Over the last few years, India's growing high-tech industry has been a topic of much discussion. India has garnered particularly close attention in the DSP world, and for good reason. India is a huge market for DSP technology, and it is also a major supplier of DSP technology. To cite just two examples, digital signal processors represent nearly one-fourth of the Indian semiconductor market, and the world's "most preferred" DSP IP provider is an Indian firm, Ittiam.
But despite these and other successes in DSP, there is growing concern that India is being eclipsed by other nations, particularly China. Last week, for example, a council that advises India's Prime Minister warned that India was falling behind China in high-quality research.
So what's next for India's DSP industry? Will it continue its impressive growth, or will it lose work to China? I believe that the answer is "both." How can this be? Consider this: in the US, hiring of electrical engineers has picked up, despite the fact that many US jobs have moved to India. Similarly, China is growing despite the fact that countries like Vietnam are stealing business from China.
Here's what I'm getting at: If a electrical engineering job gets moved from India to China, it doesn't mean that the Indian engineer is permanently out of work. Instead, it means that the engineer has to get a different job—and quite possibly a different kind of job. Thus, the key to staying competitive is adapting to changing circumstances. Of course, it is not enough for individual engineers to adapt; India as a whole need to stay flexible. Here's what I see as the keys for India's success:
- Minimize government bureaucracy and interference.
- Establish a culture of respect for IP, and a rational legal framework for handling IP disputes.
- Forge closer ties between industry and higher education.
Invest in primary education. This raises the country's overall competitiveness as well as the strength of its consumer base.
- Continue moving up the value chain. Low labor costs only go so far—Indian companies must develop world-class products and services to achieve long-term success. (Kudos to companies such as Ittiam that are already taking this approach.)
What do you think? Have I hit on solutions, or have I missed the point? Stop by the forum and let me know.