Founded in 1996, Bengaluru-based Si2 Microsystems Ltd (Si2) is a system-in-package (SiP) and microsystems solutions company.
Founded in 1996, Bengaluru-based Si2 Microsystems Ltd (Si2) is a system-in-package (SiP) and microsystems solutions company. Si2 has design centres and manufacturing operations in San Jose (California), Netherlands and Thailand. An SME, Si2 works with the Indian defence forces for indigenisation of critical systems as well as upgradation of obsolete imported systems, including radar systems, electronic warfare (EW) suites, air defence systems, etc. Sanjay Soni, president, SI2 Microsystems, had an interaction with FE’s Huma Siddiqui. Excerpts:
What are the key strengths of SI2 Microsystems?
We provide system-in-package (SiP) and microsystems solutions to Indian defence services and global customers. The main advantage of SIP is size reduction. This makes it ideal for areas like combat aircraft and missiles where space is very limited and constant upgradation of functionality is required. For example, we are able to fit more powerful radars or better avionics systems in the same space as earlier through SIP. We are helping companies make electronics in the missile lighter so that its range and payload can be increased.
What are your expectations form the Make In India initiative?
We work with some of the leading names in the defence and aerospace sectors and our client list includes ISRO, MBDA, ELISRA, Honeywell, ADA, GE, Bosch, Bharat Electronics, HAL, Data Patterns, and IBM. If the government implements Make In India, the domestic companies will get a lot more business opportunities. We have tied up with Aviazapchast, Russia, for taking up repairs and upgradation of Russian helicopters used by our defence forces. The entire work would be done under the Make in India programme. Until now these works were done in Russia. We are also in the process of signing some more tie-ups with international original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the Make in India programme.
What kind of opportunities are there for SMEs in defence?
The opportunities are numerous, and primarily in manufacturing items like electronics and mechanical parts under the defence offset programme. Supply of critical spares under the indigenisation programme is being promoted by the government.
How easy or difficult is it for an SME to get into the field ?
It is not easy for an SME to get into the field as the qualification process for defence products is very long and cumbersome. The prerequisites, including established manufacturing infrastructure, quality certifications such as AS9100 and ISO, experience in supplying to international customers at global quality standards are challenging and patience is needed as the process is cumbersome.
How much weightage do you give to R&D?
SI2 caters to various industry verticals, including space & aerospace, defence & military, consumer electronics, and power. Innovation in business requires the vision to invest in a technology of the future. The first innovative measure Si2 Microsystems had taken was to set up a production facility for a new technology, called “system-in-package”. This is a state-of-the art facility with very high precision equipment for every process involved. SIP technology is used for the system miniaturisation in applications like space, avionics, hand-held devices, Implantable medical devices, etc. Si2 Microsystems has grown tremendously as an SIP and microsystems solutions company providing wireless, wireline solutions. It aims to impart leading edge microelectronics solutions by integrating chip & system design capabilities with manufacturing technology to come up with SiP and microsystems solutions.
How do you plan to grow your international footprint?
Si2 has a manufacturing facility in the USA. We are also in the process of tying up technology transfer agreements with several Russian companies for upgrading India’s existing defence equipment. We are also trying to expand the relationship with our international clients in France and Israel. These are all part of our strategy to expand our international footprint.
What is your strategy towards securing a larger share of the Indian defence market?
The strategy is multi-pronged. We are seeking tie-ups with international defence companies for technology transfer to Si2 in areas such as avionics, radars, and missile testers. The expansion of our product offering will help us garner a larger share of the pie. Our products and applications cover a large spectrum. We make products like missile test benches, portable missile and launcher testers. Si2 has also announced solutions for the Smart City projects in street lighting and automatic meter reading for power, gas and water segments.