currently ZOPO is engaged in three main product lines: Speed, Flash and Color series. Also, it is the first brand to have a 365 days replacement warranty.

In an interaction with Sujata Sangwan of BW Businessworld, Sanjeev Bhatia, CEO of ZOPO Mobile, India and M.D. of Adcom Pvt. Ltd., shared company’s future plans in India as well as globally.

Tell us about Zopo entry in India? When the company entered and how many units sold till date?

Zopo’s entry in India has been a very memorable one. In a press conference in New Delhi about two years ago, we launched ZOPO in August 2015. We marked ZOPO’s entry in India with 2 of its flagship models then, the speed 7 and speed 7 plus. These models have been very successful and even till date we are selling these models. The feedback we received for them has been very phenomenal.

Centre clears decks for CFC at electronics cluster
Source: The Times of India; June 26, 2017

The city will soon be home to a Common Facility Centre (CFC) which will be set up in brownfield Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Shendra MIDC. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has given its final approval to set it up at plot number 30 at five-start industrial area with an approved project cost of Rs 28.58 crore.

Around 20 small-scale and other industries from Aurangabad have come together to from the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementation of the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster, which is expected to help industry captains in producing world-class products by aiding in design and production processes.

"While 10 locations in the country have been identified for developing an electronics manufacturing cluster, the one coming up at Aurangabad is first to get an approval from the Centre for CFC, Suresh Todkar, director of SPV — Deogiri Electronics Cluster Private Limited — told TOI on Sunday.

The CFC is expected to act like a business incubator for electronic design and manufacturing, on the lines of the already existing Marathwada Auto Cluster that caters to the need of automotive and related industries.

The CFC would act like a centralised facility that would offer technical expertise required to develop world-class products. It is expected to house the desired state-of-the-art machinery and automation techniques that can be used as a common pool of resources. Several small-scale industries cannot afford to purchase such machineries and equipment and therefore lag behind in competition, Todkar said.

Government to set up workspace for startups in Mangaluru
Source: The Economic Times; June 27, 2017

India’s first government-owned co-working space for startups is set to come up in Mangaluru, offering cutting-edge technology such as 3D printing and new-age digital infrastructure, such as high-speed Internet.

“We felt there was a great dem and for a co-working space in Mangaluru. Many startups told us that they had to go to Bengaluru or other cities to access such facilities and infrastructure,” a senior official told ET.

The initiative is being led by commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman as part of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development scheme.

The government is trying to work out a sustainable revenue model for the facility designed to accommodate 100 people.

A team of officials is consulting with some of the leading Delhi-based co-working space owners to finalise the design and functioning of the Mangalore facility.

The workstations will be made available at a price nearly half the market rate being charged by privately owned social workspaces.

Sitharaman’s office is also reaching out to other government departments and ministries to build synergies and meet the costs of getting the place up and running.

For instance, the Ministry of electronics and information technology has been requested to provide the best possible internet connectivity under the Digital India initiative for startups. The government wants to create space for hardware development and experimentation with readily available 3D printing equipment.

Refund GST to Incentivize Local Manufacturing of Phones, PCs
Source: Communications Today; June 27, 2017

Industry body representing IT hardware companies, MAIT, has asked the Centre to incentivise local manufacturing by refunding the GST on the value addition done by the companies.

“The refund could be proportionately increased if more value is added locally. This will motivate the manufacturers to make more investments locally for building a component ecosystem in the country,” MAIT said in a letter to the Finance Minister.

Under the existing tax structure, there is a 10 per cent cost arbitrage in favour of making phones in India compared to imports. However, this gap will reduce to zero under the proposed GST regime from July 1. In order to keep imports expensive, the Centre is looking to impose a 10 per cent customs duty on smartphones.

This could, however, draw the ire of the WTO as India is signatory to the Information Technology Agreement that prohibits customs duty on certain items on its list.

“It is not possible to prevent imports at “zero duty” from FTA nations as supplies may be imported /routed from countries with which India has signed Free Trade Agreements from countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

“In view of these facts, India cannot impose customs duty on import of these products from any of these countries without incurring serious legal challenge or retaliatory actions from those countries,” MAIT said.

The industry body said that most viable and implementable option seems to be the option where in GST Refund can be linked to value addition.

Noida firm develops digital platform for Govt's 'Startup India' Hub
Source: Money Control; June 27, 2017

Launched by government, the Startup India Hub is a one-stop destination to connect all the stakeholders of the startup ecosystem in India, including startups, investors, mentors and accelerators.

