Chatting with Soni Saran Singh, executive director, NMTronics, is a pleasure. The company has managed to maintain leadership in the Indian electronics industry with 55 percent market share.
NMTronics has taken initiatives in bringing interest among Indian entrepreneurs for local mobile phone manufacturing, and is a pioneer in providing turnkey solutions for mobile phone manufacturing. According to Singh, the Indian government is making some initiatives by introducing a domestic manufacturing policy. Hence, the company sees huge potential in mobile phone manufacturing in the coming years.
How does NMTronics see the Indian electronics industry performing in 2012 and beyond? Soni Saran Singh said: "With miniaturization becoming part and parcel of each electronic gadgets, with more and more sophistications coming day by day, there is no end for electronics manufacturing growth. As an equipment supplier, our role will continue to bring in the latest technology equipment to meet those challenges. The industry is in the trend to shift to handle more complex, more volume assemblies.
"With MNCs in this segment already having set the example of quick ramp up with developed ecosystems, it is the time for the local Indian companies to adopt those initiatives for increased domestic manufacturing. The government also has to introduce some local manufacturing policy and there is a need to set up the necessary infrastructure faster in terms of uninterrupted power, water and good connectivity for the industries to go with their investments.
"There are few products like MP3 players, flat panel displays, memory cards, gaming consoles, cameras, etc., which are yet to be see light in Indian manufacturing. When I see this, I feel there is a lot yet to come to India and therefore, foresee lots of new investments to happen in the year 2012 and beyond."
What about the Indian semiconductor industry? According to Singh: "Everyone knows that semicon is a very big opportunity for India, considering the market size and the increasing application of semiconductors in our day to life. Semiconductor consumption in India is estimated at $43 billion, which will grow multifold in next few years to reach about $80 million. We have been closely monitoring the industry for over a decade now, but India has restricted itself to only design and R&D when it comes to the semiconductor industry.
"Unfortunately, this strength was never converted to mass manufacturing till now. There are some less complex products like bright LEDs, memory chips, memory cards, etc, which does not require very high level of investment, but still there is no major growth in semiconductor manufacturing.
"The government announced its semiconductor policy, which helps in setting-up of semiconductor manufacturing, but the big question is that how India will compete in marketing of these products compared to Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers, who have more than 30 years of experience in these industries.
"There is a need for strong government policy to protect the Indian manufacturers initially (in the learning phase), by duty exemptions on raw materials and equipment, mandatory local content in government projects and so on. The India Semiconductor Association (ISA) has been working on this for very long, but there has been no appreciable result. We hope someday that policymakers will understand the requirement, and the Indian semiconductor industry will see a new light."
You can read the entire interview with Soni Saran Singh in the forthcoming issue of Global SMT & Packaging magazine.