Indian software firm Zoho, based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, plans to venture into chip manufacturing with an investment of $700 million, it said Reuters.

Since its inception in 1996, Zoho has provided software solutions globally, and this shift towards chip manufacturing indicates Zoho's commitment to advancing technology in India.

Zoho's focus is on the production of specialized compound semiconductors for commercial use, with the aim of strengthening India's presence in high-tech manufacturing. The move aligns with the government's $10 billion stimulus package aimed at semiconductor development similar to leading countries such as Taiwan.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is reviewing Zoho's proposal, seeking clarity on potential customers and the wider impact on the industry.

Although Zoho remains tight-lipped, experts confirm significant investments and have secured a technology partner for the company, for the operational launch.

CEO Sridhar Vembu's recent post on X (formerly Twitter) hinted at Zoho's semiconductor business, while not revealing specifics, underlined the importance of semiconductor technology to the country's growth. He highlighted the government's support and the need for private investment in vital sectors.

Vembu's earlier suggestions of a chip design project in Tamil Nadu foreshadowed Zoho's entry into chip manufacturing, reflecting a broader trend of Indian companies exploring semiconductor production.

Zoho's financial prowess, with over $1 billion in annual revenue by March 2023, lays a strong foundation for this new endeavor.

In addition, India's recent approval for semiconductor plants, with investments exceeding $15 billion, underscores the sector's critical role in defense, automotive and telecommunications, as India anticipates a $63 billion semiconductor market. dollars by 2026.

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