Smartphone maker Gionee has kick-started domestic production of their handsets in India, at Andhra Pradesh and their first ‘Make in India’ phone Gionee F103 was launched by Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. That apart, Chinese start-up OnePlus has evinced interest in manufacturing and assembling their smartphone at Foxconn’s Rising Star factory in Sri City.
In a major boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign and Chief Minister’s dream of making Andhra Pradesh an Electronics Hub, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Gionee and Chinese startup OnePlus have announced its plans to start assembling smartphones in Andhra Pradesh by the end of 2015.
“Indian economy is moving very fast, but we are confident it will grow in double digit in near future. The Prime Minister has launched a programme ‘Make in India’, we have to follow it,” said Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, as he launched the first AP-made Gionee smartphone. “I am really happy to welcome Gionee in Andhra Pradesh. We will ensure that the company faces no hurdles in its ‘Make in India’ initiative and will provide all the support.” This move will lead to cheaper devices for Indian consumers and create more jobs locally. All Gionee mobile phones for sale exclusively in the domestic market will be assembled in India by March 2016, said Arvind Vohra, country CEO and MD of Gionee India. Production will shift to a standalone plant with Foxconn in the Sri City area – from a shared one currently – and will be operational in mid-November with a capacity of half a million devices a month.
The company plans to invest over Rs 300 crore for local manufacturing over three years, including a just-signed partnership with Noida-based Dixon Technologies. In the long term, Gionee is aiming at making India a manufacturing hub outside China to cater to demand in African and SAARC countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Vohra said he is in talks to bring Gionee’s key vendors to the country to support local production. “This will be a stepping stone towards component-level manufacturing or full-fledged manufacturing,” Vohra said.
The Shenzen-headquartered OnePlus will partner with Foxconn to make handsets in India. OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau said the phones will be produced at Foxconn’s Rising Stars factory at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. Gionee kicked off production of F103, one of its sub-Rs 10,000 budget phones, from the same plant, which also houses assembly lines for Xiaomi, Asus and InFocus.
The first batch of OnePlus smartphones produced in India will be commercially available by the end of this year. The company said it would produce all models, including the latest OnePlus 2. The local production is likely to bring down the prices and generate direct employment of over 1,000 full time workers. “Producing smartphones in India is one of the most important decisions that we have made so far at OnePlus. India is one of our biggest markets worldwide and we are committed to a long-term sustainable growth path,” Lau said. The company, which started its sales with the limited invite-only model, is gradually moving to an open sales model now. “Initially, we followed the invite-only model because we were a new company with limited resources.”
“By 2020, electronics and hardware demand will be worth $400 billion in the country. Mobile phones will account for 38 per cent of this hardware demand. With so many companies starting their manufacturing journey in Sri City within a year, going forward I can assure Andhra Pradesh will become the hardware manufacturing hub. We are aiming to create the best ecosystem for local manufacturing with special emphasis on the necessary skill development,” said CM Naidu.