Indian Economy News

Smartphone maker Maxx Mobilink to start local manufacturing of handsets

New Delhi: Indian smartphone maker Maxx Mobilink plans to start production of mobile handsets at its Haridwar plant, beginning with assembling devices from April at the factory where it currently manufactures accessories such as battery and charger. The company's plans come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged manufacturers to 'make in India' and reduce the country's dependence on imports for gadgets such as mobile phones.

"Subsequently we will manufacture both feature phone and smartphone at the facility and will also set up a research and development (R&D) lab to support manufacturing," Maxx Mobilink chairman and managing director Ajjay Agarwal told ET.

India's third largest mobile vendor Lava, too, has revealed its intention to start manufacturing in the country. It has also said that it will start assembling devices at its Noida factory from April and is planning to set up a factory at a cost of Rs 500 crore over three years, besides looking at buying Nokia's Chennai plant.

Maxx will invest over Rs 6 crore initially in setting up the R&D lab, which will take care of device testing and software innovation such language packs, user interface (UI) and other utility-based applications, Agarwal said. However, he added that the company will not be required to invest much in mobile handset manufacturing since the existing machinery will be sufficient for the first phase.

"We will import Printed Circuit Board Assembly from China while the rest of the parts will be manufactured in India, including battery and body," he said.

To set up manufacturing facility of mobile handsets, Maxx is taking assistance of some Chinese companies that are currently involved in producing mobile handsets for it. "Processes of accessories and mobile handsets are different and more precision is required, thus we need their assistance," Agarwal said.

The company established its manufacturing facility in 2006 and expanded it with a new unit in 2010, which, Agarwal said, is the second largest plant after Nokia's facility in Chennai. Maxx is India's largest manufacturer of accessories, he said.

Maxx expects to close the current fiscal with Rs 600 crore in revenue. Agarwal said that the company is aiming at revenue of Rs 1,000 crore in the next fiscal and 3% share of the overall handset market in the country.

"We have less than 1% market share in India currently and 90% of our unit sales is features phone, which we want to bring down to 40% in the coming year," he said, adding that the company will focus more on smartphones, launch more devices and sell them online through Amazon and Flipkart. He also said that around April the company will launch a 4G smartphone priced at about Rs 7,000.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.