Indian Electronics Manufacturing Developments : News, Updates and Discussions

Gautam

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Atmanirbhar Bharat could add $160 billion by 2024 to trade earnings


By Saikat Das, ET Bureau
Last Updated: Oct 08, 2020, 09:46 AM IST

Synopsis

An internal Citi report on India's Atmanirbhar plan notes opportunities in industries as diverse as manufacturing, services, solar, and chemical industries. The Atmanirbhar plan focuses on enhancing self-reliance in industries that hitherto depended on China for crucial supplies.


MUMBAI: India's incremental earnings from overseas trade, anchored in potential investments from the likes of Apple Inc. and Foxconn, could surge to $160 billion by 2024, with New Delhi emerging as a feasible alternative to Beijing for manufacturing and other capital-intensive industries in a global de-risking of supply chains.

An internal Citi report on India's Atmanirbhar plan notes opportunities in industries as diverse as manufacturing, services, solar, and chemical industries. The Atmanirbhar plan focuses on enhancing self-reliance in industries that hitherto depended on China for crucial supplies.

Taiwan-based Foxconn, iPhone maker Apple, Sanmina Corporation, Pegatron and Hewlett Packard are among those in discussions with banks studying the feasibility of setting up shop in India.

Individual companies could not be contacted immediately.

"Many global manufacturers look interested in an additional base to China to diversify risk," said K. Balasubramanian, head of corporate banking, Citi South Asia. "When you look at an investment, you aren't looking at it with a few quarters in mind, you are taking an investment decision on a country across multiple themes.”

Citi is making a case for fresh investments into India to global investors. India's share in global exports can go up to 3.4% in 2025 and 6% by 2030, showed a Citi presentation shared with the authorities.

The bank has identified areas in which India has the potential to become a base for global manufacturing, or part of an MNC’s "China plus one" strategy. Export opportunities can arise out of textile and apparel, electrical and mobility, telecom and heavy engineering over the next three years, generating annual flows of over $100 billion.

"Electronics and fabrication manufacturers could well be the first comers through this window," said Balasubramanian.

Heavy engineering and electronics could each account for $50 billion of the potential flows. Telecom, the sector fraught in regulatory tangles, can offer an investment opportunity of up to $20 billion.

"Global corporates would be encouraged by the recent reforms in areas where India was earlier perceived as weak," said Balasubramanian.

New Delhi has been pursuing a series of reforms spanning corporate tax breaks to labour laws, legal system, credit access.

Proposals have been made to streamline 44 labour laws into just four labour codes. A relaxation of state labour laws is also under consideration. The government is also looking into land acquisition policy, a key factor for any institutional investor.

The authorities are dealing with proposals to offer tax breaks to foreign investors, including sovereign funds, simplified GST returns, pre-filing tax returns, abolition of dividend distribution tax.

Balasubramanian said the 'China plus one' strategy can draw in investments of $5 billion in solar, and $10 billion in chemicals.

FDI inflows could increase 16% annually to $25 billion in the next three years and 5.4 million in additional workforce, the presentation showed.

"This is an opportune time for MNCs to set up base in India," Balasubramanian said.

 

Gautam

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Handset makers cleared for PLI benefits seek clarity over targets, time frame

Mobile phone makers approved by the government for receiving production-based incentives are still in a bind over targets set by the government and the stipulated time to achieve those targets.

By Himanshi Lohchab
ET Telecom
October 08, 2020, 16:36 IST
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New Delhi: Mobile phone makers approved by the government for receiving production-based incentives are still in a bind over targets set by the government and the stipulated time to achieve those targets. The government on Tuesday approved the applications of 16 electronics companies including 10 mobile phone manufacturers for rewards under the product-linked incentive (PLI) scheme - an announcement which was delayed by two months.

“We have not yet received any official communication from the government regarding targets and the beginning date of the Scheme which was earlier notified as August 1,2020,” said Sudhir Hasija, Chairman of UTL Neolyncs, the maker of Karbonn mobiles. “We are expecting the letters from the government with all company-specific details this week itself and will ramp up production based on that,” he said.

The PLI scheme offers an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales of handsets over base year which is FY19-20. The scheme was expected to start in August but was delayed by two months, likely hurting plans by companies to meet their March-end production targets. The delay was on account of differences over whether the Cabinet approval was needed for the scheme since it entails investments over Rs 1,000 crore, ET had reported.

Companies are specifically confused over targets of the current fiscal year, one, because of delay in announcing PLI rewards and two because most companies will require at least 2-3 months to expand manufacturing based on targets. “Till now, there was uncertainty over which companies will actually win the reward,” an executive at an Indian manufacturing company told ET.

“Now that we have been selected, we have to invest in adding more production lines such as SMT, expand capacity and win contracts from brands for both domestic production and exports. The process will need at least 3 months. I am hopeful the government will take these factors under cognisance for the current year,” he said. In fact, the latest entrant in Indian handset manufacturing industry, the iPhone-maker Pegatron, has not started operations yet and is in talks with state governments to set up a plant.

“The approved targets will be same as those submitted by the companies in their respective applications and the government will start sending letters this week itself,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), which represents major global handset brands including Xiaomi, Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Oppo, Vivo, Realme, besides contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron, Dixon and Indian brands Lava, Micromax, Karbonn.

“As for Pegatron, the production target will be counted for five years beginning FY21-22 as it is a new entrant and it makes sense to give them time to set up base first,” Mohindroo said.

 

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South India set to emerge as Apple’s manufacturing hub

By ETB Sivapriyan, Mahesh Kulkarni, DHNS
Chennai/Bengaluru, OCT 11 2020, 23:13 IST
1602481894152.png


Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are locked in an intense battle to grab an investment from Pegatron Corporation, one of the largest manufacturing partners of Apple Inc, for setting up its manufacturing plant.

