Indias ambitious aim to become a manufacturing hub for the world will be impossible to achieve if the country does not immediately start investing in manufacturing of key components like displays and ICs (integrated chips) needed by crucial electronic devices, Rajoo Goel, Director General, ELCINA said.
“Electronics manufacturing is critical to Atmanirbhar India” said Goel.
“Electronics is at the heart of most existing and emerging technologies and are widely recognised as a meta-resource. Electronic components are the building blocks of electronic equipment and contain the essence of electronics technology. India has lagged behind in manufacturing of components, especially the high end PCB’s, chip components, and semiconductors. Key electronics today requires these components based on cutting edge semiconductor technology to manufacture power electronics, memory devices, sensors, and displays which contribute the lion’s share of electronic products,” Goel added.
Goel gave the example of displays that make up the major value ranging from 10-50%, of popular electronic products such as mobile phones, televisions sets, laptops, tablets and their use is growing rapidly with touch and interactive technology becoming common in all domains.
Unfortunately India does not have a display fabrication unit which requires a very large investment of several billion US Dollars and is based on semiconductor technology. The manufacture of such key electronic components is vital to establish a sustainable and self-reliant eco-system for the Electronic Systems Design & Manufacturing sector. It is the only way to enhance value addition and establish the both, the upstream and downstream value chain.
“As demonstrated by economies like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, electronics can bring about transformational change and catapult any country into the orbit of developed nations. This is a lesson for India and the way forward for us towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. If these countries can do it, why can’t we? We have the natural resources, educated and skilled manpower, a huge market and our infrastructure is improving. All we need now, is to persevere and aggressively implement our National Policy on Electronics to achieve our goal of self-reliance and establish ourselves as a formidable force in the global electronics industry,” . Goel said.
As per government estimates, the global electronics market is valued at around $2 trillion. Given the increasing importance of technology, this number is expected to grow significantly and in a very short amount of time. While China is the largest electronics manufacturer, India’s share in global electronics manufacturing has grown from 1.3% in 2012 to 3.6% in 2019. However, the bulk of this is in the assembly of the components that are imported.
The Government of India has been working on promoting electronics manufacturing in India for some time now. While a lot has happened when it comes to assembly of major electronics like mobile phones, much is yet to be done about the manufacturing of key components. Earlier this year, in May, the government had come out with an Expression of Interest (EoI) inviting proposals from companies to build display fabrication units in the country. The ministry of electronics and Information Technology is understood to be looking into the proposals and is expected to come out with the next steps later this year.
India’s display market is estimated to be valued at approximately $7 billion and this is expected to more than double to around $15 billion in the next four years, say government estimates. Private enterprises expect this to go up to as much as around $25 billion in the same time frame. Displays are completely imported and more than 90% come from China. A recent report by the Indian Cellular & Electronics Association estimates that given the rising domestic demand, the overall demand for Displays for 2020 was about 253 million Units valued at $5.4 billion. Given the manufacturing plans for Mobile Phones, TV and IT hardware products, it is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 29.5% to 922 million units or $18.9 billion by 2025. Currently, electronics make up second highest import bill for the country after oil.