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  IESA WINWire May 27, 2017 - June 2, 2017 for Subscription click here  
12th Anniversary

UAE Hosts First Startup India Summit - Opens Gates For Indian Startups In Middle East
Source: Inc 42; May 27, 2017

India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. It is climbing up to become number two by leading in tech innovation, to reach the next 6 Bn users. The ecosystem is looking to spread its wings far and wide and one such place it’s looking at is the Middle East. Earlier this week, the embassy of India in Abu Dhabi, UAE in partnership with non-profit think tank iSPIRT, and TiE Dubai organised the Startup India Summit 2017 in Dubai.

This was the first “Startup Summit” being held in the UAE by the Consul General of India (CGI) in Dubai and Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi. It brought together the two ecosystems as well as presented carefully curated high-tech startups.

The summit aimed to provide a platform for the startup ecosystem in both India and UAE for greater collaboration, exchanging ideas, interact with academia, investors and industry, access to funding, and get the requisite hand-holding and mentoring to grow and prosper.

In all, 16 Indian startups in the artificial intelligence, SaaS, fintech, healthtech, deeptech or innovative technology space took part in the two-day event. The deeptech startups included AllgoVision, Locus, Oizom, Posist, and Team Indus while the SaaS bandwagon consisted of Capillary Technologies, CloudCherry, and Fyle. Meanwhile, Capital Float, Faircent, Remitr, and ToneTag were the fintech startups which made it to the summit while the healthtech sector was represented by Aindra, NIRAMAI, Sigtuple, and Tricog.

Wistron keen to expand presence in Bengaluru
Source: Deccan Herald; May 28, 2017

Taiwan-based original design manufacturer Wistron, which started assembling Apple phones in Bengaluru recently, plans to team up with the Karnataka government for its expanded footprint in the state. Wistron Chairman Simon Lin and Smart Products Head David Shen along with other company delegates met state Industries Minister R V Deshpande and IT, BT Minister Priyank Kharge on Saturday .

Interacting with DH, Deshpande said that Wistron officials discussed some new investment opportunities in the area of electronics and waste management in Karnataka. “We are pleased with Wistron’s decision to come to Bengaluru and assemble the iPhone in India. I assured the delegation to give fullest support and cooperation from the state government side,” he said.

DH recently reported that Wistron received certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to manufacture the iPhone SE from an assembly facility in Bengaluru. The company is assembling the iPhone SE, the smallest screen mobile from Apple.

Lin is a farsighted technology businessman who recently launched a $20-million venture capital fund with the Silicon Valley-based Fenox Venture Capital to access and work with the top technology companies from around the world.

Wistron officials said that Lin is satisfied with the ecosystem in Bengaluru and would like to further enhance its investment. “We have manufacturing, service and research and development service factories in 25 locations worldwide. In India, being a big market, we would like to further deepen the collaboration,” he said.

India not keen to put e-commerce under FTA with Russia-led group
Source: Livemint; May 28, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia President Vladimir Putin are expected to discuss a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) at a summit meeting on 1 June amid signs that India may oppose including e-commerce in the pact.

A joint feasibility study (JFS) group that has recommended launching negotiations for the FTA advocated including e-commerce as a deliverable.

The EAEU, which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan has demanded the creation of a common legal framework with India on e-commerce under the proposed FTA. But India holds that it is not ready to include any market access elements in view of the evolving nature of e-commerce laws and regulations.

The JFS group maintained that switching from paper documents would increase security and transparency in supply chains and generate higher revenue.

“Such legal framework would increase trade, streamline business, bring element of certainty to cross-border commercial activities and allow to reduce delays and costs at the border. It is the driver in the modernization of administrations,” the report said.

The JFS has advocated that the EAEU and India could discuss issues such as electronic authentication and digital signatures; private data protection; e-commerce participant protection; cross-border data flows; and use of electronic documents.

EAEU points out that its FTA with Vietnam covers electronic commerce issues, particularly the issue of mutual recognition of electronic signatures and electronic documents.

Samsung Electronics considers adding capacity at China chip plant
Source: The Financial Express; May 29, 2017

Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Monday it is considering adding memory chip production capacity at its manufacturing base in China amid an industry-wide boom that will likely fuel record sales for memory suppliers. The firm was considering adding capacity at its facility in Xi’an but no specifics, including the potential investment amount and what products it would make with the additional resources, had been decided, a Samsung spokesman said.

Samsung, the world’s No.1 memory chip maker, has already invested $7 billion in the Xi’an facility to make 3D NAND memory chips. The chips are used for high-end data storage products on electronic devices such as smartphones, personal computers and data servers. South Korean media reports said earlier on Monday that Samsung was in advanced talks with the Chinese authorities to add 3D NAND chip capacity in Xi’an, and that construction could begin before the year-end.