The Taiwan-based company recently opened its office in Chennai after duly registering with the Registrar of Companies under the name Pegatron Technology India Private Limited which is classified as a subsidiary of foreign company.

While the Karnataka government has offered land near Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu is proposing Oragadam outside the state capital as a possible location for the plant. Pegatron is the third manufacturing partner of California-based Apple to enter India with Foxconn and Wistron manufacturing a select iPhone models at their units near Chennai and Bengaluru, respectively.

Though both states have offered “best offers”, Tamil Nadu might clinch the deal if indications from the industry and government sources are anything to go by. Three seaports in and around Chennai and the skilled workforce available in Tamil Nadu are some of the reasons that the government feels would bring Pegatron towards the state.

Whichever state manages to win over the Taiwan-based company, it is South India that will not just benefit but will emerge as a manufacturing hub of Apple iPhones and other electronic gadgets. Pegatron setting up its plant in India also gives credence to the talk that the country will stand to gain as several manufacturers would come here from China after the Covid-19 scare.

Already, two of the contract manufacturers of Apple – Wistron and Foxconn – are manufacturing iPhones in India. Wistron has set up facilities in Bengaluru and Narasapura in Karnataka. Its new greenfield plant started manufacturing iPhones at Narasapura recently. The Foxconn plant near Sriperumbudur, 50 km from Chennai, has already begun manufacturing high-end Apple iPhones, giving a boost to the ‘Make in India’ programme of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government.

The move by Pegatron to set up a unit in India comes close on the heels of Foxconn mulling investing an additional Rs 7,000 crore to expand its capacity at its Sriperumbudur plant. “We are in talks with Pegatron on its plans to set up a manufacturing unit in India. We have offered them incentives and they are aware of the committed skill force available in Tamil Nadu. We are hopeful, but it is too early to say anything,” a senior state government functionary told DH. “The two sides might meet for another round of talks in the coming weeks,” another official said, adding that “we might emerge as the winner because we have offered a lucrative deal” to Pegatron.

A senior official with the Karnataka Government also confirmed having established contact with the management of Pegatron. “We are in talks with Pegatron for their investment in the state. We have offered them land on the outskirts of Bengaluru. They are currently studying the ecosystem available in the country. We are willing to give them the support they need,” he told DH.

He said Bengaluru offers one of the best eco-systems for setting up electronics manufacturing plants. The city also offers skilled workforce and engineers required to set up such a facility. With an eye on a larger share of one of the world's fastest-growing smartphone markets, Apple started assembling iPhone SE at its Bengaluru plant in 2016 and iPhone XR in 2019. Earlier this year, it began iPhone 11 assembly at Chennai's Foxconn plant.

Tamil Nadu, which is aiming to emerge as the hub of electronics manufacturers in the country, has been reaching out to several such companies that might move out of China, following the outbreak of Covid-19. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had written to CEOs of several companies, including Apple, Samsung, and HP, asking them to invest in the state.

Salcomp, another electronics equipment manufacturer, has also promised additional investment in Tamil Nadu as it gets ready to launch production from the Nokia plant which was lying idle since 2014 due to a tax dispute. The plant has now been bought by Salcomp after India and Finland reached an agreement on the tax dispute with Nokia under the Mutual Agreement Procedure in the first half of 2018.

One of the leading destinations for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country, Tamil Nadu has attracted $31.2 billion in FDI from April 2000 to September 2019. It is also the third largest exporter of goods in the country and accounts for 30.8% of India’s apparel exports, 46.4% of footwear exports and 25.7% of electronic exports.

PLI scheme

In April this year, the Central government notified a production linked incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in mobile phone manufacturing and specified electronic components, including Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units. Under this scheme, incentives of 4-6% will be given to electronics companies that manufacture mobile phones and other electronic components such as transistors, diodes, thyristores, and resistors among others for a period of five years.

Last week, the government cleared 16 proposals from domestic and overseas companies involving an investment of Rs 11,000 crore under the PLI scheme to manufacture mobile phones worth Rs 10.5 lakh crore over the next five years. The companies include iPhone maker Apple's contract manufacturers Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron, apart from Samsung and Rising Star.

Though Pegatron is said to have pledged to invest Rs 1,200 crore under the production-linked incentive (PLI) plan, sources in both the governments were tight-lipped about the proposed investment amount by the Taiwanese company.

 
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Gautam

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Second such order from the Americans, if it matrialises :


US telcos dial Indian smartphone makers


Updated: 21 Oct 2020, 06:55 AM IST
By Prasid Banerjee

Move comes amid broader trade tensions between Washington and Beijing
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Top US telecom operators are turning to India to source low-cost mobile phones as the US ratchets up national-security scrutiny of Chinese companies, handing Indian handset makers such as Micromax and Lava an opportunity to win millions of dollars worth of contract-manufacturing orders.

Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Cricket Wireless (a sub-brand of AT&T) have initiated talks with Indian smartphone makers, including Micromax and Lava, to procure unbranded handsets that will be bundled with data subscription contracts in the US, three people aware of the development said on condition of anonymity.

The US telcos’ move to cut their dependence on China comes amid broader trade and geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing. The US is also persuading its allies to avoid using Chinese telecom equipment as the world’s largest economy resists China’s domination in the strategic industry.

So far, telecom service providers in the US have typically procured almost all of the low- to mid-end mobile devices from Chinese companies such as TCL and ZTE. The increasing scrutiny on Chinese telecom gear has, however, prompted them to look at other options, industry executives said.

Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax, said Vietnam and India are emerging as contract-manufacturing hubs outside China, and Indian firms are well placed to produce such devices for the US market.

1603295794734.png


“This is a trickle, which can soon turn into a tide for the domestic electronics industry," said one of the three people cited above. “Till some time ago, Indian companies weren’t even allowed to participate in the bidding process," the person said.

