By Nitasha Chawla
Continuing its positive growth trend, the Indian semiconductor market is projected to reach US$ 9.86 billion by 2012. According to a study released by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) in collaboration with Frost & Sullivan (F&S), the total semiconductor market, consisting of VLSI design, embedded software development and hardware/board design, grew by 28.3 per cent in 2010. The total market (TM) for semiconductor in India was estimated to be worth US$ 6.55 billion in 2010, and is expected to touch US$ 9.86 billion by the end of 2011. This booming sector is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22.7 per cent from 2010 to 2012.
Major contributors to growth
Sectors such as telecom, automotive and electronics hardware (industrial and consumer) have been responsible for the growth of the industry. Segments like wireless handsets, notebooks, and other IT and office automation (OA) products, set top boxes and smart cards, are also vital contributors.
The research highlighted that the automotive segment is expected to account for the highest growth in semiconductor demand, clocking an average of 31 per cent from 2010 to 2012. With local manufacturing of telecom equipment by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) gaining pace, related semiconductor consumption will grow by an impressive 50 per cent during 2010-12. Other key consuming segments of semiconductors like mobile devices, telecommunications and IT and OA, accounted for about 82 per cent of the semiconductor market in 2010.
Future course of action
In its key recommendations to bolster growth, the ISA-F&S report said it is time for the industry to shift from design-led manufacturing to demand-led manufacturing, to build public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives to set up integrated electronic parks and clusters, to formulate policy to attract investments in setting up an ecosystem of companies, and to push for export subsidies to create a conducive environment for electronics exports.
The report also stressed that capitalising on the existing strengths of the semiconductor companies in India to attract investments is only a short term strategy. The long term vision of developing and sustaining a world class electronics industry, therefore, needs more concerted efforts and a planned strategy at the national level.
Going by the international experience, policies and government support have always been a critical tool for the success of any sector. The report said it is high time that the Indian government identifies electronics as a priority sector, and comes up with policies and initiatives focused on the industry.
The study also suggests that for the electronics industry to grow in India there is an immediate and pertinent need for the government to introduce a National Electronics Development Plan (NEDP). This national strategy has to be formulated through discussions with key industry stakeholders, including manufacturers and members of the SME sector, industry associations, respective government departments, and regulatory bodies. It must encompass strategies covering all the aforementioned factors, and much more, to encourage the holistic development of the electronics ecosystem in the country.