Silicon Valley outreach: India best destination, says Vaishnaw to chip cos

In a major outreach to US companies, particularly in the field of semiconductors, Information and Communications Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnow met senior executives of global US companies in San Francisco at the start of his three-day visit to the country. He also met Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the Mountain View headquarters on Tuesday. “Good discussion on India Stack and Make in India,” Vaishnau said in a tweet after meeting Pichai.

Over the next two days, Vaishnaw plans to meet with more executives from Intel, Micron, Western Digital, Applied Materials, HP, Analog Devices, Lam Research and AMD, among others. It also participates in a roundtable hosted by SEMI, a global association representing the supply chain of electronics manufacturing and design.

Indian Consulate in San Francisco organizes another round table with Indian Minister and CEOs. Vaishinau will also visit Stanford University for a discussion. The agenda of the Vaishnau meetings is to persuade US semiconductor companies and OSAT/ATMP to invest in and set up plants in India. The idea is to arouse their interest in taking advantage of incentives offered under the semiconductor scheme to make chips and ease any concerns they may have about government policy.

“The meetings were very productive and the message was clear and there is no doubt that India is the next big semiconductor destination for everyone to invest in,” Vaishinau told Business Standard over the phone.

“They acknowledged that we took the right direction by first focusing on building an ecosystem for the Fabana plant to sustain itself,” he added.

Experts point out that the cost of setting up turnkey plants in Asia is much lower than in the US or Europe – an advantage India also offers. It is worth noting that by 2030, the world will require more than 1 million additional professionals to fuel the growth of the semiconductor industry, and India can provide a significant portion of that talent.

This outreach by Vaishinau will be followed by US-India Cooperation Meetings on ICT, jointly organized by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology with the US Government, with the participation of both ICEA and Nasscom.

The meetings will be held in New York and Washington from May 15-18. Among the 40 invited companies are Amazon, Microsoft, Accenture, VMware, Equinox, Iron Mountain, Palo Alto, Yahoo, Intel and Meta.

Sessions will include presenting the opportunities that India represents to US companies in the field of IT and ESDM. an overview of the telecom sector and India’s roadmap for 5G and 6G; data privacy and cross-border data flows; growth opportunities in electronics manufacturing; and diversification of the ICT supply chain.

Senior officials from the Ministry led by Secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma and senior officials from Nasscom and ICEA will participate.

The $10 billion semiconductor scheme, under which the government gives financial incentives of up to 50 percent of the project cost, has attracted global players.

Sources say the government is in the final stages of divestment of a $1 billion investment by Micron to build an OSAT plant and offering conditional permission to Foxconn-Vedanta to set up its chip plant here.

However, some global corporate giants have expressed concern about the stability of Indian politics and how this could affect billions of dollars in investments.

Several Taiwanese companies in OSAT have raised these issues and want more engagement with the Indian government as their clients have asked them to follow the China plus Taiwan plus policy and create an alternative Asian hub.

Technical transformation

One-on-one meetings between Vaishinau and global semiconductor players took place in San Francisco

The Ministry of Communications is also holding a three-day forum in New York and Washington. More than 40 electronics and IT companies are invited

The idea is to provide forums for US companies to understand India’s policy and incentives for high-tech production, hardware, telecommunications and information technology