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BMC bags silver medal for digital initiative IT

The BrihanmumbaMunicipal Corporation (BMC) has been awarded the Central government’s silver medal for ‘Outstanding Digital Initiative by a Local Body’ in the Digital India Awards held on Friday. In another win, Washington’s Library of Congress has asked for a copy of the BMC’s coffee table book on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Digital India Awards 2018 were organised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre.  The awards recognise initiatives of ministries, departments, institutions which have made significant contributions towards implementation of e-Governance and shown an innovative approach to achieve administrative efficiency and transparency, according to the website. The Outstanding Digital Initiative by Local Body award focuses on providing exemplary information quality and extent of services by assessing the service maturity level, service catalogue, transparency, cost effectiveness and efficiency enhancement in terms of service delivery. Entries are assessed on the level of convenience or empowerment provided to the citizen through the initiative. The BMC was awarded the second prize in this category. The award was handed over by Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and received by Shashi Bala, Head of BMC’s Business Development Cell and Information Technology Director Arun Joglekar.

(The Hindu, Feb 23, 2019)

India should become a data analytics hub: Ravi Shankar Prasad IT

Union Minister for Electronics & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad,said India should become a data analytics hub on the back of the huge amount of data that Indians are producing. “India has all the potential to become a centre of data analysis. The huge data 1.3 billion Indians are producing. It is a great opportunity,” said Prasad after releasing a report on India’s trillion dollar digital economy at the Nasscom event here. He said the report is not just about digital inclusion but also an opportunity to do business in India. The report stated that India can create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy in 2025, with half of the opportunity originating in new digital ecosystems that can spring up in diverse sectors of the economy. Currently, India’s digital economy generates about $200 billion of economic value annually largely from existing digital ecosystem comprising of information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), digital communication services (including telecom), e-commerce, domestic electronics manufacturing, digital payments, and direct subsidy transfers. The existing digital ecosystem could contribute up to $500 billion of economic value, but the potential economic value for India could be as much as double that amount — almost $1 trillion— if digital technologies are used to unlock productivity, savings, and efficiency across more diverse sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, financial services, government services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, trade, and transportation.  The report stated that India has the second-largest number of instant messaging service users worldwide, behind China, and the most social media users, and Aadhaar, India’s unique digital identity programme, covers more than 1.2 billion people, the largest system of its type globally.

(ET, Feb 21, 2019)

EV Charging Stations In India: EVI Technologies To Install 20,000 Electric Vehicle Charging Location IT

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in India will soon grow in number by a good margin. EVI Technologies aims to set up 20,000 charging stations at key locations across the country, within the next one-and-a-half years. The company will invest Rs 100 crore in the project in a bid to promote electric mobility. EVI Technologies, incubated at the Electropreneur Park (funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), has tied up with BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd to install 3000 EV charging stations in Delhi alone. The charging stations will require an investment of Rs 15,000-20,000 per head and BSES will charge a tariff of Rs 5 per unit of electric power. Rupesh Kumar, CEO of EVI Technologies shared, "We have a target to create a network of around 20,000 EV chargers in the next one and a half years. This will include home and public charging stations. It will be around Rs 100 crore. We are tying up with some finance partners, who are already providing finance for the leasing model. We are already in discussion with some of them."

(DriveSpark, Feb 18, 2019)

Centre for Good Governance wins Digital India Award General

Centre for Good Governance (CGG), Hyderabad won the “Platinum” Digital India Award 2018 under “Outstanding Digital Initiative by a Local Body" category at Digital India Awards for its "Citizen Centric Integrated Services to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC)". The award was given by the Union Minister for Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, Dr. Ravi  Shankar Prasad at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi recently. CGG competed with 600 participating nominations and bagged this title.  The e Digital India Programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digital society and knowledge economy. The e digital India vision provides intensified impetus for further momentum and progress of digital-governance and would promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices, manufacturing and job opportunities.

(Hans India, Feb 27, 2019)

Indian Economy Based On Sound Fundamentals, Will Soon Reach $5 Trillion: PM Modi General

Ø  : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Indian economy is based on sound fundamentals and will in the near future double in size to $5 trillion, as he had sold the country as a "land of opportunities" to investors in South Korea. "No other large economy in the world is growing at over 7 per cent year after year," he said at the India-ROK Business Symposium here during his visit to the Republic of Korea. Over 600 Korean companies such as Hyundai, Samsung and LG Electronics are already invested in India and the Prime Minister said "we aspire to welcome many more."  "And, (car maker) Kia is soon to join this club," he added. To ease business visits, India since October last year is giving Korean nationals visa on arrival, he said. "The fundamentals of our economy are sound. We are well set to become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the near future," he said. Modi said hard policy decisions such as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and opening up of more sectors has helped India jump 65 places on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking to the 77th position. "And, we are determined to move into the top 50 next year," he said. "We are one of the most open countries for foreign direct investment today. More than 90 per cent of our sectors are now on automatic route for approval. As a result of this and the confidence in India, we have received FDI worth over $250 billion over the past four years."  India, the world's sixth largest economy at $ 2.5 trillion, is changing from being agriculture-dominated to an economy led by industry and services and one that is globally inter-linked which rolls out red carpet instead of red tape, the Prime Minister said.

