In 1996 an agreement was signed by India to bring zero duty governance for IT hardware products by 2005 and was signed without any discussions with the industry.
This has led to the destruction of the SME’s and destroyed innovations as the country was nor prepared for it.
A country that created IT products moving up slowly to cheap imports and trading instead of manufacturing. The products need to be manufactured in India includes smart meters, micro ATM’s, tablets, and converged mobile devices for education, telemedicine, surveillance cameras, low-cost Indian smartphones, and set-top boxes.
There is no progress on any of these except local STB software. This was regarded as a case of missed opportunities, and the country lost precious time to make itself self-sufficient.
By such time, Chinese companies started dominating phone imports into the country.
Then came the new electronics policy. The new phased manufacturing program was created specifically for mobile phones, which revived the industry and created a vibrant manufacturing ecosystem with low-value addition.
However, domestic brands could not survive, and today the industry is dominated by the Chinese. The geopolitical situation has dramatically changed this year. China has been flexing muscle with large no. of countries and is working in collaboration with Pakistan, where both are working together to destabilize India.
Many of the people don’t know, but as per Maroof Raza, the Chinese agenda is having access to an abundance of water to manufacture microchips.
In the meantime, the government has invited schemes to attract and invite mobile companies and component ecosystems to India, where production Scheme Incentive provides 4-6% incentives to those who can manufacture volume production. The concept is to gain five global champions. Around 22 applications have been received yet and have attracted investors globally.
It is also to be noted that we must focus on Design In India as well as Manufacture In India, which would strengthen the Atmanirbhar Bharat, which would create higher value addition and IP designing in the country.
Now it’s high time to move beyond mobile manufacturing in electronics where we need to proceed towards products such as TVs, Set-top boxes, laptops, desktops, servers, and datacom products in consumer electronics.
The demand for these has been drastically increased since working from home and online classes. MSMEs should be necessarily covered under the Pli as it is India’s backbone in constructing component ecosystems.
India has already started its mission by barring Chinese products, and time has come to take action on hardware, which is more dangerous than software, and the US has taken decisive action against this.
The range of med techs should also be identified for designing, but SME’s should not be overlooked.
The right steps to bring can be only moderated by bringing NRI champions with deep experience in semiconductors or technology, making India the next electronics hub of the world that all depends on our aspirations.