A technology enabled paradigm shift is now happening in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The state is moving towards the next industrial revolution – Industry 4.0. In a recent visit to Andhra Pradesh, Sudeshna Das, senior executive editor, EFY Group, experienced firsthand some of the initiatives already underway as she interacted with select stakeholders.
Here is a sneak peek of the same.
“Industry 4.0 or IoT can bring a real revolution, empowering millions for effective and real-time governance intended to bring about revolutionary changes. It will make the administration function with more responsibility and efficacy.”
Shri N. Chandra Babu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh has embarked on a journey of ‘intelligent’ revolution. Leveraging the power of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled actions and digital disruption, the state is empowering people, enhancing the quality of life, increasing productivity and efficiency of government initiatives and enabling the next revolution in business – Industry 4.0.
From an administration perspective, the state focuses on collating the insights needed to engage with people in new and more meaningful ways, empowering them with key offerings of the government, optimizing operations, and finally opening up opportunities for businesses to transform products and go after new disruptive market opportunities.
The state leverages digital technologies to create an ecosystem of intelligence. It helps the state draw better insight out of data and to convert that into intelligent action. This in turn, facilitates real-time governance. Andhra Pradesh is among the most proactive states which are moving towards e-Governance. A significant initiative for the same is the CM Office Real Time Executive (CORE) dashboard, on which the progress of government schemes is reflected on a regular basis. The progress is updated either in real time or on a monthly basis, depending on the urgency of the project. The dashboard provides, for instance, details of the power position of the state, or the water levels in canals, with data collected using sensors. Starting with six to seven schemes, now it provides the details ofmorethan 100 schemes.
The state has framed a comprehensive blueprint called, ‘Re-imagining Andhra Pradesh: The role of E-Governance, Electronics and IT’ to facilitate development of electronics and ICT industries and released a first-of-its-kind IoT policy with an objective to turn the state into an IoT hub by 2020. The state is also in the process of creating the necessary infrastructure required to achieve this objective. AP Fibre Net, a broadband network which willbe the backbone of this connected revolution, has already set off in the state. With the help of AP Fibre Net, the state is committed to provide gigabit connectivity to all villages and deliver affordable broadband to everyone by 2018.
“Our aim is to attract at least 100 IoT companies/ entities to set up their operations and development centres in AP. We want to create a world class eco-system through the proposed hubs for the growth of IoT entities.”
Shri Palle Raghunatha Reddy, Minister for Information Technology, GoAP
Besides framing favourable policies and creating the necessary infrastructure, the state is also at the forefront of implementation. The state wide applications of IoT backed by electronics and IT infrastructure, delivers benefits in the areas of health, transport, agriculture, irrigation, lighting, environment, water management and logistics. Over the past few years, the state implemented and strengthened many robust and innovative initiatives such as integrated citizen services, agriculture, natural resource management, social sector, health,revenue, energy, industry, urban development, amongst many others. The core dashboard provides an integrated interface to monitor category-wise key performance indicators of various departments/schemes on real-time basis. With e-Pragati, Andhra Pradesh will become the first state in India to conceive and execute state-wide enterprise architecture, and bring all Government services under one roof. All these initiatives will contribute towards the growth of electronics and IT industry in the state paving the way to Industry 4.0.
“To ensure ease of doing business, we focus on maintaining a transparent system with zero corruption. We leverage digital interfaces to do this and to establish a true connect between the common people and the government in real time.”
J.A. Chaudhury,special advisor to the chief minister, Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP)
What is the unique proposition of the state to attract industry?
I consider ours a startup state, rather different from most other states. A startup survives and grows based on its innovative and unique selling proposition (USP). We feel that significant levels of automation is about to happen in manufacturing through effective use of emerging technologies like IoT, cobotics (cooperative robotics -where robots are going to work
hand in hand with humans) etc. In this scenario, the present rudimentary information technology services will lose relevance very quickly. Therefore, we are going to focus on some unique areas to enable the next industrial revolution – Industry 4.0.
What are the areas of focus to enable Industry 4.0 ?
The priority of Industry 4.0 is new age systems that are going to hit the market. To enable it, we thought of focusing on the areas which are on the verge of making the leap. For example, things are heating up worldwide at the intersection of digital technology and financial services. Financial technology (Fintech) companies are creating and rolling out a wide range of solutions broadening the reach, flexibility, and level of innovation. Considering the significance of this sector, The State government has decided to develop Visakhapatnam into a FinTech Valley. Fintech Valley is a platform to bring pioneers and enablers of innovation including entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors together on a single platform. It aims to connect, educate, support and promote all its entrepreneurship-centric stakeholders working with innovative technologies such as cyber security, digital payments and blockchain technology.
