Friday, February 5, 2010

Key drivers of electronics in India: Francois Guibert, ST

One of the industry keynotes on day 1 of the recently held ISA Vision Summit featured François Guibert, corporate VP and president, Greater China & South Asia Region, STMicroelectronics.

According to Guibert, electronics is key for the wealth of nations as most industries and services will be unable to operate in its absence.

Electronics also generates more added-value than any other manufacturing industry. It provides three times more jobs than it generates. It also accounts for 30 percent of the fixed asset investments of the overall industries. Guibert added that the electronics industry will continue growing more than twice the world’s GDP in this decade.

Commenting on India’s electronics landscape, he said the domestic electronics demand was 3-4 percent of the global consumption, or approximately, $48 billion in 2009. This comprised 9 million STBs, 125 million 2G/3G handsets, 8 million desktops and laptops, 17 million TVs, and 1.5 million cars.

India’s electronics manufacturing revenue was worth $26 billion in 2009, which is slated to rise to $43 billion by 2013, at a CAGR of 10.7 percent over the next five years.

The present situation of India, includes a huge local market with strong growth prospect, Asian dynamism, large clusters of local companies, cost competitiveness, huge pool of IT resources, good educational system and high English literacy. The current market drivers include digital STBs, digital security, lighting, automotive, metering system, etc.

In future, the mega drivers or trends are going to be green electronics, biomedical electronics, advanced security and advanced connectivity.

In green electronics, the key areas to watch out are energy harvesting, green lighting, green automotives, plastic electronics, green appliances and green computing. In biomedical electronics, the key areas would be body gateways, medical equipment and biosensors. Here, Guibert highlighted the role of MEMS as an emerging enabling technology.

Advanced security would include physical seurity, infosecurity and electronic security systems, eventually leading to system integration with a combination of components for comprehensive security systems. Advanced connectivity would entail high-speed wireless connectivity and multimedia convergence.

He added that electronics is now at the center of the industrial policy of nations. Nations are launching strategic programs through R&D in electronic systems and also reinforcing the strategic programs through R&D in semiconductors. Guibert cited Taiwan’s example, with the country having gained leadership in PCs and peripherals and semiconductor foundry manufacturing.

BRIC countries and other emerging nations possess tremendous potential for electronics and semiconductors. Two points would be very crucial — R&D and manufacturing.

So, what are the ingredients for success? One, focus on key electronics applications, such as consumer, telecom, PC, industrial, etc. Other critical factors include — government focus, strong R&D efforts, industry partnerships, as well as regional economic success — competitiveness of the local electronics industry along with semiconductor innovation and integration.

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