Arduino considers manufacturing in India to curb counterfeit sales.

 Arduino considers manufacturing in India to curb counterfeit sales.

Arduino is contemplating the possibility of establishing manufacturing operations in India. The startup, renowned for its open-source microcontroller boards, aims to combat the proliferation of counterfeit boards and meet the increasing demand from India’s youthful population.

Currently, the Italian company is exploring partnerships with electronic manufacturing service (EMS) firms in India to commence local production as early as the first quarter of next year. This marks a significant departure from Arduino’s current practice of manufacturing all its boards in Italy.

India represents the largest market for Arduino IDE downloads, with 3.2 million downloads. While the country hosts local branches of global Arduino distributors such as DigiKey, Mouser Electronics, and Avnet, its contribution to the company’s customer base is currently less than 1%. CEO Fabio Violante attributes this disparity to the prevalence of counterfeit Arduino boards in India.

Violante highlighted the challenge posed by counterfeit boards globally, with the company selling one original board for every five to six clones in the market. To address this issue, Arduino plans to enhance the sophistication of its hardware to make counterfeiting more difficult.

During a recent visit to New Delhi, Violante participated in an investor-focused event hosted by Invest India, where he engaged with government officials and legislators, including India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

India has been actively promoting itself as a manufacturing hub, offering incentives to global manufacturers. This has led to significant growth in domestic electronics manufacturing, primarily in the mobile phone sector. Arduino is considering partnerships with both large international EMS companies and smaller local players in India.

Initially, Arduino may focus on manufacturing its $27 Uno R4 WiFi board in India, targeting mass appeal with its specifications. However, the company aims to eventually expand its production to include enterprise-focused Pro-series models.

Arduino is also seeking to collaborate with Indian institutes to raise brand awareness among students and integrate its products into local curricula. Additionally, it plans to expand its partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in India.

In the long run, Arduino may explore the possibility of exporting its locally manufactured boards to other countries, leveraging its independence from China for manufacturing.

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