BANGALORE, India -- While basic chip design services remain a staple for Indian design companies, some are now poised to move up the value chain, according to experts at the ESC Bangalore 2010 conference here.
Of the nearly $41 billion local market for electronics in India, production by local firms accounts for a small percentage. But design services firms here are looking to play a growing role in the domestic electronics market as evidenced by the fact that many senior executives have left their overseas jobs to pursue opportunities in the Indian electronics market, said industry consultant P.V.G. Menon, a former senior executive at Analog Devices Inc.
Mohamed Saliya, co-founder of iWave Systems Technologies, illustrates the trend, having left NXP Semiconductors to start a product design house. “Instead of blaming the lack of an electronics ecosystem for all ills, let us team up and build solutions and products,” Saliya said.
Mahesh Mehendale, director of VLSI architectures at Texas Instruments India, said Indian startups can overcome barriers to entry by taking a long-term approach. “The big design services companies here must move from gathering expertise in how to do things into what things can be done. They need to build leading edge, differentiated competencies.” Mehendale added.
Kishor Narang, who heads corporate design at Indo-Asian Fusegear (New Delhi), said design service firms must move beyond implementing the designs of others. "To begin with, we must start building domain expertise in various facets, and become design architects,” he said.
The focus of Indian design services firms is changing, added Sudhir Sathiyamoorthy of Infotech Enterprises. “Services firms are starting to develop concept products [while bringing] down product costs." Indian designers "have a strong customer base across market segments, good domain knowledge, enough skilled engineers and they can, with the help of the growing domestic electronics market, align their design expertise with the experience of multinational clients," he said.
--K.C. Krishnadas is site editor of TechOnline India