Noida-based digital technology firm To The New (TTN) has designed the digital platform for The Start Up India Hub, launched by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, last week.

A first of its kind initiative, the Startup India Hub is aimed at promoting the ecosystem for startups and encourage investment in the country.

The platform was officially launched this month by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman. The platform consists of both web portal and mobile applications.

TTN won the bid for end-to-end design and development of the digital platform which comprised of a high-performing web portal and mobile applications for Android and iOS.

Built on the powerful Adobe Experience Manager, the platform provides a real-time and personalized experience through relevant content delivered on any channel or device.

“India is truly embarking on a transformation journey. The Startup India Hub is an exceptional initiative and we are really proud to be associated with it”, said company CEO Deepak Mittal.

Launched by government, the Startup India Hub is a one-stop destination to connect all the stakeholders of the startup ecosystem in India, including startups, investors, mentors, incubators, accelerators, aspiring entrepreneurs, service providers and government bodies.

Indian Defence Manufacturing To See More Foreign Investments
Source: Defence Aviation Post; June 27, 2017

Defence manufacturing sector will help foreign original equipment manufacturers to enter into strategic partnerships with Indian companies and leverage the domestic markets, said Dr Subhash Bhamre, Minister of State for Defence, Government of India. He continued by saying these entities can look global markets by making India as a hub.

He was addressing a gathering at MACCIA (Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture) as Guest of Honour. He highlighted the advantages of opening up of the defence sector for private sector participation. Under government’s initiative of Make in India, besides helping in building domestic capabilities, this will also bolster exports in the long term.

As part of the initiative, the government has identified some of the prospective states. He also mentioned that five districts in Maharashtra had been declared as defence zones.

During the function, Santosh Mandlecha has taken over as the new President of MACCIA. MACCIA is an apex body of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of the state that facilitates progress in all sectors for sustainable prosperity through collaborative efforts, knowledge-based skills, modern technology and ethical means.

Welcoming Mandlecha as the new President of MACCIA, Immediate Past President Shantanu Bhadkamkar presented President Cup and floral bouquet to Mandlecha. Bhadkamkar served as President from 2015-2017.

Indian Railways to add 400 Megawatt solar power capacity current fiscal
Source:; June 27, 2017

The Indian railways, which is working on an ambitious plan to reduce its dependence on conventional fuels and cut down energy bill, is planning to award 400 Megawatt (Mw) of solar energy generation capacity in the current financial year.

The transporter plans to award 200 MW of rooftop solar and 200 MW of land-based solar energy capacity in the current fiscal. Overall, railways has a target of installing 1,000 Mw of solar power and 200 Mw of wind energy by 2020.

“In terms of solar rooftop installations, we have a target of installing 500 Mw till 2020. So far, we have commissioned 17 Mw rooftop solar with the latest being 750 Kw at Guwahati, Assan. Our target is to award 200 Mw of rooftop this financial year out of which 100 Mw will be through the PPP route,” Railway Board Member (traction), Ghanshyam Singh told ETEnergyworld.

The national carrier is working with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for setting up 150 Mw solar energy capacity in Assam, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. “The 150 Mw will be set up on solar parks. In addition to this, the Railway Energy Management Company Ltd (REMCL) is also finalizing setting up 50 Mw solar capacity on railway land by next year as well as 62 MW of solar rooftop, the tender for that will be issued in a week’s time,” he said.

US Clears Sale of Predator Guardian Drones to India
Source: News18; June 28, 2017

The US has cleared sale of predator Guardian drones to India with the two countries pledging to deepen their defence and security cooperation. The joint statement issued after talks between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the two countries look forward to working together on advanced defence equipment and technology "at a level commensurate with that of the closest allies and partners of the United States."

"Reflecting the partnership, the United States has offered for India's consideration the sale of Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems, which would enhance India's capabilities and promote shared security interests," it said.

The two countries resolved to expand their maritime security cooperation and announced their intention to build on the implementation of their "White Shipping" data sharing arrangement, which enhances collaboration on maritime domain awareness.

Trump welcomed Modi's strong support for United States to join as an Observer in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.

The two leaders noted the importance of the upcoming Malabar naval exercise and expressed their determination to expand their engagements on shared maritime objectives and to explore new exercises.

The US expressed strong support for India's early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group.

It also reaffirmed the support of the United States for India's permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council

Earlier, in his remarks to the media, Modi said defence cooperation between India and US was very significant in the light of security challenges. "

Make in India: Imported phones set to face customs duty of 10% under GST
Source: Times Now; June 28, 2017

Retaining prominence of local manufacturing and Make in India, the government is set to impose a customs duty of at least 10 per cent on imported mobile phones under the GST regime.

