India must address IPR and standards compliance for semiconductors

The global market for semiconductors is expected to reach a trillion dollars over the next few years, driven by the need for advanced processors to power every moment of our digital lives today -- from healthcare diagnostics to AI solutions.

Pradeep Chakraborty
New Update
K Sridhar

K Sridhar, Chief Business Officer, TalentSprint.

Semiconductors lead talks all over the world today. It is, as though, people have woken up from slumber, and realized its importance. Now, we have the various CHIPS Act across the USA, and Europe. India needs to catch up with the world in semiconductors. 


K Sridhar, Chief Business Officer, TalentSprint, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview: 

DQ: How is semiconductor technology becoming increasingly important in India's economic landscape?

K Sridhar: The global market for semiconductors is expected to reach a trillion dollars over the next few years, driven by the need for advanced processors to power every moment of our digital lives today -- from healthcare diagnostics to AI solutions.


India is at a critical growth juncture in this industry. According to a report by Counterpoint Research and the IESA, India's Semiconductor market will touch $64 billion by 2026 almost three times its 2019 size of $22.7 billion. 

This highlights a global supply chain diversification away from China and toward other nations, pegging India for possible unparalleled expansion. The Indian government's initiative in promoting homegrown semiconductor production also highlights its dedication to lowering reliance on imports.

Realizing this, through programs like the Indian Semiconductor Mission (ISM), our country is today positioned as a major player in the global semiconductor market with a twin strategic focus on investing in and developing talent in the semiconductor manufacturing sector. This will help address our domestic consumption demands as well as drive global leadership.


The demand has been significant with manufacturing initiatives announced by leading companies like Vedanta, Foxconn, and Micron, and domestic heavyweights like the Tata Group, reflecting a change in semiconductor production towards self-sufficiency.

Our overall goal in the semiconductor sector has the potential to drive technical innovation and job development, sustainably.

DQ: What role do education and skill development initiatives play in nurturing talent for the semiconductor industry?

K Sridhar: The growth in the semiconductor sector is giving rise to the need for professional expertise across multiple disciplines. As per Mckinsey, "Talent will be a critical part of the equation in this evolving industry. Companies must ensure they can attract and retain a sufficient talent pool to ensure the new capacity under construction can operate at full steam when it starts production.” 


Programs have to be multi-disciplinary and provide students with a solid understanding of physics, mathematics, electronics, and computer science—disciplines essential to comprehending semiconductor technology. Not just that, given the emerging and niche domain, specialized and hands-on training is needed to equip people with practical skills in semiconductor design, manufacture, testing, and packaging, going beyond theory. 

Participants can hone their skills and get ready for professional employment by applying theoretical principles to real-world scenarios through practical sessions in labs or industry settings. Working with the industry in designing such future-facing programs is essential.

DQ: What are the opportunities and challenges for India in emerging semiconductor technologies such as AI chips, IoT sensors, and quantum computing?


K Sridhar: Emerging semiconductor technologies like AI chips, IoT sensors, and quantum computing present both opportunities and challenges for India at this pivotal moment. One could argue that India has a chance to make a big impact in the semiconductor industry given the rising demand for these technologies around the world. 

The nation's rich reservoir of talent, especially in the fields of electronics, computer science, and mathematics, offers a solid platform for innovation. By creating an atmosphere that is favorable for investment and expansion, government programmes such as the National Policy on Electronics and the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications strengthen the ecosystem even more. 

Partnerships and collaborations with international businesses and research centers can also make it easier for people to access markets and exchange knowledge. 


Nonetheless, there are still obstacles to overcome, such as the requirement for a large investment in R&D and infrastructure to create semiconductor fabrication facilities that can produce these cutting-edge technologies. India must prioritize innovation, quality, and cost-effectiveness to set itself apart from well-established competitors like the US and China. 

To fully utilize emerging semiconductor technologies, India must also address regulatory obstacles like intellectual property rights and standards compliance, and close the skills gap through specialized education and skill development programmes. 

DQ: How can collaborative efforts between academia, industry, and government accelerate India's semiconductor ecosystem?


K Sridhar: The semiconductor industry is a trillion-dollar market. By actively participating in this industry, India not only aims to meet its domestic consumption demands, but also positions itself to capitalize on global market opportunities.

While academia can ensure their best minds can teach the students the best-in-class concepts required for emerging roles in the sector, it is important to work with the industry to assess early use cases across sectors and also to understand what skills are being valued by companies that are actively hiring. 

This is also critical because there are many emerging innovations the sector is seeing on the back of new and developing technologies be it AI or VR, or IoT, etc. Applications, therefore, are also diverse from healthcare diagnostics to AI applications and more. 

The government’s role is two-fold; first to ensure that those investing in the sector have the right support to set up the required infrastructure. Second, to keep focusing on building the talent pool and diversity, strategically, and for the long term.

DQ: In what ways is India's global competitiveness in the tech industry influenced by its semiconductor capabilities?

K Sridhar: A strong semiconductor ecosystem helps India design, develop, and produce cutting-edge electronics domestically, lowering reliance on imports and boosting self-reliance as the nation works to become a major force in the tech sector. Innovation and technological progress are fueled by semiconductor capabilities in several industries, including defense, telecommunications, healthcare, and the automotive sector. 

India can promote innovation, create high-value jobs, and boost economic growth in these vital industries by investing in semiconductor R&D and manufacturing. Further enhancing India's global competitiveness, semiconductor expertise also helps the nation become a preferred location for international technology companies looking to establish research centers, design labs, and manufacturing facilities.

These innovations can in turn attract more investment, and drive the adoption of emerging technologies. As India strengthens its semiconductor ecosystem through collaboration between academia, industry, and government, it is poised to become a major player in the global semiconductor landscape, leading to sustainable growth and prosperity in the tech sector.