‘Modi Government’s announcement on PLI Scheme has the potential to be a big milestone for Indian industries and business. Government policies will provide a boost to the Manufacturing Sector however role of technology, digitization and Innovation will be the key differentiator in driving a technology-driven Atmanirbhar Bharat’. This and more was discussed at a special webinar organized by FCC on ‘Self- Reliant India– Role of IT& Telecom’ with leading business leaders from the industry including Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL, Chairman Electronics Sector Skills Council & FICCI Start-up Committee, Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra & Executive Council Member, NASSCOM, Amit Marwah, Head of Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Nokia India, Sandeep Aggarwal, Chairman of Telecom Export Promotion Council (TEPC) under Telecom Ministry and Telecom Committee Chief, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Arvind Bali, CEO- Telecom Sector Skill Council.
The Indian economy and job market is expected to take a big leap with Indian Government’s Production Linked Scheme announced for 13 sectors. As per a report, local manufacturing may add $520 billion to India’s GDP in the next five years. The role of IT & Telecom been a crucial one during the pandemic and going forward as well role of Digital Transformation will be vital and Indigenous technology in telecom will propel Self Reliance (Atmanirbhar).
Opening the session at the webinar Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL, Chairman Electronics Sector Skills Council & FICCI Start-up Committee said, “What is critical is that we start to look at creating Atmanirbharta in Electronics and the (recently announced) PLI scheme will spur phenomenal growth in Electronics.”
Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra & Executive Council Member, NASSCOM, said, “We must understand the sensitivity and scope of two aspects- an opportunity that businesses have as to what can be done in India, considering the growth and the huge amount of 5G that can be delivered and broadband penetration. The opportunity is tremendous for the market here in India and that cannot be ignored, it will attract people to come to India, come and leverage the talent, make in India, sell and export from India to the world and make it a hub for some of their R&D. We don’t just need it to be only skill-based, but a place where you are creating and innovating. The mindset needs to change and welcome people to come and do more.”
Talking about scope of job creation through PLI, Arvind Bali, CEO- Telecom Sector Skill Council said “India has been addressing the issue of jobs by connecting Industry’s job requirements and also with the government’s initiative of Skill India in a big way. Now with PLI in telecom hardware, we estimate it will create one million jobs in a very short period of time. And in these segments, we were skilling around 1.5 Mn people and now we expect we will skill around 5 Mn in a period of 2 years. Also manufacturing jobs is one part but additionally, it going to be about Industry 4.0, so a lot of jobs will be created around digital and these jobs will precious and we believe it will change the overall scenario for Indian youth in the world.”
Amit Marwah, Head of Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Nokia India opined, “ The PLI Scheme will boost telecom manufacturing in India however there are certain things to be taken care of. The biggest catalyst is the telecom equipment ecosystem. A focus on the FAB industry is required, we still have to import a lot of telecom components to manufacture in India. India needs to create more opportunities and the local market is not going to be enough, India needs to expand export opportunities and India needs to improve on logistics, end-user certification. On PLI government need to give recognition to the players who invest in India and provide them market access especially in the government sector.”
“It is very heartening to see the government allocating additional funds for expansion and strengthening of telecom and IT network in remote and unconnected areas. Improving broadband connectivity in villages through expansion of BharatNet will give much needed push to Digital India initiative. It will help the government in making a strong, self-reliant India. Though the Government’s decision on the PLI Scheme and relaxation in norms will boost investments in the infrastructure sector, the Government needs to focus on promoting domestic industry and manufacturers. The Government needs to incentivise and support Indian companies so that they can meet domestic demands and gear up for challenges internationally”, added Sandeep Aggarwal, Chairman of Telecom Export Promotion Council (TEPC)
The production linked incentive scheme (PLI) for large-scale electronics manufacturing serves the purpose of providing incentives to producers. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared Rs 1.97 trillion worth of sops as part of the PLI scheme in the Union Budget 2021-22 this year for over the next 5 years which will be an addition to the Rs 40,951 crore announced for the PLI for electronic manufacturing schemes. The approved production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme worth ₹12,195 crore will be for telecom equipment manufacturing
Talking on 5G Dr. Ajai Chowdhry added, The Govt needs to look at spectrum sale very differently as it is essential infrastructure, as important as water. We need to provide broadband as a fundamental right. The cost of delivering broadband has to be brought down. The fastest way to deliver it is through 5G and there is opportunity for telecom companies to look at manufacturing locally for 5G.”
Speaking on the same issue Amit Marwah added, “It is a proven technology and India is ready for 5G as well. If we don’t take the call soon we will be late. If it happens in 3 months, we are ready to provide the requirements of the industry.”