Xiaomi wants component suppliers to invest in India

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New Delhi has a roadmap to increase local assembly of smartphones and last week it announced a 10 per cent duty on the import of key smartphone components, including populated printed circuit boards (PCBs), as part of the plan.

Xiaomi joined the "Make In India" program in 2015.

In order to accomplish these targets, Xiaomi said at the Supplier Investment Summit, now underway in India, that global smartphone component suppliers will be "educated" about the Indian manufacturing ecosystem in order to help them become established in the country. The factories with Foxconn now employ more than 10,000 people, of which more than 95 percent are females.

The investment will see a closer integration between the two companies on Mi.com, to push sales.

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Also, apart from announcing three new smartphone plants in the country, Xiaomi also said that they have started manufacturing smartphones at their plant in Noida, UP where they manufacture power banks, resulting in a total of six smartphone plants in India. It will also start manufacturing the devices at an existing plant that now only makes power banks. All of the assembly work is done by women. Xiaomi India aims to enlist the help of these suppliers in setting up manufacturing units in the country. "Today we are deepening this commitment with three more smartphone factories and our first SMT plant dedicated towards local manufacturing of PCBA [printed circuit board assembly] units".

The goal with the summit is to facilitate component makes to set up shop in India. Among these, the PCBA is one of the most important components and contributes to almost 50 percent of the value of the phone. This PCBA will be manufactured at Xiaomi's first SMT (Surface Mount Technology) plant which is built in partnership with Foxconn in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, and, the company expects to bump up the production of PCBA to around 100% of its locally produced phones within Q3 2018. It is estimated to bring in an added investment of over Rs 15,000 crore ($2.5 billion) and create as many as 50,000 job opportunities in the country. "These are in partnership with Foxconn", Jain said. If it goes through then this is said to be the biggest ever single investment in the electronic manufacturing industry, one that can create as many as 50,000 job opportunities.

India is one of Xiaomi's most important markets and the Chinese brand has already set up a few manufacturing facilities in the country. Xiaomi, to recall, locally manufactures - assembles - over 95 per cent of its smartphones in India and going forward, it seems like, a larger internal portion of its smartphones will be made - and not just assembled - in India the country.

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