Smartphones emerge as bright spot for Indian manufacturing

October 26, 2018

Smartphone-maker Lava is a small player in India’s booming mobile communications industry, but it has become a poster child for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious effort to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing, Reuters reported.
Just a few years ago, Lava imported cheap phones from China. Now it builds its own devices at two factories on the outskirts of New Delhi that employ about 3,500 people, and expansion plans are in the works.
Modi’s vow to create tens of millions of new jobs has stuttered on many fronts, but domestic smartphone production has emerged as a bright spot for Asia’s third-largest economy. Along with local firms such as Lava, global smartphone giants including Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi are expanding rapidly in India, and starting to bring along components suppliers while driving contract manufacturers like Foxconn to ramp up.
More than 120 new manufacturing units have created about 450,000 jobs in the mobile phone industry over the past four years, according to the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association, thanks largely to the ‘Make In India’ campaign and a phased plan featuring stiff duties on imported devices and parts.
That growth has made India the world’s second-biggest mobile phone maker and positioned it for further growth as trade tensions and rising costs hobble China’s world-leading electronics manufacturing sector.
“India has an opportunity to become a major player in the global supply chain because we have a very strong domestic economy,” Vikas Agarwal, the India head of Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, told Reuters.

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