VOL XVI, ISSUE 06

31 March  2017

Top Stories Policy Scan Industry Scan Business Opportunity ELCINA Update Upcoming Events
 

 

Top Stories                                                                                

  • ELCINA successfully organized an Industry Seminar on Green energy solutions

  • Bhel seeks ISRO as partner in aerospace foray

  • Bright Future of India’s Smartphone Manufacturing

  • Bhel seeks Isro as partner in aerospace foray

  • German SMEs urged to 'Make in India'

 

ELCINA successfully organized an Industry Seminar on Green energy solutions

Considering the importance and huge demand of ‘Make in India’ initiative in both solar and LED segments and relevance of the same for electronics manufacturing ecosystem, ELCINA organized a Seminar on ‘Sustainable & Green Energy Solutions: Solar Power and LED Technologies’ on 24 March, 2017 at Ghandinagar, Gujrat. The conference highlights the immense opportunities existing in these sectors and distortions caused by unbridled imports and irrational price cuts by Chinese suppliers. ELCINA President Vikram Desai mentioned about the rapid growth of the Solar Energy and LED Lighting markets and made specific mention of the ten-fold fall in Investment required per watt solar power generation to US$ 0.40.  

The fall in tender price of LED bulbs had been equally dramatic and in the last EESL tender price of 9W LED Bulb had fallen to Rs 38 from over Rs 56 within 6 months during 2016 and Rs 84 earlier. These rates were unsustainable and quoted due to subsidised supplies from China. During the Session on LED technology and industry, Mr BS Sethia, Past President of ELCINA and Chairman-Elect, ESC gave his views about the continuing dependence on imports and absence of value addition condition in government purchases of LED. This was a huge opportunity but had unfortunately resulted in boosting imports from China of LED components while there was scope for achieving atleast 50% local value addition.  

More information about the event is available in the “Events” section below. 

TOP 

Bhel seeks ISRO as partner in aerospace foray

 

India’s largest power generation equipment maker plans to collaborate with Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) for manufacturing space grade solar cells and partner for satellite launches. Bhel also plans to enter the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) business for aircraft engines.

A Bhel spokesperson notified that Bhel has been supplying various components and systems for the satellites by Isro since 2002. While meeting the projected enhanced requirements of Isro, Bhel plans to enhance its engagement by manufacturing space-grade solar PV (photo voltaic) cells; on-board energy storage cells, which have been hitherto imported by Isro and packaged by Bhel as solar modules and on board batteries.

He further added that Bhel is also exploring the feasibility of manufacturing cells and batteries with Isro- developed technology for application in e-vehicles.

Source: http://www.electronicsb2b.com/industry-buzz/bhel-seeks-isro-partner-aerospace-foray/

TOP 

Bright Future of India’s Smartphone Manufacturing

India is one of the world’s fastest growing market for smartphones as other major markets around the world are witnessing a slowdown. This coupled with the strategic push by the Indian government through various policies and incentives for manufacturing in India, we are seeing a rapid growth of smartphone manufacturing in India.

India currently contributes only about 6 percent of the value of phones sold in the country through local manufacturing or assembly, but that contribution could rise to more than 30 percent in the next five years, according to a joint study by Counterpoint Research and India’s leading management school, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. The government should use the surging domestic demand to draw manufacturers that will make higher-value components, such as batteries, cameras and semiconductors, the study said. 

As growth in the U.S., China and other markets slows. Apple CEO Tim Cook made his first trip to India in May and his company has been lobbying for the right to set up its own retail stores. Under current rules, companies such as Apple need to procure 30 percent of their components in India if they want to operate their own retail outlets.

The smartphones and feature phones sold in India over the next five years will together require more than $80 billion worth of components, up from the current $11 billion. If the country can move up the value chain from simple assembly to more complex manufacturing, it could take the domestic contribution to 32 percent by 2020, the researchers said.

Source: http://electronicsmaker.com/bright-future-of-indias-smartphone-manufacturing

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Bhel seeks Isro as partner in aerospace foray

 

State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) is planning to enter the aerospace sector.

India’s largest power generation equipment maker plans to collaborate with Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) for manufacturing space grade solar cells and partner for satellite launches. Bhel also plans to enter the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) business for aircraft engines.

“Bhel has been supplying various components and systems for the satellites by Isro since 2002. While meeting the projected enhanced requirements of Isro, Bhel plans to enhance its engagement by manufacturing space-grade solar PV (photo voltaic) cells; on-board energy storage cells, which have been hitherto imported by Isro and packaged by Bhel as solar modules and on board batteries,” said a Bhel spokesperson. 

Source: http://www.livemint.com/Companies/Eqk5Cs9fEUsGehuuf7OYuM/Bhel-seeks-Isro-as-partner-in-aerospace-foray.html

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ELCINA Directory of Indian Electronics Industry - 2016
with interactive CD version

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Companies committed to electronic hardware manufacturing with substantial value addition through production of components, subassemblies, parts, capital goods/machinery for manufacturing of electronics hardware, EMS providers, service providers such as quality/product testing as well as companies designing components and subassemblies are eligible for membership. Equipment companies from all segments of electronics (i.e., Consumer, Telecom, IT, Defence, Industrial, Medical and Automobiles) are welcome to join ELCINA membership once they commence manufacturing, assembling or designing activities in the country.

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ELCINA has recently renovated its Display Center to meet the changing environment of the Industry. Small size Display booths are made to accommodate more and more cotopmpanies

 

German SMEs urged to 'Make in India'

 

Highlighting the key initiatives taken by the Indian government for creating a pro-business environment in the country, a top official at the Embassy of India in Berlin urged the German Mittelstand (SMEs) companies to invest and partner India in the IT and electronics sectors. On the sidelines of CeBIT 2017 global event for digital business, Abhishek Singh, Deputy Chief of Mission, urged the German SMEs to "take full advantage of the local Fast Track Investment Promotion and Business Support Programme -- Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM)" which the Embassy of India is running since September 2015. 

The programme is being run to provide hand-holding investment promotion services to the German Mittelstand (SMEs) who intend to enter and invest in India. CeBIT, world's leading Trade fair for IT and Electronic Industry, this year focused on the "Opportunities in Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) and India's Digitalisation Mission" in which large number of exhibitors from Germany and India participated. Singh said India needed high-tech partners like German companies particularly in core focus technology areas like electronics manufacturing, telecommunication, medical electronics, smart devices sector, etc.

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SECTION I - POLICY SCAN                                                                                           

 

India Rejects Apple's Key Demands on Tax Incentives

 

India has not accepted 'most of the demands' on tax incentives that Apple Inc. had sought for establishing a manufacturing base in the South Asian nation, a senior official said, shifting focus to the rejection's fallout on the iPhone-maker's local assembly plans.

Sources aware of the Cupertino, California-based company's proposals, however, said the first plant being set up by contract manufacturer Wistron, which will assemble iPhones in Bengaluru, will not get affected as the concession demands do not pertain to this plant. “Apple India has sought concessions, including duty exemptions on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment including parts and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service repair for a period of 15 years,“ Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a reply to a question in Parliament. On whether the government has accepted most of the demands, Sitharaman said “No“. Apple declined to comment on this development.

 

India has earlier said that it is not possible to give exemptions to individual companies, especially as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) takes effect later this year, replacing a complex and tiered indirect-taxation structure

 

“There is no way we can give individual exemptions under the GST regime,“ Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had told ET. Apple's vice president of operations Priya Balasubramanium met Adhia, to discuss Apple's plans in India, a person aware of the meeting said.

 

Apple had sought the concessions from the government to incentivize the high-end component manufacturers of iPhones to move to India as without their presence, it will be difficult for the iPhone maker to start full-fledged manufacturing operations locally. Apple sought a series of exemptions pertaining to import duties on components and equipment besides exemption from the mandatory 30% sourcing norm.

(ET, Mar 23, 2017)

 

TOP   

 

GST Relief for Exporters, Some Refunds to Continue (Provision for duty drawback in relation to goods manufactured in India and exported)

 

Exporters will continue to get certain duty refunds as incentives after the Goods and Services Tax is implemented. The GST Council has framed the draft laws to ensure that the export sector doesn't suffer when the new regime is rolled out, likely from July 1.

The GST legislation approved by the cabinet and the GST Council has a provision enabling duty drawback in relation to goods manufactured in the country and exported. It's been defined as rebate of duty or tax chargeable on imported and domestic inputs or input services used in the manufacture of these goods.

This would be an optional window that would aid sectors such as handicrafts, where artisans are not registered with the tax department.

