Indian ecosystem needs more OEMs

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By Jesus Milton Rousseau S.

Indian and MNC companies have equal opportunities in the US$ 45 billion electronics industry in India today, a sector that is projected to grow to US$ 125 billion by 2014.

“There are only a few regions growing in the world and we are fortunate that India is one of them,” said Rahul Arya, marketing director, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt Ltd. The Indian ecosystem, consists of design and development, IP, EDA, packaging, academic research, applications, T&M, and foundries. These are all interdependent, and are significant contributors to the system. This point was emphasised 

at the panel discussion on ‘The electronics ecosystem: plans and strategies for innovation and growth’ at the ISA Leadership Forum organised by the Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA) in Bengaluru.

N Ramakrishnan, president and CEO, Mandate Chips and Circuits Pvt Ltd, said that the key to semiconductor product development is collaboration. But the main challenge is in understanding what the customers want and giving them that through product development. So, India needs to pursue customer centric development. Also, within the value chain, partnership is important, and everyone needs to maintain the sanctity of that relationship, Ramakrishnan felt.

Arnob Roy, president, engineering, Tejas Networks Ltd, said, “We need more OEMs, as the Indian electronics product industry is the biggest opportunity for the India semiconductor industry.” Ganapathy Subramanian, CEO, Cosmic Circuits Pvt Ltd, added, “Certain elements like foundries, package and test companies are missing from the ecosystem in India. Also, we need more failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), focused ion beam (FIB) in India. We still don’t have facilities like the latch-up, flip tests, thermal imaging, etc, in India. Companies here send it to California or Singapore, as these facilities are capital intensive.”

D Rajakumar, GM, applications engineering, Third Millenium Solutions Pvt Ltd, added, “If testing could be done here in India after designing, it would be quick and economical.”

Speaking from the point of view of foundry operators, Lou N Hutter, senior vice president and general manager, analog foundry business division, Dongbu HiTek Co Ltd, added, “Collaboration is the essence of interaction in an ecosystem. Foundries can help as partners to engineering service companies; and as suppliers, collaborators and partners to fabless semiconductor companies.”

Subramanian further cited that there are three main gaps in the ecosystem—OEMs and ODMs making products for India, should work with fabless companies in India; serious efforts were needed at the ISA level to put in place a policy for fabless firms; and the industry needs a centralised lab for reliability, FIB and for FMEA purposes. Also, companies need to take advantage of the Karnataka state government’s semiconductor policy.

Roy finally summed it up, “The prime need is to nurture Indian industry to meet domestic and strategic requirements and create market pull for ‘Made in India’ products. Second, the government should make risk capital/venture funding and R&D funding available to create products; and third, skills in product conceptualisation, product management, marketing, and branding have to be enhanced. Also we need more product companies addressing the large local market.”

The main challenge is in understanding what the customers want and giving them that through product development. So, India needs to pursue customer centric development



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