Over the years, ICA under the leadership of Mr Pankaj Mohindroo has taken numerous initiatives to create a robust eco-system for mobile sector in the country. These initiatives span a wide spectrum of areas including policy advocacy, regulatory framework, rational taxation regime, development of manufacturing eco-system, skill development programs, consumer welfare, exhibitions and creation of knowledge bank. ICA has been working closely with all stakeholders including central government and state governments to facilitate creation of high growth business environment and ease of doing business in India.
Some of the key initiatives of ICA include:
- Establishment of robust Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) eco-system in India: ICA has played a vital role in establishment of a robust ESDM eco-system by working in close co-ordination with the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India, various state governments and industry stakeholders towards this objective. Mr Mohindroo has been at the forefront by representing the industry in various brainstorming sessions with the Government for effective policy roll outs and has been working in tandem with the national objective to help establish this industry at the earliest.
- Facilitating creation of Joint Task Force to revitalize the mobile handset and component manufacturing in India: ICA has been at the forefront in bringing together all stakeholders to overcome the problem of declining mobile handset and component manufacturing within the country. Its efforts led to the announcement by DeitY in December 2014 for setting up of a Joint Task Force to re-establish and catalyze significant growth in mobile handset and component manufacturing eco-system in India. The Task Forceâ€™s main objective is to rejuvenate mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem within the country with a view to achieve production of 500 million units of mobile handsets by 2019. ICA National President Mr Pankaj Mohindroo has been appointed as the Chairman of this task force. Nokia SEZ President and Director â€“ India Operations Mr Josh Foulger is the co-chairman. Lava Co-Founder Hari Om Rai, Samsung India Managing Director BD Park, Sony India Kenichiro Hibi, Microsoft Devices Director for Government relations Sandeep Bhargava, LG India MD Soon H Kwon, Micromax Informatics Co-founder Vikas Jain are members of the task force. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) Directors SK Marwah and Asha Nangia represent government in this task force. The terms of reference of the task force includes promotion of â€˜large scale manufacturing/assembly activity to achieve production of 500 million units of mobile handsets by 2019 i.e. annual manufacturing output of Rs 150,000 crore to 300,000 crore.â€™
- Establishment of Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC): ICA has been the moving force behind the successful establishment of the TSSC, a body which has been created under the auspices of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the coming together of ICA, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE). The body has been established as part of the visionary objectives of the Prime Minister of India with a mandate to train over 5 million people from the telecom industry over the next 10 years, which is expected to act as a major catalyst for the overall growth and sustenance of the industry. Presently, Mr. Pankaj Mohindroo is the Secretary of the Governing council of TSSC which has been represented by the CEOs and country heads of major telecom and handset companies like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson etc.
- Yearly Budgetary Recommendations and Policy Papers: Budget is the opportunity for recommending broad policy framework in the interest of industry and the country, addressing issues related to duty and taxation which impacts the growth and profitability of the industry and for positive interventions through informed recommendations. For many years now, ICA has been submitting comprehensive set of studies and recommendations to the Ministry of Finance which are prepared in via wide consultations with industry captains, taxation experts and other stakeholders. ICAâ€™s budgetary submissions are also comprehensive annual summary of the Indian mobile industry. I am happy to state that ICAâ€™s budgetary papers and recommendations are treated with utmost seriousness and serve as one of the guiding lights for formulation of polices related to cellular sector in the country. These recommendations can be downloaded from ICA website.
- CAREL Initiative: Mr Pankaj Mohindroo is the convener of the Committee on Smart Phones, tablets and mobile phones for BPL families, which has been constituted under the Core Advisory Group for Research and Development (R&D) in the Electronics Hardware (CAREL). CAREL is the empowered group which functions under the auspices of the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, which is mandated for promoting high-end scientific research in the country and to lay foundation of India designed, developed and manufactured electronic products.
- State level Initiatives: Over the years, ICA has worked with various state governments to rationalize state level taxes and octroi to make mobile handset cheaper and more accessible to consumers. Its efforts in early years brought down sales taxes from the high level of 12-50 % to as low as 4% in nearly 22 states. Recently, ICA signed MoU with Government of Uttar Pradesh for assisting it with its expertise for creation of mobile and component manufacturing eco-system with the objective of helping the state attract investments and create additional employment opportunity for its people.