It will especially help exporters who have paid tax on inputs to make products that have no tax against which these duties could have been adjusted. The drawbacks are offered as incentives to ensure Indian goods do not become uncompetitive in foreign markets.

(ET, Mar 21, 2017)

 TOP 

Ready to Refine Policies to Meet Sector Needs: IT Secy (Aruna Sundararajan admits consolidation and data are triggering cut-throat competition, but calls for some collaboration)

 

Admitting that the telecom industry is going through a tough phase, with consolidation driven by fierce competition and rise of data over voice, Aruna Sundararajan, secretary, ministry of electronics and information technology, said the government is open to “tweaking and refining“ its policies to “address challenges“. Sundararajan was speaking at the Economic Times India Mobile Congress in New Delhi. 

 

“We do recognise that the telecom industry is facing a set of challenges -there is a consolidation happening due to the fiercely competitive environment and data is becoming the new currency,“ said Sundararajan, adding one needs to ensure that the existing players continue to grow without shutting the door on new technologies. She requested the players to compete, but at the same time collaborate with each other. “That's the name of the game. Despite the fact that there are 110 crore mobiles in India, there is large enough room for everyone to grow.“

 

While addressing a panel discussion on new business drivers and challengers, P Balaji, director regulatory, external affairs & CSR, Vodafone India, said that a lot of growth is yet to take place and there has to be a good “balance“ between new services and existing ones. “There has to be a good balance for consumers to have new services and the industry to continue to invest in things which will have shareholder return,“ he said. 

(ET, Mar 18, 2017)

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  SECTION II - INDUSTRY  SCAN                                                                                            

 General

Consumer interest more important than maximizing govt. revenue: Trai to TC

 

The Telecom Regularly Authority of India (Trai) has written to the Telecom Commission (TC) that “affordable” mobile tariffs and consumer interest cannot be substituted with “maximization” of revenue. Responding to TC’s February 23 advice that the regulator should discharge its duties in proper letter and spirit so that government revenues, are protected and the sector’s orderly growth takes place, Trai said its tariff regime has not just promoted competition in the market, but has also ensured that consumers get the best –priced offers 

On review of the tariff regulations, Trai said, “It is wi.dely accepted that consumer interest is critical to good regulation and the same cannot be substituted by revenue maximization.”

Trai said the National Telecom Policy’s (NTP 2012), key elements include affordable telecom service and consumer interest and not maximization of government’s revenue. 

(FE, Mar 31, 2017)

 TOP   

UK to build up on special ties with India: says High Commissioner

 

A day after the United Kingdom formally launched the process of exiting the European Union, the High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said the country wants to strengthen its economic ties with India. In an interview to ET, he said the UK hopes to partner India in sectors such as digital economy, defence manufacturing, aerospace, insurance and railways. Edited excerpts:

The UK, as announced by the PM, is determined to continue its special economic and security ties with Europe. In fact, the UK wants to retain its old relationship with the EU. Similarly, outside Europe the UK wants to retain its special ties with India. The UK will be very open for business. India is the second largest job creator in the UK. Migrants are our strength, contributing to the local economy. This created over 7,000 jobs last year. Sixty per cent of work UK visas globally are issued to Indians. This will continue by all means. The ministerial visit to India will further push our economic partnership. India is the third largest investor in the UK.

A number of exciting areas are in the pipeline where the UK is keen to invest. Post demonetisation, digital economy is an area of partnership. The UK is a world leader in fintech. Defence industry is another area where British private firms want to partner their Indian counterparts. The UK is keen to transfer defence technology to India. In fact, in 15-20 years UK defence firms may even try to export from India. The other areas which offer possibilities include aerospace, healthcare, insurance and creating business ecosystems involving railway stations. As part of this the UK will take Varanasi railway station and commercialise areas in and around the station that will help generate revenues.

(ET, Mar 31, 2017)

 TOP   

Wearable Tech to Extend a Hand on Shop Floors (Manufacturing & industrial sector is working with tech to reduce time and increase productivity)

If things work to plan, in about five years from now, the average shop floor worker will no longer need complicated machinery to carry out simple tasks like lifting and moving heavy items. Tata Sons is collaborating with Harvard University on a wearable device which would be more like a suit or an exoskeleton. Powered by soft robotics, it would, for instance, add more strength to the elbow joints to allow the person to lift something that he'd earlier need a machine for. But this is still a few years away. Till then, the group's technology office, led by Dr Gopichand Katragadda, is working on a simpler set of wearable devices to essentially do the same thing. Create the connected factory worker of the future.

Over the past year, the crane operators at the Tata Steel plant in Jamshedpur have been part of a unique pilot project. They've been given a new device which looks like a retro analog watch, but comes loaded with sensors tracking temperature, heart rate variations, motion and ambient gases. The device is part of a project spearheaded by the Group Technology Office at the Tata Group, with companies like Titan, TCS, Tata Elxsi and Tata Communications involved with different aspects of the product. “The wearable device fits in with our overall concept of the connected worker. We are using sensor technology for safety and other aspects of the job he is performing and hope to be leaders in this space,“ said Dr Gopichand Katragadda, group CTO, Tata Group. For instance, the device would alert the wearer of the carbon dioxide or monoxide levels in the room reaching a level unsafe for humans.

(ET, Mar 29, 2017)

 TOP   

Make (Jobs) in India: Xiaomi's India Play to Ring in Employment (Founder Lei Jun says co hopes to create 20,000 jobs in 3 years)

 

Xiaomi is set to nearly triple the number of jobs it has created in India by 2020 as the Chinese smartphone maker expands its presence in a market where the company has emerged as the second biggest in a scant two years.

“To date, we have created more than 7,500 jobs in India and we expect to create a total of 20,000 jobs in three years,“ founder Lei Jun said at The Economic Times Global Business Summit on Monday. India is the second-largest contributor to Xiaomi's global revenue after China, having successfully leveraged its strategy of high-spec affordable phones sold online. The Beijing-headquartered Xiaomi, which was set up seven years ago almost to the day, is set to launch a new artificial intelligence product in the next six months. That's a result of Internet-based innovation, a model that can work in emerging economies like India as well, Lei said.

“We became one of the earliest companies to apply the Internet-plus model to our business with innovative technologies, great products and high-efficiency operations,“ said Lei.

(ET, Mar 28, 2017)

 TOP   

Govt. re-examining on options for duty sops sought by Apple

 

The government is working on certain options to accommodate demands related to tax and duty concessions sought by iPhone maker Apple for setting up a manufacturing unit in India.

 

Although the Finance Ministry has prima facie rejected the demands of the US-based technology major, senior executives of the company met an inter-ministerial group recently to deliberate upon the issue. The group discussed at length the demands of the company, sources said, adding that the government is trying to find ways through which certain support measures could be extended to the American firm. Sources also said the company is asking for concessions as it wants to bring in its supply chain or component makers to the country as Apple cannot source inputs locally.

(ET, Mar 27, 2017)

TOP   

American economic policy’s impact on Indian business

 

India and the United States have a positive economic relation that can be strengthened in the context of the policies of the new US administration. The Trump administration has made increasing economic growth its primary economic goal. Since the United States is the largest market for India’s exports, the increasing strength of the US economy will have a direct positive impact on India’s exports.

 

After a long and slow recovery from the economic downturn that began a decade ago, the American economy is now at full employment. The unemployment rate is just 4.7% and real wages are rising at an increasing rate. Household wealth has increased because of the rise in the real value of homes and the even faster rise of the stock market. Consumers are therefore in a good position to increase their spending on imports as well as on domestic products.

(ET, Mar 24, 2017)

 TOP   

 Industry seeks withdraw LED Bulb Distribution Scheme

The LED industry has asked the government to withdraw its bulbs distribution scheme, alleging it is resulting in price distortion and discouraging retailers from selling the lamps. However, state-run Energy Efficient Service Ltd (EESL), nodal agency for the distribution programme, rubbished the allegation, with its managing director Saurabh Kumar saying data shows that the scheme is helping the industry grow at a rapid scale.

