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Incubation centre for electronics start-ups gets nod

Business Standard:  June, 2014

New Delhi: To boost domestic manufacturing of electronics and encourage entrepreneurship, the department of electronics and information technology (IT) has approved an incubation centre for product companies in the sector.

Termed the Electropreneur Park, it will be anchored by Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), which played a role in incentivising and nurturing the IT services sector in its initial years. The centre will be either set up in Delhi University’s south campus or in STPI’s Gurgaon office.

Business Standard had reported last week that such a centre was likely to be approved.

An official in the know said it would take at least four months for the centre to come up. “We are preparing the framework for it in consultation with our stakeholders,” said the official. The project is being set up by STPI along with Delhi University (DU) and India Electronics and Semiconductor Association IESA). There will be a governing body which will have representation from IESA, DU and STPI.

This body will further deliberate on setting up a selection committee, which will identify the entrepreneurs who need to be supported and the mentors. “It will be a much-acclaimed committee comprising the who's who of the IT industry, since they will be doing the crucial job of selecting the entrepreneurs. We will make sure the doyens of industry are on board,” added the official quoted above. The strength of the board and who will be on it is yet to be decided.

With a target of nurturing 10 companies every year over the next five years, the incubation centre is aimed at providing budding entrepreneurs with tools and technologies that are generally very expensive. The centre will provide the infrastructure and enable access to domain experts, mentors, shared consultants and services. It will also help innovators seek funding from foreign investors, venture capitalists and angel investors.

Under its National Electronics Policy, the government has launched various schemes to push domestic manufacturing. According to estimates, India would require $400 billion worth of electronics annually by 2020, most of which would be imported if domestic manufacturing is not incentivised. In which case, the country’s electronics import bill will exceed that of oil.