The South Korean firm and other memory chip companies are expected to enjoy record revenue and profits in 2017, driven by growing demand for more processing firepower in consumer electronics, and diminishing production yield on investment as technology grows more sophisticated. Researcher IHS expects this year’s memory industry revenue jump 32 percent to a record $104 billion. Industry executives and analysts say 3D NAND suppliers will likely struggle to keep up with orders from clients throughout 2017.

National security requires us to become defence manufacturing hub: Arun Jaitley
Source: The Indian Express; May 29, 2017

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in Pune on Sunday that the country since its Independence, has been facing both insurgency and wars and that the national security requires us to become hub for defence manufacturing. He also said that the public and private sectors will have to be equal partners in the process. He was speaking at the ninth convocation of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology in Girinagar near Khadakwasla in Pune. A total of 134 graduating students including 18 PhDs, three Master of Science by Research and 113 MTech students were conferred with their respective degrees.

Jaitley said, “The first industrial revolution impacted Europe and North America. The Asian economies caught up later, particularly after the Second World War. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and thereafter India. So, those who were left out initially, caught up by connecting themselves to the global markets with the help of technology. If we are to evolve as a manufacturing nation, which we are still to evolve fully, the backbone will have to be technology.”

Jaitley, who by virtue of his post of defence minister, is the Chancellor of the DIAT, said, “When our former Prime Minister Mr Vajpayee visited Lahore in the famous bus journey, he said that we can alter the course of history but not geography. We are destined to have neighbours as permanent neighbours.

Centum Adetel makes its mark in India
Source: Air & Cosmos - Internation; May 29, 2017

The combination of two intermediate-sized companies – one French, the other Indian – has created a new entity with big ambitions in aerospace.

Centum Adetel is a Franco-Indian entity bringing together two intermediate-sized companies: Adetel of France and Indian’s Centum. The latter acquired 51% ownership of the French firm in July 2016, and the new entity was thrust into the limelight at the recent Aero India show where the capabilities of the new entity were on public display for the first time … to the apparent satisfaction of major players from the French aeronautical sector.

The activities of the two partners — who had been working together since 2012 — are highly complementary. The combined entity, now part of the Centum Group, is well positioned in embedded electronic equipment and equipment for high-constraint environments, with growth prospects on international markets, particularly in Asia, Europe and North America.

Thus reinforced, Adetel can offer customers an integrated vertical product offering, focused on industrial production, while Centum has gained the design capabilities of Adetel and its well-established customer base, including some major French equipment suppliers.

Created in 1994, Adetel made its name as a specialist in the design and development of critical electronic subsystems and components. Aerospace and defence business accounts for a substantial portion of sales – the company supplies parts for Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Bombardier, Sukhoi and Embraer.

GST: Panasonic India, industry body for higher customs duty to thwart cheap imports
Source: Firstpost; May 30, 2017

The government should consider imposing higher customs duty on imported fully built consumer durable products in order to protect domestic manufacturing when GST is implemented, Panasonic India today said.

The company, along with industry association Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) want the government to ensure that cheaper imported products do not pose a threat to those manufactured in the country.

"Post-GST, we have also requested the government to consider a higher import duty on CBU products which are imported," said Panasonic India and South Asia president and CEO Manish Sharma.

Sharma, who is also the president of CEAMA added: "We will make sure that there is no sort of risk or threat from imported products coming in at potentially cheaper cost than those which are manufactured in the country."

"That is one of the announcement which we are expecting from the government to also consider," he said on the sidelines of a Panasonic event here.

On issues likely to be faced by dealers and trade partners during transition period of GST, Sharma expects the government to be more flexible.

South Korea’s Sung Ha Telecom to set up mobile phone manufacturing plant in Chhattisgarh
Source: Mint; May 30, 2017

A South Korean telecom company has decided to set up its mobile phone manufacturing unit in Chhattisgarh after consultation with chief minister Raman Singh, said an official on Tuesday.

“With a view to woo investors in the mineral-rich Chhattisgarh, a delegation led by Singh is on the official tour of South Korea,” a senior public relation officer said on Tuesday. The high-level delegation comprising state government officials and industrialists reached South Korea’s capital Seoul on Monday where it was received by the Indian ambassador to South Korea Vikram Doraiswami at the Incheon airport, he said.

“On the first day of the visit, the delegation met with investors in Seoul. The representatives from Sung Ha Telecom company met Singh and gave in-principle consent to set up its mobile phone manufacturing plant in Naya Raipur—the upcoming new capital of Chhattisgarh,” the PR official quoted above said.

