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Date: 12-02-15

IoT is advantageous for India and ST

India's advantageous position in IoT:
Vivek Sharma: If you look at what we need for IOT, we need sensing, we need processing, then we need communication such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. So you sense, process and communicate and also do some analytics, and also more important is you need to power all this.
So in IOT, ST is extremely well positioned, It is estimated that by 2020, 30 billion devices are going to be connected and 85% of that is web-connected things. If they are connected with the net and communicating with each other, wearable is just one aspect of it. There is smart connected city, industrial Internet because you know if you look at the industry today it spans the globe. Industrial Internet, connected/smart city, smart industry, connected car, smart home, smart me (where my healthcare and my wearable and all) all this comes under IoT.

With all this IOT put together this brings me to another dimension- India.

Electronics is the fuel for India:
Vivek Sharma: If we look worldwide, countries with intention or no-intention, they have mastered some ecosystems- like in US- in 60s, it was PCs and semiconductors, then it was Europe-started with PCs- but they became very successful with communication and also broad semiconductor industry, and the Taiwan- we saw in PCs and semiconductors, the latest kid on the block is China- with all the smart phone and tablets and now also semiconductors, what should India do?

In my opinion, off course, we have plenty of opportunities we have opportunities in power- country needs lots of power, we can develop telecommunication, in consumer electronics- in set top boxes- analog switchover is happening, and also in defence and aerospace. But IOT is a big thing for India and it is well-positioned for that because IOT is not restricted, sky is the limit and it needs software and it is present here. IoT is really innovative and I can think of making you addicted to something. Any application I think of, India has the right ingredients for that, and off course then ST has all the elements.

On the IOT hype:
Vivek Sharma: If you ask me IOT is really a hype or not, but I would say it is a real thing because it makes sense. There is a pace of penetration, sometimes we expect the penetration rate is much higher than what it actually can do, so that's what creates the hype, but otherwise its moves on- at its own pace. Today Internet is becoming a necessity, and also one big thing which happens with Internet is- it flattens the world. Machines were communicating with each other, it was machine to machine, but world was not getting flattened, distance was still coming in the way, today now the distance doesn't come in the way. That is the beauty of Internet of things. Globally you can setup anything and communication with each other.

Security issues in IoT:
Vivek Sharma: Security is a real issue, because when things are communicating with each other they can communicate with someone else also. If you're giving control signals, with this communication, someone else will also give the control signal. So it is the serious issue. We can acknowledge it is a technical challenge. But then it is an opportunity for people to develop technologies to secure it. So technology evolves to secure it, I'm not too much worried about it, that security would be an issue, it is a challenge, but I'm sure people will find it as an opportunity and take this challenge. I'm sure there would be companies which will capitalise on this opportunity to be ensuring that devices and the communications are secure.

On India's ESDM opportunity:
Vivek Sharma: All Of us are convinced that the total market in India is growing, the consumption of electronic goods will grow if we cannot feed it, it will come from outside.

In the total available market, our experience in last few years was not good. We does need policy support. We became enthusiastic with new government, some actions have already been done - like in set-top boxes. We see that government is focusing very much to make it happen here. Having said so, I think one big changes from the government's agenda, even from the previous government, that all the governments are aware- electronics is like fuel to the nation. Now we see very strong support from the latest government.

The way I look at is, from the aspect of R&D there was presence of Indian experience there was STPI and there was computer policy brought in (on the success of IT and design services industry)

Now we see lot of consumption is there, again the situation is- because consumption is happening, if you tweak, that's what this government is quite participating in that and make the policies which are favourable and encouraging, it (Make In India) can happen. But I would not undermine the challenges, manufacturing can be done anywhere in the world, companies, EMS and others- they scout all over the world, and they settle for- wherever is the favourable business environment is available and they will set up there, this is something you can migrate overnight. That's where- it is very important to create a business environment, where it is encouraging to keep the business here, and keep on benchmarking. We're seeing now some Far Eastern countries have rolled out very aggressive incentives for the manufacturing.

The stickiness of manufacturing is relatively low particularly for international players, therefore we need to create a ground.

On the other side the manufacturing is essential for our country like India. We can use our IP, our software and other capabilities to put it together. By tweaking the policies, we can go ahead, and we should never undermine the challenge.

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