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  IESA WINWire May 6, 2017 - May 12, 2017 for Subscription click here  
12th Anniversary

India has more startup incubators than Israel
Source: The Times of India; May 6, 2017

The government's initiative to establish 30 incubators in educational institutions last year under the Startup India programme has enabled India to surpass Israel as the country with the third highest number of startup incubators and accelerators.

India now has 140 such institutions, ahead of Israel's 130, says a report by IT industry body Nasscom and consulting firm Zinnov. India added 40 new incubatorsaccelerators in 2016.China and the US have the highest numbers.

Incubators and accelerators perform the critical function of giving founders clear direction and advice on what is working and what is not. Some accelerators also help startups to find customers and funding. The US has more than 1,500 incubators-accelerators.

"Our aim was not to create billion-dollar valuations, but build remarkable companies that solve problems," Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice-president at Nasscom, told TOI.Nasscom too incubates startups through its Startup Warehouses in different cities. "The Indian startup ecosystem is at a growing stage, where accelerators and incubators are also maturing along with the ecosystem," Gupta said.

The report said that more than 50% of the institutions were outside the metro cities, thus helping startups to be created and nurtured across the country. The report contrasted this with the UK, where 60% of the institutions were in London. "Some 66% of the incubators established in 2016 were in tier 2 and 3 towns," Gupta said.

Around 50% of the incubators are in academic institutions, like IIT-Madras' Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) or IIM-Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).

MeitY announces PMP to promote indigenous mfg of cellular mobile handsets
Source: Gizbot; May 8, 2017

With an objective of promoting depth in the domestic manufacturing of cellular mobile handsets, the ministry of Electronics and IT has recently announced a Phased Manufacturing Programme.

MeitY announces PMP to promote indigenous manufacturing.

According to an official statement, the Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) has been notified with the objective of substantially increasing the domestic value addition for the establishment of a robust Cellular mobile handsets manufacturing eco-system in India.

That is, to promote differential excise duty dispensation in the Budget 2015-16 like Countervailing Duty (CVD) on imports of mobile handsets at 12.5 percent and Excise Duty at 1 percent without input tax credit gave an impetus to the assembly, programming, testing and packaging (APTP) model of manufacturing Cellular mobile handsets.

With the implementation of PMP, the value addition or share of indigenously procured components in the manufacturing of feature phones will go up from about 15 to 37 percent and the same for smartphones will move up from about 10 to 26 percent.

"It is our roadmap to ensure an increase in the domestic value addition in a manufacturing of mobile handsets. It will give a huge impetus to local mobile manufacturing and will help us meet a significant portion of the global handset requirement over a period of time," Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, MeitY said.

PMO, Jaitley push clears path for big private role in defence production
Source: Indian Defense News; May 8, 2017

The defence ministry seems to have unlocked the strategic partnership (SP) logjam with a firm push from the Prime Minister’s Office and sustained focus by defence minister Arun Jaitley, setting up the private sector to play a major role in the production of weapons systems for the armed forces.A tussle within the bureaucracy over what rules the SP model would follow had resulted in a stalemate within the ministry since February 2016, frustrating leading private sector companies that were expecting to get mega production orders for aircraft, submarines and land systems, a traditional stronghold of the public sector.

Sources have told ET that a series of meetings, particularly one held in the PMO last week, have given the last-mile push to the initiative.

Top private sector representatives from three industrial bodies have now been invited by the defence ministry for a meeting on Thursday, where the government is expected to unveil progress made. It is expected that four projects will be taken up in the first phase of the strategic partnership project — new submarines, a naval utility helicopter, a single-engine fighter aircraft for the air force and armoured vehicles for the army. The armed forces, the navy in particular, are keen to move fast on the concept to meet urgent requirements and address the equipment deficit.

“There is no doubt that involving the private sector in this way is the best way forward.

After lukewarm results, Startup India policy set to be revamped
Source: Money Control; May 8, 2017

With the Startup India policy showing lukewarm results more than a year after it was launched, the government is all set to make changes to the initiative to attract more new businesses.

