(This is a live-blog of the keynote address of Prithviraj Chavan, CM of Maharashtra, at the 26th International Conference on VLSI Design that is currently going on at the Hyatt, in Pune. For those who didn’t know, Prithviraj Chavan is an electrical engineer from BITS Pilani and Univ of California, Berkeley.)
The semiconductor industry in India started first in Bangalore, and then in Delhi/NCR. Pune is late to this game. But we have the potential to better than Delhi/NCR, and even Bangalore.
These are the things that need to happen for Pune to become a semiconductor hub:
- Government should create facilities where the expensive EDA tools are setup, and various companies from industry can sign up for use of the tools.
- Work on increasing the quality of manpower in and around Pune. We have to potential of having one of the highest ratios of high quality – low cost manpower. We need to work with universities and other educational institutions in this area.
- We should continue trying to attract fabs to come and setup in Pune
We are a large customer of mobiles and other electronic devices. As we continue to grow at 8-9%, we will become an increasingly attractive market. And there will also be many opportunities to create specialized devices for local markets. This can drive innovation and incubation.
The CM said that he is completely committed to working with us (i.e. the tech community in Pune) to ensure that Pune gets put on the semiconductor map. He announced that any company investing in semiconductors in Maharashtra will get a rebate on their VAT until they recoup their investment. In addition, he hopes that the government will be able to help jumpstart this industry by these means:
- Government will set up the physical infrastructure
- Government will put up the initial funding for the expensive tools
- Government will set up training facilities to get people started on this
- We should together set up server farms, and other infrastructure needed to get started
Maharashtra is larger than most countries in the world, as large as Mexico, and larger than any European country. It attracts 33% of the FDI that came into the country. Maharashtra is well positioned to become the chip destination of India.