Another important focus area in Industry 4.0 is augmented reality. The potential applications of augmented reality continue to grow, spreading from education and gaming into the world of manufacturing. We also focus on ventures that look to create content in the augmented reality format.
We can understand the need for highly skilled resources to materialise ventures in the aforementioned areas. Therefore, to address the skill gap in those areas we plan to set up India’s first premier institute of digital technologies, International Institute of Digital Technology (IIDT) at Tirupati.
How does the state facilitate electronics manufacturing ?
We intend to develop Electronics Industry as an important growth engine for Andhra Pradesh through effective use of the talent pool, skill enhancement, promotion of innovation & future technologies and creation of excellent infrastructure. Given the comprehensive and holistic nature of the National Policy on Electronics 2012, the Government of AP intends to fully leverage the same and build upon its strengths. For example, the GoAP proposes to promote the development of 20 Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) across the State. GoAP envisages developing an Information Technology and Investment Region (ITIR) in Visakhapatnam. In the ITIR, the Government will reserve two clusters / areas to be solely developed as Electronics Hubs. We have already set up a medical technology park at Visakhapatnam. Moreover, the state has very good transportation infrastructure which will support businesses by reducing logistics cost, which play a vital role in exports, imports and local supply chain management.
Besides creating infrastructure, we would like to boost electronics industry with right policy and incentive support. Our policies are dynamic in nature based on need and demand. We have introduced a single incentive policy combining all existing small incentives. In the new policy, businesses will get a subsidy of ₹ 100,000 for every new person employed.
We also have vision to facilitate futuristic manufacturing as per global trends. Across the world, the paradigm of mass manufacturing is being replaced by mass customisation with the help of technology such as the 3D printer. The design element is going to be much more important than the manufacturing element. We want to train people in the 3D printing design aspect. We have plans to establish a prototype creation hub at IIDT.
“We are going to set up electronics manufacturing clusters (EMC). Within these EMCs, we are trying to attract companies that have expertise in IoT. Today, we cannot separate IoT and electronics.”
P. Pradyumna, IAS, joint secretary to the chief minister, Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP)
What is the unique proposition of the state to attract industry?
We run a very responsible and responsive government under the leadership of our Honourable chief minister, Shri Chandrababu Naidu. The government has a clear vision for the next 20 to 25 years. The futuristic vision of the government is the unique selling proposition (USP) for the state. This is further reflected through our policies and incentive schemes. Moreover, the state has unique advantage with respect to location and vast talent pool.
How does the state facilitate growth of electronics sector?
It would be difficult for the traditional IT and electronics sector to continue its growth momentum. In order to sustain growth, we have identified new areas that will be more relevant in the near future, such as IoT and cyber security. Today, we cannot separate IoT and electronics.
So far we have received approval for four electronics manufacturing clusters (EMC). A private EMC at Anantpur was the first to be set up followed by 3 more. Two more EMCs will be set up shortly taking the number to six. Within these EMCs, we are trying to attract companies with deep expertise in IoT, cyber security, especially defence related cyber security.
We plan to promote emerging electronic products that are simple and easy-to-use. We are ready to deploy such products in government. These measures, we hope, willl in turn attract relevant manufacturers of those products to invest in AP.
How does the state envisage Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is about various discrete devices or instruments communicating with each other. We have invented a concept called smart governance by incorporating Industry 4.0 in all government processes. Industry 4.0 is all about connectivity. Realizing the same, we have started an ambitious fibre net project – Andhra Pradesh Fibre Net. Till date, we are the only state that has implemented a specific fibre net project. This project is going to create an infrastructure which will ensure availability of 15 Mbps Internet connectivity, telephone and television services to each house of the state. It will enable common people to realize the true benefit of Industry 4.0. For example; a farmer can use this infrastructure to get real-time agriculture information. We have implemented sensors in order to understand the soil fertility/moisture levels. The same kind of technology is applicable in water reservoirs for measuring rainfall, and even in the fields to capture real-time crop data.
What is the roadmap to enable Industry 4.0?
We believe infrastructure and talent will be the key to successful implementation of our vision. That is why we put stress on creating the proper infrastructure to enable Industry 4.0 and we have created fibre network to ensure connectivity at each corner of the state.
We are going to ensure availability of skilled resources required to make Industry 4.0 a reality. We will provide funding to incubation centres across the state at university level to nurture start-ups in this area. We also plan to join hands with industry for bridging the skill gap in emerging technologies. For example, recently Google has pr
ovided digital literacy training to around 0.2 million people in the state, while Airtel has trained women in mobile computing. We needto come out with similar innovative ideas.
