India Ringing

Written by The Financial Express | Updated: Dec 30 2013, 04:09am hrs
If 2013 was the year in which Indian smartphone manufacturing became big enough to start snapping on the heels of the giants from Korea and Japan, 2014 will be year in which they actually start becoming Indian manufacturers. The companies, which mostly get their devices made to order in China, are expected to start work on setting up local manufacturing plants in the New Year. With the ecosystem required for the production of smart devices more than a long distance call away, the initial efforts would be at assembling components acquired from China and other eastern tech powerhouses. If more than one Indian manufacturer sets up shop, it is likely that component companies might also look at producing in India. The net effect of this will be cheaper smartphones for consumers and bigger margins for the companies that make them.

The largest Indian smartphone player, Micromax, has already announced that it will set up a unit in Uttarakhand with the first devices expected to roll out within a year. There are at least two others who are looking shifting at least a part of their production home. However, for this to become successful, the government will need to create a conducive policy environment where local manufacturers get an advantage by producing here, thus creating jobs and saving valuable foreign exchange. That does not exist at the moment.