Responding to a query, smartphone maker Lava said it has submitted its proposal last week and is awaiting a response from US procurement agencies. It already makes smartphones for AT&T. “While the shift started some time ago, the trend has become far more prominent in the past few months, with the volume of enquiries steadily picking up,’’ said the first person aware of the issue seeking anonymity.


“If the deals work out, it could be a nearly ₹2,000 crore per year opportunity for the company in the near term," said S.N. Rai, co-founder of Lava.

“We have relevance in the entry-level segment as we have good confidence in the supply chain. Brands like Samsung and LG are making a killing in the high-end segment because of the ban on Chinese phone maker Huawei," said Rai.

While key hardware parts can still be imported from China, US telecom firms are increasingly relying on India to develop software solutions to ensure data privacy, the industry executives said.

An August report by telecom industry researcher Canalys said around 70% of all smartphones shipped in the US in the quarter to June was made in China, up from 60% in the previous quarter. The country saw 31.9 million smartphone shipments in the quarter, but the number should rise in the coming quarters as supply chains stabilize from pandemic-induced lockdowns.

About 30% of the US smartphone market is in the sub-$200 or low-end segment, according to analysts. “Tensions between the US and China have escalated in recent years, creating a perpetual state of uncertainty for all smartphone vendors except Samsung and LG," said Vincent Thielke, an analyst at Canalys.

Micromax and Lava are two of the five domestic smartphone makers who have been approved by the government to receive benefits from its new production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. The scheme offers a 4-6% incentive to firms for making phones in India.

Domestic handset makers are allowed to utilize the benefits for devices with invoice value below ₹15,000, while foreign manufacturers such as Foxconn can get benefits for phones with invoice value exceeding that amount. Unbranded phones sold by US telcos usually fall in the sub-$200 price bracket and will benefit from the PLI scheme.

If Indian companies win the contracts, it will be a shot in the arm for the government’s plan to export smartphones worth ₹6.5 trillion from India in the next five years. It will also help Indian firms improve pricing in the domestic market, something they have failed to do as Chinese firms entered India. European and other telcos may also follow their US counterparts in sourcing smartphones from Indian companies, industry executives said.


 

jetray

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South India set to emerge as Apple’s manufacturing hub

By ETB Sivapriyan, Mahesh Kulkarni, DHNS
Chennai/Bengaluru, OCT 11 2020, 23:13 IST
View attachment 18238

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are locked in an intense battle to grab an investment from Pegatron Corporation, one of the largest manufacturing partners of Apple Inc, for setting up its manufacturing plant.

The Taiwan-based company recently opened its office in Chennai after duly registering with the Registrar of Companies under the name Pegatron Technology India Private Limited which is classified as a subsidiary of foreign company.

While the Karnataka government has offered land near Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu is proposing Oragadam outside the state capital as a possible location for the plant. Pegatron is the third manufacturing partner of California-based Apple to enter India with Foxconn and Wistron manufacturing a select iPhone models at their units near Chennai and Bengaluru, respectively.

Though both states have offered “best offers”, Tamil Nadu might clinch the deal if indications from the industry and government sources are anything to go by. Three seaports in and around Chennai and the skilled workforce available in Tamil Nadu are some of the reasons that the government feels would bring Pegatron towards the state.

Whichever state manages to win over the Taiwan-based company, it is South India that will not just benefit but will emerge as a manufacturing hub of Apple iPhones and other electronic gadgets. Pegatron setting up its plant in India also gives credence to the talk that the country will stand to gain as several manufacturers would come here from China after the Covid-19 scare.

Already, two of the contract manufacturers of Apple – Wistron and Foxconn – are manufacturing iPhones in India. Wistron has set up facilities in Bengaluru and Narasapura in Karnataka. Its new greenfield plant started manufacturing iPhones at Narasapura recently. The Foxconn plant near Sriperumbudur, 50 km from Chennai, has already begun manufacturing high-end Apple iPhones, giving a boost to the ‘Make in India’ programme of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government.

The move by Pegatron to set up a unit in India comes close on the heels of Foxconn mulling investing an additional Rs 7,000 crore to expand its capacity at its Sriperumbudur plant. “We are in talks with Pegatron on its plans to set up a manufacturing unit in India. We have offered them incentives and they are aware of the committed skill force available in Tamil Nadu. We are hopeful, but it is too early to say anything,” a senior state government functionary told DH. “The two sides might meet for another round of talks in the coming weeks,” another official said, adding that “we might emerge as the winner because we have offered a lucrative deal” to Pegatron.

A senior official with the Karnataka Government also confirmed having established contact with the management of Pegatron. “We are in talks with Pegatron for their investment in the state. We have offered them land on the outskirts of Bengaluru. They are currently studying the ecosystem available in the country. We are willing to give them the support they need,” he told DH.

He said Bengaluru offers one of the best eco-systems for setting up electronics manufacturing plants. The city also offers skilled workforce and engineers required to set up such a facility. With an eye on a larger share of one of the world's fastest-growing smartphone markets, Apple started assembling iPhone SE at its Bengaluru plant in 2016 and iPhone XR in 2019. Earlier this year, it began iPhone 11 assembly at Chennai's Foxconn plant.

Tamil Nadu, which is aiming to emerge as the hub of electronics manufacturers in the country, has been reaching out to several such companies that might move out of China, following the outbreak of Covid-19. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had written to CEOs of several companies, including Apple, Samsung, and HP, asking them to invest in the state.

Salcomp, another electronics equipment manufacturer, has also promised additional investment in Tamil Nadu as it gets ready to launch production from the Nokia plant which was lying idle since 2014 due to a tax dispute. The plant has now been bought by Salcomp after India and Finland reached an agreement on the tax dispute with Nokia under the Mutual Agreement Procedure in the first half of 2018.

One of the leading destinations for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country, Tamil Nadu has attracted $31.2 billion in FDI from April 2000 to September 2019. It is also the third largest exporter of goods in the country and accounts for 30.8% of India’s apparel exports, 46.4% of footwear exports and 25.7% of electronic exports.