Andhra Pradesh FibreNet: Creating the backbone of Industry 4.0
Andhra Pradesh FibreNet aims to establish a highly scalable network infrastructure, accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on-demand, affordable and end-to-end broadband connectivity of 10-20Mbps for ALL households, and 1-10Gbps for ALL institutions and multi-dwelling units by 2018. This will enable the state to realise its ‘Vision of Digital AP’, in partnership with the government of India and the private sector.
To realise the dream of Digital India, which includes Industry 4.0, one of the big challenges before the policy makers is broadband penetration into rural India. Unless this is addressed, ambitious projects like Digital India and e-governance, which are supposed to benefit the common man, may remain a distant dream. The government of India started the BharatNet project to address this issue. But in view of the huge costs/timelines involved in the BharatNet programme, the Andhra Pradesh (AP) state government has pioneered the aerial route for optical fibre on its own, to make the dream of Digital AP a reality.
AP FibreNet: The big picture
- Currently, this is the largest greenfield optical fibre network infrastructure being taken up by any state government agency
- Roll-out of interactive IPTV services on a big scale
- Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Ltd (APSFL) is the first telco in the state government sector
- 12,000+multi system operators (MSOs)/local cable operators (LCOs) enrolled so far on their own to be business partners with the fibre grid
- Has set up a high speed communication backbone, which is made easily accessible to the common man. Can deepen penetration of broadband in rural areas
- This infrastructure can be leveraged to drive a host of innovative digital services/applications to target groups
- Mobile backhaul and wired ISPs connectivity
- Enabling last mile ecosystem for premium services
- Smart meters
- PaaS/SaaS from state data centres
- Surveillance cloud
- Digital schools and e-learning
- Rural banking/financial services through IP/MPLS
- Enabling virtual network operators (VNOs)
- Multi-level differential QoS for triple play
Fibre grid: The information highway of Andhra Pradesh
- One of the five grids identified to accelerate growth in AP
- Has set up a high speed aerial optical fibre cable network (23,000km) infrastructure across the 13 districts in the state, leveraging the electrical utility assets
- Aims to provide at least 15Mbps broadband connections to households and at least 100Mbps to offices on-demand at highly affordable prices (basic package at ₹ 149 for triple play services)
- Enables provision of a host of other services such as IPTV, telephone, videos on-demand, content and cloud services, etc
- Last mile services will be delivered through local players – LCOs/MSOs through 2445 points-of-presence, controlled at the network operations centre
Policy booster for the ESDM sector
Andhra Pradesh’s biggest strength has been its pool of talented professionals with entrepreneurial skills. Since these abilities are just perfect to develop an electronics manufacturing ecosystem, the state came up with its own electronics policy titled the Andhra Pradesh Electronics Policy 2014-2020.
While there are certain benefits provided by the state government, a major chunk of the policy’s focus is on the proper implementation of the central government’s NPE. The government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) facilitates industry to leverage the benefits offered by the Central government under the National Policy of Electronics (NPE) 2012 including MSIPS, EMC, PMA. In addition to the incentives by the GoI as per NPE 2012, The GoAP also offer some customized incentives to facilitate the electronics and IT sector.
Leveraging the NPE 2012
- To attract investments of US$ 5 billion into the ESDM sector and enable relevant subsidy under modified special incentive package scheme ( MSIPS)
- To generate employment opportunities for 0.4 million people by 2020
- To support and promote the development of 20 electronics manufacturing clusters (EMCs)
- To support electronics manufacturing companies within the state in getting the benefits of the preferential market access (PMA) policy.
Add on from the state side
- To develop Visakhapatnam into an Information Technology and Investment Region (ITIR) and, eventually, turn it into a mega electronics hub for Andhra Pradesh
- To set up ‘Common Facilities Centres’ in all electronics hubs in order to ensure smooth operations on a daily basis
- To provide additional incentives to all categories of electronic hardware industry. For example, in case of Mega Projects, 30 per cent of investment will be provided as subsidy, in case of general projects, 25 per cent of investment will be provided as subsidy, in case of MSME/ BC/ SC/ ST/ Women/ Rural IT industries, 30 per cent of investment will be provided and in all the three cases investment is capped at ₹ 2.5 billion
- 25 per cent Power subsidy for mega projects for a period of five years; 20 per cent Power subsidy for all other categories of companies for a period of five years.
- New Electronic Hardware units, after coming into commercial operations will be entitled for 100 per cent exemption on Electricity duty for a period of 5 years.
- 100 per cent Tax reimbursement of VAT / CST, for the new units started after the date of issue of this Policy, for a period of 5 years from the date of commencement of production for products manufactured in AP and sold in AP.
