Taiwan-based Foxconn had shut down its Chennai manufacturing plants in February this year after its only client Nokia closed down its operations. The company is planning to re-enter India and set up manufacturing plants in the country. Foxconn is a contract manufacturer handling smartphone manufacturing for several companies including iPhone for Apple.
Reports say that Foxconn plans to make a “huge investment” to set up a smartphone manufacturing plant either in Pune or Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra. The state’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who visited China along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, confirmed this. He visited Foxconn’s plant in Henan province which manufactures Apple iPhones, including the latest of the lot, iPhone 6.
“India has the world’s largest number of cellphones but only 7% of these mobile handsets are manufactured in the country. The rest are imported,” said Chief Minister Fadnavis. He added that having a local manufacturing facility would help Foxconn to “gain a foothold in the domestic market” and that the company was keen to set up a “complete ecosystem with (even) suppliers and not just an assembly line.” This also means that people will have a huge employment opportunity.
Other possible places in the country where Foxconn could open a facility are Noida, Gujarat and a trial facility in Andhra Pradesh. If the company begins its operations in India, it may also end up making iPhones. This is a result of Indian Government’s efforts towards its new “Make in India” policy.
After the Nokia-Microsoft deal last year, Foxconn had to shut down all its three plants located near Chennai as they were exclusively catering to Nokia. About 1,700 employees lost their jobs as the company shut down its operations. But now Foxconn seems serious about re-entering India because it has already hired Nokia’s former senior executive Josh Foulger who has the experience of setting up Nokia’s Chennai facility.