PLI scheme

In April this year, the Central government notified a production linked incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in mobile phone manufacturing and specified electronic components, including Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units. Under this scheme, incentives of 4-6% will be given to electronics companies that manufacture mobile phones and other electronic components such as transistors, diodes, thyristores, and resistors among others for a period of five years.

Last week, the government cleared 16 proposals from domestic and overseas companies involving an investment of Rs 11,000 crore under the PLI scheme to manufacture mobile phones worth Rs 10.5 lakh crore over the next five years. The companies include iPhone maker Apple's contract manufacturers Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron, apart from Samsung and Rising Star.

Though Pegatron is said to have pledged to invest Rs 1,200 crore under the production-linked incentive (PLI) plan, sources in both the governments were tight-lipped about the proposed investment amount by the Taiwanese company.

The state govts should stop competing with each other like morons and end up giving more tax benefits. The distance between blr & chennai is not much, its around 400kms 8hr journey at the max . From the supply chain perspective you can manufacture one component in one state and assemble it in another. Even more better option is look at borders areas like hosur/electronic city which are on the border and already have industries. In south east asia components are manufactured in different places like malaysia ,vietnam, singapore..etc and assembled without any issue.
 

Vicky

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Dec 1, 2017
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India should invest in automation right now. Companies should make notice. China is resorting to automation to offset rise in labour cost. I am working in electronics in Canada and we are investing huge money (I am leading one such projects) to automate stuffs to retain cost advantage in manufacturing.
The way we see it, even 10 seconds improvement is worth 1 lakh dollar investment and returns can be can be seen in 1 year timeframes. Manual labour won't help us compete in the long term. Our logistics still sucks but improving. We need to give incentives to textiles, fashion, leather etc to employ human intensive resources. Contract manufacturing of electronics and mechanical stuffs aren't human intensive anymore. People will still get jobs in the supply chain process as a result.
 

Gautam

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Micromax set to launch 'In' series smartphones on Nov 3


Domestic electronics brand Micromax is set to launch its new 'In' range of smartphones on November 3 in the country.

By IANS
October 24, 2020, 10:39 IST
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New Delhi: Domestic electronics brand Micromax is set to launch its new 'In' range of smartphones on November 3 in the country.

"Aao karein thodi cheeni kum! Gear up for the mega unveiling of the new #INMobiles range of smartphones by Micromax live at 12 noon on the 3rd of November," the company said in a tweet on Friday.

Ahead of the launch, a lot of details about the new Micromax series have been revealed. The company is expected to launch two phones in the series and will be powered by the MediaTek Helio G35 and MediaTek Helio G85 processors. The model with the Helio G35 is said to feature a 6.5-inch HD+ display, up to 3GB RAM and up to 32GB storage. The device is likely to be backed by a 5,000mAh battery. Micromax's 'In' smartphone series may be priced between Rs 7,000 to Rs 15,000 in the county.

To begin the re-entry into the smartphone segment, Micromax plans to invest Rs 500 crore and will build products from ground-up for the new-age consumers in the country, the company announced recently. Micromax has manufacturing facilities at two locations -- Bhiwadi and Hyderabad. The brand has a capacity of producing over 20 lakh phones per month.

The brand is also working on strengthening its already established retail and distribution network. Currently, the company has a retail presence in the form of more than 10,000 outlets and over 1,000 service centres.

 
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Gautam

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Tata group to set up ₹5000 crore phone component making unit in TN: Report

Updated: 28 Oct 2020, 12:31 PM IST
By Tanya Thomas & Prasid Banerjee
1603953292372.png

The Tata plant, on the other hand, seems to be meant for components instead of overall smartphone assembly and manufacturing.

Highlights :

  • Tata Sons company, Tata Electronics, has been allotted 500 acres by Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation and that group firm Titan Co Ltd’s precision engineering division will provide expertise for this project

MUMBAI: The Tata group is investing ₹5,000 crore to set up a phone component manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu, according to a report by The Hindu BusinessLine.

The paper said Tata Sons company, Tata Electronics, has been allotted 500 acres by TIDCO (Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation) and that group firm Titan Co Ltd’s precision engineering division, Titan Engineering and Automation Ltd, will provide the expertise for this project.
With a 27.88% stake in Titan Co Ltd, TIDCO is the single largest shareholder in the watchmaker. The report also said the plant will be used for manufacturing for iPhone maker Apple in India.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to Mint’s queries about the investment. However, an industry executive close to one of the companies said that Apple isn’t involved in the project. "The company has been set up to build an electronics ecosystem. It is not about any particular client," a Tata spokesperson said.

At the moment, the iPhone maker contracts Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron for manufacturing its phones in India. The Tata plant, on the other hand, seems to be meant for components instead of overall smartphone assembly and manufacturing.

Foxconn already manufactures handsets, including the iPhone 11, for Apple at its facility in Sriperumbudur, outside Chennai. Wistron also manufactures iPhones in its Bengaluru facility, while Pegatron is in the process of setting up its India unit.

In March, the union cabinet had approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme worth ₹40,995 crore to boost electronics manufacturing in the country, with incentives being linked to sales and capital investment. It offers a 4-6% incentive for companies involved in mobile manufacturing. While foreign companies — like Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron — can reap these benefits on phones with invoice values above Rs. 15000, Indian companies have no such constraint.

The government had approved five international and five Indian companies for the scheme earlier this month. Indian companies in the list include Lava International, Bhagwati (Micromax), Padget Electronics, UTL Neolyncs and Opteimus Electronics. On the other hand, international players who have been approved include Samsung, Foxconn Hon Hai, Rising Star (owned by Foxconn), Wistron and Pegatron. Components makers like AT&S, Ascent Circuits, Visicon and three others have also been approved.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), companies that have been approved for the PLI scheme are expected to drive over Rs. 10.5 lakh crore of production in India in the next five years. Over 50% of these are expected to be exported from the country.

