The government of India is focused on building an overall semiconductor ecosystem in the country that will catalyse India’s rapidly expanding electronics manufacturing and innovation ecosystem. For this, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had approved a financial outlay of Rs 76,000 crore for the development of the semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem in our country. In addition, an independent business division, India Semiconductor Mission (ISM), with administrative and financial autonomy, was formulated. The government is now in the process of hiring a CEO who will systematically drive the mission.
Union Minister of State, MeitY, Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Business Today “The real important starting point for that process is the hiring of the CEO of the India Semiconductor Mission. And that process is underway. We will do this in a very transparent and very systematic manner and institutional manner. It is not going to be driven by one person's opinion or the other person's opinion. We have set up an advisory board for ISM with some very top minds and therefore this will be a process where the ISM is built, is activated. And then the ISM and the advisory boards will meet and the process of evaluating these proposals that have already come in and proposals that will come in the future will start.”
As ISM will be responsible for formulating a comprehensive long-term strategy for developing semiconductors & display manufacturing facilities and the semiconductor design ecosystem in the country in consultation with government ministries, departments, agencies, industry, and academia, the CEO of the mission has to be an expert. The chairman of India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) Rajeev Khushu told Business Today that he agrees with the government’s decision.
“The first step is to have a person who will head the mission. Once that is in place, the government wants the head to decide and drive the mission, which makes perfect sense. For this, the government had already shortlisted and interviewed industry experts and veterans from across the world, including India. The government in the final stage of deciding who will be the CEO of ISM,” Khushu said.
According to the information available, the ministry was looking for a person with over 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and more than 10 years of experience at the global level to serve as the CEO of ISM. While a lot of industry experts believe that the CEO of ISM should be from the fab, some have a different option. Industry veteran Satya Gupta says, “The fab will be run by the person who's setting up the fab. ISM CEO’s job will be to make sure that whosoever is putting up the fab is successful. The CEO has to know the fab ecosystem well, should know how to enable the business part of the fab and remove any obstacles in their way. The CEO should be involved with the ecosystem that requires convincing the customers, recreating the right infrastructure, and all the other things which will make fabs successful in India.”
Other than promoting the semiconductors and display industry in a more structured, focused, and comprehensive manner, ISM’s job will be to facilitate the adoption of trusted electronics through secure semiconductors and display supply chain, including raw materials, speciality chemicals, gases, and manufacturing equipment. It will also be responsible for enabling a multi-fold growth of the Indian semiconductor design industry by providing requisite support in the form of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools, foundry services and other suitable mechanisms for early-stage startups, enabling collaborations and partnership programs with national and international agencies, industries and institutions for catalyzing collaborative research, commercialization and skill development.
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