Sung Ha Telecom is one of the biggest companies in the used mobile phone market in Korea and has a high-skilled experience in this field for 15 years, he added.

During the meeting, Singh informed that Chhattisgarh is fast becoming a hub for electronics manufacturing due to excellent business environment and friendly policies.Earlier the representatives from the Indian embassy met the delegation and briefed about the region, including the world-class industrial and urban infrastructure development in Seoul, he said

Odisha clears fresh investment proposals worth Rs 1.31 lakh crore
Source: Business Standard; May 30, 2017

The Odisha government has cleared fresh investment proposals of the order of Rs 1.31 lakh crore. The state received these proposals during its roadshows conducted in Mumbai and Bengaluru and the 'Make in Odisha' conclave.

From the three events, Odisha received 124 investment intents and of this, 71 cases have transformed into firm commitments. The Single Window has approved projects worth Rs 131,149 crore”, said Sanjeev Chopra, principal secretary (industries), Odisha.

The 124 investment intents are valued at Rs 3.64 lakh crore.

In the past three years, the Single Window Clearance Authority in the State has approved 102 projects with investments worth Rs 1,67,284.63 crore with an employment potential of 1,12,532 jobs. The state government has announced to approve ‘green’ category projects within 15 days and ‘other’ category in 30 days.

Addressing the media, industries minister Niranjan Pujari said, “We have created a long-term roadmap for industrial development which is captured in our Vision 2025 document. To broad base and diversify the industrial development in the state, we have identified six focus sectors that include agro and food processing; ancillary and downstream in the metal sector; chemicals, plastics and petrochemicals; electronics manufacturing and IT; textiles apparel and tourism.”

Pujari said, during 2016-17, Odisha has registered GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) growth rate of 7.94% surpassing the national growth rate of 7.1% and the state is on track to reach a double-digit growth of 12% by 2019-20.

India likely to be among first few countries where Panasonic will launch ‘invisible TV’
Source: Livemint; May 30, 2017

India is likely to be among the first few countries where Japanese appliances manufacturer Panasonic India will launch an “invisible” TV. The company has already developed a prototype which was showcased at an event in India on Monday. But consumers will have to wait.

The Japanese TV maker won’t be able to launch the product, which they call the world’s first invisible TV—a glass pane that turns into a television, for the next two years at the very least.

“It’s too premature to say anything about the product as of now. But India definitely will be one of the first few countries where we will launch the product. We are still two-three years away from mass production,” said Manish Sharma, president and chief executive officer at Panasonic, India and South Asia.

Sharma added that the cost of the new product cannot be ascertained as of now. However, it will definitely be placed in the premium range of products. Sharma was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Panasonic’s 2017 line-up of 4K ultra high-definition television sets.

company launched four new products (ranging from 43-inch to 65-inch models) in a bid to double to its market share to 10% by the end of 2017-18. Currently, the company holds about 7.5% share in the overall television market in India. Priced between Rs79,900 and Rs3,10,000, the new range is expected to enhance the picture and sound quality, accurate to the “filmmaker’s original vision.”

India to hold India Mobile Congress from Sept 27-29, to attract investments in telecom and manufacturing
Source: Economic Times; May 30, 2017

India is set to have its first global event to attract investments from global players in the telecom and mobile phone manufacturing sectors, with Indian Mobile Congress (IMC), a three-day event in September on the lines of the yearly global mega event World Mobile Congress held in Barcelona.

The India chapter will be an annual event starting September this year, which will have 5,000 paid participants and 800 exhibitors, aimed at facilitating government’s flagship programmes like Digital India, Make in India and Skill India, among others.

“The IMC will be held on September in this year for the first time. Then on it will be an annual event. The need was felt for long to arrange such a big event of global scale to showcase how telecom and technology industry are growing in India,” telecom minister Manoj Sinha told reporters on Tuesday.

“Telecom sector has been historic and a success story that should be shared… the tech industry should be exhibited and world’s views on flagship programs of the country should be taken. We hope to get investment and employment,” the minister added.

The event, which will be held from September 27 -29 entailing exhibitions and conclaves with a budget of around Rs 15 crore, will be organised by telecom industry body Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) with support from the department of telecommunications and ministries of electronics and information technology, and skill development.

Germany extends €1 billion assistance to India; Merkel warns of 'protectionist tendencies'
Source: The Economic Times; May 30, 2017

With US President Donald Trump casting a shadow over transatlantic partnership and China adopting aggressive postures, Germany on Tuesday pitched for an early bilateral as well as pan-EU free trade agreement (FTA) with India for mutual benefit. Germany also extended development assistance of €1 billion to India.