- To offer the electronics industry in Andhra Pradesh an exemption from inspections/certifications under the acts administered by the Labour Department
- To set up “Electronics Bazaars” at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati. The Electronics Bazaars would act as G2B/ B2B/ B2G/B2C Platforms for Electronic Products in the State. The Bazaars will also provide space for new product launches.
- To enable ease of doing business, a single window system will be in place for speedy business approvals, resulting in ease of setting up electronics manufacturing units within the state
“AP intends to move to the next stage of IT & Electronics industries by leapfrogging the current conventional IT & Electronics Industries.”
Vijay Anand – Secretary, Dept of IT, Electronics & Communication, Govt. of AP
Our policy for the development of electronics industry is based on the four pillars, namely, Human Capital, Infrastructure, Incentives and above all, a system of good governance. We would like to develop AP as an innovation hub of global repute, with a focus on enhancing the Quality of Life of its citizens, through high-quality Education and Healthcare, increased productivity in agriculture and allied activities, creation of employment by promoting electronics and IT, and above all, by providing good governance.
The state intends to move to the next stage of IT & Electronics industries by leapfrogging the current conventional IT & Electronics Industries. We will focus on emerging technologies like Financial Technologies, Internet of Things etc. This will be achieved by the creation of focused strategy to attract companies in these domains. Basic idea behind the approach is to consolidate disruptive technologies into Visakhapatnam by creating effective eco systems which can address the industry needs like infrastructure, human capital etc.
We are going to set up a integrated electronics manufacturing complex in Anantapur to support the small and medium industries. We reach out to leading companies in Europ in a unique way so that AP can be positioned well to attract future investments.
What sets the AP policy apart?
- The locations for EMCs have been identified considering strategic advantage with respect to market access , transport, logistics facilities, etc.
- The presence of Common Facilities Centres
- Creating an eco-friendly manufacturing environment by encouraging the use of renewable energy to meet the power requirements of the industry
- Establishment of marketing hubs to promote electronics, thus creating a better business environment for the electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector
Special focus on skill development
- Skill enhancement by MSMEs: Assistance will be provided to MSMEs with a minimum of 20 employees on its rolls by way of reimbursement of 50 per cent of training fees, subject to a maximum ₹ 10,000 per employee, on obtaining recognized certifications in emerging technologies. The assistance under this category shall be limited to ₹ 0.1 Million per year per unit.
- Academia engagement: The Skill Development program to be implemented through the polytechnics and ITIs will have an annual target of 8,000 students in electronics sector by 2017. The Universities will be advised to change the course curriculum to be in tune with the emerging technologies and align to the requirements of the industry and also to introduce courses in entrepreneurship development.
Policy boost for startups
Through the Innovation and Start-up Policy, the government intends to create an ecosystem that produces an entrepreneur in every family.
The state has a dream to create a world class ‘technology startup ecosystem’ by fostering entrepreneurship and a culture of innovation, which will contribute to increased knowledge, wealth and employment. After the demarcation of Andhra Pradesh into two states, AP has established a few startup-friendly projects to boost entrepreneurship in the state in order to become an entrepreneur’s hub in India. One good example of this is the new ‘Innovation & Startup Policy’ for 2014-2020.
Targets to achieve
The targets laid out in this policy are that by June 30, 2019, the state plans:
a. To establish 100 incubation centres
b. To extend benefits to 5,000 startups and companies
c. To develop 92903.04 sqm of incubation space
d. To use VC funding of ₹ 10 billion for innovation purposes
e. To promote a startup and technology-friendly culture
f. To create a minimum one billion dollar size home-grown technology start-up industry
To boost entrepreneurship right from the college level, the policy has a special feature whereby all universities in AP will give 5 per cent grace marks and 20 per cent attendance every semester for student Start-up teams, which have at least one woman as a cofounder.
There is also a programme to organise district level competitions to generate business ideas among student groups from standards VIII to X, with a maximum grant of ₹ 25,000 per idea. Each year, 50 such ideas will be selected and promoted.
The government will build an Initial Innovation Fund of ₹ 1 billion for entrepreneurs and businesses. However, it will not directly invest in the startups but will participate in SEBI (the Securities and Exchange Board of India) approved VC funds as a limited partner (up to 15 per cent). The VC fund, in turn, will directly invest in the startups.