 

Gautam

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Govt. inflexibility and the many problems related to the PLI scheme :

 
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Govt sweetens the PLI schemes for pharma, medical device manufacturers

October 29, 2020 03:44 PM IST

The government on Thursday announced several amendments keeping in mind several reservations expressed by the manufacturers.
1603969812984.png

Representative pic.

In a bid to ensure that the two Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes announced to give a fillip to the Indian pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are attractive enough for the industry, the government on Thursday announced several amendments keeping in mind several reservations expressed by the manufacturers.

Confirming the CNBCTV18 newsbreak, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) in a press statement said, “department received several suggestions and inputs from the pharmaceutical and medical device industry seeking certain amendments in the scheme to enable effective participation of the industry in the two schemes.

The suggestions were examined by the respective Technical Committees formed under the schemes. The recommendations of the Technical Committees were placed before the Empowered Committees of the schemes which are chaired by CEO NITI Aayog. After considering the recommendations of the Technical Committees, the EC approved the revision of the guidelines for both the schemes.”

According to the changes notified, the government has “revised guidelines for Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials (KSMs), Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in India by replacing the criteria of ‘minimum threshold’ investment with ‘committed’ investment by the selected applicant,” DoP in a press statement said.

The government has also made changes to encourage efficient use of productive capital as the amount of investment required to achieve a particular level of production depends upon the choice of technology and it also varies from product to product.

Meanwhile, the government is very clear that the “provision for verification of the actual investment made by the selected applicant for the purpose of giving incentives under the scheme continues.”

Another breather extended to the industry by the government was by removing the “provision which restricts the sales of eligible products to domestic sales only, for the purpose of eligibility of receiving incentives, bringing the scheme in line with other PLI schemes and encouraging market diversification,” DoP in a statement said.

Thereby, meaning that now all sales will be considered to give incentives, including international sales and exports.

The government has also brought in “changes in the minimum annual production capacity for 10 products viz Tetracycline, Neomycin, Para Amino Phenol (PAP), Meropenem, Artesunate, Losartan, Telmisartan, Acyclovir, Ciprofloxacin and Aspirin. Minimum annual production capacity is a part of eligibility criteria under the scheme,” DoP said.

The last date for receiving applications under the PLI scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials, Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients has also been extended by a week to November 30, 2020.

On the other hand, for the PLI scheme for Promoting Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices, the changes include, the extension of the due date for submitting the applications, relaxing the minimum investment threshold and etc.

The government has replaced “the criteria of ‘minimum threshold’ investment with ‘committed’ investment by the selected applicant. The change has been made to encourage efficient use of productive capital as the amount of investment required to achieve a particular level of production depends upon technology used and it also varies from product to product. The provision for verification of the actual investment made by the selected applicant for the purpose of giving incentives under the scheme continues,” DoP said.

The government has also changed “the eligibility criteria of minimum sales threshold in line with projected demand, technology trend and market development, for the purpose of availing incentive under the scheme.
The tenure of the scheme has been extended by one year keeping in view the capital expenditure expected to be done by the selected applicants in FY 2021-22.

Accordingly, the sales for the purpose of availing incentives will be accounted for 5 years starting from FY 2022-2023 instead of FY 2021-2022.
The last date for receiving applications under the scheme is now extended by a week to November 30, 2020,” DoP in a statement said.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third-largest globally in terms of volume and contributes significantly to India’s economic growth and export earnings. The Medical Devices industry is identified as a sunrise sector with great potential for diversification and employment generation.

The Government had launched several initiatives to support the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industry to reach their potential in the coming years.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals came out with two Production Linked Incentive schemes- for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials, Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in India and the other for Promoting Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices.

Both the schemes were approved by the Cabinet on March 20, 2020 and the detailed guidelines for the implementation of the schemes were issued by the Department on July 27, 2020.

Post issuance of the detailed guidelines, the department had been receiving several suggestions and inputs from the pharmaceutical and medical device industry seeking certain amendments in the scheme to enable effective participation of the industry in the two schemes.

To watch out for is how many players now sign up for these two schemes as the changes have been notified keeping industry suggestions as to the top priority.

 
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Sahasra to invest Rs 350 crore over 4 Years

Indian electronics parts maker Sahasra has earmarked an investment of Rs 350 crore over the next four years for assembling mobile phone memory chipsets, laptop hard drives and motherboards in India with two new manufacturing facilities coming up in Rajasthan and UP.

By Himanshi Lohchab
ET Telecom
October 26, 2020, 09:04 IST
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New Delhi: Indian electronics parts maker Sahasra has earmarked an investment of Rs 350 crore over the next four years for assembling mobile phone memory chipsets, laptop hard drives and motherboards in India with two new manufacturing facilities coming up in Rajasthan and UP.

The integrated circuit (IC) packaging plant for memory, which is being set up in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan will entail an investment of Rs 140 crore to produce 40 million ICs annually and is approved to receive incentives by the central government under the production-linked incentive scheme, Sahasra group managing director Amrit Manwani told ET exclusively.

“Until now this was the domain of US, Japan and Taiwan where fabs would make semiconductor wafers, which would be packaged by the packaging companies,” he said. “We are getting into the packaging business. Once we have this ecosystem in the country, the next step would be to set up a fab factory in India.”

The company is aiming to scale up to 100 million IC units annually, Manwani said, and is already in dialogue with major handset manufacturers including Foxconn, Wistron, Lava, Dixon, Micromax and Reliance Jio for supplying memory.


“This would generate close to 750 direct jobs in the region. The value addition in first four years in ICs would be 15% and thereafter we are aiming at 50%-55% value add,” the MD said.

The plant, which will also manufacture solid state drives(SSDs) for laptops and notebooks, is expected to begin operations in the second quarter next year.

