Clusters for electronics will boost hardware sector, says Ajai Chowdhry

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2012 Published on July 09, 2012

Mr Ajai Chowdhry

There are huge opportunities in hardware manufacturing in India. The Government’s approval to set up electronics clusters would give a fillip to the industry, said Mr Ajai Chowdhry, HCL co-founder and chairman of the Government’s task force on information technology and electronics.

“We have a large consuming country and we should create a manufacturing platform. Our whole thinking in the country has been services, and we missed out on the manufacturing space, but still it is not late,” he said.

He said it was time to go after the manufacturing space, as the Government has also now accepted the report of the Information Technology Task Force on implementing some of the processes.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology had constituted the Task Force in August 2009 under the leadership of Mr Chowdhry.

First steps

“One of the first steps has been setting up of semi-conductor facilities that the Government is in final stages of taking a decision — on companies and which technology to start with it,” he said.

The Union Cabinet had last week approved the scheme for the development of Electronics Manufacturing Clusters to support the setting up of both greenfield and brownfield clusters.

Manufacturing of computers and mobile handsets could benefit from this scheme since it will make available components locally. Currently, companies are importing components from China and Taiwan.

Mr Chowdhry said that the Government is expected to decide in next three-four months.

He said the whole idea was to create a series of design capabilities in India as in China. China has taken a lead over India because it is not just a manufacturing hub, but also strong in design.

“Many Indian brands today go to these design houses and they are designing as per Indian requirements. Why are we doing that? For our own country, we are creating jobs outside,” he said.

This capability exists in India and many companies are designing for the world, but not for us, he argued. Therefore, with funds and support coming from the Government, an environment would be created so that there is a lot vibrancy in design.

“Apple is one example. It designs in America, gets it manufactured in China; but all of its profits, intellectual property and value additions are in the US. That is exactly what we should do,” he said.

Mr Chowdhry, who stepped down as Director, HCL Infosystems on June 30, said he would continue to support the company as a mentor.

Published on July 09, 2012

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