Areas of focus
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- ‘IT for X’ in the areas of pharma, oil and gas, and urban management
- Social media, mobility, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC)
- Fabless semiconductors
- Animation and gaming
- Visual effects
- Health and fitness
- World-class infrastructure for technology product startups at zero cost,
- Fiscal and non-fiscal subsidies and incentives
- World-class incubation centres have already been established in Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Kakinada which offer plug-and-play facility to the start-up & fledgling entrepreneurs. The government hosts a cloud server to connect every incubation centre in the state.
- An improved ‘Single Window Clearance Unit’ to grant approvals and clearances to first-time entrepreneurs.
- Associated international programme to send brilliant startups from colleges/universities and/or independent entrepreneurs to leading startup destinations to gain knowledge and understanding
What the incubators say
“Essentially, when the AP government asked us to come and partner them here, the state had borne the entire capital expenditure, but the investment, the mentorship support, the intellectual capabilities, the system and the process for identifying startups and nurturing them are basically our proprietary knowhow, and that is what we are doing.
What I like most about the AP government is the transparent and corruption free nature at every level of operation. Not a single rupee was transacted under the table nor above the table and this is something which I can say with confidence—that this is the only corruption free State government I have seen in my entire career, and I have worked with several governments, internationally.
The state is run by a visionary chief minister with high intellect. He also motivates and inspires others to come forward and be part of his vision. This also motivates us to be more forthcoming in our ideas, and we are able to discuss topics with the government both at the policy level as well as at the implementation level to get things done.
We hope that our startups will be competitive not just at the state level but at the national level too. And we also hope that, in a few cases, they will be competitive at an international level. For any of the solutions that are being developed through an incubator sponsored by the AP government, it is but natural that the state should also receive the benefits of the capabilities being built and harnessed locally. So we do look out for such business partnerships. However, the market is not limited to AP–I am looking at the entire country and even the world.” – Anand Govindaluri, founder and CEO, Startup Accelerator India
“The sunrise state of AP has a rich history in the technology and IT industry. The state takes pride in having produced a number of global leaders and also a large share of the tech workforce. The state is home to some of the oldest and finest universities in the country, and has been a hotbed of talent since a long time.
Given that and the industriousness and entrepreneurial spirit of the people of AP, it is quite natural that the IT industry in the state will grow in a big way. IoT is not only an emerging area but is quickly catching on in various domains including daily life. With the encouraging and fast paced policies of the government of AP, it is but natural for the state to quickly adopt IoT, which will eventually lead to the mushrooming of a number of startups in this domain, owing to the favourable ecosystem. Since most of the IoT solutions have a fairly significant component of hardware and electronics, IoT and electronics will grow together, much like inseparable twins.
As we speak, the Visakhapatnam startup warehouse of NASSCOM, which is very new, has incubated five startups, all in multiple domains. However, we are also doing a significant amount of work at the Centre of Excellence for IoT (CoE IoT) in Bengaluru and, in fact, earlier this year, METI (Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) agreed to fund the travel and related costs of 10 IoT startups from India to participate in CEATEC, the largest exhibition and trade fair for advanced electronics and IT in Japan. We are proud to mention that nine out of the 10 firms that got selected were part of the CoE-IoT Connect programme. We intend to bring some of these success stories to Visakhapatnam also.” – Srikanth Srinivasan, regional director – TS & AP (NASSCOM)
Policy boost for the Internet of Things
India can play a pivotal role in the development of the global IoT ecosystem, both as a market and as an IoT hub. The government of India aims to create a US$ 15 billion IoT industry by 2020. A range of initiatives that will be taken under the Smart City and Digital India programmes will all help to boost the IoT industry.
Keeping this in view, the state has launched a pragmatic, proactive and a first-of-its-kind policy – the Andhra Pradesh Internet of Things (IoT) Policy 2016-2020. This will help to establish the state as an IoT hub by 2020, a perfect destination for IoT businesses.
- To achieve a sizeable IoT market that is at least 10 per cent of the Indian market, i.e., US$ 1.5 billion
- To create at least 50,000 direct employment opportunities in the IoT vertical which could generate another 150,000 indirect jobs in other support sectors, such as, logistics (transport/administration/finance), hospitality (tourism/recreation/leisure/entertainment) and facilities management (construction/maintenance/services)
- To promote 10 IoT hubs with government and private sector participation
- To attract 100 IoT companies/units/entities to set up their facilities/ operations/development centres in Andhra Pradesh
- To create a world-class ecosystem for the growth of IoT units/entities in the state- through the promotion of IoT hubs
- To develop state-of-art IoT infrastructure—both physical and technical—of international standards in all major towns in the state
- Infrastructure: Promotion of IoT HUBs/IoT Software Development Centres/IoT R&D Centres/IoT Manufacturing facilities/IoT campuses
- Incentives: Fiscal incentives are offered to all IoT entities
Non fiscal incentives like exemption from the purview of the AP Pollution Control Act, exception in respect of power generation sets etc. are available for all IoT entities
- IoT Centres of Excellence: Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society(APIS) to set up IoT Centres of Excellence, in prominent locations in the State.