Sahasra’s group company Infopower Technologies, which is a joint venture with Taiwanese MiTac Holdings, will put in another Rs 210 crore in Noida, Uttar Pradesh to produce 25,000 motherboards or printed circuit boards per month, primarily for data centres. One-third of this amount will flow in from MiTac along with technology support.


“Close to 6,000 memory devices such as solid state drives were imported in India last year for data centres, set-top boxes etc. who will be potential customers for us. So, we will be selling them in India by retail distribution as well as e-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Croma etc,” Manwani said.

“We are also looking at a major export potential for motherboards to companies like Intel, Acer etc. we are talking about large volumes in the excess of several tens of millions of dollars,” he added.

Infopower has also received a commitment for incentives by the UP government under the state’s electronics policy for the proposed investment. Sahasra (meaning ‘millenia’), which was set up in the year 2000 for manufacturing electronic products, has expanded to four facilities in the NCR, India, one unit in Rwanda, Africa and eight sales and marketing offices in India, the US, Canada, Africa and Europe.

 

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Intel mulls setting up semiconductor test and assembly facility in India


Updated: 28 Oct 2020, 04:32 PM IST
By Ayushman Baruah
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So far, the India units of semiconductor companies such as Intel and AMD have been focusing only on design and engineering. Representative Image.

BENGALURU
: Intel Corp. may be exploring the possibility of setting up test and assembly facility of silicon wafers in India although no definite plan seems to have been made. Silicon wafer is a material used for producing semiconductors, which can be found in all types of electronic devices.

So far, the India units of semiconductor companies such as Intel and AMD have been focusing only on design and engineering. The manufacturing of chips, known as fabrication, is done mostly out of its factories or fabs in US, China, and Taiwan.

“Assembly test manufacturing is an exciting area that I would want to think about and see how things are progressing," Nivruti Rai, country head, Intel India said in an interview. “When it starts happening, you generate an ecosystem of suppliers that unleashes the large potential India has…our supply chain organization is looking at growing significantly in India."

“The need to start full-scale manufacturing is a function of demand and supply. As of today, we have enough ability to meet the supply we have and as situation changes, we will obviously change and grow," Rai added.

According to industry body India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), India needs to set up a $1 billion seed fund with the goal of promoting innovation in this area and supporting 100 fabless companies in the next five years to make the country self-reliant on semiconductors.

A fabless company designs and sells the hardware and semiconductor chips but does not manufacture the silicon wafers, or chips, used in its products. Instead, it outsources the fabrication to a manufacturing plant or foundry.

Electronics production currently contributes 3.3% to the country’s economy. But the latest Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) report states that with additional measures, it has potential to reach $410 billion or 8.2% of India’s $5-trillion GDP target by 2025. Boost in ESDM manufacturing can also generate 1 crore jobs providing an alternate source of employment to the IT sector, the report said.

“India has to build a fabless ecosystem with a fund of $500 million, setup and spur up local chip assembly, test, marking and packing (ATMP) capability; semiconductor lab (SCL) fab should be upgraded to a 65 nm fab to meet growing strategic needs; 14 nano metre fab should be built jointly between government and India Inc. for fabricating emerging internet of things (IoT) chip and smart processors," Vinod Dham, founder and managing partner at IndoUS Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, said at the recent IESA vision summit.

Intel India has been steadily moving up the value chain with a lot of critical work being done out of the country. It has been focusing on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to solve India’s problems in three key areas of healthcare, smart mobility, and education.

“Out of over 100,000 employees globally, the US is the largest engineering talent base for Intel followed by India. Every single development that happens in the US also happens here. We are no longer an internal outsource as we are doing cutting-edge development and work," said Rai. As part of its focus on AI, earlier this month, Intel India collaborated with the government of Telangana, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) to launch an applied AI research centre in Hyderabad. The AI centre will be in addition to the existing design centre it launched last year.

 

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Lava BE U smartphone launhing around Diwali, it will be women-centric smartphone


By: Meenu Rana, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
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BE U smartphone will be based on Android OS.

Lava is gearing up to launch a women-centric smartphone in India soon. The phone will be called BE U and it will be launched in the country around Diwali. If we look at the picture of the device which is in our possession the 'BE U by Lava' branding lies at the back of the device. It shows the phone in a single pinkish colour with a glossy body.

Sources close to the development have said to The Mobile Indian that "Lava BE U will be based on Android Operating System and will be priced less than Rs10,000."

The upcoming Lava smartphone will likely to feature decent specifications and try to attract women buyers as no other brand like Xiaomi, Realme, Tecno, Infinix. Samsung or Viv have launched a women-centric phone.

We also recently exclusively reported that Lava will launch five smartphones in India in November. The brand is planning to launch four smartphones under Rs 10,000 while one smartphone will be priced above Rs 10,000. Out of the four smartphones under 10k, one will be 100 per cent designed in India means it will be completely designed in India.

The company recently launched Lava Pulse 1 feature phone with contactless thermometer for Rs 1,999. The handset is available online on Amazon, Flipkart and at 100K+ retail stores in the country.

Lava Pulse 1 enables users to measure their body temperature without touching the sensor. features a sturdy polycarbonate body and comes with a 2.4-inch display. The device has an expandable memory of up to 32GB and embedded with 1800 mAh battery.

Lava Pulse 1 phone also comes with features like number talker, photo icons for saving contacts, wireless FM with recording and dual SIM support. The phone provides a provision of auto call recording and enables users to type in 7 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Gujarati and Punjabi.

 

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Micromax In Note 1, Micromax In 1b With MediaTek SoCs Launched in India: Price, Specifications

Micromax In Note 1 price in India starts at Rs. 10,999, while Micromax In 1b carries a starting price of Rs. 6,999.

By Jagmeet Singh | Updated: 3 November 2020 13:22 IST
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Micromax released 2 new smartphones from the "In" series.