To encourage innovation, the Centre will tweak the policy within a fortnight, according to a report in Business Standard. Amendments will include change in the definition of the policy, making it more liberal for the biotechnology sector. Startups in this space could enjoy advantages of the policy till up to eight years from incorporation, up from five years.

As per the Startup India report released in April, only ten startups received approval by the Inter-Ministerial Board (IMB) for availing tax benefit even as 208 applications were considered since the launch of the scheme in January last year.

Now, those who faced rejection can apply again. "The only mandate for acceptance or rejection of proposals is that the idea has to be innovative. The entity may have applied at a premature stage. It may have grown or advanced over time,” a Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) official was quoted as saying.

DIPP will encourage entrepreneurs to self-certify their companies and also relax public procurement norms. The department is also mulling some concessions on patent filing and to help startups in funding and investment and also make it easier for companies to exit businesses.

New material may lead to faster, powerful electronics
Source: India Today; May 8, 2017

Scientists, including those of Indian origin, have discovered a new material with highest- ever conductivity in its class, which could lead to smaller, faster and more powerful electronic devices.

What makes this nano-scale thin film material so unique is that it has a high conductivity, which helps electronics conduct more electricity and become more powerful, said researchers led by the University of Minnesota in the US.

The material also has a wide bandgap, which means light can easily pass through the material making it optically transparent, they said.

In most cases, materials with wide bandgap, usually have either low conductivity or poor transparency.

"The high conductivity and wide bandgap make this an ideal material for making optically transparent conducting films which could be used in a wide variety of electronic devices," said Bharat Jalan, professor at University of Minnesota and the lead researcher on the study.

This includes "high power electronics, electronic displays, touchscreens and even solar cells in which light needs to pass through the device," Jalan said.

Currently, most of the transparent conductors in electronics use a chemical element called indium.

The price of indium has gone up tremendously in the past few years significantly adding to the cost of current display technology, researchers said.

As a result, there has been tremendous effort to find alternative materials that work as well, or even better, than indium-based transparent conductors.

At least one NIELIT center to be in each state: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Source: Brainbuxa; May 8, 2017

Union Minister for Electronics & Information technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, inaugurated National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) in New Delhi at Dwarka.

On the occasion of inaugural speech the minister urged all concerned departments to gather resources in order to make India a truly digital state. In order to implement the skill development programs more effectively he said "NIELIT should strive to ensure that it has presence through at least one own Centre in each state".

"NIELIT has endeavored to lead by example and is empowering youth through Skill Development and Capacity Building initiatives. In addition to Digital Literacy the demands for skilling in basic Cyber Security concepts has also increased manifold, and NIELIT is equitably poised to address this challenge", Mr. Prasad said in his keynote address.

"We are working towards transforming India into a digitally empowered nation, and imparting digital literacy to the last miles of rural India holds the key here. The Common Services Centres (CSCs) have so far done a great job in this direction; our target is to provide training on digital literacy to 6 crore citizens, which will be certified by NIELIT", said the minister.

Till now NIELIT has launched 70 different apps for Android Smart Phones on various topics like CCC (Course on computer concepts) in 11 different languages and 51 other skill oriented courses.

Panasonic to set up refrigerator factory in Haryana
Source:; May 9, 2017

Japanese electronics major Panasonic would soon set up its refrigerator factory in Haryana’s Jhajjar district, Japanese Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said here on Tuesday.

The Japanese envoy, who met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and other senior functionaries, said that investment from Japanese companies in Haryana had considerably increased during the last two and a half years.

“Statistics revealed that maximum number of companies which came to India in 2016 had set up units in Haryana which is a testimony of the increased faith of Japan in Haryana,” he said.

Japan also sought Haryana’s cooperation in setting up Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing in the state for imparting skill training to the youth in the manufacturing sector.

Thanking the Haryana government for providing a safe and secure atmosphere to the Japanese people residing in Haryana, the state requested Khattar to allow the setting up of a Japanese Language Cell, and also to start one or two schools, preferably in Gurugram, for Japanese students.

“At present, units of about 341 Japanese companies are operational in the state and about 2,500 Japanese nationals are residing here,” Hiramatsu pointed out.

