“We Aspire To Make India A "Product Nation" Within The Hardware Sector”

“We Aspire To Make India A "Product Nation" Within The Hardware Sector”

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman, Epic Foundation, a prominent figure in the tech industry, reflects on India's tech landscape in FY 2023-24. Despite potential challenges from global economic slowdown, Chowdhry remains optimistic about growth in software services. He highlights the resilience of products and engineering services, driven by innovation and evolving consumer needs, predicting swift adaptation to market dynamics.

DT: How do you look at the growth of tech industry in India during FY 2023-24?

Dr. Ajai: I think though the software services sector is expected to grow in FY 2023-24, the impact of slowing global economies may cause a halt. Despite this, I am optimistic regarding the robust expansion in the products and engineering services domain. These sectors are anticipated to thrive due to innovation and evolving consumer demands. Companies within these sectors are expected to adapt swiftly to market dynamics, driving growth even amidst economic challenges.

DT: How has India's semiconductor sector grown in recent years? Where do you see this Indian market to grow by 2026?

Dr. Ajai: Recently, India has announced four major projects in semiconductor manufacturing which marks a significant step towards self-reliance in the technology sector. This move is in alignment with the government's ambitious 20-year plan, which aims to strengthen domestic semiconductor production even more in the next two years. These initiatives will assure to catalyze further investments and advancements in semiconductor technology. Moreover, we can anticipate emergence of fabless companies that shall contribute substantially to India's semiconductor ecosystem, promoting innovation and competitiveness on a global scale.

DT: What was the objective and throught behind the recent launch of an AI-powered indigenously manufactured education tablet?

Dr. Ajai: Our overall objective behind this initiative was to develop product in such a way that the components are easily replaceable and upgradable with enhanced longevity, thereby aligning with our goal of elevating Indian Electronics to real Atmanirbharta. This strategic approach not only aligns with sustainability goals but also emphasizes the importance of creating durable and adaptable technology solutions. Additionally, the introduction of Bharat GPT in the tablet, which is a comprehensive package designed to enhance product performance and longevity, underscores India's commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability in the technology sector. 

DT: Being a top IT leader, what is your vision for contributing to the growth of this industry?

Dr. Ajai: We aspire to make India a "Product Nation" within the hardware sector. This vision demands leveraging the country's technological expertise and innovative capabilities to drive advancements in hardware technology. While the recent surge in the electronics and mobile industries has primarily focused on services, it's important that businesses become Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) rather than just Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers. This shift would need creating sustainable operations in addition to creating creative products.

India's economy currently depends largely on services, but in order for us to prosper, we need to become a recognized leader in the production of high-quality commodities. In line with this vision, we have had conversations with the national government that have resulted in the creation of a task group. This task team, which is led by Professor Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor, is made up of twelve professionals from the industry. Our objective is to create a report for the government which clearly lays out a long term plan to make India a Hardware Product Nation. We need to design products in India rather than just manufacture.

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