Can Indian STBs make a mark in global CAS? Since several overseas nations are going digital in the next 3-5 years, the demand for set top boxes will be around $12 billion.
A recent event in Delhi discussed the potential of Indian Set Top Box (STB) makers to create a manufacturing hub in the country to address the future potential.
Anup Pujari, director general (Foreign Trade), speaking at the event, said that all items suggested by the IT department had been notified for an additional 2 percent incentive and that STB has been identified as a focus product.
Indian STBs have a potential to grow further as cable TV networks in India have been mandated to go digital by December 2014.
Supriya Sahu, joint secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, said that 75 million STBs would be required for Phase 3 and Phase 4 of CAS in India.
She promised the UPA government would look at their suggestions for tax rationalization.
Keith Cochran, VP (Digital Home sector), Jabil Circuits, said India has to revisit its tax policy structure if it wants to attract investment in this area.
Meanwhile, Cisco extended its worldwide STB revenue share lead in the first quarter of 2013. The other major STB vendors are Pace, Motorola and Echostar.
The global set-top box market-IP, cable, satellite and DTT STBs, and OTT media servers reached $4.4 billion in Q1 203, a decline of 5 percent from Q4 2012.
Competing countries offer both discretionary and statutory incentives to attract long term investment.
Apart from tax incentives, the Indian government must also offer special incentives for supply chain manufacturers and extend incentives to R&D and design functions to promote expansion of the available market.
Ajay Kumar, joint secretary, DeitY, Ministry of Communication & IT, said the department will announce a series of incentives for the electronics manufacturing cluster scheme.
Vinod Sharma, MD, Deki Electronics, said that the trade deficit due to digitalization alone was $360 million last year.
Sunil Vachani, CMD, Dixon Technologies (India), said the duty increase did not adequately compensate for other disability factors which were denying Indian manufacturers the competitive edge.