Datawind, maker of the world's cheapest tablet Aakash, today said it is in talks with contract manufacturers to make smartphones at three locations in the country. The company is planning to have a manufacturing capacity of up to 5 million units per year and would generate 1,000 new direct and indirect jobs within the next one year.
"We are planning three manufacturing facilities... we will partner with electronic manufacturing services (EMS) companies for the (proposed) facilities," Datawind President and CEO Suneet Singh Tuli told reporters here.
The company, which will follow sub-contract model for manufacturing smartphones, said it is yet to finalise the sites for which it was in talks with State Governments. "We have been talking to state governments of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
Sales tax structure varies in States. It (setting up of facilities) depends on tax incentives... We are not asking for cheap land ... We want duty reduction till GST (goods & service Tax) comes into force," he said. Tuli further said: "To start with, we are planning to have 4.8 million to 5 million (units) capacity a year."
He said the company would shift 90 per cent of its manufacturing to India from China within the next 90 days. "As part of our commitment to Make in India, we hope to generate 1,000 new direct and indirect jobs in India within the next one year," Tuli said adding "once the new facilities start we will focus on exports." According to Tuli, Central and South India are big markets and the proposed facilities could be set up near them.