- IoT Innovation Fund: Appropriate Budgetary resources are available for promotion of Innovation and R&D in IoT as per AP Innovation & Startup Policy
- Good governance: A highly empowered ‘Single Window Clearance Unit’ has been created for granting approvals & clearances for setting up new IoT Units/entities in the state within three weeks.
First of its kind smart city command center in Vizag
A first of its kind smart city command center was implemented at Vizag by integrating data and services from more than 11 city departments in record time.
- Continuous centralized coordinated monitoring of smart city projects/programs being implemented
- Clear view of revenue losses and dues from all sources
- Better monitoring of water supply, air quality and solid waste removal
- Centralized resolution of citizen grievances and other events/incidents
- Proactive safety and surveillance monitoring
Murali Krishna G.S., CEO and MD, Fluentgrid
AP as a preferred destination for the electronics and IoT industries: The state has made several major policy changes to provide an impetus to the electronics industry and to IoT.
We believe that the Andhra Pradesh Electronics Policy 2014-2020, the Andhra Pradesh Innovation & Start-Up Policy and the Internet of Things Policy 2016-2020 are important steps in this direction. In addition, the state’s plan to invest ₹ 300 billion in the electronics industry, and in more than 100 incubators and 5000 startups, over the next five years, augurs well for the electronics and other industries—more importantly, IoT.
These policies are very encouraging to us since our vision and strategy are closely aligned with the government’s long-term approach and strategy. We believe this nurtures an ecosystem of technology collaborators from all industries (not only electronics and IoT, but other technologies also), enabling the creation of a robust platform that provides the right solutions for current challenges and future opportunities.
Plans to be a part of Industry 4.0 in the state: Industry 4.0 is a term that has evolved over the decade to include new technologies and information systems. The driving forces behind it are technology, information systems, people and processes.
The GoAP (government of AP) also has adopted these forces in framing their policies on infrastructure, governance and IoT. With regard to IoT, the GoAP has framed a comprehensive blueprint called, ‘Re-imagining Andhra Pradesh. The Role of E-Governance, Electronics and IT’ in order to develop the electronics and ICT industries.
In addition, the government’s objectives to develop IoT hubs, state-of-art IoT infrastructure and a world class ecosystem for IoT technology to thrive, have been mentioned as part of the IoT policy for the state.
Fluentgrid has been part of this technology transformation in the field of energy utilities. By transforming the operations of several utilities in India and abroad, we are at the forefront in helping them change their people-led processes and information systems.
Our transformation, from being a pure-bred software technologies’ firm to providing solutions like smart street lighting, safety and surveillance solutions and smart grid technologies, aligns with the forces of Industry 4.0. With our key offerings, we are glad to say that we are already a part of this revolution called Industry 4.0.
Ramakrishna Dasari, MD, Efftronics Systems
AP as a preferred destination for the electronics and IoT industries: IoT is emerging as a major source of employment opportunities in the nation with its wide applications in the areas of health, transport, agriculture, irrigation, lighting, the environment, water management and logistics management. To match up to the forecast needs of skilled human resources in this domain, it is quite essential to improve the skills set of the younger generation and drive them towards IoT. The GoAP is well aware of all these happenings. That’s why it has brought out its IoT policy much ahead of all the other states in the country, even before the government of India. The GoAP has defined and put quantifiable targets for IoT development and has set up the AP State Skill Development Corporation. It has also started bringing about changes in the academic curriculum in view of IoT, in all engineering colleges, to prepare future engineers for IoT disruption.
The state government is already using IoT in different unique scenarios like:
1. Crowd management and safety of pilgrims
2. Around 50 municipalities in the state are already using sensors for street lighting automation and monitoring.
3. Monitoring of areas like water utilisation, power consumption, protection of crops, drought management
4. The AP FiberNet project which is a highly scalable network infrastructure to provide on-demand, affordable and end-to-end broadband connectivity.
5. The E-Pragathi programme is the first in India, and aims to bring in a paradigm shift in the way government function and interact with citizens.
Among the 100 smart cities in India, three are in AP.These are all only a few examples and much more is happening on the ground. Hence, AP is likely to turn into the most preferred destination for the electronics and IoT industries pretty soon.
Plans to be a part of Industry 4.0 in the state
To build an ecosystem with Industry 4.0, digital capabilities are most critical for any organisation. Our approach to Industry 4.0 is categorised into six phases.