(Businessworld, Feb 27, 2019)

India may gain from trade war General

After Donald Trump took over the rein of governance in the US, it has started imposing higher import duty on imports coming from the rest of the world. Other countries have also followed the suit and are increasing import tariffs. In this manner, a trade war has started in the world. According to the recent report of the United Nations, India is among some select countries which are going to benefit greatly from the current trade war. The report says that although this trade war will lead to a significant reduction in global trade, India’s exports may grow by 3.5 percent. Although foreign trade remained almost free during the early period of history, i.e. the tariffs or other restrictions on imports coming from other countries were minimal. But later on Governments started imposing heavy import duties coming from other countries and sometimes it took the shape of competitive exercise. Basic idea of imposing tariffs on goods coming from other countries used to be protection of domestic industry from foreign competition. In the meantime, foreign trade theories propounded an understanding developed between economists that if all the nations of the world remove tariffs and non tariff barriers and walk on the path of free trade, then all the countries will benefit because people will get cheaper goods. Countries will achieve the efficiencies in production according to their comparative advantage. Though, there was no flaw in these theories per se, if followed honestly, however problem started when the theory was used by the benefit of a few against interests of many others. For instance, by using this argument of free trade, British Government was able to impose cheaper machine made goods, against the interests of our small artisans and industries. Our industry decayed and dependence on agriculture increased. Economists named it de-industrialization. We can say that the industrialization of India ended due to free trade. Under the pressure of nationalist leaders in the freedom struggle, the foreign Government was forced to impose tariff on goods coming from England, what was termed as discriminatory tariff, and that was the time when modern textile, sugar, cement and paper industries started getting established.

(Daily Excelsior.com, Feb 25, 2019)

Rafael wins $30m Indian Air Force communications deal General

Israeli defense electronics company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.has handed its first order for production of hundreds of advanced communications systems, for the Indian Air Force, to its new ARC subsidiary in India. The order amounts to $30 million. The subsidiary will employ hundreds of workers in Hyderabad in southern India. The system is based on information that Rafael will transfer to India under an agreement signed with the Indian authorities in 2017. Rafael's innovative BNet communications systems, which are classified as software, were adapted to the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force. Rafael told "Globes" today that these systems will supplement the advanced radio capabilities of Indian warplanes, while substantially extending their activity, without being detected by the enemy's systems. In addition to production of these systems, the contract signed by Rafael also includes maintaining the systems and assistance given by Rafael to Indian Air Force personnel. The first production order by Rafael to its subsidiary was made in the framework of a festive event during the prestigious Euro-India defense exhibition in Bangalore in recent days. Rafael CEO Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoav Har-Even said that ARC's activity reflected the important ties between Rafael and India through other companies operating there.

(Globes, Feb 24, 2019)

India has potential to become $1 trillion digital economy by 2025: Report General

India can create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy in 2025, with half of the opportunity originating in new digital ecosystems, a recent study by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and McKinsey & Co has found. The report, titled "India's Trillion-Dollar Digital Opportunity" was released in Mumbai by the Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, at the ongoing Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum. The study finds that India is among the top three global economies in terms of number of digital consumers. The report said India had 560 million internet subscriptions in 2018, up from 238.71 million in 2013, making it the second-largest internet subscriptions market in the world.  India also has the second-fastest growth rate of digital adoption in the comparison set, which considered 17 mature and emerging digital economies including Brazil, China, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States. India’s digital index score, measured on digital foundation, digital reach and digital value, moved from 17 in 2014 to 32 in 2017 (on a scale of 0 to 100), the second-fastest rise after Indonesia.

(BS, Feb 20, 2019)

U.S.-China Trade War to Spark Manufacturing Spin-Off in India? General

Global electronics contract manufacturers are planning substantial investment in India with a total of around $1 billion over the next five years to expand their production facilities in India. Taiwan-based Wistron and Foxconn have applied to the government to invest around $700 million and $350 million respectively. This comes under an incentive package that can give these companies benefits of $140 million and $70 million respectively, according to a report in the Economic Times. Wistron is likely to begin manufacturing iPhone 8 in the country while Foxconn plans to support higher levels of manufacturing for existing clients such as Xiaomi and Nokia phones. And, these are just big ticket investments. There are several, particularly in the mobile space right from Samsung and Xiaomi to smaller and lesser known brands which have started on the investment road to manufacturing. Interestingly, there are currently 240 companies in India which are making electronic products and about half of them (127 companies) are manufacturing mobile phones with Noida and Greater Noida in northern India emerging as a mobile phone manufacturing hub, having 57 factories alone.

(ET, Feb 20, 2019)

National Electronics Policy Unveiled: Targets Rs 26 Lakh Crore Make In India Revenue, 100 Crore Mobile Manufactures By 2025 Policy

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday (19 February) approved the National Electronics Policy 2019 which aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 2,600,000 crores ($400 billion) by 2025 via the domestic electronics manufacturing ecosystem. It envisages setting up a cluster of the entire value chain and generate over 1 crore directly or indirect jobs to achieve a growth rate of 32 per cent. The Policy aims to catapult India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) by incentivizing and building capabilities in the country for developing core components, including chipsets, and creating an environment for the industry to compete globally. Unveiling the new policy, Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT minister, said in a briefing "We aim to target Rs 26,00,000 crores ($400 billion) turnover by 2025 and are targeting a growth rate of 32 per cent from the current 26.7 per cent globally in five years. With the new policy, the electronic manufacturing sector alone will provide employment to about 1 crore people". By creating an enabling ecosystem for globally competitive ESDM sector and promotion of domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM, the policy sets an ambitious production target of 100 crore mobile handsets by 2025, valued at approximately Rs 1,300,000 crore .

(Swarajya, Feb 21, 2019)

National Electronics Policy 2019 to boost manufacturing drive exports Policy

Industry experts believe that the National Electronic Policy 2019, passed last week by the Union Cabinet, can provide an impetus to Make in India (MII) and its efforts to become a global hub for Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM), apart from making electronics sector more competitive. “The policy offers significant support for the electronics sector. It is export focussed and aims to take Indian electronic manufacturing to the next level. As a rising economy, and the world’s largest market for mobile phones, India sadly does not have a competitive electronics sector. This policy aims at ensuring Indian manufacturing in the electronics sector gets its rightful place,” Lloyd Mathias, senior technology executive and former Asia Marketing Head of HP, told BusinessLine. The last electronic policy was unveiled 2012. The new policy targets $400 billion turnover by 2025 from domestic manufacturing, setting up cluster for the entire value chain and employing over 1 crore people directly or otherwise to achieve a growth rate of 32 per cent.

