Updated March 13th, 2024 at 12:04 IST

PM Modi has ‘clarity of thought’ needed to make India a semicon hub: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Vaishnaw shares that with a focus on 'Make in India' and a clear vision of the leadership, we have four major semiconductor units, laying a strong foundation.

Reported by: Shawan Sen
Ashwini Vaishnav | Image:@AshwiniVaishnav-FB

India’s semicon journey: India aims to become a key player in the global semiconductor manufacturing landscape, by competing with established hubs such as Taiwan and South Korea with the right vision and the clarity of thought of the leadership, and the young talent that is second to none in the world. 

In an exclusive interview with Republic Business, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, and Railways, shared the intricate details of semiconductor manufacturing. He underlines India’s potential to lead in fulfilling global chipset demand. 

On Government’s effort to boost semiconductor industry

Citing the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the driving force behind the Government’s effort to make India a hub of semiconductors, Vaishnaw said, “Attempts were made in the 1970s, in the 80s, in 2007, and again in 2011. Many times attempts were made. But the clarity of vision, the clarity of thought that our Prime Minister has, that kind of clarity was missing earlier. And commitment to developing a high-tech industry like this, and the focus on make in India, all these things combined have really made a big difference this time,” said Vaishnaw.

Vaishnaw shares that with a focus on 'Make in India' and a clear vision of the leadership, we now have four major semiconductor units, laying a strong foundation.


On development timeline

While sharing the intricacies of developing India as a semicon hub, Vaishnaw said that India has the potential to compete. The semiconductor value chain involves design, fabrication, and assembly, all of which India can excel in. 


Vaishnaw said, “It's very important to get this foundational industry in our country. Like steel, like chemicals. Once you have a semiconductor industry, module manufacturers will come to India. Laptop manufacturers will come to India. Your automobile manufacturing gets a quantum jump. Mobile manufacturing gets a boost.  So the entire manufacturing space today requires semiconductors. That's why this focus is on getting the semiconductor industry into India.” 

On development extension beyond North East

The semiconductor industry is gaining global attention due to its strategic importance, with significant investments from various countries. India, with a substantial talent pool and stable policies, is all set to capitalise on this opportunity. 

Additionally, the government's focus on bringing high-tech industries to the Northeast, exemplified by Tata Electronics' 27,000 crore investment in Assam, is expected to stimulate electronics manufacturing and create downstream industries in the region, aligning with the Prime Minister's vision for the area's development.


“In the next five years, we anticipate a surge in fabrication units and chipsets designed and manufactured locally,” Vaishnaw states. 

On Indian talent in Semiconductor industry

Vaishnaw shares that the advantage that we have is a large talent pool. Close to one-third of the total semiconductor talent pool in the world is either Indian or has roots in India. 

“Every large company that you see, a semiconductor company will have practically the majority of their technical personnel from India, Indian origin, maybe other country citizenship, but that's the kind of talent we have. With stable policy, a focus on manufacturing, right incentives the industry has come to India and in the coming five years we will see the next level where our talent will drive our aim to manufacture more and more chipsets in India,” said Vaishnaw. 


Vision for future

In the next five years, a major increase in semiconductor units in India is anticipated. There is a notable shift in global perception, with heightened interest in investing and manufacturing in India attributed to clear government policies. 


Successful execution in industries like mobile phones, witnessing a notable transition from imports to exports, serves as a precedent. Similar trends are anticipated in servers, laptops, and defence products. The semiconductor industry is poised to play a pivotal role in fortifying India's manufacturing sector, with chipsets fully designed, made, and exported from the country.


Published March 3rd, 2024 at 14:52 IST