Successive governments at the Centre have been trying to make India a global hub for electronics and hardware equipment but have achieved limited success since 2012. For example, while the number of mobile handset and accessories factories in the country has gone up, the local value addition is only around 7-8 per cent as most of the critical components are imported. Similarly, attempts to attract investments for manufacturing semiconductors in India have so far not yielded anything concrete. 

With the demand for electronics hardware expected to rise rapidly, India cannot afford to bear a huge foreign exchange outgo on the import of electronics alone. In this context, the new PLI schemes and the Rs 75,000 crore semiconductor policy seems to be a step in the right direction. But will this be enough? Can India catch up with China to become a hardware manufacturing hub? 

In this episode of the State of the Economy podcast. businessline’s Thomas K Thomas, discusses these questions with Dr Ajai Chowdhry, Founder HCL, Chairman of EPIC Foundation, and author of Just Aspire.

Dr Chowdhry, who has been among the first to talk about promoting local manufacturing 20 years ago, believes that India is taking all the right steps but more needs to be done in terms of going up the value chain. 

He said that the onus of driving manufacturing should not rest with just the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology but it should be a priority across all ministries. “Identify products that are required made in India, design in India and get incentives for getting them made in India,” says Dr Chowdhry. Listen in.

(Host: Thomas K Thomas, Producer: V Nivedita)


About the State of the Economy podcast

India’s economy has been hailed as a bright spot amid the general gloom that seems to have enveloped the rest of the world. But several sectors continue to stutter even as others seem set to fire on all cylinders. To help you make sense of the bundle of contradictions that the country is, businessline brings you podcasts with experts ranging from finance and marketing to technology and start-ups.