 

EESL's Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Lamps for All (Ujala) scheme played an important role in driving conversion from older technology bulbs (CFL or incandescent lamps) to LED. Large procurement volumes provided the critical mass the industry needed to ramp up local manufacturing of LED lamps and reduce costs, said Harshavardhan Chitale, vice-chairman, Philips Lighting India. “This way the government played a very supportive role in building demand and we in the lighting industry are very appreciative,“ Chitale said. “However, we hear many retailers and distributors complain that continued government role in distribution of these lamps to consumers is impeding further growth of LED lamp adoption as many electrical retailers are shying away from carrying LED lamps because they see government distribution as a potentially big threat to their livelihood.“

(ET, Mar 23, 2017)

TOP   

 

Cabinet Okays Indo-US Cyber Security Pact

 

The cabinet has approved the Indo-US agreement on cyber security, which promotes closer cooperation and exchange of information. The memorandum of understanding had been signed on January 11between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the ministry of electronics and IT and the US Homeland Security Department. The previous bilateral cyber security MoU had been inked on July 19, 2011. “Regular interactions between CERT-In and US CERT are taking place,“ the government had said. 

(ET, Mar 23, 2017)

 TOP   

FinMin rejects Apple’s demands for tax sops

 

The government has rejected demands for tax exemptions by Apple, arguing that such concessions were not possible.  The finance ministry has refused to concede the demand for slashing customs duties on completely-knocked-down and semi-knocked-down units of devices that are to be assembled in India.  However, on the same day the company’s primary assembler, Taiwan-based Foxconn, sought support for exporting mobile phones. 

(BS, Mar 22, 2017)

TOP   

Exports See Double-Digit Growth in February

India's merchandise exports registered double-digit growth in February for the first time since the Narendra Modi government took office, on the back of a 47% rise in engineering goods and improved international demand.

Some analysts say it could be the highest growth witnessed in about five years. Exports swelled by 17.48% in February to $24.5 billion but a steeper increase in imports at 21% widened the trade deficit to $8.8 billion -from $6.5 billion in the year-ago period.

This is the sixth consecutive month of an increase in exports this year but double digits were last seen in June 2014. “In continuation with the revival since September 2016, exports during February for the first time exhibited a double digit positive growth. Overall, trade balance has improved, noted a commerce and industry ministry statement. The month saw 23 of 30 exporting sectors, led by iron ore, registering more exports. However, a 147% spike in gold imports pushed total imports to $33.3 billion. Exports of gems and jewellery are expected to be higher in the next few months.

(ET, Mar 16, 2017)

 TOP   

FB and TLabs to Support mStartups

Facebook and startup accelerator TLabs have entered into a partnership to support the mobile startup ecosystem in the country.

Both entities will build on the knowledge and learning of in house senior mentors to engage and educate entrepreneurs. As part of the partnership, they will co-host events for solving issues around user experience, analytics, app installs and monetization. “It's an incredible step by Facebook for the mobile ecosystem, and startups would be highly benefited from being a part of the Facebook global community,“ said Abhishek Gupta, chief operating officer of TLabs.TLabs is Times Internet Ltd's (TIL) startup incubator.

(ET, Mar 15, 2017)

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India-China Bilateral Trade (Rapidly expanding trade and foreign investment promise stronger economic links between India and China)

As neighbors and two of the world's oldest civilizations, China and India have shared a long history of cultural, scientific, and economic linkages. The last 10 years, have seen a transformation of the economic relationship between China and India.

India's trade deficit with China has swelled to USD52.68 billion in 2015-16, from USD48.48 billion in the previous fiscal. The major imports from China include telecom instruments, computer hardware and peripherals, fertilizer, electronic component, project goods, chemicals and drug intermediaries. Exports to China are ore, slag or ash, iron and steel, tin, raw hides, leather, plastics and cotton. Investment is rapidly entering a broader range of sectors, encompassing high-tech and low-tech industries, and leading companies in both countries have their sights set on global expansion. Given the size and growth rates of the two economies, corporate leaders from each country have realized that a leading market position in the other economy is critical to pursuing global ambitions.

(ET, Mar 15, 2017)

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Information Technology

Wearable Tech to Extend a Hand on Shop Floors (Manufacturing & industrial sector is working with tech to reduce time and increase productivity) : If things work to plan, in about five years from now, the average shop floor worker will no longer need complicated machinery to carry out simple tasks like lifting and moving heavy items. Tata Sons is collaborating with Harvard University on a wearable device which would be more like a suit or an exoskeleton. Powered by soft robotics, it would, for instance, add more strength to the elbow joints to allow the person to lift something that he'd earlier need a machine for. But this is still a few years away. Till then, the group's technology office, led by Dr Gopichand  Katragadda, is working on a simpler set of wearable devices to essentially do the same thing. Create the connected factory worker of the future.

Over the past year, the crane operators at the Tata Steel plant in Jamshedpur have been part of a unique pilot project. They've been given a new device which looks like a retro analog watch, but comes loaded with sensors tracking temperature, heart rate variations, motion and ambient gases. The device is part of a project spearheaded by the Group Technology Office at the Tata Group, with companies like Titan, TCS, Tata Elxsi and Tata Communications involved with different aspects of the product. “The wearable device fits in with our overall concept of the connected worker. We are using sensor technology for safety and other aspects of the job he is performing and hope to be leaders in this space,“ said Dr Gopichand Katragadda, group CTO, Tata Group. For instance, the device would alert the wearer of the carbon dioxide or monoxide levels in the room reaching a level unsafe for humans.

(ET, Mar 29, 2017)

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Global business Net transforming

Technology innovation in the last decade has pre dominantly been viewed through a developed economy lens. But, in the past five years, the dynamic nature of emerging markets has turned that theory on its head. Emerging markets have unique challenges that have spurred innovative solutions. Since these new innovations usually address a large number of users in these markets, they have grown increasingly compelling for the world to learn from.

What were once considered innovations that only applied to emerging markets are becoming more mainstream in developed economies because of certain trends that are picking up across the world. As more and more people connect to the Internet, information asymmetry is becoming a thing of the past. Before making a purchase, consumers are free to do their research, read reviews, and compare prices on the Internet.

Over the past 5-6 years, the smartphone industry has undergone tremendous change, and the quality of products and technological skills have become better. The core change now is to make great products with a spirit of craftsmanship and an insistence on high quality. Whoever can make great products, while making sure the cost stays low, is truly benefiting people. However, the traditional mindset that affordable products must be of low quality is the greatest obstacle these companies face.

(ET, Mar 23, 2017)

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Indians Most Savvy About Support Tech

Indians are more open to using digital and interactive customer service tools across sectors than those in eight other markets, a survey showed. According to the findings of the American Express 2017 Global Customer Service Barometer, 30% of the consumers in India are ready to use messaging tools such as live chats and SMS compared with Hong Kong and Italy (with 26% each) and Mexico (25%).

“Customer service is the most important factor that customers look at in choosing to do business with a company ,“ Pradeep Kapur, senior vice-president, American Express Global Servicing Network ­ Japan and Asia Pacific, told ET. The survey covered 1,000 consumers, aged 18 and above, in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Italy , Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore between December and January . It found that 84% of Indian consumers considered the quality of customer service very important while deciding to become or remain a customer.

“It's quite contrarian to normal thinking, where we would put product in the first place,“ Kapur said. In terms of social media, 73% of Indian consumers post more about positive service experiences and 64% of them have used social channels for customer care, the highest in all markets surveyed. While 39% of Indians are open to using self-service tools such as apps, kiosks and voiceassisted facilities, 44% still showed a strong preference to speak with a real person. “Increasingly in India, social media as a way of conveying company's intent on service is becoming increasingly important,“ said Kapur, adding that there is however, a need to balance digital channels with manual ones.

(ET, Mar 22, 2017)

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IBM Technology to send weather alert without Net connectivity

IT major IBM on Monday announced the launch of a technology that will send weather alerts to users even in limited or no Internet connectivity . “Mesh Network Alerts networking technology is designed to notify of potential severe weather events or disasters -even in areas with limited Internet connection, or cellu lar networks are disrupted due to an outage,“ The Weather Company India Sales and Alliances Leader Himanshu Goyal said in a statement. Developed by IBM researchers, the breakthrough mesh technology is available via The Weather Channel app in India. The Weather Channel is a business unit of IBM.

(ET, Mar 21, 2017)

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The new bedrock of technology (Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to be a defining force in the world of technology  whose  influence will move much beyond the IT department)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) might seem a very esoteric concept  but the reality is that this technology is very real and it is increasingly finding wider level of acceptance through various applications  Though, it is still far away from being like any other mainstream technology, the importance of AI cannot be discounted with more number of enterprises taking definite steps to integrate this technology within their framework to achieve key business goals. 

