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Arduino is looking at manufacturing in India to reduce counterfeit sales.

Arduino is thinking about manufacturing in India. The business, well known for its open-source microcontroller boards, seeks to limit the proliferation of counterfeit boards while also catering to India’s rising young population.

According to CEO Fabio Violante, the Italian company is presently investigating agreements with electronic manufacturing service (EMS) businesses in the South Asian country in order to commence local production as early as the first quarter of next year. This is a significant departure from the company’s current practice of making all of its boards in Italy.

With 3.2 million downloads, India is the biggest market for the Arduino IDE. Local branches of worldwide Arduino distributors, including DigiKey, Mouser Electronics, and Avnet, are also available in the nation. However, India’s present contribution to its client base is less than 1%. The main explanation for this mismatch, according to Violante, is bogus Arduino boards.

“The strange situation for us in India is that even though the community is very large and the user base is very large for Arduino IDE, the quantity of original products we sell into the Indian market is very negligible because people cannot afford the original products, especially due to hefty import duties for finished electronic products,” said Mr. Singh. “So people buy mainly alternative products, clones, and sometimes those knockoffs are from China.”

At the moment, Arduino clones cost less than half the price of the genuine boards. Import duties are also included in the latter. As a result, by establishing local production, Arduino would be able to offer its boards in India at lower costs, comparable to those of its Chinese competitors.

However, Violante noted that the issue of clone boards is not confined to India, noting that the business presently sells one original board for every five to six clones on the market.

“It is a challenge because we are open source and make money from selling the original hardware,” he said. “So, the clones and counterfeits are a big chunk of the market.”

Arduino is attempting to solve the worldwide issue of counterfeit boards by making its hardware more advanced, making it more difficult to counterfeit.

“This is giving us a competitive edge by innovating continuously,” Violante went on to say. “[The new boards] use more sophisticated microcontrollers and more sophisticated power sections that are not easy to copy and paste.”

Last week, the CEO traveled to New Delhi to attend an investor-focused event held by the state-owned agency Invest India, where he met with government officials and politicians, including Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s minister of state for electronics and information technology.

In order to compete with China, India has been giving cashbacks and subsidies to global firms in order to become a manufacturing center. According to official statistics provided in parliament last week, domestic electronics production in the nation has expanded by more than 111% to $99 billion in the fiscal year 2022–23, up from $47 billion in 2017–18. However, the majority of it is due to the expansion of local mobile phone manufacturing. The nation is already the second-largest producer of mobile phones, accounting for more than 99% of all domestic mobile phone sales. The government intends to expand local manufacturing of components like screens and semiconductors beyond just assembling mobile phones.

According to Violante, Arduino is now examining both major worldwide EMS businesses and smaller local players in India who specialize in creating electronic boards or development boards.

The CEO said that the business would first explore producing the $27 Uno R4 WiFi, which was released internationally earlier this year, in the country. With specs such as a 32-bit Cortex M4 CPU, 32 KB of RAM, and 256 KB of flash storage, it attempts to appeal to people. However, it may eventually begin manufacturing its enterprise-focused Pro-series machines, which were introduced last year.

According to Violante, Arduino is also trying to collaborate with Indian universities in order to raise brand awareness among students and become a part of their local curriculum. Furthermore, the collaborations with institutions will assist the company in connecting with enterprises that collaborate with them. It currently collaborates with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in the United States and intends to extend that collaboration in India. Furthermore, Arduino’s initial start in the nation, which intends to exclusively target local needs, may eventually shift toward selling its locally built boards to other countries since the firm, unlike many others, does not depend on China for production.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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