India to have 1500 mobile phone, ecosystem factories by 2020: IMC2017 – Economic Times

NEW DELHI: India will have nearly 1500 factories making handset and ecosystem product by 2020, the local handset industry association said, even as players like Foxconn said that the Indian opportunity was big enough to make 1 billion devices, but policy stability would be key enabler.

“Right now, we have 104 factories… by 2020, we expect that 1450-1500 plants will come up through the phased manufacturing program,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, president of Indian Cellular Association.

On being asked whether next 1 billion phones can be made from India by the world’s largest contract manufacturer, Josh Foulger, head of India operations at Foxconn said that they could make in 10 years, but the larger question was whether it can be done in five years, given India’s potential.

“We can make in 10 years, the question is whether 5 years, or less. India has all the potential to do it. We have 100 companies here, PMP is in motion, component ecosystem slowly started to take shape. Key enablers are that govt continues to maintain the even queue, the policy stability has been very good so far. Continuity of PMP is dependent on policy stability,” he said.

Companies like Spreadtrum and Lava are optimistic on the India opportunity, as the Chinese chipset maker expects the featurephone market to be dominant, since 60-70% of the install base of mobile phones still haven’t seen full smartphone experience. The leg up will be from the LTE featurephone, a segment in which the company is investing.

Neeraj Sharma, head of Spreadtrum in India said that LTE featurephone will give users incentive to move to smartphone. “LTE featurephone will be there for 1-2 years, total market is 100 million, after which people will want to move to smartphones.”

Companies like Lava are hopeful that India will become the hub of skill development in the mobile manufacturing sector as well.

SN Rai, co-promoter of Lava said that the government agenda is to promote local manufacturing. “We can create a lot of jobs, someday directly or indirectly we should hire 100,000 across the world, significant of which will be in India.”

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