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Exclusive Interview With N.K. Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer, ESSCI

N.K. MohapatraRecently, the Union government has approved three schemes to enable large scale electronics manufacturing and attract fresh investments in the sector and has developed a comprehensive plan to realize the vision of making the country self- reliant. A non-profit organisation, Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) envisions to enable a world-class electronics manufacturing industry with an ecosystem for skill development and enhance the employability of the large number of Indian human resource. Talking to Niloy from BISinfotech, N.K. Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer, ESSCI talks about skill training, job creation and employment chances.

Q1. Government of India has approved three schemes to enable large scale electronics manufacturing and attract fresh investments in the sector. How do you see this?

Recently, the government notified three scheme for electronic sector i.e. production linked incentive scheme for large scale electronics manufacturing, the scheme for promotion of manufacturing of electronic components and semiconductors, and the modified electronics manufacturing clusters scheme with the vision to boost an export-led electronic manufacturing strategy at a global scale and make Indian manufacturing globally competitive. Also wants to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in mobile phone manufacturing and specified electronic components, including assembly, testing, marking and packaging (ATMP) units.

This move is likely to give a major push to big global manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, etc, besides contract manufacturers like Foxconn and Wistron to bring their global supply chains to India. This will help create a cutting-edge, sustainable electronics manufacturing ecosystem.

The three-pronged approach, set-out below, is focused on enabling large scale electronics manufacturing and attracting fresh investments which could potentially generate manufacturing revenue as well as job. Three schemes for manufacturing, supply chain, infra to help create over 20 lakh jobs direct and indirect.

Q2. What do you think, MSME focused economic packages may turn out to be beneficial for the electronic segment?

National Policy for Electronics 2019 is a redefining policy which seeks to create immediate opportunities and apart from the schemes for large units, a huge initiative to create a holistic eco-system to support the large manufacturing is sought to be created and this would be under the MSME sector. The Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) has an ambitious target of creating over 6,00,000 Jobs and the Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme (EMC 2.0), which seeks to strengthen the infrastructure base for the electronics industry and deepen the electronics value chain in India and generate 10,00,000 jobs would be of great benefit to the Electronics Industry.

Q3. Due to Covid-19, Global firms look to shift from China to India. How would it create an opportunity for the electronics sector?

The India Story of taking a global lead in the manufacturing of electronics components and equipment becomes more relevant in the current scenario with the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

With the socio-economic landscape changing and the global political scene being realigned a lot of American and European industry is considering migrating from China and India offers an excellent alternative with its inherent advantage of more than 60% of the population being in the working-age group, a huge Consumption Market, Strong Design and R&D Capability in Select Products – Auto electronics, industrial etc., Government Schemes generating a Good Demand – tablets for the education sector, Digital India, broadband push etc. an adequately Developed EMS Industry – to be a significant contributor to ecosystem development and last and not the least an enormous Resident Talent in Semiconductor Design and Embedded Software.

The current scenario is expected to lead to a significant Local Demand as an Influencer for Investment Attraction and the rising manufacturing costs in China will lead to India emerging as a leading an alternate Destination.

The government policies and schemes like the – PLI, SPECS, EMC 2.0 etc. favor attracting Manufacturing Investments and there is a big Export Potential waiting to be exploited with a huge consumption market in the Middle East, emerging growth markets of North Africa and Latin America huge migration to Digital and Remote Service

Q4. What should be the roadmap for creating India into a very strong electronic hub as well as “Aatm Nirbhar Bharat”?

Government of India has embarked upon an ambitious plan to support Industry planning to migrate to India and part from the incentives and benefits specified in the NPE 2019 is allocating huge land more than double the size of Luxemburg to the Industry migrating from China.