AI is also seen a key technology enabler which can define a lot of things in the near future and the India (IT) industry, recognizing this fact has devoted significant resources and investments into this segment.  This becomes even more paramount as the clients of the Indian IT companies also seek solutions which have an AI flavor to it.  AI helps not just for the Indian IT companies to generate higher level of efficiencies internally but also gives them the ability to display a new kind of problem solving solution which is intuitive, creative and creates a completely different paradigm. 

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Our IT cos. not stealing US jobs, but creating them, says IT Minister

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Indian Infotech companies are not stealing American jobs  but are in fact creating employment avenues in the world’s largest economy. Prasad’s assertion came in the backdrop of proposed changes in the US policies around outsourcing and movement of skilled workers under the new administration. “The domestic IT companies are present in 200 cities in 80 countries, including the US.  In the US, our IT companies have given $20 billion in taxes last year.  They have given jobs  to 4,00,000 people there and have made value addition. 

“Our IT companies are an asset for the US.  The American administration should know that our companies don’t steal their jobs but they are creating jobs.  We have conveyed our concern to the highest US authorities,” Prasad told the India Today Conclave here. 

(FE, Mar 18, 2017)

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Microsoft solution to power AP datacenter(the state government will use Microsoft’s hybrid cloud platform for its datacenter operations)

For many tech firms, India is a key determinant on how they build products and global tech major Microsoft is one of them.  Recently, the government of Andhra Pradesh linked an agreement with the Redmond, Washington-based firm to utilize the latter’s hybrid cloud platform, called Azure Stack, for AP State Data Centre (SDC) located in Hyderabad.  Under the agreement, the Microsoft cloud solution will be used to migrate live applications currently hosted in SDC in Hyderabad to Vishakhapatnam data centre. 

Post-bifurcation of the state, both Andhra Pradesh and Telengana have divided servers and applications but they are using the same State Resident Data Hub (SRDH) in Hyderabad which was built with a funding of Rs.400 crore from the Centre when the state was united.  As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, AP has 10 years rights on the data centre, but the state is gradually planning to move all applications hosted in Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam and later on to Vijayawada. 

(FE, Mar 16, 2017)

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Net Connectivity to all 2.5 L Panchayats by Dec 2018

All 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country will be connected with the internet by December 2018 and one lakh of them connected by the month-end, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha says. Sinha said in Lok Sabha that BharatNet project was being implemented with the objective of creating network infrastructure to provide broadband connectivity of 100 Mbps to all GPs in the country.

(ET, Mar 16, 2017)

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Telecom

 

Smartphone sales to grow marginally

The Indian smartphone sector is expected to report a marginal sequential growth in the quarter ending March with about 30 million phones shipped. Samsung and Vivo will continue to hold on to the top two slots in a market recovering from the effects of demonetisation, it said.

Preliminary data from Counterpoint Research, exclusively available with ET, show that Apple continues to lead the premium segment of phones priced over `30,000, though its lead over Samsung has shrunk. Some market analysts expect the smartphone market to decline 4-5% quarter-on-quarter by shipments in the January-March quarter, a period that is cyclically slow. IDC and Cybermedia Research are yet to come out with their numbers for the quarter. According to Counterpoint, South Korea's Samsung continues to lead the smartphone segment with 26.5% share, while Chinese brand Vivo is at No 2 with 12.6% share. Other Chinese brands Xiaomi, Oppo and Lenovo, including Motorola, take the No. 3, 4 and 5 spots in that order, with 11.2%, 11% and 7.9% shares, respectively. Oppo has pushed Lenovo to the No. 5 position in the quarter.

(ET, Mar 31, 2017)

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Samsung Launches Galaxy S8, Dreams of Recovery from Note 7

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone as it battles to regain the market leadership it lost to Apple Inc after the embarrassing withdrawal of the fire-prone Note 7s. Boasting some of the largest wraparound screens ever made, the long awaited S8 is the South Korean tech giant's first new premium phone since the Note 7 debacle in October, which wiped out $5.48 billion of profit and helped Apple overtake Samsung as the world's top smartphone maker in the fourth quarter. Two versions of the Galaxy S8, code-named Dream internally, were launched at a media event in New York, with 6.2-inch (15.75 cm) and 5.8-inch curved screens the largest to date for Samsung's premium smartphones.

(ET, Mar 30, 2017)

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Micromax to debut in Rs 20,000-plus segment

Micromax aims to capture Rs.20,000-plus 10% of the smartphone category in the coming financial year, a segment that the homebred player will make its debut in next month with its Dual phone series, which will be pitted against devices from Samsung and Apple, besides those from aggressive Chinese players Oppo, Vivo and One Plus. Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax Informatics, told ETthat the Dual series launches besides the low-cost 4G VoLTE smartphone that it plans to bring to the market next month will help the company win back its position among the top five smartphone makers, which it had lost in the last few quarters to its Chinese rivals in a market led by Samsung. “We will get back market share that we have lost, within two quarters we will be back (in top rankings),“ Sharma said, while launching the company's first premiumend smartphone on Wednesday .

The new series marks the entry of the company -which has been the strongest in the sub-. Rs.10,000 price segment so far -in a higher price segment that is expected to boost revenue as the average selling price for the company, which stands at Rs.5,740, could rise by a fifth. Revenue ` for the year to March 31 is expected to be under Rs. 10,000 crore.

“Our first goal is to reach 10% of the Rs. 20,000-25,000 upwards market, where our direct competition will be Samsung,“ he added. The company plans to launch four to five devices in the Dual series in the next few months. The company is also planning new models in Rs.15,000, Rs.10,000, Rs.20,000 and Rs.30,000 upwards categories, with some in the higher priced segments featuring dual cameras.

(ET, Mar 30, 2017)

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Telecom war leads to revenue loss

The government has taken cognisance of the fall in revenue due to the tariff war among telecom operators triggered by free promotional offers doled out by a new service provider, telecom minister Manoj Sinha said.

Licence fees collected by the government fell to Rs. 3,450.1 crore in the quarter ended December 31 from Rs.3,584.04 crore in July-September ` and Rs. 3,975.7 crore in April-June, he told the Rajya Sabha in response to a question on the health of the sector. Spectrum usage charges dropped to Rs.1,553.2 crore in October-December from Rs. 1,820.03 crore in July-September and Rs.1,995.2 crore in AprilJune, the minister said.

Asked if promotional tariffs were governed by guidelines, Sinha said that “promotional offers and the benefits accruing to customers“ need to be restricted to 90 days as per the rules of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. He added that the regulator had floated a consultation paper on regulatory principles of tariff assessment on February 17.

(ET, Mar 30, 2017)

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Tikona to expand fixed broadband services after sale of 1 to 4G arm to Airtel (Co, which sold 4G arm to India's leading telco, to double fixed broadband services in two years)

Tikona Digital will be a debt free company and will have ample opportunity to expand its fixed broadband services in the home, small, medium and large enterprise segment to double its business in the next 18 to 24 months once it completes its divestment of 4G business, Prakash Bajpai, chief executive officer of Tikona Digital, told ET.

“After the transaction, Tikona will perhaps be a rare example of a debt free company in the telecom or data space with enough resources to grow. While the industry remains focused on the larger pie of mobile voice and data services, Tikona has ample opportunity to cater to the fixed broadband services,“ Bajpai said. “We are bullish about the big opportunity to proliferate broadband services and are in the process of contributing towards realising the dream of Digital India.“

(ET, Mar 28, 2017)

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Samsung to refurbish & sell Galaxy Note 7s

Tech giant Samsung Electronics says it plans to sell refurbished versions of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that were pulled from markets due to fire-prone batteries.

The Note 7s were permanently scrapped in October, roughly two months from the launch of the near-$900 devices, as more of the phones self-combusted despite a global recall initiated in September. A subsequent probe found manufacturing problems in batteries supplied by two different companies Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology. Analysis from Samsung and in dependent researchers found no other problems in the Note 7 devices except the batteries, raising speculation that Samsung will recoup some of its losses by selling refurbished Note 7s. The company estimated a $5.5 billion profit hit over three quarters from the Note 7 troubles.

(ET, Mar 28, 2017)

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Telcos on 4G spectrum acquisition overdrive as Data consumption soars

Telecom operators in India are on an overdrive to acquire additional 4G capacity spectrum to spruce up networks in terms of speed and riding video content amid the sharp upsurge in data consumption levels, analysts and industry experts said.