Addressing concerns of local manufacturers who are worried about losing out to foreign players, government sources said the duty can be notified later this week.

This is done to ensure that Make in India stays lucrative compared to importing devices from China or anywhere else, an official told The Economic Times.

While this does not necessarily mean that imported phones will cost more, it is done to nudge those sitting on the fence to set up manufacturing within India, the official added.

Apple last week announced that a batch of its iPhones SEs assembled in its Bengaluru plant were up for sale in the city. However, several of the iPhone components are manufactured overseas.

Even the Chinese-owned OnePlus, and Lenovo-Motorola are sourcing a significant chunk of their India requirements through the import route.

The government currently imposes a 12.5 per cent countervailing duty on fully-made phones imported into the country and a similar duty on chargers, batteries and headsets of mobile phones.

Read: GST: Phone bills, insurance premia set to get costlier

On the other hand, the government postponed implementation of TDS and TCS provisions as well as exempt from registration small businesses from selling on e-commerce platforms.

'Andhra Pradesh to generate 2 lakh jobs in IT, electronics manufacturing'
Source: Money Control; June 29, 2017

The Andhra Pradesh IT minister said, "To meet the target, apart from manufacturing of mobile phones and consumer durables, focus will be also on manufacturing of medical devices."

He met Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today and sought his assistance for a variety of IT projects which are in the pipeline and has the potential to generate jobs.

"The Union minister assured us help as Andhra Pradesh is growing fast in both the sectors (electronics manufacturing and IT) with large investments pouring in," Lokesh, who is the son of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, said.

He invited Prasad in the inauguration of six IT companies in the state in the coming six months.

Besides, he also held talks with drone-manufacturing companies and Indian Cellular Association (ICA), a body comprising mobile manufacturers, brand owners and other, for bringing more investments to the state.

"We received good response, feedback and suggestions from the ICA during the interactions," he said.

Last week, Lokesh, who also handles the Panchayat Raj portfolio, had said that the state government is committed to generating six lakh jobs in the state in various sectors by 2019.

Foxconn arm InFocus to invest Rs 65 crore in India, eyes top 5 handset companies tally
Source: The Economic Times; June 29, 2017

InFocus, the handset arm of Taiwan’s Foxconn, plans to invest $10 million (about Rs 65 crore) to get a foothold in India with a focus on the Rs 10,000-price segment as part of its second attempt to make a mark in the world’s second largest mobile phone market.

InFocus is also working on a 4G Volte feature phone, priced under Rs 3,000, which is likely to be launched before Diwali. The company is working with Reliance Jio on the kind of plans — voice, data and apps — that can be offered or bundled with the device, said Dr Luo Zhongsheng, global CEO for Sharp and InFocus Mobile, who is also senior VP at FIH Mobile, the mobile phone arm of Foxconn Technology Group.

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, also plans to launch smartphones from Sharp — the Japanese company’s business it acquired last year — by the end of the year.

“There is more focus from the headquarters on the India market now, there’s been a change in team, more partners have been added and we’re also getting into feature phones,” Dr Zhongsheng added.

InFocus is eyeing a top five place among handset players in three years through an aggressive push in both online and offline segments in the country, with eight smartphones models between Rs 4,999 and Rs 10,999, and an equal number of feature phone models priced between Rs 699 and Rs 1,099. By next year, InFocus will launch devices upwards of Rs 11,000 in the market.

Mouser Electronics and Grant Imahara Launch “Shaping Smarter Cities” Video Series
Source: Press Release; June 22, 2017

Mouser Electronics Inc. is teaming up with celebrity engineer Grant Imahara for the Shaping Smarter Cities project, the newest series in the successful Empowering Innovation Together™ program.

The exciting series features five videos that showcase engineers and companies from around the world that are working to make cities more intelligent and resourceful through innovative smart technologies. The new series is supported by Mouser’s valued suppliers Analog Devices, Intel®, Microchip Technology and Molex.

In the first Shaping Smarter Cities video, Imahara meets with WIRED Brand Lab host Michael Copeland in San Francisco to kick off the series. Together, they explore the challenges facing today’s growing cities and set the stage for how the series will unfold.

“Innovation is the true source for creating solutions to existing problems,” said Glenn Smith, President and CEO of Mouser Electronics, a leading global distributor of the newest semiconductors and electronic components. “We look forward to seeing how engineers around the world are crafting solutions to problems that are unique to their locations, and then learning how these solutions can be applied to other cities as well.”

Compiled by IESA Research

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