(BusinessLine, Feb 26, 2019)

Hyundai Electronics enters India with consumer durables General

South Korea-based Hyundai Electronics has ventured into the Indian consumer durables market with electronic products and home appliances. “Hyundai Corporation has ventured into the Indian market with a wide range of products ranging from electronics and home appliances, like smart LEDs, air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators,” it said. Commenting on the development, Akshay Dhoot, CEO, Hyundai Electronics, said: “India is one of the key emerging markets with a burgeoning consumer durable segment and with Hyundai’s entry, we are committed to give Indian consumers an exposure to smart goods technology and product diversification methodologies, manufacturing cutting-edge goods.” 

(Siasat Daily, Jan 25, 2019)

Samsung, LG rejig top deck to take on online brands, rivals General

Korean consumer electronics firms Samsung and LG have rejigged their senior management teams in India even as they look to defend their turf against increased competition in smartphones and televisions from newer entrants and online-focused brands.  Samsung India has created separate heads to handle the online business for smartphones and consumer electronics as it looks to significantly increase its online presence, particularly in the smartphone segment.  The company has created separate heads to handle the online business for smartphones and consumer electronics. Corporate vice president Asim Warsi has been made the online head for smartphones while consumer electronics head Raju Pullan has been given additional responsibility to handle online business for televisions and home appliances.  Warsi was earlier head of mobile phone marketing and entire online sales team.  “Samsung wants to gain leadership in online sales to beat Xiaomi,” a senior industry executive told ET, adding that the company would launch models for Amazon and Flipkart across products. Samsung has also replaced the expat chiefs for the overall mobile phone and consumer electronics businesses in India. JB Park is now the head of the mobile phone business, while Moon Goo Chin will be handling the consumer electronics business.

(ET, Jan 18, 2019)

Spec-packed budget phone Samsung Galaxy M to hit India in Feb Telecom

Samsung Electronics Co will launch spec-packed budget smartphone series Galaxy M in India for the first time in the world in efforts to keep lead in the world’s fastest growing smartphone market against threatening Chinese competition. The Galaxy M series is the latest of the South Korean tech giant’s entry-level smartphone lineup specifically tailored for emerging markets. Galaxy M10 and M20 will go on sale in India from Feb. 5, according to the company. The Galaxy M10 is powered by the Exynos 7870 processor and comes in a 6.22-inch screen. The Galaxy M20 features a dual camera setup with 13 megapixel and 5 megapixel configuration. It is also backed by a 5,000 milliampere-hour (mAh) battery, larger than the high-end model Galaxy Note 9 with 4,000 mAh, as well as biometrics options including fingerprint scanner and facial unlocking.   Despite the high-spec and upgraded design compared to the current budget line Galaxy J series, the Galaxy M10 will be priced at 7,990 rupees ($112) - 8,990 rupees and Galaxy M20 at 10,990 rupees – 12,990 rupees. Budget phones dominate the Indian smartphone market, and those priced at around 10,000 rupees sell most. 

(Pulse, Jan 30, 2019)

Handset body demands a special package for Indian companies Telecom

India's top handset body has called on the government to create a special package to help revive local handset makers who have been pushed to the fringes of the market dominated by Chinese players besides Samsung on one hand, and Reliance Retail’s Jio Phone on the other. "There is a compelling need for making a comprehensive strategic support framework for building large domestic companies to have the desired level of control on technology in the strategic areas," Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman at India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), said in a statement issued Monday. The special package would help Indian companies tap the $250-billion global opportunities in the entry-level smartphone segment, he said, adding that they will help create "champion" companies in India similar to what the US, China, and South Korea did with their domestic companies. 

(ET, Jan 29, 2019)

Pegatron planning expansion outside of China as Apple looks to make flagship iPhones in India Telecom

Following Foxconn’s decision to expand its reach beyond China, Apple’s other contract manufacturer now plans to do the same. The Financial Times reports this morning that Pegatron will build production capacity in three new countries: India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.  Currently, Pegatron accounts for about 30 percent of Apple’s assembly orders. The company thus far has relied almost entirely on China, but it now intends to change that with its expansion to Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. Regarding the expansion beyond China, Pegatron president SJ Liao said the company will announce more details soon. The rate of expansion, however, will depend on the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, he added. Pegatron made no mention of Apple in its announcement, but it is hard to ignore the connection between Pegatron and Foxconn’s plans, and reports suggesting high-end iPhone assembly will soon commence in India. Further, the Chinese smartphone and consumer electronics markets have slowed recently, causing companies to focus on other large markets like India

(9T05 Mac, Jan 27, 2019)

Xiaomi ShareSave E-Commerce Platform Launched In India To Enable Ordering Products From China Telecom

Xiaomi, the Chinese mobile and electronics manufacturing behemoth, has launched its own e-commerce platform ShareSave in India. It will feature as an app on the Google Playstore and enable Android users from India to order Chinese products that are currently not available in India and will have to be procured from outside. The social e-commerce platform will be the key element of this mobile app. The social e-commerce platform enables users to purchase apps in an instant or club with their friends and family to purchase the same and get discounts. While the ShareSave app is available on Android, the company is yet to disclose if it will release an iOS version or a web-based version of the app. Xiaomi posted about this new launch on its official blog. The idea of the platform is to enable its large Indian audience base to purchase its products as soon as they are launched in its home country China. Xiaomi has conveyed that ShareSave is a global initiative, but it has chosen India to be the launch market for the platform. In its blog post, Xiaomi said, “Xiaomi strongly believes in the power of communities and Mi Fans, and the social aspect of ShareSave is a perfect reflection of this. ShareSave allows for a place where Mi Fans connect, enjoy and share a unique #SharetoSave shopping experience. It also serves as a testing ground for key markets, allowing Xiaomi to learn more about the local demand for various types of product.”

