Smartphones emerge as bright spot for Indian manufacturing

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New Delhi, Oct 25: Smartphone-maker Lava is a small player in India’s booming mobile communications industry, but it has become a poster child for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious effort to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing.
Just a few years ago, Lava imported cheap phones from China. Now it builds its own devices at two factories on the outskirts of New Delhi that employ about 3,500 people, and expansion plans are in the works.
PM Modi’s vow to create tens of millions of new jobs has stuttered on many fronts, but domestic smartphone production has emerged as a bright spot for Asia’s third-largest economy. Along with local firms such as Lava, global smartphone giants including Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi are expanding rapidly in India, and starting to bring along components suppliers while driving contract manufacturers like Foxconn to ramp up.
More than 120 new manufacturing units have created about 4,50,000 jobs in the mobile phone industry over the past four years, according to the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association, thanks largely to the ‘Make In India’ campaign and a phased plan featuring stiff duties on imported devices and parts.
That growth has made India the world’s second-biggest mobile phone maker and positioned it for further growth as trade tensions and rising costs hobble China’s world-leading electronics manufacturing sector.