Bharti Airtel's decision to buy Tikona Digital's 4G business, they said, reaffirms the faith among the established carriers in 4G capacity spectrum to maintain high quality customer experience in the future. This comes amid expectations of price rationalization in the next 12-18 months, now that Reliance Jio Infocomm's free services are drawing to a close by the month-end. “When you see a monumental jump in data consumption demand in a very short span, any Jio competitor will need to tank up on 4G capacity spectrum at the earliest to support comparable data services offerings to ring-fence the experience of upper-tier customers, especially video content,“ Sanjay Kapoor, a former CEO of Bharti Airtel told ET.

(ET, Mar 27, 2017)

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Telecom subscribers need fresh verification based in Aadhaar

A bulk of India's 1.1 billion telecom subscribers will soon have to go through a fresh verification exercise based on their Aadhaar identification, following an order of the Supreme Court last month. The industry estimates the process could at least Rs. 1,000 crore time when companies are burdened with debt and fighting a tariff war. 

“All licensees shall intimate their existing subscribers through advertisement in print electronic media as well as e orders of the Su SMS about the orders of the Supreme Court for re-verification activity and shall upload the complete details of this activity on their website,“ says notice issued by department of telecommunications. 

(ET, Mar 25, 2017)

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Google wants Indian Telcos on platform

Google Inc is looking to bring more Indian telecom operators on board its software defined networking (SDN)-based platform. The internet search giant says its SDN-based platform enables telecom networks adapt to new services and traffic patterns efficiently. The company has already tied up with Bharti Airtel and South Korea's SK Telecom.

“We are very open to talking about our capabilities on both client and application sides and cloud technologies to carriers across the spectrum,“ Gulzar Azad, country head for connectivity at Google India, told ET. “We believe there will be more engagements as we move forward in India as well.“

(ET, Mar 25, 2017)

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3G, 4G drive data consumption

Wireless data consumption continued to increase in India in 2016, driven by 3G and 4G services which contributed 76% of total traffic.  Data traffic rose 29% in 2016 from the previous year; 3G traffic rose 25% during the period.  Data consumption on 4G made up 13% of total data consumption.  2G data consumption declined for the first time in 2016 after growing 12% in the previous year, as subscribers moved to higher-speed tariff plans.  Even with limited 4G network coverage, data consumption on 4G networks reached 22 petabytes (PB) and is expected to increase exponentially.

(HT, Mar 24, 2017)

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Bharti goes pan-India in 4G with more acquisitions

In a move that underlines the  growing consolidation as well as competitiveness in the telecom space, Bharti Airtel has acquired  the broadband wireless access (BWA) business of Tikona Digital for Rs.1,600 crore.  Withthis, Bharti has got access to Tikona’s BWA spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in the five circles of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.  Trikona has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in thee circles, which can be used for high-speed 4G data services.

Bharti has thus filled the gaps in its spectrum portfolio and now like Reliance Jio has a pan-India spectrum in the2300 MHz band.  Earlier it did not have spectrum in this band in three circles – Rajasthan, UP (East) and UP (West).  In Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, its holding of this spectrum would now increase to 30 MHz.  With the completion of this transaction, Bharti will have 30 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in 13 of the 22 circles.  In the remaining nine, it will have 20 MHz, and hence its 4G data services would hugely get strengthened.

(FE, Mar 24, 2017)

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‘No plan to allow Telcos to buy Spectrum annually’

The government has no immediate plan to allow telecom companies to buy spectrum annually and hasn't decided when airwaves will be auctioned next. “The government has not yet made any plan to provide industry with an option to buy spectrum every year,“ Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to a question in parliament.

Responding to a separate query on whether another spectrum auction is being considered, the minister said, “The government has not yet decided to conduct another spectrum auction immediately.“ The minister's comment is at variance with the stand of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Former telecom secretary JS Deepak had said publicly last month that the government was looking at holding airwave sales every year and that it will reach out to the regulator for its recommendations.

(ET, Mar 23, 2017)

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O! Google just announced an Android Rejig

Google has announced the beginning of the Android O developer preview. The early version of the mobile operating system places an emphasis on efficiency with new features such as background limits, picture-in-picture (PIP), updates to notifications, support for LDAC Bluetooth codec, among other new features.

(ET, Mar 23, 2017)

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Gionee to make India mfg base for Africa, Saarc

 

Chinese phone maker Gionee plans to shift manufacturing for the African and Saarc regions to India as the company plans to expand operations in the capital. Gionee, which has around 6% share of the Indian smartphone market, is finalizing a proposal for setting up a factory in Haryana, on the outskirts of Delhi, and this would act as the main sourcing base for its requirements in India as well as exports.  At present, Gionee procures devices from two contract manufacturers – Dixon and Foxconn – for Indian market. 

“We are working rapidly on the Haryana factory plan and expect to complete the formalities in this regard very soon.  Actual production is expected to begin over the next two years.”  Arvind R Vohra, country CEO & MD of Gonee India told TOI. The$5.5 billion Chinese company had earlier been a supplier to some of the Indian homegrown brands, but decided to make a foray in the country around four years back as smartphone sales started growing aggressively. 

(TOI, Mar 22, 2017)

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Apple unveils cheapest iPad yet

Apple Inc introduced a revamped version of its most popular-sized iPad at the most af-fordable price ever, and a shiny red iPhone 7, whose sales will help to combat AIDS. Apple unveiled a new 9.7-inch iPad with a brighter Retina display starting at $329, and a special edition redaluminum finish iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, part of the company's decade-long partnership with (RED), which contributes to the Global Fund to fight HIV and AIDS.

“Since we began working with (RED) 10 years ago, our customers have made a significant impact in fighting the spread of AIDS through the purchase of our products, from the original iPod nano (PROD-UCT) RED Special Edition all the way to today's lineup of Beats products and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch,“ Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement on Tuesday .

(ET, Mar 22, 2017)

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Special Edition of iPhone 7 Coming to India in April

AUS-based tech major Apple will from April start selling in India its special `RED' edition of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, symbolising the fight against AIDS. “The introduction of this special edition iPhone in a gorgeous red finish is our biggest (PRODUCT)RED offering to date in celebration of our partnership with (RED), and we can't wait to get it into customers' hands,“ Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in vibrant red aluminium finish, in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), the statement said

(ET, Mar 22, 2017)

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Bitterness among telecom brands

The war of words between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm over an advertisement campaign that endorses India's No. 1 telco as the fastest network has bitter with the two companies accusing each other of misleading customers. While Airtel said Jio was maligning the market leader's brand by spreading misinformation around its advertisement, Jio said there is no guarantee that the speed which is attributed to Airtel by internet metrics firm Ookla is of the market leader's data network.

Earlier, Ookla had defended its speed test and reiterated that the results were based upon data from the third and fourth quarter of 2016, adding that it stands behind Airtel being named `India's fastest mobile network'. “We believe that this (Jio's allegation) is a deliberate attempt to malign our brand and misguide customers through a campaign of misinformation, which is something we now come across on a regular basis, in particular, on social media platforms,“ Rajiv Mathrani, chief brand officer at Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

(ET, Mar 22, 2017)

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Vodafone-Idea merger – creates India’s biggest player (formal announcement by two cos.)

India's telecom industry will soon ring in a new order. Vodafone India and the Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned Idea Cellular are to merge to create the country's biggest phone company by subscribers, dislodging Bharti Airtel, which has been at the top for 15 years. The new ` . 1.55 lakh crore entity will also be the world No. 2 after China Mobile.

The deal will see Aditya Birla Group, the promoters of Idea, gradually raising its stake in the combined entity while Vodafone Group will reduce its own, with the aim of both holding equal stakes over a period of time. Series of meetings in Mumbai, London, Dubai & Abu Dhabi since Jan preceded announcement.

(ET, Mar 21, 2017)

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Qualcomm to Launch VoLTE Phones

American manufacturer Qualcomm has said that it is working with Indian firms such as Micromax and Reliance Jio Infocomm, in addition to Chinese original equipment makers and device makers, to launch 4G VoLTE feature phones based on its latest 205 Mobile Platform, which has been designed and developed by its engineering team in India. These devices will hit the Indian market in second quarter of 2017. 

The feature phone market will continue to be significant in India, James J.Cathey, Qualcomm's senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific and India told ET. “It is possible for brands to broaden their portfolios with VoLTE feature phone with LTE technology becoming pervasive and affordable. There will be a mass appeal,“ he said. “We are taking a pretty big blanket approach to build relationships around this form factor.