(Versus, Jan 26, 2019)

Handset body demands a special package for Indian companies Telecom

India's top handset body has called on the government to create a special package to help revive local handset makers who have been pushed to the fringes of the market dominated by Chinese players besides Samsung on one hand, and Reliance Retail’s JioPhone on the other. "There is a compelling need for making a comprehensive strategic support framework for building large domestic companies to have the desired level of control on technology in the strategic areas," Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman at India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), said in a statement issued Monday. The special package would help Indian companies tap the $250-billion global opportunities in the entry-level smartphone segment, he said, adding that they will help create "champion" companies in India similar to what the US, China, and South Korea did with their domestic companies. 

(ET, Jan 29, 2019)

Smartphone makers seek export incentives to grow India production Telecom

Smartphone makers in India are calling for export credits on devices and tariff cuts on machinery imports as part of measures they say will make Asia's third-biggest economy a global smartphone manufacturing hub. The Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), whose members include some of the industry's biggest names including Apple Inc, made the proposals in a 174-page document reviewed by Reuters and submitted to the government ahead of its annual budget announcement next week. "As the country is nearing to achieve saturation point... without an export take off manufacturing growth cannot be sustained and accelerated," the ICEA said in the document. The ICEA confirmed it submitted the document. The finance and technology ministries did not respond to requests for comment.  The government's 'Make in India' campaign beginning 2014 and gradual tax increases on imports of mobile phone components have spurred the creation of more than 260 manufacturing unit .

(ET, Jan 25, 2019)

UP CM Yogi Adityanath kick-starts electronics production cluster in Greater Noida IT

Tegna Electronics Pvt Ltd, an SPV of Taiwan Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association in association with Chinese mobile player Oppo will set up a greenfield electronics manufacturing cluster in Greater Noida at an investment of Rs 3,500 crore in next 5-10 years. The project is expected to be completed over 18 months and around 2 lakh product units will be produced daily. It is expected to create 25,000-30,000 jobs. The foundation stone was laid on Friday in Greater Noida by Minister of IT and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.   The state had attracted investment commitments of over Rs 4 lakh crore during the UP Investors Summit held last year, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said. Uttar Pradesh's enabling policies, investor-friendly environment and better connectivity have positioned the state as an ideal investment destination, particularly for electronics manufacturing. "UP has transformed itself in recent years, offering a compelling proposition for investors. India is taking great strides in mobile and mobile component manufacturing and over 50 per cent of that work is happening in UP," he said. Our government had a strong focus on mega infrastructure projects such as Bundelkhand Defence Corridor and the Jewar international airport project, he said.

(DNA, Jan 26, 2019)

E-comm talks : India must stand Firm IT

Despite the freezing weather at Davos, recent developments in this Swiss town have turned the heat on India. In a show of strength, on the last day of the annual World Economic Forum meeting, nearly 70 countries, including China, issued a joint statement confirming their intention to commence WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce. Speaking at the same platform a day earlier, Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, announced that he would “set in train a new track for looking at data governance — call it the Osaka Track — under the roof of the WTO”. What are the implications of these developments for India, one of the largest economies that chose to stay away from the joint statement on electronic commerce? At the outset, it is important to understand what the oligarchs of the digital world are seeking through the WTO negotiations on digital economy and e-commerce. First, they want to have access to free and unrestricted flow of data — the raw material that fuels their business. Their principal targets are large developing countries, such as China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa, which generate large volumes of digital data.

(BusinessLine, Jan 25, 2019)

A Boost For Fabless Chip Design in India IT

There was a lot of excitement when the National Policy on Electronics was announced in 2012. However, in the six years that it has been in existence, it has not proven to be very effective in its aim of stemming the outflow of foreign exchange for electronics. Back in 2012 it was widely opined that India’s foreign exchange bill for electronics would exceed its bill for oil by 2020. India’s electronics import bill has doubled in five years to $57 billion. However, thanks to the depreciating Rupee, the oil import bill is expected to touch $125 billion in this financial year (ending in March 2019) - so maybe the two are still a ways away from being neck-and-neck. But that's cold comfort. Statistics gleaned from several articles published in 2018 say that nearly 50% of the total amount of electronic products sold in India are imported. If you take the percentage of electronics components imported, it is even higher – up to 80%, according to online news reports. And India’s appetite for electronics products seems insatiable.

(Design Reuse, Jan 23, 2019)

Electronics import duty working in India’s favour! Dec trade deficit falls to 10-month low, thanks to this IT

Import of electronics -- India’s second highest value import item -- shrank 5% in December, helping bring overall import bill down by 2.4% on-year in the month. This, in turn, coupled by an uptick of 0.4% in exports, led to India’s trade deficit in December falling to a 10-month low of $13 billion. In November 2018, India’s trade deficit was at $17 billion.  The government levy of import duty on electronic items seems to be working, with India’s trade deficit in December 2018 falling to a 10-month low, thanks to a contraction in the import of electronic goods. A decline in import of electronic goods indicates the “positive impact of the high import duty imposed by the government”, research and brokerage firm Anand Rathi said in a note .Import of electronics — India’s second highest value import item — shrank 5% in December, helping bring overall import bill down by 2.4% on-year in the month. This, in turn, coupled by an uptick of 0.4% in exports, led to India’s trade deficit in December falling to a 10-month low of $13 billion. In November 2018, India’s trade deficit was at $17 billion. The narrowing trade deficit was also mainly due to a fall in import of crude oil, whose share in India’s total imports fell from 32% in October 2018 to 26% in December 2018. Crude oil is India’s highest value import item.

