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Dr. Bobby Mitra, TI and ISA on the Indian semiconductor industry

June 12, 2009

Dr. Biswadip (Bobby) Mitra, Vice Chairman, India Semiconductor Association (ISA), and President and Managing Director, Texas Instruments India, really needs no introduction.

He has been actively involved with TI India since its inception, and is among the well known and respected stalwarts within the Indian semiconductor industry.
Dr. Mitra was recently nominated as the vice chairman, ISA.

Naturally, it was interesting to get into a conversation with him to find out more about ISA’s agenda in the coming year, and the impact it could have on the Indian semiconductor industry. I also quizzed him regarding the steps ISA be likely taking for building and strengthening a semiconductor ecosystem in India. Excerpts:

Key points in agenda
Let us start by finding out the key points on his agenda for the ISA in the coming year and why?

According to Dr. Bobby Mitra: The Agenda… “I believe, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform India from an emerging economy to an emerged economy through technology innovation. A robust technology infrastructure must be the foundation of the future Indian economy.

“We can leverage technology to make healthcare and education affordable and available to the masses. Technology can also play a pivotal role in the greening of the environment through a variety of highly energy-efficient solutions. The future of our security infrastructure can also be built on the foundation of technology innovation.

“A large number of system design and manufacturing OEMs in India, and a few large and many medium/small-sized companies, are at the forefront of driving this technology innovation in India, and other emerging economies. Semiconductor solutions are the engine behind such innovations.

“As part of the ISA, our focus will be to provide an impetus to these companies by developing an electronic design and manufacturing ecosystem that is globally competitive and efficient.

“As part of ISA, we will also focus on developing a technology research agenda in India that is targeted at seeding the right solutions for the emerging economies. This will require deep insights into the intricacies and characteristics of an emerging economy — and the technologies that can accelerate their growth. Through targeted research in healthcare, energy, education etc., we will develop future technologies that will drive the transformation of India from an emerging to an emerged economy.”

By working closely with other emerging economies and global industry associations and research bodies, we will also build a roadmap in thrust areas such as energy, healthcare, education and security.

…and the Opportunity to Impact:

Dr. Mitra added that the opportunity to impact is huge. According to the ISA-Frost & Sullivan report (2006):
* The direct impact of semiconductor driven industry will be $202 billion by 2015 contributing to more than 12 percent of country’s GDP.
* The induced impact will be $226 billion by 2015 contributing to additional 15.9 percent of the country’s GDP.
* The combined impact will be more than 27.9 percent of our country’s GDP.
* No single industry will have the ability to impact the nation’s economy in a similar manner.
* In India, direct impact of hi-tech driven industry will be $202B by 2015 contributing to more than 12 percent of the country’s GDP.

“For India, to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity, we need to build a robust technology infrastructure as our foundation for the future. ISA with its member companies playing a defining role in developing and implementing this roadmap for the future.

“Most importantly, by maniacally driving this agenda, we can make a lasting difference to the lives of the millions of people in our country,” he noted.

Product development in India
What can be really done to trigger off more product development in the semicon space in India?

According to Dr. Bobby Mitra, the best trigger to more product development lies in building long-term credibility. Success in building world-class products and technologies, and doing so consistently over time, will go a long way.

He said: “As much as successes, we also need to be humble in learning more from our failures and scars. We also need to increase our focus on building deep competencies in designing complex semiconductor solutions, increasingly with a systems and applications mindset.

“I believe that we also have a major opportunity ahead of us in the electronic product development space in India. By having electronic system designers, and semiconductor design and test engineers working collaboratively, we can support our OEMs in developing the right products that are competitive. By anchoring semiconductor product innovations on our customers, we can win together.”

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