In a recent development, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced that it will now manufacture its devices in India in partnership with Foxconn. The factory will be based in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in Sri City.
The choice of location is strategic as Andhra Pradesh is known to have highly skilled technical manpower, an enterprising population and a dynamic emerging leadership - a combination of factors that make the state appealing to high-growth technological companies such as Xiaomi.
Xiaomi revealed its ‘Make in India' plans at a special event today in Visakhapatnam, located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in the presence of Honourable Chief Minister Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
'Make in India' was launched by Shri Narendra Modi in September 2014 as a major national programme designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure.
Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer reportedly has signed a $5 billion deal to set up R&D and hi-tech manufacturing facilities in western India within the next five years.
The $5 billion pledge is the largest foreign investment into India's tech manufacturing sector and a boost for the government's "Make in India" program designed to spur domestic manufacturing.
The Taiwan-based firm, which manufactures for a host of global device brands like Apple, BlackBerry, Amazon, Motorola, Xiaomi and Sony, has the bulk of its factories in China.
Going by the recent spate of announcements, the first Mi phone to be manufactured in India is Redmi 2 Prime, the natural successor to Redmi 2 with 2GB RAM and 16GB Flash, which will be available for Rs. 6,999 on Mi.com and other partner sites (Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal) starting August 10.
Specwise, Redmi 2 Prime features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 64-bit processor, 4G Dual SIM support, and a 4.7" HD display. Foxconn has already started producing Redmi 2 Prime at their Sri City factory, and 100% of the Redmi 2 Prime units sold in India are made in India.
Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi Global said: "Manufacturing smartphones locally is a significant step towards incorporating Xiaomi into the fabric of India in the years to come. Thanks to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's visionary plan to transform India into an attractive destination for manufacturing, we have a great opportunity to make our products in India, bringing us even closer to Indian consumers and contributing to India's evolution in the technology sector."
He continued, "After taking into consideration several factors, manufacturing in Andhra Pradesh was an obvious choice for us. This has been possible due to the support of Chief Minister Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his forward thinking policies, as well as Mr. Ashok K Kantha, the Ambassador of India to China, who played a key role in helping us to forge links with Andhra Pradesh."
Manu Jain, Head of India Operations, Xiaomi, said: "We started looking at options for local manufacturing as soon as Xiaomi entered India in July last year. Being a key driver of ‘Make in India', DIPP Secretary Mr. Amitabh Kant has been a strong supporter of Xiaomi right from the start, and has played an important role in turning our local manufacturing plans into reality. Local manufacturing shows Xiaomi's commitment to being in India for the long haul, and we are also able to contribute to generating more jobs in India. We are truly excited to be playing a role in enhancing the quality of life of the people of India."