From Passive to Active Electronics - India and AI

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In India, the market for electronic components is driven by the domestic demand influencing the local electronic products manufacturing. This feature story explores the event of ‘electronics products manufacturing’ in the Indian market specific to Artificial Intelligence.


The Indian electronics and hardware, as stated in an ASSOCHAM, Ernst & Young (E&Y) study expected to show a growth of US$ 130 billion by 2018, with nearly 16 percent CAGR.

The several impacting factors underpinning this growth include, government initiatives like Smart Cities, Digital India, e-governance programmes, wider broadband connectivity, in combination with government propelled policy and incentive boosts.

In addition, the local demand has seen a rapid increase with extensive high-end technology devices invasion, as well as technology-driven transformation (for example, 4G/LTE networks). Also, global manufacturers are looking to invest in India, under the Make in India Initiative to avail the benefits of reduced labor costs as against the manufacturing costs in China. This boost is manifested with equivalent robustness in the Indian electronic components manufacturing industry.

The market mix of passive, active, electromechanical, and associated components stood at US$13.5 billion total market revenue in 2015. Irrespective, the 30 percent market demand of electromechanical components, and 27 percent of passive components, off late a significant growth, has been evidenced in the demand of active components.

Influenced by the consumer preferences, the large segment in manufacturing base and market of cathode ray picture tubes and CDs/DVDs and allied products has seen a rapid decline, thereby marking a change in the industry composition. As per ELCINA reports, the Indian electronic components manufacturing industry has been unable to keep up with the exponential growth demands of the next generation electronics.

The overview is however blurry as imports are evidenced to source 70 percent of electronic components.

The Indian electronic components’ demand market is driven primarily by consumer durables and telecommunications, closely followed by automotive industries, office automation,and information technology. The last few decades saw an exciting growth phase with the launch of revolutionary innovative products resulting in pertinent trends inclusive of‘Convergence of technologies, miniaturization and Artificial Intelligence (AI)’. As mentioned by Gursharan Singh Bhatia – Country Head, India, South Africa & SAARC, in addition to IoT, automotive and industrial convergence with electronics is an emerging trend.


Today rapid AI innovation had engulfed entire industries with a special focus on electronics interest, involvement,and capability. The steep advancements as evidenced in machine learning technology has brought AI out from the recesses of research to the frontiers of everyday applications. Google Home, Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit are new-age voice-powered personal assistants and online chatbots are some of the promises of the application.


Specific to the Indian market, AI is estimated to propel the annual growth rate by 1.3 percentage points by the year 2035. At the global level, Google’s acquisition of DeepMind reflects on the changing dynamics and emphasizes the great impact potential. In the recent IBM C-suite study, 41% of respondents of theelectronics industry executives shared their acknowledgment of the AI’s impact on their competitive position.

Specifically, R&D, Manufacturing,and Security are expected by the electronics executives to display maximal revolutionary changes. Particularly AI’s ability to model based on hypotheses and achieving the ideal solution post testing several combinations can be the future for heavy electronics organizational investments.

Correspondingly, as PwC survey in the Indian market questioned user groups and industries regarding the most impactful AI powered solutions. Herein, IT/ITES industry emerged as the top grosser with 63% participants sharing the significance of machine learning in terms of most popular AI-powered solution. This was followed closely by technology, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry (44% participants voicing robotics), manufacturing and education and teaching.

Focusing on AI assistants, the survey revealed that 61% of the survey respondents are currently using such devices, with 70% respondents stating that many more tasks can be assigned to AI assistants, like, email drafting. Moreover, a high percentage, i.e., 72% of respondents acknowledged the facilitation of 1-1 personalisation with AI. Also, 49% were willing to pay extra for AI enabled services.

Another PwC survey revealed the data-driven culture and forward-looking analytics as increasingly evident in the Indian industry scenario. Data driven future through the extensive use of advanced analytics and machine learning technologies is an imperative feature of industries. Particularly, AI is beneficial in massive data management functions. Several user-friendly frameworks like,scikit-learn (Python), Tensorflow, developers are increasingly optimizing the available AI solutions.

In this Global Data and Analytics Survey (2016), PwC surveyed excess of 100 Indian executives amongst 2,100 global executives. The survey was focused on identifying analytics use, data-driven quality and its contribution to the decision-making process. The Indian organisations demonstrated a high majority (83%) to believe in the futuristic opportunities regarding the data-driven insights and intelligenceAs much as 98% of the respondents reflected on the use of descriptive and predictive analytical approaches in the business processes. It was also seen that in the Indian market, the investment percentage in the advanced analytics capabilities is not associated with the revenue size of the company. In fact, start-ups (for example, app-based services, e-commerce) demonstrated extensive use of predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Electronics is set to be impacted by the AI revolution through the subsequent opportunity for product and service innovations and should concurrently gear for a potential disruption through their operational digital reinvention. AI will allow for escaping hardware commoditization and conversely, software-defined functionality will accord product differentiation. The creative use of sensor data will allow for the enabling of new services. Industries would be exposed to new service models through AI assistants.

A new report by professional networking site, reveals that India ranks among the top 3 countries in terms of AI skills. Correspondingly, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) conducted a study to highlight that following the US (25%), and China (23%), India (19%) ranks third as regards aspirational AI implementation in production. The rapid growth in India is propelled by the fact that India is the fastest-growing economy augmented by the advantages of having the second-largest population in the world. In fact, NITI Aayog was mandated by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in recognition of the power of AI to transform economies. The National Program on AI has been established to facilitate research and technological development. The paper titled ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’ as released by NITI Aayog (June 2018), claimed AI’s significant role in Indian context “with a unique brand of #AIforAll”. The focus, herein, was directed at agriculture, healthcare, smart cities, education, and infrastructure, and transportation and smart mobility.


Clearly, 2018 marked the democratization of AI with consumer applications entailing speech, visual recognition. 2019 is expected to have 40% of digital transformation projects demonstrate extensive AI incorporation and integration. And by the next two years, 90% of users are expected to be using bots.

It is expected that combined with technologies like quantum computing, futuristically, the term AI will become synonymous with the imaginations of people as regards Artificial Intelligence.