(ET, Mar 21, 2017)

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Online Giants Plan Offline Push to Sell Smartphones

Two of the country's largest marketplaces, Amazon and Flipkart, are set to push sales of their online exclusive smartphones through brick-and-mortar stores, a move aimed at expanding the business in India and preparing for the goods and services tax (GST) regime, which will reduce the price difference between offline and online markets. GST is expected to be rolled out on July 1. Amazon will start with brands like Coolpad, Motorola, Lenovo, Huawei and One Plus and is talking to Samsung and Xiaomi to extend it to their popular models like Samsung On5 Pro and Mi, respectively. The company had earlier tested the waters with offline distribution of smartphones when it had excess stock after demonetization, but has now firmed it up as a proper business in India.

(ET, Mar 20, 2017)

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BSNL-MTNL merger

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is working to develop a plan for the stage-wise merger of loss-making state-run telecom operators BSNL and MTNL, and is expected to approach the Union Cabinet with the proposal by June this year. 

The telecom ministry feels that a pan-India government operator is important for the sector to keep a check on cartelization by private players.  It anticipates that the ongoing consolidation in the industry will to four private players – Bharti Airtel and Telenor, Reliance Jio, the merged entity of Vodafone India-Idea Cellular and the firm created out of the merger of Reliance Communications, MTS and Aircel. On the merger of BSNL and MTNL, former DoT Secretary JS Deepak told the parliamentary standing committee on information technology.  “We are working on a plan… I would not say that we have a plan of merging these companies in phases.”

(FE, Mar 19, 2017)

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Launch ‘Keep in India’ for data protection

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani says there was a need to retain data generated domestically within the country rather than letting it go out.  He urged the government to start a ‘Keep in India’ initiative to prevent this.  “Keeping our data onshore will ensure that talent; technology, know-how and investments will flow into the country rather than flow out, and will create more jobs for us.  Like the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns, we need a ‘Keep in India’ initiative to keep our data within our shores.” Ambani said in Mumbai.

(BS, Mar 19, 2017)

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Bleeding Telcos at their weakest ever (Airtel India MD points to massive debt burden, urges govt. to ease rules)

The telecom industry's financial health is at its weakest ever with a massive debt burden that exceeds Rs.4.5 lakh crore, Gopal Vittal, Bharti Airtel's managing director for India and South Asia, said at the ET Telecom India Mobile Congress on Friday. His comments underscored recent warnings that the industry was coming under tremendous pressure following the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm with offers of free voice for life and cheap data that had unleashed a tariff war which the incumbents could ill afford and forced a round of consolidation. Vittal called on the government to improve ease of doing business in the telecom sector to help shore up its finances. He pointed out that the return on capital for companies was as low as     1%.

(ET, Mar 18, 2017)

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Little known Chinese Phone Cos Big Plan big  for India

India, the world's second largest and fastest growing mobile phone market is about to be flooded by virtually unheard of Chinese brands. Not to forget Infinix and Cat phones -products from other countries that are relatively less known but have big plans for India. Most of them are looking at the feature phone to smartphone feature phone to smartphone conversion market -only 300 million of 1 billion phone users in India have smartphones -as well as at feature phones.

Chinese products will be, predictably, fiercely price-competitive. And India is the first market they will target in a big way under their own brand name. These companies usually make their money by making phones for better-known brands. One little known Chinese brand has already entered India -iVoomi launched four smartphone models. “Original equipment makers or even original design making companies that have been so far confined to China, such as Tinno, Malata and Huaqin, are also preparing to come to India because China's market itself has slowed down,“ said a senior industry executive. He did not want to be named as he recently moved on from a local handset maker.

(ET, Mar 18, 2017)

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Micromax aims to sell 6 million Bharat handsets

Home-bred handset maker Micromax is aiming to sell 5-6 million units of its upcoming Bharat 14G VoLTE feature phone and Bharat 2 VoLTE smartphones in India over the next 5-6 months, which will help it increase its overall market share as well as compete better with Chinese and domestic handset makers, Micromax chief marketing officer Shubhajit Sen told ET during the India Mobile Congress event. Sen said that the handset maker is in talks with telecom operators regarding collaboration for these devices. “We are working on technologies which would be of high interest to the operators in India. “

While Bharat 2 is going to be launched soon, Bharat 1 will be launched post the launch of Bharat 2. The company will also come up with Bharat 3. Sen, however, didn't share further details. The devices will be open ones and not co-branded, and they will be manufactured in India. ET was the first to report about Micromax's plans to launch 4G VoLTE feature phones and low-cost 4G smartphones in its March 15 edition. Bharat 2 is going to be the first Google approved phone to be priced below Rs 3,000 -the phone will be a 4G VoLTE smartphone. Bharat 1 is going to be Micromax's first 4G VoLTE feature phone which is going to be priced at Rs 1,999. This device will have a Java-based OS instead of Android.

(ET, Mar 18, 2017)

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Trai Chief Calls for Boosting Data Connectivity Profile

 

The telecom regulator has called for aggressively boosting India's data connectivity profile as the country lags way behind many South Asian countries on this score. “Indian telcos have delivered ubiquitous voice connectivity at affordable rates, but data connectivity remains a pain-point with the country ranked at 138 among the 175-odd countries, which is even below many African countries and island nations,“ Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R S Sharma said at the ET Telecom India Mobile Congress.

 

In the South Asian region, he said, India's data connectivity ranking is even below Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Singapore, and way below the 46% of average data connectivity level worldwide. Accordingly, the sector regulator, he said, has been proactively making suggestions to the government to make data affordable, especially as it believes that relying solely on wireless connectivity would be unwise. “Beefing up the country's digital data connectivity infrastructure is not an intractable problem, and there must be scope for every technology to exist and operate,“ said Sharma.

(ET, Mar 18, 2017)

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Telecom Players Abuzz with 5G

 

India is yet to complete its 4G rollout across the country, but telecom operators and industry players are already thinking of the next wave -5G. The telecom phone makers said the country is at the cusp of another digital revolution, and the industry is gearing up for the 5G network rollout. Chandan Kumar, director-marketing and integrated solutions for Huawei India, said that apps are being developed keeping the next phase of technology in mind.

5G will bring the consumer into the realms of virtual reality; automated cars and even surgeries can be performed online, said industry chiefs at the ET Telecom India Mobile Congress. “For all this, speed and quality will be the key and one needs to have investment from operators as well,“ said Sameer Dave, CTO of Aircel. But it was also agreed that the rollout of new bands will not ring the death knell of 3G. They said that even though 5G will become a reality, one can't discount the role 3G plays even now. Operators have invested $18 billion on 3G, and is still integral to many parts of India.

(ET, Mar 18, 2017)

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Huawei, TechM sign pact for enterprise business

 

IT Company Tech Mahindra will market enterprise products and service of Chinese Telecom Company Huawei across 44 countries, including India, under an agreement signed between the two companies.  “Tech Mahindra, a specialist in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering and Huawei Enterprise Business Group (EBG) have signed global partnership agreement.  Tech Mahindra will market Huwei’s enterprise products and services across 44 countries including India,” the firms said in a joint statement.

(FE, Mar 18, 2017)

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Ease of Doing Biz in telecom

 

The telecom regulator is reviewing “procedural issues“ in the sector to make it more business friendly, its chairman said. “In the consultation paper floated by us on March 14, we are looking at the procedural and not the policy issues,“ Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's RS Sharma told ET. He, however, said that if the paper yields some policy matters which need reconsideration, the regulator will consider them.

 

The consultation paper comes after a meeting between industry CEOs and the regulator at the beginning of the year to identify areas that require regulatory clarity. Trai has sought stakeholder in puts by April 11, after which it will take a call on additional steps towards “simplification of processes“. “This could probably entail looking at spectrum sharing, sharing trading or any other rules governing the sector, provided it is felt that these need to be tweaked or improved for the sake of doing business in the sector,“ Sharma said.

 

Explaining the current exercise pertaining to ease of doing business in the telecom sector, Sharma said telecom service providers are no longer required to manually submit performance indicators, as technology-based processes and automation are bringing reports directly to the regulator. “So in the real world many such old reporting requirements might have become obsolete... why should they be carried out?“ he said.

(ET, Mar 17, 2017)

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BSNL Offers 2GB per Day, Unlimited Calls for Rs 339

 

To counter threat from Reliance Jio, state-run telecom firm BSNL on Thursday launched a new plan that offers 2 GB of 3G data per day and unlimited calling within its network for `339.