1. Building the Industry 4.0 strategy and finalising the core areas for the next five years
2. Initial PoCs (proof-of-concepts)
3. Building digital capabilities
4. Becoming strong in data analytics and algorithmic solutions
5. Transforming the company into a digital enterprise
6. Building a futuristic ecosystem
APMEC – a special purpose vehicle for growth
The Multiple Electronics Cluster (MEC) Trust, along with the government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP), has proposed to form a Special Purpose Vehicle called the Andhra Pradesh Multiple Electronics Cluster (APMEC). The GoAP will be a strategic stakeholder in the project.
The companies that set up their facilities at the APMEC will be both early and growth stage companies. Startups will be encouraged through attractive support schemes. Currently, around 50 companies have expressed their interest to relocate to APMEC at Gudipalli. The infrastructure is expected to take between 18 and 24 months to develop, and companies can start to move in by mid-2017. While the infrastructure gets developed, the GoAP has offered a temporary facility for companies that are looking for immediate relocation.
The project at a glance
- Location: Gudipalli, Anantapur (100km away from Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru)
- Infrastructure: Built on a 50-acre campus on the Bengaluru-Hyderabad highway (just after the Andhra Pradesh state border)
- Sub-cluster: Comprises three major sub-clusters focused on medical electronics, aerospace and defence electronics, and space technology
- Special focus on: Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things
- Modus operandi: Vinyas Innovative Technologies Pvt Ltd, a leading electronics manufacturing services company from Mysuru, has committed to setting up an anchor manufacturing unit, and all other common infrastructure facilities (in a built-up area of 18581 sqm or 200,000 sq ft) will be developed and managed by the MEC Trust
Common infrastructure plan
- Clean rooms (both class 100K and class 10K)
- Thermal vacuum test facility
- Dynamics/structural test lab: (a) Dynamic testing: Acoustics, modal survey, vibration and static; (b) Transient capture: Shock, separation and deployment
- Electromagnetic interference/compatibility (EMI/EMC) test Anechoic chamber
- Electronic system design and manufacturing facility
- Rapid prototyping labs
- Multi-layer insulation fabrication facilities
- Wire harness assembly area
- Manufacturing machine shop
- Multiple programme offices and engineering support areas
- Plug-and-play office facilities
- Co-working spaces
- Support organisations and empanelled consultants (IP consultants, law firms, venture funds, etc)
Factors that will drive companies to the APMEC
- Efficient resources (allocation, utilisation and management): Encouragement of efficient use of all common/shared resources through on-demand allocation based on the utilisation requirements of various companies.
- Common resources (modular, reconfigurable and scalable): Creation and provision of common infrastructure (see above) that is modular, reconfigurable, and scalable as per the growing/changing needs of companies that operate from APMEC.
- Integrated production (concurrent design/manufacturing facility): Creation of a concurrent design and manufacturing facility, where companies operating in different parts of the value chain can build end-to-end solutions seamlessly.
- Collaborations (peer-to-peer and across industries): Inter- and intra- industry collaboration will be enabled among industry peers and partners through the creation of a platform/facility.
- Integrated value chain (supply chain, OEMs and support services): Creation of a business ecosystem that integrates the complete value chains of the medical devices, space technology, aerospace and defence industries so that high impact supply chain efficiencies can be achieved.
- Innovation (open, co-creation and IP): Open innovation, co-creation and intellectual property creation will be encouraged and enabled.
- Global market access (cluster networks): Global market access to companies operating in and around the cluster will be facilitated through joint trade promotion and value creation.
- Impact (economic, social and technological): Finally, and most importantly, a socio-economic impact will be created by increasing employment opportunities and by developing indigenous technologies for both the domestic and international markets.
Key benefits offered
- Strategically convenient location
- Access to business-friendly government
- Operate in a favourable policy environment
- Easy market access (both domestic and international)
- Being a part of the larger industry/business ecosystem
- Collaboration opportunities
- Low/no major infrastructure investments required (low capex)
- Increased operational efficiencies (low opex and high margins)
- Easy access to funding
- On-demand access to world-class infrastructure
- Access to trained manpower
|October 2016||Project initiation by MEC Trust|
|November 2016||Project approved by government of Andhra Pradesh and APMEC is formed|
|March 2017||Development of common infrastructure towers will commence
The first few companies will move to temporary facilities at Anantapur
|October 2018||Complete common infrastructure to be ready for use by companies
Majority of companies to move to APMEC
|Year 2025|| World’s biggest space electronics manufacturing cluster
Major medical electronics manufacturing cluster in Asia
Leading aerospace cluster in India (and a major competitor to Bengaluru)
Preferred defence manufacturing zone under ‘Make in India’
- To create a vibrant electronics manufacturing industry in Anantapur district
- Skills development for 100,000 people in the region in five years
- Create approximately 20,000 jobs in five years
- Set up 200+ companies in the APMEC in five years
- Increase both domestic investments and FDI in the region
Ease of Doing Business
Andhra Pradesh topped the 2016 all-India State/Union Territory-wise Ease of Doing Business ranking list announced by Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Government of India. The state achieved 98.78 per cent implementation rate.
