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Government seeks industry input to enhance design decisions

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In Short:

The government is seeking inputs from companies, including Apple, to design more electronics in India. The aim is to increase domestic value addition in the supply chain and encourage global lead firms to choose India as a hub for innovation and manufacturing. This move could make India a global product developer and manufacturer, replacing China. The challenge lies in managing diversification amidst ongoing geopolitics.

Government Seeks Inputs to Encourage Electronics Manufacturing in India

The government has initiated discussions with companies and industry groups to gather feedback for developing policies that would promote electronics manufacturing in India, including companies like Apple. According to sources familiar with the matter, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has already engaged in meetings with industry bodies such as the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), which includes Apple among its members.

Feasibility Study and Future Goals

In addition to these meetings, the IT ministry has reached out to some of the Indian Institutes of Technology to conduct a feasibility study. The primary objective is to identify the components of the electronics supply chain that can be designed and manufactured in India, with the aim of increasing domestic value addition.

Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of ICEA, emphasized the importance of capturing a significant share of the global market for entry to mid-level products through this initiative.

Furthermore, the government intends to focus on securing the intellectual property rights of these designs within India, particularly in the semiconductor and chip sector.

Encouraging Design Ecosystem

Government officials expressed their commitment to encouraging companies to enter the smartphone, notebooks, and component design ecosystem, with a vision to position India as a hub for innovation, design, and manufacturing. They stressed the importance of tailored policy frameworks to attract global lead firms to invest in India.

Ajai Chowdhry, HCL cofounder and member of the IT ministry task force on electronics manufacturing, highlighted the opportunity for India to become a global product developer and manufacturer, potentially replacing China as a reliable source.

Industry Perspective

Neil Shah, Vice President at Counterpoint Research, emphasized the need for significant investments in various segments, including designing semiconductors, hardware, software, applications, and cloud services. He noted the potential for India to become a major manufacturing hub in these areas.

Shah also highlighted the strategic importance of localizing design and partner ecosystems in India to cater to the unique market needs, but acknowledged the potential challenges related to geopolitics and shifting business operations.

Future Outlook

While companies may face challenges in diversifying their operations, experts believe that focusing on local designs could be a key differentiator for international tech companies looking to capitalize on India’s growth opportunities.

This strategic approach could set a strong foundation for participation in India’s technology sector growth in the coming years, supported by local investments and partnerships.

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