India needs to focus on trending and emerging technologies for us to establish ourselves as the leader in electronics manufacturing. As of now, India accounts for 3% of global electronic production. The biggest competitor is China which is the manufacturing capital of the world and accounts for 28% of the overall global manufacturing output.
While the winds of change are favoring our country with major economies interested to invest in India, the domestic industry really needs to scale-up vertically and horizontally. This basically means that we need to size-up our capacities to manufacture quality electronic parts heavily while various sectors need to invest strongly in research and development of trending and emerging technologies.
This is entirely possible as the Indian electronics manufacturing sector has a strong foundation to support the expansion. We have the third-largest pool of scientists and technicians. Also, the electronics sector is estimated to grow at 30% for the next 5 years, generating Rs 11.5 lakh crore worth production during this period.
It is true that we have hit a roadblock in view of the COVID19 pandemic which has caused a contraction of 40% to GDP in the Q1FY2021. However, the slew of electronic manufacturing conducive initiatives rolled out by the Central Government will bring back the industry into the growth pathway and contribute towards the making of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The measures include the announcement of National Policy on Electronics, which aims to make India the centre of Electronics System Design and Manufacturing targeting a turnover of US$400 billion in the next five years.
The Modified Incentive Special Package Scheme (M-SIPS) and Electronic Development Fund (EDF)have been announced recently by the government. Furthermore, three more schemes to the tune of Rs 48,000 Cr such as Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) and Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme have been announced.
In sync with Digital India and Make in India, these policies create a robust platform for the electronic industry to come up with dedicated strategies to invest in innovation and research. Unlike China which is generally deemed as the land of followers, India’s historical, cultural, and geographic diversity makes it a land of thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators.
It is only when India gains market share in trending and emerging technologies that the electronics manufacturing industry would be able to create a continuous demand for its products in the world market. Simultaneously, our factory and production lines will also adopt the latest technologies that will boost production volume and quality of products.
There are several domains with strong emerging technologies that can be the biggest demand creators for electronics manufacturers. By capitalizing on the following technologies, India will consolidate its position as a major market leader in the world.
5G technology: This is the single-most important revolution waiting to happen. China, USA, and Europe are already miles ahead of us in adopting 5G technology, which will give more impetus to the Industrial Revolution 4.0. India too needs to create massive investment and rapid execution to remain competitive in the segment. With 5G, the possibilities are limitless. Our supporting electronics system would have to be upgraded accordingly. It is estimated that in the next decade and half, 5G is estimated to create USD 3.5 trillion and generate 22 million jobs. It will be critical for the making of Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Massive IoT, and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Connectivity.
Automation: Automation is going to be everywhere. From self-driving vehicles to smart homes and buildings, powered by 5G, automation is going to transform the way we experience the world. For the electronics manufacturing industry, IoT is another game-changer. The sector can expect the production of a whopping 30 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices. To achieve this, the electronics sector has to innovate with better designed and efficient components in sync with various IoT, and other superlative digital technologies such as AI, and Big Data.
New energy technologies: Growing environmental concerns and reducing reserves of non-renewable energy is driving the world and India to renewable energy. India’s renewable energy sector is the fourth most attractive in the world market, with being 4th in wind and 5th in solar and renewable power. After one nation and one grid, India is shifting towards a system where households, offices, and infrastructure will be power generators and suppliers to a smart grid. While the new age of efficient transmission lines, storage systems, and electronic components would be required, the focus on automation and smart systems would need electronic components that support an energy-efficient ecosystem.
Healthcare: With advancing technologies, healthcare and diagnostics sectors are undergoing a massive transformation. From advancing point of care devices and gadgets to personalized medicine, the healthcare sector is going to be a significant demand creator for electronic products in the time to come.
Defense and aerospace: Growing geostrategic challenges and increasing focus on the world beyond earth will be another major growth driver for the electronics manufacturing industry. India has its target set for the manned mission to the moon along with several other projects. In terms of defense, India has recently decided to make 108 items in India including UAV and electronic warfare systems, a 4 lakh Crore worth push to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Abhiyan’. With defense and aerospace projects requiring extensive contribution to specially designed electronic components, it is one of the exciting sectors for the industry.
The application of electronics is wide-ranging and a lot of sectors from automotive to consumer products to the gaming industry will be the demand creators for electronics manufacturing. However, it is by catering to critical sectors and those which are the first adopters of emerging technologies that India will be able to consolidate on the leadership position in the world.
By Vijay Kumar Sachdeva, MD and CEO, Laxmi Remote (INDIA) Pvt Ltd (LRIPL)