Zoho Is Planning To Invest Rs. 50,000 Crore In Building A Semiconductor Chip Plant In India

Zoho is India’s most profitable internet company, but it now has its eyes set on the sector that’s been hogging all the headlines over the last few quarters.

Zoho is planning to set up a chipmaking plant in India, Reuters reports. Zoho is seeking to invest as much as $700 million (Rs. 56,000 crore) into the facility, and is seeking government incentives under India’s semiconductor push. Zoho is proposing to manufacture compound semiconductors, which have specialized commercial applications and are made from alternatives to the more-commonly used silicon in chipmaking.

Zoho has already identified a tech partner to help build the plant. The company’s proposal is currently being reviewed by the semiconductor panel at the IT ministry. The ministry has reportedly sought more clarity from Zoho on the customers it intends to do business with.

Earlier this year, Zoho founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu had said that Zoho would look to have a semiconductor design project in Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu, where Zoho also has an office. “We have been planning a semiconductor design project in Tenkasi. (Former Intel Director) Ananthan’s expertise in this field is unrivalled and we will work together to create advanced chip design know how in this rural region,” he had posted on X.

There have already been significant steps taken by India to build its semiconductor industry, which is being seen as one of the crucial sectors for the country’s future plans. In Dholera in Gujarat, the Tata Group has partnered with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC) to fabricate 28 nm semiconductor chips. In Assam, the Tata Group is setting up a OSAT facility, while in Sanand in Gujarat, American giant Micron is setting up a semiconductor testing, marking and packaging (ATMP) plant, where wafers made from silicon are converted into memory chips. 

And companies like Zoho could help spur Indian startups’ interest in the semiconductor sector — Freecharge and Cred founder Kunal Shah is already associated with Syrma SGS, which makes electronic components. Zoho, for its part, has the deep pockets and international expertise which could help it to pull off a semiconductor plant. And given the scale of the challenge before it — India currently ranks nowhere in the global semiconductor stakes — the country will need all hands on deck to make its presence felt in the space.