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Italy’s Arduino to Manufacture Electronics in India

Italy’s Arduino to Manufacture Electronics in India

Arduino, an Italian open-source hardware company best known for its Raspberry  Pi microcontroller boards, is considering manufacturing in India to curb counterfeiting and meet rising demand.

This move will mark a major shift from its current practice of manufacturing all boards in Italy.  CEO Fabio Violante said Arduino may partner with electronics manufacturing service firms in India to begin local production.

Although India has Arduino’s largest user base with 3.2 million Integrated Development Environment or IDE  downloads, its customer contribution is less than 1% due to widespread fake Arduino boards. Violante attributes this to unaffordable import duties making original boards cost prohibitive. Clones from China sell for less than half the price. By manufacturing locally, Arduino can reduce prices to compete with counterfeits.

Beyond India, clones make up 5-6 boards for every 1 original sold globally. Violante says continuous innovation in Arduino’s hardware sophistication helps provide a competitive edge difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.

Violante recently visited New Delhi and met with government officials, including the Electronics and IT Minister. India has offered incentives to position itself as a global manufacturing hub alternative to China. While growth has mainly come from mobile phones, the goal is expanding into areas such as components and semiconductors.

Partnering with government and academia would further establish Arduino’s presence in the growing Indian electronics hardware ecosystem.

Arduino is exploring partnerships with large international EMS firms and smaller local electronics board producers. It may initially manufacture its $27 Uno R4 WiFi board in India but eventually produce more advanced Pro series models too. Beyond addressing local demand, Arduino could export Indian-made boards globally

Arduino UNO WiFi board, Picture courtesy: Arduino

Additionally, Arduino aims to partner with Indian institutes for brand awareness and curriculum content. The company already collaborates with India’s Tata Consultancy Services in the U.S. and seeks to expand the relationship in India.

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