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Sony gets down to making in India

Business Standard:  September, 2015

Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp has hitched itself on to the Make in India bandwagon. The company is getting back to manufacturing in India, after nearly a decade with plans firmed up for two models of the Bravia brand of television sets to be made at Foxconn's Sriperumbudur plant.

'As a part of the first phase of local manufacturing we have already started local manufacturing of two models of the Bravia line of televisions in India, the second phase will begin soon,' said Satish Padmanabhan, head of sales at Sony India. Manufacturing began last month and as part of the next phase the consumer electronics major is likely to locally add three to four more models of the same Bravia line to the manufacturing list.

Padmanabhan said that the models that would be made in India in the next phase are yet to be finalised. According to him, the second phase could start in this calendar year though he refused to confirm a time period.

The India arm of the company started manufacturing in India last month with two 43-inch models of its Bravia line televisions. The manufacturing is being done by Taiwanese company Foxconn at the company's Sriperumbudur plant. At the same campus, Foxconn is also assembling products for Chinese smart phone manufacturer Xiaomi.

'We wanted to be as close as possible to Indian consumers as this is an important market for us, so we took the decision of manufacturing in the country, going forward we will definitely like to increase that initiative,' Padmanabhan said. With the central government offering sops to incentivise local manufacturing various foreign electronics major have started to manufacture in India or are mulling to do so. Electronics majors like Panasonic, Haier and Videocon are expected to increase the quantity of their local manufacturing.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had made provisions in the Union Budget this year to incentivise local manufacturing in line with the government's 'Make in India' initiative. To encourage manufacturing, the central government had announced extension of the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) for five years, streamlining the process and covering more product categories. First introduced in 2012 as part of a National Policy on Electronics, it provides for 20-25 per cent subsidy on capital expenditure for manufacturers of electronics and consumer durables.