(FE, Jan 17, 2019)

This software startup is the first in India to jump onto shopping deals space IT

It is not usual for a hardcore business-to-business software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup in India to enter into something very typical of business-to-consumer (B2C) space – deals and coupons for online shopping. However, Capillary Technologies, among the most prominent enterprise startups in India that provides cloud-based Omni channel customer engagement to retailers and brands, has made the first move. The startup recently launched its deals and coupons shopping app called Deal Hunt across more than 20 categories including fashion, beauty, food, health, travel, and electronics. “We are the first SaaS company to venture into the deals space,” Capillary Technologies’ director of e-commerce Soumajit Bhowmik told FE Online in an interview. The app has an AI-powered back end that curate and showcase offer that are most relevant for users. Majority of the brands that Capillary works with are from the B2C segment that helped it to understand how the B2C market works. “After having helped brands strengthen customer loyalty, Deal Hunt is an effort to help brands acquire new customers. At the same time, the end customers also benefit from the exclusive offers that Capillary brings to the table, said Bhowmik. Capillary has partnered with 400+ brands for the app including Walmart, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, Puma, Samsung, Unilever etc., that are already its customers. Apart from these brands, it is looking at new tie-ups as well.

(FE, Jan 17, 2019)

Interim Budget 2019: Electronics makers seek Rs. 1,000-crore seed fund General

With the 2019 interim budget round the corner, stakeholders in the electronics sector are expecting the government to create a seed fund of Rs 1,000 crore and abolish the angel tax that has hit start-ups hard. “The Government should create a seed fund of Rs 1,000 crore, which can be matched by industry and VCs (venture capitalists), to provide seed funding to build 1,000 start-ups in the ESDM (electronic system design & manufacturing) space. We have requested the government to create such a fund in the budget in our wish list submitted to the ministry,” said Rajesh Ram Mishra, president, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the trade body representing the ESDM industry. “We have also recommended to the government to abolish angel tax for ESDM start-ups," Mishra added. "Angel tax and the current policy of getting the start-up valuation done by a merchant banker are hitting ESDM start-ups very hard." According to IESA, start-ups in electronics and semiconductor space primarily depend on angel and self-funding, as very few VCs in India are investing in ESDM companies.

(BS, Jan 30, 2019)

Music and millennials how boAt tripled its revenues in a year and now sells 4 products every minute General

This Delhi-based startup forced the likes of JBL to cut prices in India. And now it's on the road to become a Rs 500-crore consumer electronics company by 2024.boAt began life as a consumer electronics startup in 2016 with the sole aim of bringing affordable, durable, and more importantly, ‘fashionable’ audio products and accessories to millennials. Today, having completed two years of selling earphones, headphones, speakers, travel chargers and premium rugged cables, it has clocked more than Rs 100 crore in domestic sales alone. From just two founders, it has grown to a 25-member team, opened offices in Delhi and Mumbai, signed up celebrity brand ambassadors, and created a community of over 800,000 ‘boAtheads’. Now, what are ‘boatheads’? Urban Dictionary says the term was an insult used to describe members of Singapore’s notorious gaming clan - The Merry Boat Heads. But India’s boAt seems to have turned that reference on its ‘head’ by making it sound like an aspirational term for its millennial buyers. So, anyone who owns a boAt product is anointed a ‘boAthead’ and made a part of the clan.

(Your Story, Jan 28, 2019)

Will India's new FDI e-commerce policy save the brick-and-mortar retailers General

Concerned about the impact of online shopping on their business, brick-and-mortar retailers in India had long been lobbying the government to tighten rules on e-commerce giants in India.Traditional retailers like Prashant Redekar, who runs a mobile phone shop in Mumbai, are pleased that India plans to roll out a new foreign direct investment (FDI) e-commerce policy on Friday, which will place restrictions on discounting and exclusive tie-ups with brands. “We've definitely seen a decline in footfall because of online shopping,” says Mr Redekar. E-commerce marketplaces “are giving discounts that you won't get in the shops and some phones are only available online”. Many mobile phone shops have already closed down because they could not survive the intense competition from online retailers and he hopes the new regulations will help ensure that his business does not suffer the same fate. But foreign-owned e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart, which dominate the e-commerce sector in India, are understood to be highly concerned about the impact of the new regulations on their revenues and want New Delhi to postpone, or scrap the launch of the policy altogether. The new restrictions could reduce online sales by $46 billion (Dh168.8bn) by 2022, Reuters cited a draft analysis by PwC as estimating. Under the new FDI policy, India plans to ban e-commerce firms including US-based Amazon and Flipkart, which is majority owned by US retail giant Walmart, barring them to sell products from companies in which they own equity. The rules also state that e-commerce firms will not be able to “directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services”, and they will be banned from selling products exclusively on their websites.

(The National, Jan 28, 2019)

E-waste is not waste, but treasure General

Is electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) actually waste? It may be difficult to accept this when one considers the fact that it consists of rare metals like gold, silver, cobalt, platinum, rare earth metals like neodymium, and high qualities of aluminum and tin. In fact, there is 100 times more gold in a tonne of smart phones than in a tonne of gold ore itself! All these precious metals are virtually being thrown away, thanks to poor recycling techniques and capacity of the e-waste, globally. It’s a double whammy as poor recycling standards mean that 80 per cent of the e-waste lands in landfills globally, leading to loss of these precious metals. The UN-World Economic Forum report on e-waste titled, ‘A new circular vision for electronics’, said, “It’s uncommon to throw away gold, silver or platinum jewellery, but that is not true about electronic and electrical goods containing the same precious metals; up to 7 per cent of the world’s gold may currently be contained in e-waste.”It notes that the waste stream has already reached 48.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2018, and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. Moreover, only 20 per cent of global e-waste is recycled.

