element14 needs no definition to illustrate their contribution towards the Indian ESDM ecosystem. The sturdy distributor of technology products and solutions for electronics design, manufacture, maintenance and repair have urbane the latest products, services, and development software, all connected to an innovative online engineering community. In an interview with Navin Honnavar, Sr.Manager, Marketing of South Asia shares company’s current strategic lookouts and visions on the dynamic changing Indian ecosystem. Excerpts.
What are the applications and features of the Rapberry Pi 3 Model B that makes it unique and better than the previous models?
The Raspberry Pi 3 is more powerful than all the previous versions with most required features inbuilt to make the user experience a breeze. The device has built in Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity making it an ideal out of the box, IoT ready solution. It is powerful and efficient with a 1.2GHz QUAD Core Broadcom BCM 2837 64 bit ARMv8 processor and 1GB RAM. HDMI and RCA video outputs ensure that the Pi can broadcast projects on something as common as a television.
All these prospects come under the cost banner of 3000 INR therefore making it an ideal tool for both the engineer and the student. The scope of research and development offered by these devices are of huge potential to a developing country like India.
We are also coming up with multiple application based devices for the Pi 3 and these will make the board much more capable. With research and development activities supported largely by the element14 community, many more application oriented solutions are being discovered for the Pi.
What is the real idea behind element14 community and its role in educating & training enthusiasts in the domain of Do It Yourself (DIY) computing?
The number of engineering graduates in India is increasing YoY and according to statistics, we have close to 1.5 million engineering graduates every year. However, a recent industry report by Aspiring Minds National Employability, 80% of these engineering graduates do not meet the minimum qualifications set by the industry for securing a job. What is lacking here is a development in the quality of education and focus on practical hands-on experience over theoretical knowledge.
This is precisely where the element14 community steps in. Our community is a global network open to engineers and enthusiasts from across the globe. We have an active member base of over 4,00,000 enthusiasts and engineers who design, analyse and discuss to make the entire ecosystem better- The purpose of the community is not just to increase awareness and knowledge about the industry but also to enhance the involvement of students in the practical aspects of work.
element14 community in this manner brings value to the meaning of education by segregating it with literacy, we also hosts webinars, product and IoT road-tests along with design challenges that attract participation from members across the world. The community on the whole, boosts the concept of Do It Yourself (DIY) and makes students self-dependant in terms of technology and innovation.
How do you see IoT to play an instrumental role in the digital evolution of India?
Internet of Things (IoT) will contribute to a major share in the transformation of India into an advanced digital economy- the technology will be a catalyst that empowers citizens by providing them with essential services such as education, healthcare, legal, security and finance.
The Indian government is optimistic and open to the enormous opportunities that IoT presents and element14’s comprehensive outlook of the industry can be utilized to support the country’s progress towards IoT and digital transformation.
How is the company poised to support government initiatives like Digital India and Make in India?
‘Make in India’ is an ambitious initiative which is set to transform India into a software and hardware superpower; to fulfil this, engineers of the country will have to become self-sufficient in the area of design and production.
Currently, with over 600,000 products from more than 3,500 international suppliers element14 is uniquely placed in the high service distribution space. In one of our recent initiatives, ‘Electronics@School, the Kerala government introduced Raspberry Pi to 10,000 selected students from the state. The purpose of the program was to add 40,000 talented students to the maker community and was initiated as a part of the Kerala Start-up Mission. element14 has made its mark in the domain with participation in programmes and initiatives like this. Another key element is accessibility of devices like Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone which are available at a cost starting at $5 (Rs.332.63). This affordability feature of these devices makes it possible for government schools across rural backgrounds to give their students a hands-on experience of technology and surge towards Making in India.
Determined to contribute our best to the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives, we have been actively participating through our community platform.
Are there any specific challenges for the electronics components industry in India?
The electronics components industry is going through a steady phase of growth and development. Strategic alliances formed between public-private players have accelerated this process and contributed to key developments. Government initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ have played a role in tackling challenges that previously affected the industry. However, as a developing industry, the ecosystem still faces few challenges that are related to infrastructure and ease of investment legal definitions.
The Indian electronics sector is currently small, however, despite this there are several advantages that the country can offer to the market. India’s manpower strength, demand from local market and policy support from the government offers immense potential for the industry to grow and develop.