Making business easy, in the Sunrise State…
- Approvals to set up industries in Andhra Pradesh, covering 26 clearances across 16 departments, accorded within 21 working days
- Reforms across departments to facilitate business
The GoAP facilitates evolution of a startup into a company
Exafluence started its journey at AP Government’s Incubation Center in Tirupati. It intended to address business analytics related requirements of various industries. They took the opportunity of XLr8 program, a unique program that GoAP was offering through IC 2 Institute of Technology, Texas, USA.
Exafluence went through stringent screening process and validated their platform with Industry experts. It has been recommended by XLr8 to go to the next stage. After that, Exafluence has taken up the Information Technology Park space provided by the GoAP growing to become a full fledged company developing a healthcare platform with 15 engineers.
This transformation of a startup into a full fledged product company in a matter of few months was possible because of the path breaking policies created by the GoAP in foreseeing the need for an incubation facility and accelerator facility so that companies can transform themselves from a simple start up to a full blown IT Product Company.
iTAAP – The partner association
The Information Technology Association of Andhra Pradesh (iTAAP) is the industry association for the IT, BPM and electronics sectors in Andhra Pradesh. It aims to foster growth and sustainable development of the information technology (IT), IT-enabled services and electronics industries in Andhra Pradesh by working closely with the various stakeholders, including the industry and the government.
iTAAP, will bring about change by engaging with the government on the policy framework and design, enhancing growth, competitiveness and opportunities for the IT, BPM and electronics industries.
Areas of partnership
The areas in which iTAAP plans to or is already engaged with the GoAP in order to achieve the above objectives are:
1. Policy framework – design and implementation
2. Business growth and branding
3. Infrastructure planning and review
4. Human capital – creation, acquisition and upgradation
5. Promotion of startups and innovation
6. Special interest groups – new technology adoption
APEITA – giving a filip to the development
With the vision to develop electronics and IT industry as an important growth engine for Andhra Pradesh through effective use of the talent pool, skill enhancement, promotion of innovation & future technologies and creation of excellent infrastructure the Andhra Pradesh Electronics and Information Technology Agency was conceptualized.
The agency possesses the mandate to create a set of policies relating to Promotion of Electronics & IT and to develop a set of implementation guidelines to translate such policies into reality. Moreover the agency will coordinate the process for securing clearance from Government of India for ITIRs to be established in the state and explore the potential for establishing electronic manufacturing units. To begin with, the agency is to develop proposals for 10 Electronic Manufacturing Clusters in the state.
Among other tasks to promote electronics and IT industry in the state, the agency is entrusted with designing blueprints for establishing the Mega IT Hub and the other IT hubs at carefully selected locations with plans for marketing the ‘Advantage AP’ brand among top players in IT and Electronics manufacturing sector globally. The agency will identify the areas in which promotion of use of electronics will lead to enhanced productivity, like smart grids, smart meters, low-cost access devices, smartcards etc. and promote investments/ innovation in such areas.
The agency is required to achieve the envisaged policy targets of attracting investments of the order of USD 5 billion in Electronics sector and USD 2 billion in IT sector by 2020 culminating into an employment potential of 0.5 million by 2020 in the two sectors.
“APEITA looks at helping companies to stabilize their operations from the day they start their operation.”
S A Srinivasa Moorthy, CEO, AP Electronics & IT Agency
APEITA has been working on the basic infrastructure and the results have started coming in. More and more IT and electronics companies are keen on investing in AP has the maximum growth potential in the high tech area.
With focus on Industry 4.0, IoT enabled real-time governance and cyber security, APEITA has been tuning the processes of facilitation continuously to enable investors find it easy to come to AP. We focus on end to end hand holding of investors till they are grounded. Facilities like single window facilitation, subsidized ‘Plug & Play’ facilities are some of the features which the companies have found beneficial.
With the focus on transformative technologies like Fintech, Cyber Security and IoT, policies and eco system are constantly upgraded so that companies scale their operation faster once they start their journey in AP.
APEITA looks at helping companies to stabilize their operations from the day they start their operation. In addition, APEITA also creates infrastructure for electronics companies in their early stage of operations.