Micromax "In" series has finally been launched in India after much anticipation and a range of teasers. The new series comprises the Micromax In Note 1 and Micromax In 1b that both come with MediaTek chipsets and run on Android 10 with a “complete stock experience”, without any bloatware and ads. Micromax has also promised to offer two years of software updates on the new smartphones. The Gurugram-based company was once a leader in the Indian mobile phone market. However, it bowed out in the growing dominance of Chinese brands including Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi in the country. Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma during the virtual launch showcased the company's facility in Bhiwadi and detailed the production process of the new smartphones, which are being touted to be part of the 'Make in India' initiative.

Micromax In Note 1, Micromax In 1b price in India, availability details

Micromax In Note 1 price in India has been set at Rs. 10,999 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant, while the 4GB RAM + 128GB storage model of the phone is priced at Rs. 12,499. In contrast, the Micromax In 1b carries a price tag of Rs. 6,999 for the 2GB RAM + 32GB storage variant, whereas its 4GB RAM + 64GB storage version comes at Rs. 7,999. The Micromax In Note 1 comes in Green and White colour options and will go on sale starting November 24. However, the Micromax In 1b flaunts three distinct colour options and will be available from November 26.

Both new Micromax phones will be available for purchase through Flipkart as well as the Micromax website. Moreover, Flipkart and Micromax will start taking registrations for both new models through its sites later today. The Micromax In Note 1 competes with the likes of the Redmi Note 9 and Realme Narzo 20, while the Micromax In 1b comes as a competitor against the likes of the Redmi 9, Poco C3, and the Realme C15.

Micromax In Note 1 specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Micromax In Note 1 runs on Android 10 and features a 6.67-inch full-HD+ display and a hole-punch design. Under the hood, the phone has an octa-core MediaTek Helio G85 SoC, coupled with 4GB of RAM. The phone comes with a quad rear camera setup that houses a 48-megapixel primary sensor, along with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor that houses a wide-angle camera. There are also two 2-megapixel sensors for macro shots and depth sensing. Furthermore, the camera setup is paired with an LED flash and is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) backed features, including night vision support.

For selfies, the Micromax In Note 1 houses a 16-megapixel camera sensor at the front, with a 78-degree wide-angle lens. The selfie camera sensor is capable of shooting GIFs — alongside regular photos and videos.

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Micromax In Note 1 comes with a hole-punch display design

The Micromax In Note 1 comes with up to 128GB of onboard storage that is expandable via microSD card. Connectivity options on the phone include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Besides, it packs a 5,000mAh battery that supports reverse charging as well as 18W fast charging (compatible charger is bundled in the box).

Micromax In 1b specifications


The dual-SIM (Nano) Micromax In 1b runs on Android 10 and features a 6.52-inch HD+ display with a waterdrop-style notch. The phone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio G35 SoC, paired with 2GB and 4GB of RAM options. In terms of optics, there is a dual rear camera setup that houses a 13-megapixel primary camera sensor with an f/1.8 lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, along with an LED flash. The Micromax phone also comes with an 8-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front.




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Micromax In 1b comes with a waterdrop-style display notch

On the storage front, the Micromax In 1b carries 32GB and 64GB of onboard storage options that both are expandable via microSD card. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone also features a fingerprint sensor at the back. Lastly, the phone comes with a 5,000mAh battery that supports reverse charging and 10W fast charging (compatible charger is bundled in the box).

 
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'Nine Apple units shifted to India from China during Covid period'​


TNN | Updated: Nov 20, 2020, 15:00 IST


BENGALURU: Union IT and communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Apple has come to India in a big way. At the inaugural session of the 23rd edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit held virtually on Thursday, he said that even during the Covid period, “nine operating units, along with component makers, shifted from China to India”.

The manufacturing world, he said, was looking at alternative destinations.

“In view of the enormous success in accelerating mobile manufacturing, we came with the big idea of production-linked incentive (PLI),” he said.

Prasad had said earlier that Samsung, Foxconn, Rising Star, Wistron and Pegatron were filing applications under the PLI scheme.

In his inaugural address at the tech summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the pandemic has shown the power of technology and how seamlessly Indians have adapted to it.

While lockdown and travel restrictions have kept people away from the workplace, the resilience of the technology sector was visible which ensured uninterrupted work from home. That high amount of technology adoption is there to stay.

“Challenges bring out the best in people, perhaps it is relevant to India’s techies. When there is a demand in customers or deadlines, you would have noticed the best solution comes out,” he added.

 
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Nokia smartphones are now being manufactured by Lava in India

Lava is already producing smartphones for Nokia in India.

By Sai Krishna
November 26, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lava International is already manufacturing smartphones for Nokia in India
  • The company has reportedly joined hands with HMD Global for the supply chain as well
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Lava International has now joined hands with HMD Global to manufacture Nokia smartphones in India. The company has already started manufacturing phones in the country for Nokia. Reports claim that Lava has joined hands with HMD Global on the supply chain front as well. HMD Global is currently only selling made-in-India Nokia phones and this partnership should further extend the initiative and take it in the right direction. Lava claims that it has a production capacity of 30 million to 45 million feature phones. It is said to be in talks with more brands (including Motorola) for a similar arrangement. Lava, which once was one of the top smartphone brands in India had lost its way with the entry of brands like Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, and others.

Nokia 2.4 was launched in India earlier today. The phone comes with a 6.5-inch HD+ display, a 20:9 aspect ratio, 1,600 X 720 pixels resolution, and a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera. It is powered by the MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB/ 64GB user-expandable storage onboard. The phone runs on Android 10 OS with near-stock UI and has a physical fingerprint sensor on the back for security. There is a dedicated Google Assistant button for easy search.

