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Chip Production Ecosystem Gets a Boost in India (Explained for Investors)

Chip Production Ecosystem Gets a Boost in India (Explained for Investors)

Introduction:

The Indian government will launch a $1.2 billion (₹10,000 crore) incentive program to boost local companies that support semiconductor packaging and ancillary services. This includes providers of specialty chemicals, gases, and other materials used by chip assembly, testing and packaging (ATMP) facilities.

Analysis for Layman:

The new scheme aims to create an electronics manufacturing ecosystem to support major chip packaging investments in India by companies like Micron, Tata and Kaynes. Alongside these large ATMP plants, smaller ancillary units that supply raw materials and equipment will be eligible for government funds and incentives if they set up local operations.

Original Analysis:

The plan signals India’s growing focus on establishing itself as a global semiconductor hub and developing the full supply chain domestically. While previous efforts centered on fabrication, this scheme specifically targets the packaging and peripheral industries essential for a holistic production base. The pari-passu incentive structure requiring matching private investment ensures serious commitment from beneficiaries. Wider technology manufacturing could also gain from a strengthened local chip infrastructure.

Impact on Retail Investors:

For retail investors, this presents opportunities particularly in chemical companies and engineering/equipment providers well positioned to enable India’s chip ecosystem vision. Some stocks to analyze closer include PI Industries, Aarti Industries, Bombay Oxygen Corporation on the materials side along with state-owned engineering giants BHEL, BEML or even private sector Thermax. As due diligence, study their semi-fab exposure, tech partnerships and customer pipeline resulting from this push.

Impact on Industries:

The obvious beneficiary industries include specialty chemicals and industrial gases needed as inputs. With reliable local supply, higher complexity chip packaging can thrive in India across automotive, telecom and healthcare sectors employing such chips. This further feeds volumes for materials providers as sector consumption multiplies.

Long Term Benefits & Negatives:

In the longer term, nurturing a full-stack chip capability in India reduces import reliance for electronics and helps national security interests. It seeds an innovation hotbed as well. However, execution risks remain in balancing adequate environmental checks while enabling speedy unit approvals. Some fiscal costs are also inevitable.

Short Term Benefits & Negatives:

Though positive for related stocks, investors should moderate short term expectations as capacity scaling takes time despite policy intent. Uncertainty around global electronics demand forecasts for 2023 amid macro pressures could also slow the rollout. Prudent stock picks couple this opportunity with bottom up fundamentals check.

Companies will gain from this:

  1. Tata Group: As mentioned in the article, Tata Group is involved in setting up chip-packaging units. This initiative could significantly enhance their position in the electronics and semiconductor industry, leading to a potential rise in stock value. Investors might see this as a strategic diversification, strengthening the company’s portfolio.
  2. HCL Technologies: Their involvement in the semiconductor sector, as indicated in the article, could result in new revenue streams. This expansion into a rapidly growing sector may positively impact their stock price, reflecting investor confidence in their strategic growth.
  3. Infosys: Although not directly mentioned, Infosys could benefit as they are major players in IT and software services, which are integral to semiconductor manufacturing. The growth in the semiconductor sector could result in increased demand for their services.
  4. Reliance Industries: Known for their diversification, Reliance might explore opportunities in this burgeoning sector, potentially leading to stock price appreciation due to their strong track record in successfully venturing into new industries.
  5. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL): As a company involved in electronics and semiconductors, the new incentives could boost their production capabilities, positively influencing their stock value.

Companies which will lose from this:

  1. Oil and Gas Companies (e.g., ONGC, Oil India): A shift towards electronics and semiconductor manufacturing may reduce the focus and investment in traditional sectors like oil and gas, potentially impacting these companies negatively.
  2. Traditional Manufacturing Companies (e.g., Ashok Leyland, Bajaj Auto): These companies might face challenges in adapting to the new technological advancements and may lose competitive edge, affecting their stock value.
  3. Non-Adaptive IT Companies: IT companies that fail to adapt to the evolving demand in the semiconductor industry might see a decline in their business prospects, adversely impacting their stock prices.
  4. Raw Material Suppliers Not Aligned with Electronics Industry: Companies primarily supplying to industries other than electronics might face reduced demand, negatively impacting their market value.
  5. Traditional Energy Companies: With the focus shifting to high-tech manufacturing, traditional energy companies might see a decline in demand and investment, affecting their stock prices.

Additional Insights:

  • The shift towards semiconductor manufacturing signifies a major transition in India’s industrial landscape. It underscores the importance of adapting to technological advancements and evolving market demands.
  • For retail investors, this development highlights the need for diversifying portfolios and investing in companies that are aligned with future technological trends.

Conclusion:

The planned investment in semiconductor ancillaries in India represents a significant shift in the country’s industrial focus, signaling opportunities for growth in the tech sector while also challenging traditional industries to adapt. This development underscores the dynamic nature of the market and the importance of strategic adaptation for businesses and investors alike.

Citation: Aashish Aryan, “In Works: ₹10kcr Sop Scheme for Chip Ancillaries”, Dec 14, 2023, ET Bureau.

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