India's ascent: A multi-pronged strategy for global leadership in electronics manufacturing

To fully harness India’s potential and secure its standing in the global electronics manufacturing arena, a comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy across various critical domains is essential.

India's ascent: A multi-pronged strategy for global leadership in electronics manufacturing

Thursday September 28, 2023,

5 min Read

India’s impressive strides in the electronics manufacturing industry have captured global attention, solidifying its position as a key player on the international stage. Several factors, including a vast trainable workforce, cost-effective manufacturing, robust digital infrastructure, and a burgeoning consumer market, have contributed to the increasing appeal of India's manufacturing potential.   

The country’s prowess in producing high-quality electronic goods is increasingly being recognised and sought after by international markets. A growing number of foreign companies are now establishing manufacturing units within the country’s borders, driving economic growth and creating jobs. 

To fully harness India’s potential and secure its standing in the global electronics manufacturing arena, a comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy across various critical domains is essential. 

R&D investments to foster innovation 

In March this year, India reached a milestone with 881.25 million internet subscribers, experiencing a robust 1.77% quarterly growth. This significant increase in connectivity has cultivated a tech-savvy populace known for embracing the latest hardware and software innovations. 

The widespread adoption of smartphones has ignited a growing need for a complete range of smart accessories and products. Tech-savvy Indian consumers now seek feature-rich offerings, which can only be developed and produced through extensive research and development, coupled with stringent quality testing, to guarantee a seamless and satisfying technology experience.

Investments in research and development are critical for driving innovation and creating cutting-edge technologies. India must focus on fostering a culture of R&D in the electronics manufacturing sector. Establishing dedicated R&D centres and providing incentives for companies to invest in R&D can accelerate the development of indigenous technologies, thus enhancing India's competitiveness on a global scale. 

Infrastructure essentials to attract investment

India’s drive for a $1-trillion digital economy demands robust supply chain development and a favourable investment climate. Over the past three years, nearly two-thirds (66%) of foreign direct investment have poured into the electronics and manufacturing sector, underscoring the urgency of streamlining regulations and cultivating an investor-friendly atmosphere. 

Apple entrusting Tata Electronics with an iPhone enclosure assembly stands out among the surge in foreign investors. This move alone breathed life into a single factory, providing gainful employment to an astounding 60,000 individuals in just one day. This emphasises the need for simplified regulations, streamlined processes, and robust intellectual property protection. 

To enhance India’s appeal, reducing compliance burdens, expediting approvals, and maintaining policy predictability is vital. Engaging with industry stakeholders and efficient feedback mechanisms will swiftly address challenges, fortifying India’s position for foreign investment and manufacturing growth and inspiring international investors to establish manufacturing hubs.

Unlocking India’s potential as a leader in electronics manufacturing

It is imperative to underscore the significance of skill development initiatives as they stand at the core of India’s aspirations for global leadership in electronics manufacturing. India is already home to some renowned research institutions such as the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science and technology-driven companies. By leveraging these strengths and encouraging partnerships, India can create an ecosystem that fosters innovation. 

Initiatives like Skill India Digital, purpose-built for skilling, reskilling, and upskilling through an innovative online training platform, are bound to form a critical foundation. Such skill development initiatives won’t just nurture a skilled workforce but will also create a workforce that is better equipped to navigate streamlined bureaucratic procedures, simplified regulations, and a favourable business environment. 

These factors collectively instill confidence in international investors and encourage them to establish manufacturing facilities in India. It’s a synergy between skilled manpower and a conducive business environment that positions India as a global leader in electronics manufacturing. 

Quality products that meet international standards

India’s electronic goods exports experienced a remarkable 50% surge in 2023-23, soaring from $15.66 billion to $23.57 billion. This impressive growth is closely aligned with the country’s expanding middle class, which presents a significant opportunity for bolstering domestic demand for quality electronic products. Companies operating within India have wholeheartedly embraced a steadfast commitment to quality, dedicated to manufacturing products that meet rigorous global standards. 

To harness this potential, government policies should focus on enhancing purchasing power, consumer awareness, and promotion of local brands. Simultaneously, fostering trade agreements, such as recent deals with Australia and the UAE, and offering export incentives will bolster India’s global electronics market presence. Encouraging export-oriented manufacturing units and wholehearted support for the electronics industry are key strategies. 

The government's ‘Make in India for the World’ vision can play a pivotal role by providing tax incentives, export financing, and simplified export procedures. Strengthening intellectual property rights protection and prioritising research and development will empower Indian manufacturers to produce high-quality, competitive products for both domestic and international markets.

India’s tech-fuelled ascent: Paving the way for manufacturing excellence

Fuelled by the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the nation has solidified its reputation as a premier global manufacturing destination. India’s changing lifestyle and its thirst for digital-first initiatives are steering the ship. Products such as dishwashers and air fryers serve as noteworthy illustrations of how the Indian middle class is increasingly willing to invest in advanced, convenience-enhancing products that cater to their changing needs and preferences.

As the numbers keep climbing, it is clear that India’s potential in the global electronics manufacturing arena is not just a statistical projection—it’s a dynamic force, driven by a nation that embraces technology with open arms. 

Our Ministry of Electronics & IT has set an audacious target, aiming to elevate India’s electronics manufacturing sector to an impressive $300 billion by 2026, a remarkable leap from $75 billion currently. Beyond numbers, India’s ascent is a tale of innovation, creativity and determination, fuelled by a growing population, abundant talent, and a thriving consumer market.

With the right strategy and collective effort, India can realise its vision of becoming a global powerhouse in electronics manufacturing. With a commitment to ‘Make in India for the World’, the nation is poised to rewrite the narrative of the global electronics landscape.

The author is Chairman & Managing Director of Elista, an electronics, home appliances, IT and mobile accessories brands.

Edited by Swetha Kannan

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)