 

“The benefits customer will get under the combo STV (special tariff voucher) of `339 are unlimited calls in BSNL network and unlimited data with fair use policy of 2 GB per day with validity of 28 days,“ BSNL said. The BSNL offer is limited for 90 days. Reliance Jio is offering 1GB of 4G data and unlimited calling to all network for free till March 31. From April 1 onward, Reliance Jio customers opting for Jio Prime service will get unlimited data and calls till March 31, 2018, for one time registration fee of Rs 99 and `303 per month.

 

BSNL said data of 2 GB per day is one of the best in the industry. “We are committed to providing affordable and efficient services to all segment of our loyal mobile customers. We offer best prices to customers considering the trend of the industry,“ said BSNL director for consumer mobility RK Mittal. BSNL customers under the new scheme will also get 25 minutes of free call to other network every day and after that they will be charged 25 paisa for minute long phone call.

(ET, Mar 17, 2017)

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Micromax Plans to Launch Entry-level 4G VoLTE Feature Phone

 

Micromax Informatics is betting on a cheap feature phone that supports 4G VoLTE calls to revive its fortunes after getting pushed to the wall by aggressive Chinese rivals. The feature is otherwise available only on smartphones and Micromax is hoping to ride demand generated by Reliance Jio Infocomm's offer of free voice for life.

India's second-largest handset company till recently, Micromax has slumped to five in the overall rankings, and out of the top five in smartphones. It's looking to price the feature phone at well under Rs 2,500 and will also launch a 4G VoLTE smartphone at under $50 (Rs 3,300) that may also have an integrated digital payments feature to regain market share on the back of volumes, two people aware of the matter said.

With bundling, the cost of the 4G VoLTE feature phone could drop substantially, even to zero, one of the two said. The company plans to launch the feature phone and the smartphone, likely to be called Bharat One and Bharat Two, early next month.

“While the VoLTE feature phone could lead to operator tie-ups to push the category and acceptance, the smartphone may have a back-end tie-up with Transerv and MVisa that could enable digital payments,“ one of the two said.

(ET, Mar 16, 2017)

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Apple may Launch New iPads Soon

 

Apple is expected to host an event where it will unveil the new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage and new Apple Watch bands.“ Rumours widely suggest at least a trio of new iPad Pro models will be unveiled as early as this month,“ macrumors.com reported on Tuesday. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro will not include Home button and is also rumored to have a higher-resolution display and quad microphones.

(ET, Mar 15, 2017)

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Consumer Electronics

 

Top 3 TV Makers Cut Prices in Big Battle for Small Screen

 

The Rs. 22,000-crore LED television market is heading for a price war with the big three -LG, Samsung and Sony -cutting prices by as much as 15% due to increased competition and as they seek to gain market share.

 

The price cut, the steepest ever, comes at a time when the top three are facing growing threat from smaller brands like Micromax, Intex, TCL, BPL and Sansui that are selling their products at prices Rs.2,000-10,000 cheaper, three that are ` senior industry executives said. Consumers, too, are showing readiness to buy these brands that are online-exclusive or are available both online and offline, much like in the smartphone market. They are also increasingly changing their TV sets every four-five years, as prices of large screen models plunge and companies upgrade technology. LG, Samsung and Sony together control around 80% of the Indian LED TV market, but others are now capturing share slowly.

 

“Globally, there has been no decrease in prices of LED televisions, but the big brands are under pressure to reduce prices in India due to sales taking a hit with several brands entering the market and playing on price. This is across television sizes, but the maximum focus is on the 32-42inch segment, which alone accounts for over 55% of the market,“ said the chief of a leading television maker. In a communication to trade, LG India attributed the price drop to “drive sellout velocity and gain market share“.

(ET, Mar 28, 2017)

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In India, Jio will enable Customers to cut cord

 

In January 2015, Dish Network ­ the second largest pay TV platform in the US ­ introduced its over-the-top (OTT) Internet TV service Sling TV to retain cord-cutters, who were cancelling expensive subscriptions and opting for low-cost alternatives such as Netflix and Amazon, or free services.

 

Sling TV risked cannibalizing Dish's subscriber base, but the gamble seems to have paid off. Today, Sling TV's subscriber base is pegged at 1.18 million by Leichtman Research Group. A testimony to Sling TV's success is CEO Roger Lynch's compensation package: He was the highest paid executive at Dish Network in 2016, outrunning the group chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen. Lynch, 53, was in Mumbai to meet Indian channel partners. He spoke on what makes Sling TV a hit among Asian audiences in the US and how he sees the Indian market evolving

(ET, Mar 27, 2017)

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LeEco to focus on TV biz (not exit India)

 

Chinese electronics maker LeEco wil focus on its TV business in the country and implement a new strategy to manage operations as the company goes through a cash crunch, a company official said. “We will not exit India but work out a smart strategy to manage operations in India.  We will be cautious without investments for now,” said Alex Li, group vice-president and India Chief Operating Officer.

 

The Company’s TV business will grow faster than mobiles in India as the smart TV market is expected to boom, Li said.  “We will focus on smart TVs only and look at ways to solidify our existing customer base which includes smartphones as well.” The company was looking to invest an assembly or an R&D facility in the IT investment Region (ITR), he added. 

(HT, Mar 20, 2017)

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Solar Energy

 

 

Solar module prices may fall 20% this year

 

Global prices of solar modules, a key component in setting up solar power plants, could fall by as much as one-fifth this year, companies and analysts say.  That will come as a shot in the arm for Indian producers of solar power and could increase the financial viability of projects. The Central government has a target of setting up 100 giga watts (GW) of solar and 60 GW of wind energy capacity by 2022. Installed solar power had crossed 9GW as of December and is likely to double to 18 GW in 2017 as large projects go on stream. Modules make for nearly 60% of a solar project’s total cost and their prices fell by about 26% in 2016 alone, benefiting new and under-construction solar projects in India.

 

Bidders for solar projects have quoted record-low tariffs.  In a February auction, rates touched a record low of Rs.2.97 per kilowatt hour. “Prices (of solar modules) are likely to continue to fall and in the second half of this year, tier-1 module prices are likely to be between 27-30 cents (per watt peak),” said  Sanjeev Aggarwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive of solar energy firm Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. 

(HT, Mar 16, 2017)

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SECTION – IV - FORTHCOMING EVENTS &  GENERAL INFORMATION              

 

For Glance of ELCINA Activities 2017-18: Please refer: (https://youtu.be/0H0mHxTi9JA)   

Event :  Defence Electronics Conclave 2017 (DEFCON)

Date : 28th April, 2017

Venue : HICC, Hyderabad

Organiser : ELCINA

Contact : Rajesh Rawat

Mob : 9911445890

 

Event : LED Summit & Expo 2017

Date : 11 – 13, May 2017

Venue : Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai

Organiser : Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt. Ltd

Contact : Mr. Kulbir Singh

Tel : 011 –  66762345

Mob : 9717773434

Event : electronica India 2017

Date : 14 – 16, September 2017

Venue : Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Organiser : Messe Muenchen India Pvt. Ltd.

Contact : Mr. Tanmay Paul

Tel : 022 –  4255-4700 

Mob : 09967790246

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SECTION - V - ELCINA EVENTS, ACTIVITIES & SERVICES                                          

 

Industry Conference on 

“Sustainable & Green Energy Solutions“

"Solar Power and LED Technologies” 

24th March’2017

Cambay Resort, Near GIDC, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 

ELCINA has organized a Seminar on “Sustainable & Green Energy Solutions: Solar Power and LED Technologies” on 24th March, 2017, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.  

The conference highlights the immense opportunities existing in these sectors and distortions caused by unbridled imports and irrational price cuts by Chinese suppliers. The conference were attended by 100+ delegates.  

In the welcome remarks, ELCINA President Vikram Desai mentioned about the rapid growth of the Solar Energy and LED Lighting markets and made specific mention of the ten-fold fall in Investment required per watt solar power generation to US$ 0.40.  

The Chief Guest, Mr Dhananjay Dwivedi, Secretary Dept of Science and Technology and IT, Govt of Gujarat elaborated on his view of sustainability beyond environmental concerns. He said that dependence on imported consumer goods was not sustainable for the country and also created financial and security threats.  

Some Snaps of the Event

Honorable Dignitaries on Dias

The Chief Guest, Mr. Dhananjay Dwivedi, Secretary, Dept of Science and Technology and IT, Govt. of Gujarat

Hon’ble Speakers  for the Session on

“Solar Power-Opportunity for Make in India”

 

Hon’ble Speakers for the Session on

“LED Technologies-Market Growth driving Make in India

 

 

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ELCINA coordinated an industry interface among its members and Korean manufacturers

ELCINA coordinated an industry interface for its members and Korean delegates which were in Delhi to participate in “India-Korea Business Collaboration meet” at IIIT-D on 28th March, 2017. The meet was organized by Anyang Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIID).

