Manufacturing hub for electronics

There are over 2,500 electronics SME units in India and the country’s electronics hardware export is around $6 billion

The Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) was set up in the late 1980s when software export was unknown, and when the IT export volume was a few millions of dollars and was limited to the U.S. Now, India exports over $111 billion IT and ITeS to several destinations, be they developed, developing, emerging, or least developed countries. Ever since India started exporting software products and solutions, strategies and thrust have changed. From low-end products and solutions, India has moved to high-end products and complex solutions. Those changes are gradual and enduring, creating better lives the world over. ESC hand holds the concerns of India’s Electronics industry as well. Today, there are over 2,500 electronics SME units in India and the country’s electronics hardware export is around $6 billion.

“The Government of India is taking all necessary steps to ensure the conversion of India into a manufacturing hub for electronics production,” says Kamal Vachani, Regional Director of ESC for the Middle East.

ESC has been playing a pivotal role in scripting those changes. Vachani highlights that the changes have been made in a sustainable manner.

He says, “Foremost is widening the base of export units in the country. Bereft of a focused policy to create groundswell of small and medium export units, Indian software exports would have remained with a few handful of large software behemoth. Now we have over 5,000 export units in the country of various hues and sizes; one-man operated units to establishments employing thousands of people. They have to co-exist as part and parcel of an inclusive growth paradigm. Yet there are challenges and main among them is to make the MSME sectors’ growth sustainable and empowering each unit to move up in the value chain to be a part of the next layer.”

Secondly, in broadening the export destinations, ESC has been playing an important role, explains D.K. Sareen, Executive Director, ESC.

He says, “We identify potential markets much in advance. For instance, we have identified Africa, CIS, Latin America, and Middle East etc., as potential markets long back. For our signature annual event – Indiasoft – exhibition and conferences, which is entering the 18th edition by next year, we invite hundreds of potential software buyers from these regions to participate in the two-day event by underwriting a part of their expenditure to be incurred for travel. The idea is to create a band of experts from these countries who are well aware of the depth of software markets in India, its strength and the range so that they can act as our brand ambassadors, when these countries resort to large scale digitisation in their countries. Our experience has been very satisfying and rewarding. Many of these countries have started importing software products and solutions from India particularly from the MSME sector.”

Driven by the success of this experiment in software, and in line with the government’s initiative of reducing import burden, especially in the electronics sector by boosting domestic manufacturing on the lines of “Make In India” programme, ESC created India Electronics Expo wherein Indian electronics manufacturing/EMS/product/components companies showcase their products and electronics buyers from various countries of the world are invited to meet the Indian exhibiting companies. India Electronics Expo is ESC’s flagship event for the Electronics Hardware sector. The event provides an opportunity to foreign electronics buyers to see the Indian origin electronics products and components for their sourcing requirements. Indian EMS companies are also present showcasing their capabilities in the EMS sector. Full details of the event can be seen at www.indiaelectronicsexpo.com.

The other initiative is the effort to tap into the growing Japanese market, which a few years back was totally untapped. ESC had initiated a programme to teach Japanese and business etiquettes to technical students passing out from IITs and other premier institutions. Today, India has a large presence in the software market of that country. Apart from this, ESC takes part in every important trade fair across the world by giving an opportunity to the small and medium companies to participate in the fair in the most economical manner in order to bag business orders.

Vachani says, “There has to be constant change in our approach to garner the market. What I can assure you is that ESC is alive to this issue and holds consultations with stakeholders and experts to evolve innovative approaches for tapping newer markets and also for consolidating the existing markets by moving up in the value chain.

“Global trade is an ever-changing paradigm. It keeps on changing all the time driven by various factors such as boom, bust and stand still. Despite that cyclical changes which might have happened from time to time, it can be seen that trade flows have always moved up if one takes a trajectory of few years in continuum.”

ESC will be repeating its participation at GITEX Dubai with around 50 Indian ICT companies displaying innovative IT products and solutions in various verticals of IT, including Embedded Technology, IOT, M2M, Cloud Computing, Information Security, Software Development, Animation, Gaming etc. The Middle East market is a burgeoning market where the potential is immense and Indian companies feel happy to doing business with the entrepreneurs there.

“We hope that ESC’s participation at GITEX Dubai will further business ties between India and the countries in the Middle East and UAE in particular,” Vachani observed.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/india/manufacturing-hub-for-electronics

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