PM Narendra Modi, who was in Berlin for the fourth round of Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC), emphasised that Indo-German ties should be outcome-oriented, adding that “India and Germany are made for each other”. PM Modi also appealed that forces of humanity should come together to combat the menace of terrorism as India and Germany vowed to take “strong measures” against those who encourage, support and finance it.

Warning of growing “protectionist tendencies” worldwide, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that her country would push for an FTA between India and the EU in Brussels. “It’s important that we make progress on the German-Indian, or rather EU-Indian free trade agreement,” she said at a Berlin business forum where she shared a platform with Modi after wide-ranging consultations on IGC.

“We will do a major push in Brussels to ensure that these negotiations progress again.” Her remarks come in the wake of Trump’s repeated criticism of Germany’s trade surplus with his country, tweeting that the “MASSIVE” US trade deficit with Europe’s largest economy “will change”.

Combination of push & pull factors can help India become global hub: PP Chaudhary
Source: Times of India; May 31, 2017

A combination of push and pull factors like minimum professional charges, low manufacturing costs together with huge population and vast geographical area can work in favour of India and help it become global hub for electrical and electronics manufacturing sector, Union Minister for

Electronics and Information Technology P P Chaudhary said at an ASSOCHAM event in New Delhi.

"Two push and pull factors are working in favour of India and the complete ecosystem has been generated, the pull factor is looking at the 1.25 billion population and the vast area as such every company intends to invest in this country," said Chaudhary inaugurating an ASSOCHAM conference on electricals and electronics manufacturing.

"The push factor is that all across the globe, while per hour professional and engineering charges come to more than $3.5, in India it is less than even $1," added Mr Chaudhary.

"So this is a place where these two factors, pull and push can work in favour of India and above all, the overall cost for creating the manufacturing hub here is much less than in other parts of the world," he said.

Stressing on the need for India to promote research and development to stay ahead and keep abreast of technology in this digital age, he said, "There is a need for developing a commercially viable research ecosystem funded by the government, industry and academia to promote the next wave of electronic technology in the country and innovations in our journey to becoming a developed nation."

India is too big a market for Apple to ignore: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
Source: Economic Times; May 31, 2017

India is a huge market for Apple, one which the technology giant will not be able to ignore, said Union minister for electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad . In an interview to ET’s Surabhi Agarwal, Prasad said that the government will soon prepare a structured response to the company. Prasad also spoke about how the government is planning to call a meeting of the IT bigwigs along with veterans such as NR Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani to brainstorm on the future roadmap. He emphasised that the chatter about lay-offs in the Indian IT sector is overblown. Excerpts:

What is your response to the news of thousands of layoffs in the IT sector?

This campaign is a myth and is, in a certain measure, a deliberate misinformation campaign.

Nasscom clearly saying that 6 lakh jobs have been added in the last six years, it is the authentic representative body of the IT industry. But I am very happy that N Chandrasekaran, the former head of TCS and now the head of Tata Sons has written an article in ET saying that in 2015-17, TCS has hired 2.3 lakh employees and in 2017-18 has already made 20,000 job offerings to engineering graduates. The same has been the feedback from other companies we have been in touch with.

Indian digital ecosystem is kicking because of the sheer accelerated mode of the Digital India programme, digital delivery of services, digital education, digital health, plus a renewed stress on digitisation of the government and the corporate sector. Because there are new streams emerging, I always say it will create more jobs.

Import duties: Government sets up panel to identify items under IT Agreement
Source: Financial Express; June 1, 2017

The government has set up an inter-ministerial panel to examine whether imports of products such as smartphones can be taxed without violating the country’s commitments under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) 1997 of the World Trade Organization (WTO), official sources told FE. The panel would identify all the items that are within the scope of the ITA, and the ones outside it on which import duties can be imposed without spurring resistance at the WTO.

The move comes as India intends to tax purchases of products like smartphones from overseas to not only promote local value addition but also cut a massive merchandise trade deficit, partly caused by expanding electronics imports. The panel includes senior officials with the ministries of electronics and IT, finance (revenue department) and commerce.

One of the sources said MeiTY has already suggested imposing a 15% basic customs duty on smartphones and some other components. This is aimed at helping domestic manufacturers, as the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) regime from July will subsume the current countervailing duty (CVD) of 12.5% on certain mobile components such as batteries, wired headsets and speakers. The CVD is currently imposed on imports in lieu of domestic excise duties to offset disadvantage domestic duties impose on local producers who have to compete with imported goods. Entities manufacturing these components inside the country have to pay an excise duty of 1%, which helps them save costs as against paying a CVD of 12.5%.

Compiled by IESA Research

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