In a bid to tap the growing mobile phone market in the country, the Union government set up an Electropreneur Park to support budding entrepreneurs in the electronic goods manufacturing sector.
On the sidelines of inaugurating such an incubation centre, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the country had attracted investments from 37 mobile manufacturing companies last year.
The government-funded Electropreneur Park â€” which has been set up in the South Campus of Delhi University â€” will receive Rs. 21 crore to incubate 50 companies. The minister added that the government has also granted Rs. 10,000 crore under Electronic Development Fund to support new entrepreneurs in the electronics domain.
The incubation centre is government's effort to reduce and ultimately curb electronics import. Shipment of electronic goods stood at 8.5 percent of total imports, as per data released by the Commerce Ministry in May.
"India imports electronic goods of over Rs 3 lakh crore. By 2020 government aims to bring down import to zero. The Electropreneur Park started today is a step in that direction," P. P. Choudhary, Minister of State for IT and Law, said.
Six start-up firms have been chosen by the Ministry of Electronics and IT to develop phones at the incubation centre.
"6 out of 176 start-ups have been selected, which means they have capability of developing good quality products, and selection of six more are in pipeline," Ajay Kumar, additional secretary, said.
The IT minister said while 11 crore handsets have been manufactured last year; the industry also provided 40,000 direct jobs and 1.25 crore indirect jobs.
Demand in the smartphone market has been picking up in the first quarter after a slump in the previous one. The second quarter report on India's smartphone shipment from market research firm IDC for the calendar year points to 17 percent growth, a 3.2 percent year-on-year growth compared to Q2 2015.