LeEco has joined an increasing list of smartphone brands to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi s ambitious Make in India initiative. The Chinese company has tied up with contract manufacturer Compal Electronics to start manufacturing in India. The two companies have made a joint investment of $5 million to set up a plant in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. A further $2 million has been set aside for the automation process. The company aims to initially manufacture 60,000 units of smartphones per month from the new 200,000 sq ft unit, and aims to further increase the capacity to 200,000 units per month by the end of the year. LeEco also plans to export smartphones manufactured at this facility. LeEco claims it has sold a million smartphone units in India since its launch earlier this year. Also Read - Apple reportedly going to make iPhone 12 in India from next yearAlso Read - Xiaomi launches Mi For India initiative to distribute 2,500 phones to COVID-19 affected children
Compal Electronics is one of LeEco s global manufacturing partners, and manufactures about half of the smartphones the company sells. It is also known for manufacturing iPads for Apple. LeEco, which forayed into the Indian market earlier this year, has so far introduced a range of smartphones like the LeEco Le 1s, Le 1s Eco, Le Max, Le 2s and Le Max 2, which comes with whopping 6GB of RAM. It is worth pointing out here that LeEco is also expanding its product portfolio with a new range of 4K TVs. Also Read - Daiwa launches 49-inch and 55-inch 4K Smart TVs in India, price starts at Rs 29,999
Le Eco India’s COO for smart electronics business, Atul Jain, revealed that the company had sold a million smartphones in the country in the last eight months. He also revealed that LeEco is going to enter Russia next month and Indonesia in next four months.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who remotely inaugurated the facility, pointed out that the Indian government had been in talks with LeEco for local manufacturing since January, and lauded the company for having started the facility within eight months of its entry into the Indian market. The minister pointed out that the Make in India initiative has extensively appealed to the smartphone players, subsequently helping the country to become a manufacturing hub, and even the possibility to start exporting to other countries. Though, he asked the company to increase the capacity of the manufacturing set up.
With the objective of making India the manufacturing hub for electronics, the Indian Government has undertaken various initiatives to create a conducive businesses environment. As the market size for electronics is expected to grow to $400 billion by 2020, it is imperative to promote indigenous manufacturing, he said. The minister also pointed out that India s mobile manufacturing segment rose by 185 percent in value in 2015-16, and is likely to continue this meteoric growth in the next year as well.
LeEco is not the only foreign brand to start manufacturing in India. Another Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi already manufactures 75 percent of all the smartphones it sells in India locally. The likes of Oppo, LG and Gionee are also manufacturing in India while Huawei is also planning to start local manufacturing soon. Foxconn, which is the world’s largest contract manufacturer already has manufacturing units across India, and aims to set up more facilities. According to Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, more than 35 mobile manufacturing plants set up in India in last 1 year, leading to creation of 40,000 jobs.
With local manufacturing, these companies are looking to leverage the benefits provided by the government under the Make in India initiative. That said, these units are currently mainly into assembling semi knocked down mobile phones rather end-to-end manufacturing of devices like happening in countries like China and Taiwan. But of late the government has been focusing on pushing local manufacturing of components like batteries and chargers as well. Just yesterday Qualcomm held meetings with Indian ministers to discuss possibilities to begin manufacturing of its processors in the country.
India is currently the second largest and fastest growing smartphone market in the world. With smartphone demand slowing down in China as the market matures, India is the only bright spot for smartphone vendors. Over 25 million smartphones are shipped in India every quarter and the number is only set to increase with more users upgrading from feature phones to smartphones. The country currently has an installed smartphone user base of 250 million, which is expected to more than double to 702 million by 2020, according to a recent Ericsson report.