India currently produces 225 million phones valued at Rs 1,32,000 crore a year, which amounts to 12 phones a second, said Josh Foulger, Country Head & Managing Director, Foxconn International Holding, India.

Addressing the Advantage India Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Messe Munchen GmbH, Foulger said: “India today is the second largest producer of mobile phones, a distant second to China, which produces 900 million phones a year.”

Elaborating on the growth of the mobile sector in India, Foulger said in financial year 2017-18 the country’s mobile phone imports reduced by more than half and the import of completely-built-units came down from 78 per cent to 18 per cent.

Speaking on the opportunities for smartphone manufacture in India, Foulger said the country has a huge domestic market with unprecedented smartphone penetration. The Indian export market is nascent and there is huge potential for exports to the West Asian and African countries in the near-term, and North America and Latin America are long-term possibilities.

The Advantage India Summit is focused on mobile manufacturing in India and the way ahead. The day-long conference on mobile technology would highlight the country’s capabilities in mobile manufacture, robust infrastructure for R&D, innovation and government policies. The summit also discussed modern technologies, recent developments, the available opportunities and challenges in the sector.

According to him, currently there are three categories of products in the mobile phone sector, and according to data from the second quarter of 2018 (Q2), smartphones occupy 42 per cent of the market, feature phones make up 32 per cent and the remaining 26 per cent is taken by a new entry termed Fusion Phones, i.e. 4G capable feature phones.

He estimated that in the coming year the smartphone market will grow to 52 per cent, while Fusion phones will capture a sizeable proportion of the feature phone market.

According to the India Mobile Taskforce – Phased Manufacturing Roadmap (PMP), the country is expected to achieve 25 per cent share in global mobile phone manufacture by 2019 from the current share of 3 per cent, creating employment opportunities for 1.3 million people in mobile handset manufacturing.

He said the vision of PMP is to manufacture 500 million handsets by 2020 and it is expected that there will be 1,400 mobile phone manufacturing units employing 4,700,000 people in the country by 2025.

Robert Grobbauer, CII – Chairperson for Mobile Technology Conference & Managing Director & COO, AT&S India, said India is the fastest growing mobile business market in the world and the country has the largest mobile network in the world. There is huge opportunity for manufacturing in India and to truly exploit the market it is important to utilise the full potential of the value chain of manufacturing.

Dr. Muthukumar, Chairman, CII Karnataka, said the demand for electronics products in India is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020 from the current $45 billion. Since 2014, electronics manufacturing has grown at an extremely fast pace. From just two mobile phone manufacturing units in 2014, the industry now has 124 manufacturing units employing 400,000 people.

Currently mobile manufacturing in India pertains mainly to assembly. For the country to meet its true potential, it is necessary to start manufacture of electronic components locally. With 2 lakh engineers graduating each year, there is no reason why the country can’t be an electronic manufacturing hub.

Falk Senger, Managing Director, Messe Munchen GmbH., said the Advantage India Summit will offer focused sessions on opportunities and challenges in the industry, the country’s research and innovation ecosystem and new technologies. According to him, the aim of the conference is to create a platform that addresses the country’s innovation and research ecosystem and provides learnings from global mobile manufacturers.

In the era of digital transformation, mobiles, especially smartphones, play a prominent role and are constantly pushing manufacturing technology at a dramatic pace. Mobile devices is one of the key segments where India is expected to see more growth in terms of local value addition and it will serve as the front-runner for the country’s economic development.

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