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Electronics Industry
1.    Overview

The electronics consumption is still in very limited among the Indian population but it is gaining momentum with rising incomes of Indian household. With a present size of USD 11.6 billion, the electronics industry is just 0.7% of the GDP. But India’s consumption of electronics system sis expected to reach USD 150 billion by 2010 which indicates the huge potential for electronics business in India.

The electronic industry can be further sub divided into a few major sub sectors.

1.1    Consumer Electronics

This is the largest segment of electronics hardware production, commanding 32% share. The urban consumer durables market is growing at a rate of 10% while the rural consumer durable market is growing at 25% rate. The high growth products within this segment include mobile phone, LCD TV, music system, set-top box. Rapid increases in mobile connectivity and rapid penetration of DTH have resulted in huge demand for mobile phone as well as set-top box.

1.2    Computer Electronics

Due to both high commercial demand (particularly from IT, BPO, bank, education areas) and retail demand, computer electronics has seen a rapid growth in the last few years. This has resulted in not only capacity expansion by existing players like Dell, but also newer investments in PC, laptop and server manufacturing is expected to come.

1.3    Control/ Instrumentation and Industrial Electronics

The usage of electronics product in industrial applications like UPS, PLC/ data acquisition system, controlling units is gaining momentum due to increasing automation required in industrial operation. Though the high-end test and measuring equipment are still imported, a good number of Indian companies have started developing and manufacturing low and medium class control and instrumentation equipment.

1.4    Electronics Components

Though India has made rapid progress in the manufacture of electronics systems, the component industry is still at a very nascent stage with production of picture tube, CD-R, DVD-R, connector, passive components like registers, capacitors. Recently low and medium end PCB and LCD manufacturing have gained momentum. But the manufacturing of active components like integrated circuit has not started in India still now.

1.5    Electronics Design

Electronics design is the most mature and globally competitive industry in India. The semiconductor design industry is expected to employ 0.29 million people by 2010 and 0.78 million people by 2015, growing at a CAGR of 27%. Embedded software makes the major portion of semiconductor design market in terms of both revenue (81%) and manpower (82%). VLSI design accounts for 13% of design revenue and board design accounts for 11% of design revenue. Easy availability of experienced engineers as well as talented fresh engineers, growing expertise and capabilities of end to end design, success stories of world class Indian R&D houses of semiconductor MNCs, cost competitiveness compared to Western Europe and North America, strong IP protection law have contributed to the growth of electronics design industry. Also the fast growing economy and huge domestic market have created the right atmosphere for design cum manufacturing services.

2.    Policy

The government policy towards the electronics industry is also very favourable. There is virtually no need of industrial licensing except for manufacturing of electronic aerospace and defence equipment. The industry can be established anywhere in the country subject to clearance from local authorities responsible for control of environmental pollution and local zoning and land use regulation.

100% FDI is allowed in electronics design and manufacturing industry through the automatic route. Also all electronics products are freely importable with the exception of some defence related items and also freely exportable with the exception of a few items like high power microwave tube, high end super computer, data processing security equipment.

Also special tax and other incentive schemes like EOU (Export Oriented Units), EHTP (Electronics Hardware Technology Park) are contributing to the development of the electronics industry.

3.    Solar Industry

One of the key interesting sectors within electronics industry is the solar industry. Huge power shortage and concern for environmental pollution have resulted in a rapid growth of solar industry. The solar industry is subdivided into: grid based production and off grid production. In case of grid based production, the power generated can be transmitted to distant locations for consumption via grid. In case of off grid production, the power generated needs to be consumed at the production site.

The major application areas for off grid production are lighting at home, solar irrigation pump, power back-up in cellular tower, captive power generation, highway lighting etc. The adoption of solar home lighting system will significantly reduce the government subsidy budget on kerosene (commonly used fuel in home lighting in rural areas) which is estimated between Rs 10,000 and Rs. 20,000 crores. The electricity consumption by irrigation pumps accounts for 10% to 15% of India’s total electricity consumption and adoption of solar irrigation pump will reduce the government subsidy which is Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 crores. India has more than 200,000 cellular towers, which use diesel generators for power back-up. Solar power back-up will reduce dependency on diesel power system and also  reduce the environmental pollution.

Though India has solar cell manufacturers as well as module makers, there is no solar wafer manufacturer in India till now. To encourage the solar industry, the government has decided to provide incentives like capital investment subsidy of 20% to 25% through grants / interest subsidy / equity participation.

1.    Major Players

The companies can broadly be classified into two segments namely the companies dealing with electronics manufacturing and companies dealing with electronics design.

1.1    Companies in Electronics Manufacturing

In India, electronic manufacturing is concentrated on system assembly and testing, manufacturing of passive components (like registrar, capacitor), display units (like CRT, LCD). Manufacturing of integrated circuit still does not happen in India. Both Indian companies and MNCs have set up manufacturing units in India. Jabil Circuit, Flextronics, Elcoteq are the major MNCs providing electronics manufacturing service (EMS service) in India. There are also MNCs having specialized manufacturing operations in India like Moser Baer for optical storage devices as well as solar cells and Tyco Electronics for high grade connectors such as fibre optic interconnection systems and smart card connectors. A Strong domestic market for electronic items like mobile phones, personal computers, telecom infrastructure equipment has fuelled the growth of electronics manufacturing industry.

1.2    Companies in Electronics Design

The availability of world class talent has attracted top electronic companies to set up their R&D centres in India. Nearly all major electronic companies have design centres in India including Intel, Motorola, Texas Instruments, Nokia and Samsung. Also domestic companies like Wipro, Sasken, HCL have a strong business in the electronics design arena.

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