While assuring all support and cooperation to Japanese companies in the state, Khattar said they should contribute maximum to development through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“The state government is in the process of establishing an authority through which all CSR activities would be undertaken,” he added.

LG Grows $2 Billion Brand in India After 20 Years
Source: XDA Developers (blog); May 9, 2017

LG Electronics is celebrating its 20th year in India. In the past two decades, the Korean company grew its sales about 60 times and reached $2 billion as of last year.

One of the world’s foremost technology giants is a well-known manufacturer of numerous electronic devices. Their portfolio consists of smartphones, TVs, computer parts, and home appliance. To achieve a success in the Indian market, LG had to understand the needs of Indian customers, including the climate and urban problems. For example, air conditioners or TVs sold in India emit ultrasonic waves to repel mosquitoes.

A good financial result is no surprise, as LG sold about 50 million TV sets in the last two decades. It’s worth mentioning that the company successfully sold 30 million refrigerators and 16 million washers.

The scale of the growth is illustrated in the number of the employees. When LG entered India in 1997, it had just 400 employees. Now the company has 3,400 employees, of which 99% are local. LG was selected as the most attractive brand in a poll by Trust Research Advisory last year and the most trusted brand in 2015.

Unfortunately, there’s not much to say about LG’s smartphone business in India. Compared to LG’s record breaking sales figures in the U.S. (at least, for them), the company has struggled to compete with the likes of Samsung or budget handset manufacturers in the region. Still, with a very competitive general electronics brand in India, it’s not as if the company is struggling to gain a foothold overall.

Whirlpool will never be in the pricing game: Sunil D'Souza
Source: Livemint; May 10, 2017

Consumer durables maker Whirlpool Corp. entered India in the late 1980s, long before South Korean companies Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd and LG Electronics India set foot in the market in 1995. Whirlpool formed joint ventures, acquired local companies and made itself a household name. But it could not keep pace with the competitive pricing game played by the Koreans. Its market share fell and revenue did not grow, but surprisingly, the company managed to keep its profits growing.

Sunil D’Souza, managing director of Whirlpool of India, said the firm will never play the pricing game, and does not want to get into unrelated product categories like its peers. It will, however, expand into a few related categories, including the premium segment as part of its plans to cross the $1 billion mark by 2020. Edited excerpts:

Whirlpool is known for maintaining profitability and not for chasing revenue. How come you have set a revenue target with a deadline? Is there pressure from the global headquarters?

Whirlpool Corp. is looking for growth. There is no better way to find growth than in Asia. India is a priority. The target is to cross $1 billion mark by 2020, but earlier is better. At present, Whirlpool of India contributes about 3-4% to Whirlpool Corp.’s global revenue.

State govt to prepare logistics policy soon
Source: The Times of India; May 10, 2017

The Telangana government too is gung ho about the multi-billion dollar industry and is mulling a dedicated logistics policy. "Logistics has been identified as one of the priority sectors. In the first few years, we focused on IT, electronics manufacturing, biotechnology, defence and aerospace. Now that these sectors are doing well, we are focusing on the next set of sectors, which includes textiles, food processing, automotive as well as logistics. We will be preparing a policy for the sector. As of now, the regular incentives that we provide under the industrial policy are available for the sector but we would like to customize certain benefits for logistics players...," Telangana industries department principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan said.

Ranjan added that after the government announced the setting up of dry ports in the state, it has been approached by leading international as well as domestic players that are keen on investing. On May 5 this year, the state government also inked an MoU with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to set up a logistics park in the state.

While the sector offers huge potential, Jasmine Singh of CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd said that in the near-term, Hyderabad's logistics market will not reach the scale of the sector in Mumbai or Delhi-NCR region.

"Hyderabad is not a distribution centre or a regional node, it is driven by local consumption. Mumbai, with one of the busiest ports in the country, has a lot of import containers coming in and export containers going out.