(DownToEarth, Jan 25, 2019)

Indians are buying less gold and electronics and that's helping the economy General

In December 2018, India’s imports recorded a year-on-year decline for the first time since September 2016, according to official estimates released from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Overall imports in the month fell marginally to $41 billion from $41.9 billion in December 2017 and $43.1 billion in November 2018.  The reduction in the country’s import bill is good for a developing economy like India, which is dependent on imports for some necessary items like oil. The recent/steady weakening of the rupee had made these imports even costlier. Despite falling on a monthly basis since November 2018, oil imports showed a year-on-year increase of 4% to $10.3 billion. However, as the cost of essential imports like oil rose, Indians’ demand for discretionary items like gold, jewellery, and electronics fell.  India’s gold imports have been declining for a while now. They fell by 24% year-on-year to $2.6 billion in December 2018, capping an overall decline of 7% to $24.8 billion in the April-December period.  While this can be attributed to a number of factors, the most prominent one is high domestic prices (following the depreciation of the rupee) which has caused rural demand to plummet. As people in rural areas like smallholder farmers lack access to formal banking channels, they usually invest in gold. 

(Business Insider, Jan 17, 2019)

 Finance ministry says it will be 'interim' budget, rejects confusion Policy

Amid speculation over the shape of the Narendra Modi government’s last Budget before the Lok Sabha polls, the finance ministry on Wednesday clarified that it will be called ‘Interim Budget 2019-20’. “This Budget will be called Interim Budget 2019-20and, therefore, don't have any confusion on this issue,” a finance ministry spokesperson told reporters. The spokesperson’s statement referred to what the Budget speech and documents will officially be titled. The statement came a day after a workshop of Press Information Bureau officers where officers were reportedly told that the Budget will be titled ‘General Budget 2019-20’. This information was shared with some journalists and that led to some confusion. Even after the finance ministry's clarification, some PIB officers insisted that the official press releases pertaining to the Budget on February 1 will be titled 'General Budget 2019-20'.  There have been suppositions among markets and policy watchers that, as the government heads into Lok Sabha elections 2019 after losses in three state elections, the 2019-20 Budget could be more than just a vote-on-account.

(BS, Jan 30, 2019)

Foxconn awaiting Rs 1,000 crore GST refund Policy

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, has flagged its concerns to the government over delays in refunds of about Rs 1,000 crore under the goods and services tax regime, saying one of its key India units has been left cash-starved and this could hurt plans to deepen local production of electronics.  “An inverted duty structure has created working capital issues as some states are lingering on refund by months together and this is severely impacting companies like the Foxconn unit located in Andhra Pradesh, which is left without funds to pay vendors,” a person aware of the development told ET. Duty structure is considered inverted when components are taxed at a higher rate than the final product. In this case, while mobile handsets are subject to 12% GST, some components are taxed at 18%. Other contract manufacturers such as Wistron, which makes some iPhone models, Dixon and US-based Flex also face similar issues on refunds, totalling a combined Rs 2,500 crore, said Pankaj Mohindroo, president, Indian Cellular and Electronics Association of India (ICEA). 

(ET, Jan 30, 2019)

Will India's new FDI e-commerce policy save the brick-and-mortar retailers Policy

Concerned about the impact of online shopping on their business, brick-and-mortar retailers in India had long been lobbying the government to tighten rules on e-commerce giants in India. Traditional retailers like Prashant Redekar, who runs a mobile phone shop in Mumbai, are pleased that India plans to roll out a new foreign direct investment (FDI) e-commerce policy on Friday, which will place restrictions on discounting and exclusive tie-ups with brands. “We've definitely seen a decline in footfall because of online shopping,” says Mr Redekar. E-commerce marketplaces “are giving discounts that you won't get in the shops and some phones are only available online”. Many mobile phone shops have already closed down because they could not survive the intense competition from online retailers and he hopes the new regulations will help ensure that his business does not suffer the same fate. But foreign-owned e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart, which dominate the e-commerce sector in India, are understood to be highly concerned about the impact of the new regulations on their revenues and want New Delhi to postpone, or scrap the launch of the policy altogether. The new restrictions could reduce online sales by $46 billion (Dh168.8bn) by 2022, Reuters cited a draft analysis by PwC as estimating.

(The National, Jan 28, 2019)

Budget 2019: ELCINA's key suggestions for Finance Minister for electronics sector Policy

To get their expectations fulfilled in upcoming interim Budget 2019, the Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA) recommended high focus on promoting investments in electronic component manufacturing and investment promotion in high value added manufacturing segments such as components (PIEMEC Group), PCB’s, ATMP in semiconductors and EMS. ELCINA said “MSMEs must have a specific mention in this budget as they are not getting benefits under current MSME Act definition which defines a very low Investment Limit of only up to Rs 10 Cr for Medium Scale enterprises.” It suggested 100% exemption of direct tax on export profits for first 5 years followed by 50% exemption for the next 5 years and 6% interest subvention as currently available for the garments industry @3%.  Further to kick start the export of electronics from the country, and also attract large domestic and foreign investments in the sector, it recommended support for export via 200% deduction of trade fair expenses to grow this industry and focus on exports, this support from government is crucial, especially for MSME’s. ELCINA in its pre-budget recommendation said “We are recommending 200% as the total expenses for a trade fair are about double of the amount paid to the organizers for space and construction.” In its pre-budget proposal, ELCINA recommended that Value Added Manufacturing Scheme (VAMS) should be announced in line with MSIPS for high value addition segments such as Components, PCBs & ATMP by providing direct investment subsidy.