Mr. Pankaj Gulati, Vice President of ELCINA addressed the Industry during inaugural session of the meet.

ELCINA will try to further deepen the interaction with ACCI during its Delegation to Korea, planned between 23rd – 26th April, 2017

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PUBLICATIONS

“Indian Printed Circuit Board Industry & Market Research Report

The evolution of miniaturization and sub-miniaturization in the design of electronic equipment led to the emergence of a new technique of inter-component wiring and assembly known as the printed circuit board (PCB). This technology has now become the backbone of electronic devices. They provide the required mechanical support structure and electrical connect for the circuit. In addition to providing the connectivity, they also help to reduce the overall size and enhance the efficiency of the device.

  • By 2020, the electronics market in India is expected to increase with a CAGR of 25.1 per cent to USD 400 billion from USD 104 billion in 2015

  • Currently only 35% of this demand is currently being met by local manufacturers. And for the rest 65%, India is still dependent on imports.

  • Hence, PCB- being the backbone of electronics holds a huge demand in India - Current demand of USD 2.01 Billion represents the demand based on the total PCBs (which includes both the bare board PCBs and the populated PCBs)

  • Current market size for bare PCBs is USD 1.2 Billion - Only 30% of this demand for bare PCBs is currently being met by local PCB manufacturers. And for the rest 70%, India.

 

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“Opportunities and Challenges in the Strategic Electronics Sector, with special focus on MSMEs”. 

We are pleased to inform you that, a Special Report (update 2016) has been prepared by ELCINA on “Opportunities and Challenges in the Strategic Electronics Sector, with special focus on MSMEs”.  This Report involved detailed research & discussions with varied stakeholders from Defence Sector. It provides updated information as well as recommendations for next steps for Strategic Electronics and policy changes that we believe are required to take the Defence Electronics Sector to new heights. The updated report was released during Strategic Electronics Summit 2016.

This Study provides on insight into the Defence Electronics eco-system in India and is a guide, both for the industry as well as the defence establishment to chalk out a path to success in this important sector. You may order the same from by following the below link;

http://elcina.com/services_publications_space_defence_msmes.asp

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 ELCINA Directory of Indian Electronics Industry - 2017

This compendium includes the updates on Indian Electronics Industry and a host of additional improved features covering central government policies, statistical industry scan, company databases plus various projections. This directory also includes major highlights of Union Budget 2017-18 and its provisions for ESDM industry.  This handy compendium with its easy-to-read format attracts the attention of a growing number of users (within India and abroad), available with interactive CD version.

http://elcina.com/services_publications_dir.asp

 

Super Capacitor-Market Landscape Study

A Supercapacitor or Ultracapacitor is a charge storage device that stores electrical charges via electrochemical & electrostatic processes and has an unusually high energy density when compared to common capacitors. Due to their beneficial properties like fast charging ability,

superior low temperature performance, long service and cycle life, and reliability, Supercapacitors hold the potential to replace or complement traditional batteries and capacitors in several applications. Supercapacitors are already being used worldwide in number of applications ranging from automotive, renewable energy to electronics. For more details you can visit below link: http://www.elcina.com/services_publications_supercapacitor.asp

For enquiries, call Ms.Tandra Majumder,
ELCINA HOUSE, 422 Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi - 110 020.
Tel: +91 (011) 26924597, 26928053; Fax: +91 (011) 2692 3440;
Email: tandra@elcina.com  or info@elcina.com

 

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Forthcoming ELCINA-CKM  Programmes

Continuing its efforts to establish an extensive source of knowledge to serve Indian Engineering and Electronics Industry and cultivate a manufacturing culture in the country, ELCINA-Centre for Knowledge Management (CKM), since its launch in 2008, has been conducting various workshops on a variety of topics of interest to the satisfaction of the industry with focus on quality improvement and enhancing competitiveness. It has also been organizing In-house training workshops in companies for the benefit of the industry and the number of workshops is growing every year. 

 

S No. Training Programs Date Venue
1. Testing & Certification for Reliability of LED Lighting Products 18th  April, 2017 Research & Development Centre, C-53, Phase-II, Noida – 201305

 

ELCINA-CKM Training Programs Calendar

 

Quality Improvement Techniques

S. No.

Programs

Duration

1

SPC - Statistical Process Control

1

2

Basic 7 QC Tools - Problem Solving Techniques 

1

3

FMEA

1

4

RCA & CAPA - Root Cause Analysis & Corrective / Preventive Actions

1

5

KAIZEN - Continual Process Improvement in Manufacturing

1

6

Simple Problem Solving Techniques for Industries

2

7

MSA - Measurement System Analysis

1

8

APQP

1

9

PPAP

1

10

5S

1

 Management System Standards 

11

ISO 9001:2015 Requirements & Implementation

1

12

ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor Course

2

 Environment Management Systems 

13

EMS – Environment Management System ISO 14001:2015

1

14

EHS Legal Requirement - Environment & Health

1

15

EHS Internal Audit

1

 Six Sigma 

16

Six Sigma - Executive Brief

1

17

Six Sigma Green Belt

3

18

Six Sigma Calculations using Mini Tab

2

Communication Skills 

19

Business Communication

1

20

Internal Effective Communication

1

21

Assertiveness Communication

1

 Leadership Development 

22

Leadership Development for Organisational Success

1

23

Leadership for Young Managers

1

 Soft Skills 

24

Motivation Skills

1

25

Time Management & Stress Management

1

26

Building a High Performance Team

1

27

Building Better Work Relationship

1

28

Conflict Resolution

1

29

Personality Development

1

30

Managerial Effectiveness

1

31

Enhancing Personal Effectiveness

1

32

Influencing & Persuading Others

1

 

For more details and forthcoming programs, please log on to - http://www.elcina.com/ckm/services-ckm.htm - and/or contact ELCINA Secretariat, New Delhi – rajesh@elcina.com or call on 9911445890

 

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OSRAM PRODUCT DISPLAY CENTRE at  ELCINA HOUSE

The 'OSRAM DISPLAY CENTRE' in ELCINA House is a permanent Display Centre and serves to showcase the Indian electronics industry to visitors. The Display Centre has now 12 Full Stalls and 2 Half/Mini Stalls, presently occupied by the following Member-companies:-

  Full Stalls

1.          Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bangalore

2.          EPCOS India Pvt Ltd, Bangalore

3.          Vishay Components India Pvt Ltd, Pune

4.          Teknik Electromeconic Pvt Ltd, Bangalore

5.          SGS Tekniks Manufacturing Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon

6.      Syrma Technology Pvt. Ltd., Chennai

7.      Deki Electronics Ltd, Noida

8.         EMI Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore

9.     Elin Electronics Ltd, New Delhi

10.     Bhagyashree Industries, Secunderabad

11.     AT & S India Pvt.Ltd., Nanjangud

    

Half/Mini Stalls

1.    CTR Mfg Industries Ltd, Aurangabad

2.    Super Mount Pack Pvt. Ltd.,Bangalore

 

 

 

 

 

One full stall is  currently available at present and interested members may kindly contact ELCINA House, New Delhi (saly@elcina.com) for advance booking of the same.

 

Terms and conditions for booking of stalls:-

  • Manufacturing & Service Member-companies of ELCINA are eligible to display their products 

  •  Flexible shelves are provided inside the stalls.  Modification in fixtures of the basic structure will not be possible as it runs counter to uniformity.

  •  Lockable Storage space will be provided below the stall for brochures/publicity materials etc.

  •  Audio Visual clip/Power Point presentation will be displayed for the visitors on LCD Panel installed in the Display Area.

  •  The rental charges for the Stalls for two years – FULL Stall (Rs.20,000/-)  and HALF/MINI Stall (Rs.12,000) + Service Tax (12.36%), as per government rules.

  •  Exhibits can consist of product samples, demo kits, brochures, posters etc.  

  •  Each stall has got one power supply point of 15 Amps.

  •  Renewal will be for a minimum period of two years or multiples thereof

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A newsletter published by ELCINA, New Delhi. The information contained in this newsletter is for private circulation only. Despite our best efforts, some errors could have crept in. You are advised to verify authenticity of the information before further use.

 

Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA )

ELCINA House, 422 Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase-III, New Delhi 110020 (India).

E-Mails: info@elcina.com Tel: 011-26924597 / 26928053 / 41615985, Website: www.elcina.com