Foreign companies need to be incentivised to set up defence manufacturing bases in India: Arun Jaitley
Source: The Economic Times; May 10, 2017

Finance and defence minister Arun Jaitley said foreign companies need to be incentivised to set up defence manufacturing bases in India, adding that policies have to be in sync with reality. Companies, he added, will establish manufacturing units only if there is a likelihood that they will get business.

The government has liberalised rules as far as investment is concerned and Indian companies, both in the public sector and the private sector, have already started entering arrangements with international firms to establish manufacturing facilities in India, even "outside FDI limits".

"In the context of defence, government is the only buyer and, therefore, people will establish units only if there is a likelihood of them getting business and, therefore, our policies have to be tuned to this reality," he said in an interview. "Our policies have to be tuned so that we are able to incentivise people (so) that it is worthwhile to set up manufacturing bases in India... Some discussions are on," he added, without disclosing details.

His statement assumes significance as defence ministry is set to decide on strategic partners in the private sector for equipment soon.

Jaitley, who met the Japanese defence minister on Monday, said Tokyo is looking at business-to-business ties and is keen to make in India. "They would like to be considered both for the purposes of India buying and any possibility of India domestically manufacturing with their technologies," he said.

MSMEs play key role in making India a manufacturing hub: Devendra Fadnavis
Source:; May 10, 2017

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are playing a major role in making India a manufacturing and technology hub.

"As we are moving fast towards industrial revolution, the MSMEs are playing major role in making our nation a manufacturing and technology hub," Fadnavis said after laying the foundation stone of the new building of an MSME technology centre at the Institute of Design of Electrical Measuring Instrument here.

The centre is being set up for skill-training in mechanical, electrical and electronics areas. At the institute, 10,000 students will be trained every year with 100 per cent placements, the CM said.

Fadnavis said that the centre is a bridge between the Union government's 'Make in India' initiative and the Skill India mission, and it will play a major role in the country's progress. "While moving ahead we must stress more on quality improvement which will in turn lead India to grow as a power centre of advanced technologies," he said.

Union Minister for MSMEs Kalraj Mishra, Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai and Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai North Central, Poonam Mahajan, were present on the occasion

US decision to keep India in its watchlist on IPRs is unilateral; move not recognised by India: Nirmala Sitharaman
Source: Financial Express; May 10, 2017

Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman says the US decision to keep India in its priority watchlist on intellectual property rights (IPRs) is a unilateral move that India doesn’t recognise. She says the country will continue to engage with China on containing the huge trade deficit with the giant neighbour. In an interview to FE’s Banikinkar Pattanayak and Shobhana Subramanian, the minister said the very existence of the H-1B visa system in the US suggests there is a genuine shortage of skilled professionals in certain sectors there and that US companies have gained the most from this system. Edited excerpts:

Apple has set a pilot project near Bengaluru but its larger India plans depend on incentives to be granted by the centre. Have you reached a decision on the company’s request for various concessions?

There is no new request and the finance ministry has already voiced its opinion on the earlier request. Earlier, we (relevant ministries such as commerce and industry, finance, electronics and telecommunications and environment) had a joint meeting where inputs were shared. After that, Apple executives had met the finance secretary as well. So there is nothing new to say now. (MeitY has endorsed the revenue department stance that Apple’s demand for an import duty exemption for certain components for making i-Phones in India can’t be met.)

EESL to invest 100 mn pound in UK
Source: India Today; May 9, 2017

Power Minister Piyush Goyal will this week formally announce 100 million pounds investment to be made by state-run Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL) in the UK.

"On May 13, 2017, Piyush Goyal will launch and extend the EESLs affordable lighting scheme. UJALA (UK Joins Affordable LEDs for All) to consumers in UK. The Minister will also formally announce the EESL’s investment of 100 million pounds in the UK over the next 3 years," Power Ministry statement said.

He will be visiting Austria and the United Kingdom from May 10-13 for an Energy Dialogue with both the countries.

The EESL investment is being made to create space in the 6.4­billion pounds energy efficiency services market and to implement low-carbon, energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions in both public and private sectors.

The company has already begun its operation in the UK by acquisition, worth 6.8 million pound, of two operating companies running energy savings performance agreements in education and leisure sectors.