Nokia-2.4.jpg


Moving to cameras, the Nokia 2.4 has dual cameras at the back consisting of a 13MP primary sensor with an LED flash and a 2MP depth lens for portrait shots. There is a 5MP snapper on the front for selfies and video chat. Connectivity features include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/GLONASS, and micro-USB port for charging. A 4,500mAh battery with standard 5W charging support fuels the phone. The Nokia 2.4 is priced at Rs 10,399 and comes in Dusk, Fjord, and Charcoal colour options.

Nokia smartphones are now being manufactured by Lava in India
 

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PLI scheme powers up lithium-ion cell manufacturing


Updated: 01 Dec 2020, 07:33 AM IST
By Malyaban Ghosh

Automotive and industrial battery manufacturers such as Exide may also diversify into lithium-ion cell manufacturing
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The automotive sector will receive subsidies worth ₹57,000 crore as part of the PLI scheme. REUTERS

Companies are accelerating plans to produce lithium-ion cells in the country, hoping to take advantage of ₹18,000 crore worth of government subsidies announced last month, two people directly aware of the developments said.

The production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme announced by the Union government could spur these companies to start local manufacturing of lithium-ion cells in the next couple of years, the people said, requesting anonymity.

Tata Chemicals Ltd is likely to soon start building a manufacturing facility for lithium-ion cells in Gujarat, said the people cited above. The Tata group company is likely to seek incentives under the PLI scheme and may also export cells from India, the people said, adding that the company has acquired land for the proposed facility in the Dholera region of Gujarat.

Tata Chemicals has revived the manufacturing plans after a delay caused by the pandemic, one of the two people cited above said.

“Tata Chemicals has again started work on its lithium-ion cell manufacturing project. The company, along with other manufacturers, was waiting for the government to come out with the PLI scheme since it was in the works for some time now. They are expected to seek incentives under the scheme just like some of the other manufacturers," the person said.

A spokesperson for Tata Chemicals did not respond to emailed queries sent on Monday.

Lithium-ion cells are considered the heart of electric vehicles, but India still doesn’t have any manufacturing capability for such products. Currently, most of the electric vehicle makers import cells and batteries from China, the world’s top producer of lithium-ion cells.

The second person said automotive and industrial battery manufacturers such as Exide Batteries and Amara Raja may also diversify into lithium-ion cell manufacturing to qualify for the PLI scheme. “Most of these manufacturers have already shared their plans to get into lithium-ion battery manufacturing in India and the PLI scheme will definitely propel them to get into cell manufacturing in the coming years. Most manufacturers with plans to get into this new sector were waiting for the government to come up with this scheme," the person said.

On 11 November, the government announced incentives worth ₹3 trillion to encourage companies in 10 sectors to boost local manufacturing and increase exports. The automotive sector will receive subsidies worth ₹57,000 crore – the biggest chunk–as part of the scheme.

According to Suvranil Majumdar of World Bank, companies interested in manufacturing lithium ion cells have definitely been enthused by the of the PLI scheme announced by the government ( in line with Atmanirbhar Bharat) but challenges still remain regarding the supply of raw materials.

“In India 50-60% of the value can be done when it comes to marking cells, but the rest which includes raw materials will still have to be imported. Also, we still don’t have a large scalable market for such products in India, which can be a challenge in terms of investment planning," added Majumdar.

PLI scheme powers up lithium-ion cell manufacturing (livemint.com)
 
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Handset makers may hire around 50,000 people by March 2021, driven by PLI scheme

Handset makers may hire around 50,000 people by March 2021, driven by PLI scheme

By Devina Sengupta, ET Bureau
Last Updated: Nov 18, 2020, 05:07 PM IST

Synopsis

Recruiters say the blue collared workforce returning to the cities and the push for diversity, has mobile makers set up hiring mandates with assurance of safe workplaces amidst Covid-19 outbreak.

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MUMBAI: The handset industry is set to hire around 50,000 direct employees by March, 2021, under the impetus of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which has encouraged global and local players to set up and expand manufacturing factories in India.

Recruiters say the blue collared workforce returning to the cities and the push for diversity, has mobile makers set up hiring mandates with assurance of safe workplaces amidst Covid-19 outbreak.

"From now till March next year, the handset industry will hire 50,000 direct employees. After the lockdown was removed, many have returned to the cities and the PLI scheme is finally taking shape," Pankaj Mohindroo, president of industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), told ET.

As per industry estimates, domestic manufacturers including Dixon Technologies, UTL Neolyncs, Lava International, Optiemus Electronics and Micromax are expected to generate over 20,000 direct jobs by the end of December.

The estimate is a big uptick from the hiring last year, which the industry body chairman pegs down to absence of PLI.

"The handset sector employs around 7 lakh currently…last year about 15,000 were hired. This is because the PLI scheme was still in draft state and it was a quiet year," Mohindroo added.

Last month, the government approved the applications of 10 mobile phone manufacturing companies, including five foreign include Samsung, Foxconn units Hon Hai and Rising Star, Wistron and Pegatron for availing incentives under the PLI scheme totalling around Rs 41,000 crore to be disbursed over five years. The scheme offers an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sale of handsets over a base year – financial year 2019-20.

Recruiters say that the companies have changed their methods of hiring for the handset sector in post-Covid times.

According to Rituparna Chakraborty, cofounder of TeamLease Services, handset makers are looking at recruiting women candidates and taking additional steps to ensure a safe workplace. This is specially the case since the factories being set up are away from the residential areas.

"Handset makers are now hiring in post-Covid scenario where they are looking at safety measures, building hostels and dormitories for their workers," she added.

Recruiters have also noted that along with manufacturing, there is also demand from the refurbished handset sector and exports.

The need is to hire employees from Industrial Training Institutes and the blue collared workforce. “We are also looking at the workforce from the automobile sector who are mechanical engineers since there is work coming up in assembly line and component making," said Aditya Narayan Mishra, director of CIEL HR Services.

Handset makers may hire around 50,000 people by March 2021, driven by PLI scheme - The Economic Times (indiatimes.com)