Creating a mobile phone from scratch is an extremely complicated and challenging process with thousands of individual contributions and years of research and planning. The phones that people use today incorporate inventions regulated by many different intellectual property rights such as trademark, design, copyright and usually several thousand patents. Homegrown mobile phone maker Lava International has made a bold attempt to stitch together the entire life journey of these most used tools from conception to consumer. This New Delhi-based firm launched its “Design in India” initiative last week; introducing its first designed in India mobile phone, that is completely designed and manufactured in the country.
Hari Om Rai, chairman and managing director, Lava International said, “The Design in India initiative is one of the most significant milestones towards achieving our country’s vision of making India a global hub for mobile phone manufacturing. ‘Design in India’ is a critical step towards building the mobile components and parts ecosystem in the country. Over the last six years, Lava has built its capability and expertise in mobile design which led to our Design in India initiative. We now have complete control on the mobile design, components supply chain and manufacturing.”
Priced at Rs 1,499, Lava’s Prime X is said to be the slimmest feature phone in its category yet, with an incredible battery standby time of 17 days. It also comes with a two-year replacement warranty, thereby demonstrating the confidence Lava has in its product quality, which is backed by robust investments in research and development and product manufacturing.
Unveiling the Design in India initiative, Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of law & justice and information technology, said “Our government has put in place policies and structures to fulfill our commitment to make India a global hub of electronics manufacturing which has led to setting up of 108 mobile manufacturing units in last three years. ‘Design in India’ is a key milestone in that direction and Lava is taking the lead to take this initiative forward.”
Manoj Sinha, minister of state for communications and minister of state for railways, commented: “Our vision is to create 100 million jobs by 2022. Initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Design in India’ will play a vital role in creating jobs for a young and large country like ours, not just for today; but for our future generations as well.”
Lava, which has a manufacturing capacity of 30 lakh units per month currently, is aiming to increase it to 1.2 crore handsets per month in a period of 5-7 years. The company plans to make an investment of Rs 2,600 crore over the next 5-7 years for manufacturing. It has earmarked an investment of Rs 250 crore by 2021 dedicated to design. The company plans to launch its first designed in India smartphone in October this year.
In 2016, Lava set up its design centre in Noida with a large team of Indian designers and engineers. The design team spent over a year in China getting trained and guided by the company’s China team on industrial, mechanical, hardware and software design. It is now working towards designing and manufacturing the entire range of Lava mobiles in India by 2021. Lava has a large in-house R&D centre in Shenzhen, China with a team of over 700 engineers, covering the entire gamut of mobile design.
As per the government estimates, around 225 million mobiles are being manufactured in India annually and the aim is to make India a big hub of mobile, electronics manufacturing right from concept, design to execution.