The following are the products which are expected to bring about a huge demand post-Covid-19 and the government has formed an immediate action plan to promote these products to channelize the industry for achieving the goals set in the NPE 2019:

a. Consumer Electronics & IT Hardware:

    1. Remote Based Customer care services
    2. Contactless / IoT based services solution
    3. Surveillance & Monitoring
    4. DIY based learning & solution.

b. Medical Electronics

i. Installation & Commissioning of Ventilators, Mini ICU, Sanitisation chambers/tunnels, Thermal Scanners

ii. Smart Cities

iii. Centralised Security & Surveillance through NOC or Command Centre,

iv. E-M Governance services delivery through e-Library

v. Smart classrooms

c. IoT

i. Big data Analysis

ii. M2M communication

iii. SCADA System

d. Automation

i. Industry 4.0 & Smart manufacturing

ii. Machine Safety through Automation

e. R&D manufacturing

i. Research & Design through Data Science Methodology

ii. Export certification

iii. Ease of doing business and promoting volume manufacturing in electronic export market.

Q5. Can you elaborate which type of job will be created in the electronic segment due to emerging technology and innovation?

The National Policy for Electronics 2019 specifically launches the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing. PLI for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the electronics value chain and aims to create over  8,00,000 Jobs.

The jobs expected to be created would be mostly be related to the factory manufacturing job roles for assembly line operators, PCB assembly, EMS operators, maintenance engineers and trained in robotics, automation and Industry 4.0 related job roles.

Production Linked Incentives of up to INR 40,951 crores will be awarded over a period of 5 years for Mobile Phone, Specified Electronic Components includes Medical Electronics, SMT components Discrete semiconductor devices including transistors, diodes, thyristors, etc., Passive components including resistors, capacitors, etc. for electronic applications, Printed Circuit Boards (PCB), PCB laminates, prepregs, photopolymer films, PCB printing inks, Sensors, transducers, actuators, crystals for electronic applications, System in Package (SIP) Micro / Nano-electronic components such as Micro Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) and Nano Electromechanical Systems (NEMS) and Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units.

Q6. What is the training and assessment process of ESSCI after the skilling program?

The Electronics Sector Skills Council of India is realigning its competence to impart training and undertake assessment/certification through a remote mechanism built through a sophisticated online Learning Management System,

The Assessment undertaken by ESSCI is as follows:

Q7. How has recruitment policies changed with new skills coming up in demand?

The Electronics Industry is currently reeling under the shortage of skilled labour with migrant workers have gone back to their native places and here ESSCI has stepped in is ensuring the supply of skilled manpower to the industry. The whole engagement process has gone contactless and through a remote mechanism of selection, recruitment and deployment.

The council received an LOI from Wistron Corporation to help them in their proposed manufacturing capacity expansion in India, resulting in a demand of 20,000 factory workers, which ESSCI would train and deploy.

The ESSCI has been able to place over 525 candidates in the industry under the apprenticeship programme during the period (Apr & May) and also able to service the electronics industry with the supply of skilled manpower through its job portal, which has found traction during the period. Some notable industry engaged with manpower being urban clap, VVDN, TVS electronics, Schneider Electric through ESSCI-Job Portal.

Q8. Any information you would like to share with our readers?     

The current Pandemic has resulted in the Electronics Industry gaining momentum and opportunities for job and business emerging is a silver line the dark cloud. The Electronics Sector is a sunrise sector currently and is expected to grow in the coming months.

The immediate trends in the sector are expected as the development of contactless Customer care remote services, Online videos solution / IoT based solutions through cloud computing for remote troubleshooting, Installation & Commissioning of affordable Intensive health care unit (Ventilators, Mini ICU) at home, Education and assessment through online learning management platform, DIY Kits based learning models for school students, Virtual labs Simulated with AR / VR technology for Higher education, Use of IoT for remote process management, Advancement in networking solutions and cybersecurity, Computer literacy beyond PMG- Disha and rural entrepreneurship, Personal Hygiene based solutions ( Sanitization Tunnels, Thermal Scanning through Drones etc ) for offices & market places, Faster adoption of Industry 4.0 & Data Analytics in ESDM industries thus bringing about new energy and opportunities in the sector.

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Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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