Friday, July 07, 2006

Indian Ecosystem – Wireless: An Overview

This is my opinion of a desired ecosystem for my industry. Note that I have concentrated only on that segment of wireless industry which concerns me. Wireless Industry itself has many segments and I have not covered all of them. For example, I did not cover the Applications for Wireless Operators segment which is a big and upcoming industry in India.

The above ecosystem is my wish list. I have color coded various units based on their maturity and availability in India. Dark Green suggests that this unit is quite mature and is available in India. Dark Red on the other hand suggests that it is in nascent stage or completely missing.

Unless such an ecosystem is developed in India, it will be difficult for us compete with global players on equal footing.

As customers, Enterprises, Consumers and Operators are all Dark Green because we have a thriving customer base in India. This customer base has buying power and is ready to purchase in huge quantities. At the same time, this customer base is very cost-conscious and will put lot of pressure on the seller to give the best at the lowest cost. A seller that survives this market can easily scale up and enter global markets.

As producers, we have some units readily available and quite mature, like Software design services, which is quite mature. We also have other units in good state, like Protocol Stack Providers, Chip Design services and Software Testing Services. Units which have just picked up and are able to contribute are Fabless Chipset Makers, Hardware Design Services, Chip Test Services and Packagers. The units which do not make any impact or completely missing are Handheld Device Makers, Network Solution Providers, EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services), Hardware OEMs, Infrastructure Equipment Makers, and Fabs.

This ecosystem requires VC and advisor community as well. We have Private Equity which is quite mature, but the rest are all missing or completely non-effective. The latter group includes Angel Investors, VCs, Advisors, Mentors, Ex-entrepreneurs, Senior management, etc).

This ecosystem includes Industry’s strong relationship with research and academic institutions. While Universities and Management Colleges are barely OK in maintaining these relationships with the industry, Research Institutes and their relationships are completely lacking.

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