The biggest happening in 2019 for India was, of course, the general elections. (Though some may argue that it was the ICC Cricket World Cup, which happens every four years!). While uncertainty and instability were prevalent across the world in 2019, a stable government in India gave hope that policies that were in the process of being executed, like the many in the electronics space, would continue to get funding and support.
The electronics industry in India saw some interesting highlights this year.
One interesting piece of news recently that had some surprising data is a report by industry body NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) titled “Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem – Leading Tech in the 20s”. This report, released in November 2019, says that there are over 1,300 startups that have come up in India this year, placing us as the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. Imagine almost a hundred new startups being born every month!
While there is a wealth of thought-provoking information in the report, one point that is relevant to semiconductors is the fact that 18% of the total number of startups in 2019 are leveraging deep-tech, which the report defines as “artificial intelligence, analytics, augmented reality/virtual reality, blockchain and internet of things, among others.” This is a CAGR of a staggering 40% over the last five years. This news could have significant impact on electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM), as deep-tech by its very nature can be game changing - in fact, it is what constitutes the bulk of emerging technologies globally. That startups in India are working on them means we could, as a country, be home to imminent technology innovation that could scale to have global impact.
The report credits increase in internet penetration, better infrastructure for digital transactions and the Indian government’s push towards digital inclusion to be the reasons for the mushrooming of startups leveraging deep tech. This shows that various markets in India, even under-served ones, are demonstrating a level of familiarity, even sophistication, with and access to technology that was unimaginable even five years ago.
For startups to be born and get past the tricky infant stage, incubators and accelerators are key. According to the report, there are 335 active incubators and accelerators, 67% of which were added in the last five years. In the ESDM space alone, we have seen several incubators and accelerators come up in the last few years - such as the Electropreneur Park (in New Delhi and Bhubaneswar), FabCi at IIT Hyderabad, and at KLE Technological University, Hubli (Cadence is involved with all of these).
These latest findings may well point to a change in the future of India’s tech ecosystem. Good news as we step into 2020! Happy New Year and New Decade!