(KNN India, Jan 25, 2019)

New duties on imported electronic components may be postponed Policy

The government may put on hold its recent notification advancing the date of levying duties on imported electronic components under a Make In India plan after handset makers with domestic manufacturing and assembling facilities protested that these levies would increase the cost of locally manufactured mobile phones, making it cheaper to import them and effectively killing some 100-odd plants already set up for assembly.  “We are seriously considering the proposal made by industry associations and device makers, and will soon announce our decision to address the problem,” a senior government official, who didn’t wish to be identified, told ET.  The government advanced the timetable of its Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) earlier this month. Beginning February 1, import of LCD (display panel) assembly, vibrator motor and touch panel were scheduled to attract 12.5% countervailing duty (CVD) on imports and excise duty of 1% without input tax credit. The government says it is bringing forward the date by only two months from April 1 to February 1 to coincide with the Budget. But some in the industry had earlier inferred that they could start manufacturing these components locally any time before March 31, 2020, and hence had planned their investments accordingly.

(ET, Jan 23, 2019)

Bihar Government Reaches Out To Electronics, Telecom Firms For Skilling, Employing States Youth Telecom

The Bihar government reached out to electronics and telecom companies and industry bodies for skilling of youths of the state and providing them employment opportunities. “We have been running ”recruit, train and deploy” programme for the last 2 years. Now we want electronics and telecom companies to be part of it. Under which, the Bihar government will meet the training and recruitment related costs for youth to make them employable in companies,” Dipak Kumar Singh, principal secretary, Labour Resources and CEO, Bihar Skill Development Mission (BSDM), said after a meeting with industry players here. Mr Singh said the state government has no shortage of funds for skilling youth in the state. “Our Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar) wants youth to get jobs. There will be no cap on the number of youth that can be trained for employment in electronics and mobile phone companies,” the official said at the Mobile Manufacturers Conclave organized by the BSDM.

(Communications Today, Jan 08, 2019)

Foxconn to assemble top-end Apple iPhones in India Telecom

Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn will invest well over $350 million (Rs 2,500 crore) to have new production lines to manufacture certain iPhone models in its factory in Sriperumbudur near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, said a recent Reuters report.Titled Project Fruit, the plan to expand the Sriperumbudur unit of Taiwanese phone manufacturer Foxconn to make smartphones including the coveted iPhone has been in the works for over a year. “It has been a work in progress for over a year,” said a person directly involved in the project to manufacture iPhones from Tamil Nadu. Apple is expected to assemble top-end iPhones in India as early as 2019. This would be the first time the Taiwanese contract manufacturer will have made the product in the country. Importantly, Foxconn will be assembling the most expensive models, such as devices in the flagship iPhone X family, the source said, potentially taking Apple's business in India to a new level. Currently, Apple phones such as the iPhone 6S and SE models are made by another Taiwanese phone maker, Wistron, in Bengaluru in Karnataka.

(EET India, Jan 07, 2019)

Samsung reports increase in revenue as profits fall in India Telecom

South Korean smartphone and electronics giant Samsung has just revealed information about the performance of the company as part of its Regulatory filings to the Registrar of Companies (RoC). As part of the filing, the company has revealed a number of important facts about the performance of the company in 2018. Taking a closer look at the numbers shared as part of the regulatory filing, the company stated a 10 percent increase in the annual revenue of the company and an 11 percent loss in net profit of the company. Overall, the company crossed the Rs 60,000 crore marker in terms of the annual revenue. According to an in-depth report by The Economic Times, aggressive pricing of the devices to compete with Chinese smartphone makers including Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo have been the result of decreasing net profit. Focusing on the specifics, the company touched Rs 61,065.6 as the annual income in 2017-18 from the Rs 55,511.9 crore in 2016-17. In terms of the profit, the company saw a dip of 10.7 percent to reduce its profit to Rs 3,712.2 crore.

(BGR, Jan 02, 2019)

Harley-Davidson, Panasonic Team Up on LiveWire Electric Motorcycle General

The electric bike was built in partnership with Panasonic Automotive and runs its OneConnect services platform, which is integrated with the Harley Davidson app for Android and iOS. The bike has built-in GPS and LTE connectivity with up to 4G LTE speeds, as well as a 4.3-inch liquid crystal touch-screen display built into the dashboard with integrated navigation and music. The H-D Connect app will be free for the first year, after which Harley-Davidson said there's an undisclosed subscription fee. The app lets riders check their battery charge level and available range, remotely check the motorcycle's location and status, and get alerts if the bike is bumped or moved. It can also search for nearby charging stations. Harley will collect vehicle usage data "to improve overall quality," but privacy-conscious riders can opt out of the service. The LiveWire bike itself goes from zero to 60mph in under 3.5 seconds, and has a high-voltage battery with an estimated range of 110 miles per charge. Riders can charge with the onboard Level 1 charger and power cord to connect to any standard household outlet and get a full charge overnight, or charge up faster at any public Level 3 DC Fast Charge station.

(PC News, Jan 08, 2019)

India: Restrictions On E-Retailers - Government Tightens Norms IT

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry has, by way of the Press Note 2 (2018 Series) dated 26th December 2018 (Press Note), issued revised norms vis-à-vis foreign direct investment in e-commerce entities. While the Press Note continues to allow 100% foreign direct investment into e-commerce activities, it prescribes certain additional conditions with respect to e-commerce entities which are owned or controlled by a person resident outside India and conducting e-commerce business in India. The key additional conditions are summarized below: The e-commerce entity will not be permitted to exercise ownership and control over the inventory of goods purported to be sold. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the inventory of a vendor will be deemed to be controlled by e-commerce marketplace entity if more than 25% of purchases of such vendor are from the marketplace entity or its group entities; An entity in which the e-commerce entity has equity participation or control over the inventory, will not be permitted to sell its products on the platform run by such marketplace entity; E-commerce entities providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services and shall maintain level playing field. Services should be provided by e-commerce marketplace entity or other entities in which e-commerce marketplace entity has direct or indirect equity participation or common control, to vendors on the platform at arm's length and in a fair and non-discriminatory manner; E-commerce marketplace entity will not mandate any seller to sell any product exclusively on its platform only.

