Incorporated in 2018, Holtek Semiconductor India Pvt Ltd is focused on marketing and sales activities in India. Headquartered in Taiwan, the company has only one branch in India (in Bengaluru), with a technical and a sales team. Holtek is now gearing up for expanding its branches across the country. In an interaction with Potshangbam July, Krishna Chaitanya K., director of Holtek Semiconductor India Pvt Ltd, discusses the company’s business expectations, and his take on the developments in the Indian electronics industry.
EB: Tell us about the latest product lines that you have added.
We already have multiple products in various categories including industrial, consumer and healthcare, which are ASSP (application-specific standard product) solutions. In India, we have a good platform for complete healthcare solutions, including glucose and blood pressure meters with IoT solutions. So you can integrate these with BLE/Wi-Fi. New products that we’ve launched include an e-bike charger, a BLDC fan solution (the Holtek 32-bit M0+/M3 new series), etc. Apart from this, we are working on more cost-effective 8/32-bit MCU solutions for the industrial and consumer sectors.
EB: How has your business fared in this financial year, on a year-on-year basis?
We are definitely growing a lot, year-on-year. We are expecting even higher growth compared to last year, when we grew 20 per cent. This year we are quite optimistic of growing by over 30 per cent. We feel that the Indian market is very big, and so there are a lot of business opportunities. Indian customers are more interested in the new solutions. We are coming up with more attractive solutions that suit the Indian market.
EB: What are the key focus areas for the next financial year?
One is the automobile sector, for which we do have a lot of plans concerning e-bike chargers, as I mentioned earlier. In addition, we are also focusing on the e-rickshaw charger. EVs will see rapid market penetration in the next 15 years (2020-2035). The EV market is definitely the future. And the Indian government has also launched various initiatives and incentives for Indian customers, which will boost the EV sector. Apart from that, there are some plans for industrial and consumer applications. Holtek is always focusing on ASSP/one chip solutions in order to reduce costs in smoke detector solutions, e-bike chargers, BLDC ceiling fans, touch key solutions, wireless products and healthcare solutions.
EB: In which segments is demand increasing, and are there any segments in which you see a drop in demand?
I think the Indian automotive sector is going through a slow phase due to the transition to EVs. Over the next 15 years, EVs will become a huge market and we are expecting high demand in India. As far as the consumer and industrial segments are concerned, there is positive growth and good demand. We have not seen any ups and downs in the market. We see a lot of growth in the Indian market.
EB: How would you rate the Make in India programme on a scale of 10?
I feel that Make in India is a good chance for every IC maker. Earlier, many customers used to import from China and other countries, but now that is changing due to the Make in India programme. It is a success, so I will give it a score of 10.
EB: How do you feel the recent corporate tax cuts will impact the electronics industry?
This is a good initiative by the current Indian government. The move has the potential to attract more foreign investors into India.
EB: Are there any plans to set up a manufacturing base in India or expand your current operations here?
We have the application team, support team and the development team in place, but setting up a manufacturing unit for ICs is very tough. Currently, Holtek is a fabless company and our partner manufacturing units are located at Taiwan and China. In India, it’s not easy to put up IC chip design and fabrication facilities. But we have plans to ramp up the number of branches in north and west India, this financial year.
EB: LED lighting has been a major driver of growth for some in the electronics industry—do you see IoT becoming the next big growth driver?
We are witnessing a huge demand for LED lighting, not only in India but worldwide. In the IoT segment, globally, we expect 75 billion connected devices by 2020. And by 2025, we expect more than 100 billion devices to be IoT enabled. At Holtek, we have IoT based solutions as well as those based on NFC, LoRa and Bluetooth, but we are focusing more on IoT in the coming years.
EB: How do you see online and e-commerce affecting brick-and-mortar businesses?
E-commerce makes it possible to reach out to a wider customer base, regardless of the geographical boundaries. The buying and selling process is much swifter in comparison with traditional stores.
It is very advantageous for customers in remote areas. With a physical store, it typically takes a long time to find the right product, and you end up searching for what you want, going from one market to another. I think e-commerce is one of the best developed platforms for everyone. Holtek also has an online platform (bestmodule), where customers can buy tools or samples directly.
EB: What is your business plan for the coming years?
In the next two years, we are planning to grow much bigger. We have been operating in India since 2018, and since 2000 in Taiwan. We have already chalked out our future plans for the next five years. As per these, we will be expanding our market presence in north and west India. Right now, we are operating in India through our office in Bengaluru, which connects with our agents and sales partners across the country.