Q&A with Mr. Ashwini Aggarwal, Chairman, IESA talks about Make in India 2.0 and current manufacturing landscape.
Do you think focusing on Robotics would hamper Make in India’s vision of creating jobs in India in the long run?
With the 4th industrial revolution or Industry 4.0, we cannot differentiate between automation as it is synonymous with enterprise applications which are also getting slowly digitized. Therefore, we see a huge wave of evolution across business processes impacting industries across verticals. Technology replacing the human resource leading to layoffs has topped headlines over the past few months. However, we do not see automation as a disruption and it is rather an evolution.
Inevitably, Digital Convergence, will happen in automation in India. Start-ups making computer chips faced tough times to get VC’s attention as they stood no chance of competing with players such as Intel and Qulacomm. However, AI works better with new kind of chips, start-ups now have an array of opportunities to develop chips that power tasks such as speech and self-driving cars. According to a recent report by CB Insights, the investments by VC chip start-ups has almost doubled in the past two years. Therefore, the revamped focus on automation could really enable our economy’s development by creating newer job opportunities in the forthcoming years.
With IESA’s foray into overseas markets like Taiwan, and Israel planning on joining hands with industry bodies, tell us about IESA’s plans to collaborate with Israel as well?
We are very enthusiastic about India’s bilateral engagement with Israel and other ASEAN countries. We activated our Taiwan Desk in 2017 – and IESA’s goal has always been to improve collaboration on manufacturing capabilities between India and global counterparts.
India has seen emerging green shoots in the Electronics, Systems Design and Manufacturing space in the recent times. It has received a strong response to its ESDM policies and has seen evolution of its Solar Fab and a number of marquee industries. Israel’s Tower Jazz is the technology partner to SCL Chandigarh – our first fab that is operational now and has created over 28 chips for India’s world class space program. We are very excited by the synergies that these partnerships can provide.
How do you see IESA’s contribution to the objectives of Make in India 2.0?
IESA will continue to focus on building the industry, enabling the electronics ecosystem and driving investments to India. We will also enable creation of more such start-ups and equip them to establish themselves on the ESDM ecosystem. Today, investment in electronics manufacturing has jumped to 27 per cent to reach ₹1.57 lakh crore in 2017 from ₹1.43 lakh crore in 2016. We have seen a rapid transition with aggressive participation from government, industry bodies and the industry. Now with an increased focus of the various state governments, domestic electronics manufacturing will strengthen the ecosystem and spearhead India in achieving the status of an ESDM powerhouse.
What is the road ahead for IESA?
We will work with Government, academia and global stakeholders to build the industry in a holistic manner. Our interventions:
- Will build the Indian electronics ecosystem
- Create favourable policies for industry enablement
- Drive investments in India
- Build our MSME and start-up success stories
- With a clear innovation led, design-in-India, make-in India strategy
How do you think the launch of Make in India 2.0 can change the current landscape of manufacturing in India?
The Make in India initiative was launched in September 2014, to encourage multinational and domestic companies to manufacture in India and strengthen the overall manufacturing sector. The aim was to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector up to 25% in the Gross Domestic Product of the country’s economy, along with creating job opportunities.
India is still dependent for component imports from other countries and the launch of Make in India 2.0 comes at a critical stage where the export demands have substantially gone down. As per the latest developments The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) is to draft a 5-year roadmap for multiple sectors under the flagship programme. Once that is laid out we will have clarity on what to expect. This would involve identifying availability of raw material, land, skilled manpower and market linkages as some of the pre-requisites to achieve the vision of each sector.
We also believe that Design-in-India is going to be a major precursor and success factor for Make-in-India 2.0 as we go forward.
What do you think about the sectors government has been focusing on till now?
The Make in India initiative has so far focused on 25 sectors, including automobile, textiles, construction and aviation. With additions in line, it becomes crucial to invest significant amount of resources and time in each one of them.
Electronics is now evolving as a Meta resource – and the next phase of evolution is a merger of sand-with-cloud. Applications in the next phase of evolution will combine hardware and cloud-based software to create new services for the masses in the next few years. The need will be to evolve India’s thrusts to build the basic platforms but tap into emerging deep-tech niches in Robotics, AR/VR, EVs, Storage, Drones, Additive Manufacturing, Personalized medicine/healthcare- genomics and more.
Tell us a about the upcoming Vision Summit 2018.
The IESA Vision Summit 2018 in its 13th edition is the annual flagship leadership conclave. This year, its scheduled on February 27 and 28 at Bangalore. The Summit theme – Resurgent India: Electronics, Entrepreneurship and Economy highlights the valuable insights of global & domestic thought leaders in the context of India’s growth economy driving entrepreneurship and emerging green shoots of electronics manufacturing!