(Mondaq, Jan 03, 2019)

Over 33.5 lakh people trained in electronics, IT, ITeS in 4 years: Ahluwalia IT

Over 33.5 lakh people have been provided skill training in electronics, IT and IT-enabled services sectors between 2014-15 and 2017-18, Parliament was informed Wednesday. These people were provided training by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), and two schemes being run by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Minister of State for Electronics and IT S S Ahluwalia said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. He added that more than 5.41 lakh people were trained by MSDE and MeitY in 2014-15, 8.10 lakh in 2015-16, 9.51 lakh in 2016-17 and over 10.48 lakh people in 2017-18.  Of these, MSDE facilitated training for 16.34 lakh people, while MeitY provided skill training for the remaining 17.18 lakh people, he added. 

(ET, Jan 02, 2019)


The number employees on the rolls of defence PSUs as of March 2018 shrunk nearly by a quarter compared to the number they employed as of 2013, with hiring at all companies failing to match the attrition rate, including superannuation, consistently. There are nine defence PSUs in India: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL); Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL); BEML Ltd; Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI); Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL); Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE); Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL). Analysis of data from the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) shows that the PSUs together employed 60,260 personnel in 2018, which is 17,522 fewer than the 77,782 employed in 2013. This is a 23% decrease, even as the number of contract and daily wage employees remained either flat or dipped. C Srikumar, general secretary, the All India Defence Employees’ Federation, which has more than 4 lakh employees from defence establishments, including these PSUs, alleges that the Centre has been systematically killing the public sector. “They are deliberately not refilling positions, are revising sanctioned strength of establishments and pushing private industries into the business even in areas where they do not have the required ability. Multiple representations have been made to the Centre and we will continue fighting this,” he said. Experts, however, attribute a variety of reasons for the reduced staff such as increased outsourcing, decreasing orders and revenue, hiring freeze and better opportunities in the private sector. Officials from multiple PSUs said that outsourcing has increased, especially in the four non-shipping related companies.

(Indian Defence News, Jan 11, 2019)

Xiaomi Mi TV India price slashed after new GST rates come into effect, here are the new prices General

he new prices of the Mi TVs are already in effect. The price drop of some of Mi TVs come into effect after the India Government reduced the GST on TVs from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Xiaomi India started the year 2019 by reducing the price of three Mi TVs including -- Mi LED Smart TV 4A (32-inch) Mi LED TV 4C PRO (32-inch) and Mi LED TV 4A Pro (49-inch). Overall, Xiaomi has slashed the prices of these Mi TVs by up to Rs 2,000. Following are the new prices: Mi LED Smart TV 4A 32-inch: Now available for Rs 12,499 (The price of the Mi LED Smart TV 4A 32-inch has been reduced by Rs 1500. It was previously priced Rs 13,999).  Mi LED TV 4C PRO 32-inch: Now available for Rs 13,999 (The price of the Mi LED TV 4C PRO 32-inch has been reduced by Rs 2000. It was previously priced Rs 15,999). Mi LED TV 4A PRO 49-inch:Now available for Rs 30,999 (The price of the Mi LED TV 4A PRO 49-inch has been reduced by Rs 1000. It was previously priced Rs 31,999) Availability:All three Mi TVs are available with new reduced prices with immediate effect starting Dec 1 across all sales platforms, Xiaomi India has announced.

(India Today, Jan 02, 2019)

After a successful first cohort, Shell announces second batch of E4 startups General

The second edition of Shell India's cohort for its E4 programme has eight companies, including two Tech30 startups Mobycy and AutoVRse.  To strengthen its position as a partner to energy sector entrepreneurs, Shell announced its second Indian cohort for the E4 (Energizing and Enabling Energy Entrepreneurs) Programme for 2019.

After careful examination and evaluation, eight startups have been selected for incubation at the Shell Technology Centre Bangalore (STCB), including two of YourStory's Tech30 startups. The finalist startups have strong differentiators in terms of product offerings and business models.

(YourStory.com, Jan 07, 2019)

Govt. Cancels Permit Granted To HSMC Tech For Setting Up Semiconductor Plant General

In a recent report PTI stated that with this, the government is left with no proposal to set up any manufacturing plant for electronic chips, which are known as the heart of modern devices and considered to be of strategic importance in cyberspace. Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology S S Ahluwalia, said in Lok Sabha that the government, on the recommendation of the empowered committee (EC) constituted for the purpose of setting up of Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) manufacturing facilities in the country, cancelled the LoI issued to the consortium led by HSMC Technologies India Pvt Ltd on April 20, 2018. He said the consortium could not submit the requisite documents as per the LoI, despite being provided extension of time on multiple occasions.

(Electronics B2B, Jan 03, 2019)

Govt releases Rs 1 cr till Nov out of Rs 44 cr earmarked for NCCC for FY 19 General

An amount of Rs 44 crore was earmarked for National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) for 2018-19, of which Rs 1 crore has been released till November, Parliament was informed Wednesday. NCCC was set up to generate near real-time macroscopic view of cyber security threats in the country. The Centre is a multi-stakeholder body and is implemented by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) at the electronics and IT ministry, Union Minister S S Ahluwalia said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.  He added that NCCC will provide a structured system and facilitate coordination among different agencies by sharing with them the meta-data from cyberspace for taking action to mitigate cyber security threats.  Project NCCC was approved in April 2015 with an outlay of Rs 770 crore for a period of five years, Ahluwalia said adding that phase I of NCCC was made operational in July 2017. The next phase is to set up a full-fledged Centre. 

(ET, Jan 02, 2019)