At the opening ceremony of the Supply Chain Summit co-organized by DIGITIMES and the India-Taipei Association (ITA) on November 14 in Taipei, DIGITIMES chairman and president Colley Hwang and India's IT hardware guru, HCL Group co-founder Ajay Chowdhry, emphasized how essential the collaboration of Taiwan and India is in the global semiconductor supply chain for the years to come.
Colley Hwang, a senior semiconductor industry expert who was head of Taiwan's government think tank Market Intelligence Center (MIC) under the Institute of Information Industry (III) before founding DIGITIMES 26 years ago, has been a strong advocate for Taiwan-India partnership in information technology, saying "IT" stands for India and Taiwan in many occasions.
"If we believe the year 2030 The total revenue of the semiconductor industry can reach US$1 trillion, then we need a compound annual growth rate as high as 10% for the coming years," explained Hwang. "How is it possible? It's only possible that India and Taiwan work together. Only the Indian market is big enough. And the Southeast Asian countries as well.
As a key hub of semiconductor manufacturing that supplies to customers worldwide, Taiwan produces more than 60% of all the semiconductor chips used in all electrical and electronics devices that one can imagine, and the 914 ICT companies listed on the stock exchange in Taiwan, their total revenue in 2022 was US$900 billion, more than half of which is contributed by mass production manufacturing firms.
"There are 250 Taiwanese companies investing in India already, but the investments are pretty small at this moment, not consistent with the size of your industry," said Chowdhry, urging the Taiwanese industry leaders attending the Supply Chain Summit to see the growth opportunities of India created by the supply chain shifts amid geopolitical uncertainties.
According to Indian government statistics, Taiwan's accumulated investment in India as of today totaled around US$4 billion. Foxconn's Indian operations account for $10 billion, which is less than 5% of the company's annual sales.
Making and designing chips in India
"We are giving about US$7 billion worth of incentives just in electronic manufacturing," said Manharsinh Yadav, director general of ITA. He added that Morgan Stanley is projecting that India will become the world's third-largest economy by 2027. "By 2025-26, we'll have more than 85,000 semiconductor industry-ready manpower, that's what is required for the Taiwanese semiconductor industry. And we are gearing up for it. We have changed our curriculum and 625 colleges have adopted that curriculum. We are also tying up with most good institutes across the world, including here in Taiwan," according to Yadav.
Chowdhry has been advocating for semiconductor manufacturing in India for more than 30 years. He sees the Indian government's determination to make it happen, and reiterates that since the central government of India is committed to providing incentives upfront for 50% of the capital expenditure of semiconductor companies to operate in India, and the state government is promising another 20%, "there is no better deal in the world other than India!"
Chowdhry emphasizes the potential of India not only as a market and a manufacturing hub but also as a design center for advanced technology, where 1,600 multinational companies are already investing in India to tap into the abundant and young IC design talent and capability, including MediaTek.
"Taiwan is seriously missing out on the opportunity that India presents if you are only looking at India as a market." Chowdhry went on to say that Taiwan has helped China to become a product manufacturing country and helped it to have IC design capabilities. "China has thousands of design companies. Our ambition is that with our engineering and R&D knowledge, we also want to create thousands of design companies. That is where Taiwan can participate, come and set up a large number of design centers in the country."
"India has a US$5 trillion opportunity by 2027, in which the electronics industry alone is expected to increase by US$400 billion in value," said Chowdhry. He also invited Colley Hwang, who reiterated his firm confidence that India will be successful in building its own semiconductor supply chain, to cooperate and facilitate the synergy between Taiwan and India.
"We have a dream to make India the most advanced country by 2047. My Prime Minister has already declared during our Independence Day about two years back, that by 2047, India will be a developed nation. In this dream, Taiwan can be a partner," said Yadav, with pride in his eyes.