Foxconn, the coveted hardware manufacturer, might have winded up its India operations from Tamil Nadu a couple years ago but it is insistently looking to set up factories and begin production once again. The company is now ready to join the wildly successful roster of ‘Make In India’ companies with its first manufacturing factory in Maharashtra, reports ETtech.
This facility will be set up in Navi Mumbai and be separate from the $5 million MoU signed by the company with the Maharashtra Government in mid-2015. Sources privy to the development report that Foxconn’s greenfield facility will require an initial investment in the range of $20 to $30 million to start with the manufacturing of smartphones before moving on to other products. A senior Foxconn official with knowledge of the setup said,
The Navi Mumbai plant will be set up by early next year, with a target capacity of about 2 million a month. To start with, mobile phones will be made, which is the high volume category in India, followed by mechanics design.
For those unaware, the company had previously signed an agreement with the Government of Maharashtra to set up its first facility — among numerous others — in the state to manufacture products including iPhones, tablets over five years of time. This investment, which has probably fallen through, was expected to create over 50,000 jobs in the state.
Foxconn first entered India in 2006 as a supplier to Nokia. It set up operational units in the Special Economic Zone of Chennai but the same had to be shuttered due to labor issues and Nokia selling its smartphone business to Microsoft. The closure of this 300-acre facility affected over 22,000 employees.
For the past year, Foxconn is aggressively looking to push the envelope and setup close to twelve factories for the production –not just assembly — of smartphones, especially Apple’s iPhone in the country. Ever since the company restarted its operations as part of the Make in India program, it has invested close to $600 million in not only setting up five assembly plants but also capital investments in messaging app Hike and Snapdeal.
In addition, the interwebs have been with the chatter of not only Nokia reviving its mobile business but choosing Foxconn to produce the same in India. And as stated above, Apple is also looking to better its ties and improve cost of manufacturing its products via this very facility. Commenting on the same, Foxconn’s head of India operations Josh Foulger said,
Since last year, we have restarted operations and right now we’re in finalizing 2017 plan, there will be expansion. Companies like Apple will have to take a diligent view on the market in India.
India, from a manufacturing standpoint, has logistic advantage, not just for India but for Middle East and Africa. India cost is competitive. It takes time but if managed well, it can bring results.