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SemIndia to export hardware to China

SemIndia, a non-resident Indian-led consortium receives queries for exports of telecom-related electronic products from China, reports Narayanan Madhavan.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2007 23:22 IST
Narayanan Madhavan

So you thought India was for software and China was for hardware in making smart electronic devices?



SemIndia, a non-resident Indian-led consortium that aims to eventually make semiconductors in India has received queries for exports of telecom-related electronic products it is now designing and manufacturing in the country.



“We are not only competing against China, but we are going to reverse the trend,” SemIndia’s chairman Vinod Agarwal told reporters. “China Telecom has asked us for some products made in India.”



The consortium now has state-owned BSNL as a leading customer and has shipped 5 lakh modems for Internet connections and expects to ship 2.5 lakh units a month in the next 18 months. Revenues are expected to rise from Rs 100 crore in the current fiscal to Rs 600 crore in 2009/10.



Agarwal said China Telecom had asked for products from SemIndia, but not the modems it is shipping now. The consortium uses high-technology design done in Bangalore to ensure quality at competitive price points.



The modems were made by global contract manufacturer Flextronics at its Chennai facility. Flextronics is a key investor in the consortium, which is busy building a $30 million facility in Hyderabad to test, assemble and process microchips in Hyderabad as part of a planned “Fab City.”



However, SemIndia’s long-term ambitions are stuck over government incentives, with the government agreeing to take part in equity investment only after other investors chip in.



SemIndia hopes to cash in on a big domestic boom in micro-chip enabled products in products like modems, set-top boxes and Wi-Max equipment that drives high-speed Internet.