The acquisition is effected by EPAL, a JV of EESL and EnergyPro Limited, an advisory company specialising in Energy Efficiency.

Goyal will unveil EPAL’s branding during the event. The EESL will also formalise its collaboration with Cenergist to strengthen its LED pipeline.

EESL will sign three MoUs with High Commission of India at London, Cenergist and Calvin Capital respectively.

Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding with British Electrotechnical & Allied Manufacturers’ Association (BEAMA).

Govt to revamp manufacturing policy as automation threat looms over Indian Jobs
Source: Money Control; May 10, 2017

At a time when the Indian job market is going through changes and automation is gaining popularity, workers are finding it difficult to hold on to their jobs.

To address this issue the manufacturing policy of India will be revamped, reports The Financial Express.

As India is entering the phase of smart factory or Industry 4.0, high-end jobs are going to be displaced. To ease some pressure, Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured people that the new policy will take measures to provide employment to those who have lost jobs during these changing times.

Indian manufacturing sector registered growth for the fourth straight month in April this year and Sitharaman is hopeful that the sector will account for fourth of the gross domestic product (GDP) from the current level of 16-17 percent.

To strengthen this space the new manufacturing policy will trim some existing schemes, recast some and add some, said Sitharaman. Also, it will be launched in September to coincide with the third anniversary of Make in India.

A report in Business Standard had highlighted the increasing trend of recruiting robots in place of humans and companies opting for options to reduce labour dependency.

An auto component manufacturing company PPAP had sourced 20 robots when it had started its operations which took away jobs of 60 people. Adding to workers woes, the company made an addition of 50 more robots that did away with the need to hire 150 additional employees.

US companies continue to bet big on India: USIBC
Source: Hindustan Times; May 10, 2017

American companies continue to bet big on India, a top US corporate leader has said, noting that the world’s two largest democratic countries have incredible opportunities to come closer through digitisation.

“At a time of global uncertainty, the only constant element that businesses and markets across the world will continue to face is technological disruption,” USIBC chairman and CISCO executive chairman John Chambers said yesterday.

The US and India have incredible opportunities to come closer through digitisation; creating jobs, driving citizen engagement and transforming the lives of 1.3 billion people in India and over 300 million in the US, he said.

“We have strong partners in the government of India. Leaders like Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, (Andhra Pradesh) Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, and (IT) Secretary (Aruna) Sundararajan understand the urgency to bring about digital transformation of India. That is why Cisco and so many other American companies continue to bet big on India,” Chambers said in his address to the West Coast Summit of the USIBC.

The summit in Silicon Valley was attended by approximately 200 senior-level business leaders and investors including those from Amazon, PayPal, Deloitte, Facebook, iCreate, Nuveen, Mastercard, Mobility Infrastructure Group, Varian Medical and Visa Inc.

Naidu was awarded the ‘Transformative Chief Minister Award’, in recognition of his achievement in championing US- India ties in the areas of trade, politics and culture.

Policy directive on solar module quality by this month: Goyal
Source:; May 11, 2017

The government will come out with policy directive on quality of modules by the end of this month and will eventually cover the entire solar value chain, including wafers and poly silicon, over the next two years, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said here.

Goyal, who is leading a high-level business delegation on a two-day visit to Vienna, was addressing India-Austria Business Forum, organised by industry body FICCI in collaboration with the Embassy of India in Vienna and Austrian Economic Chambers.

"India needs to put entire solar value chain under quality direction. The government will have a policy directive in place on quality of modules by end of May, followed by solar cells in next 6-7 months and on wafers and poly silicon in the next two years," Goyal, the Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister said.

Given that Austria is well known for innovations, Goyal said that this experience of discovery can be put to good use in India through scale and cost competitiveness.

He also spoke of the trinity of financial inclusion, unique identification and digital penetration that can translate into businesses being able to function smoothly and scale up efficiently.

He said both the nations can leverage each other's strengths to benefit both economies and India can offer better pricing for Austrian products and provide low-cost manufacturing base.

Goyal underlined that affordability is a paramount imperative to be able to change India's energy mix.

Compiled by IESA Research

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