NEW DELHI: Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi has doubled down on its push to increase localisation in India, its second largest market after China. On Monday, the firm announced that it has set up three new plants in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, with one of the new facilities in Chennai set to build all important printed circuit boards (PCB). According to Xiaomi vice president and India managing director Manu Jain, the units will help Xiaomi produce more devices locally and consolidate its hold on the smartphone market, doubling Xiaomi’s manufacturing capacity in India to two phones per second during operational hours.
Samsung leads the Indian smartphone market with 24.7 per cent market share, with Xiaomi following at 20.9 per cent. Other major players include Vivo (9.4 per cent), Lenovo (7.8 per cent) and Oppo (7.5 per cent). Xiaomi’s India units have now risen to six -- five in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in partnership with Foxconn, with a small number of phones also being made in Noida with another partner - Hipad. These facilities employ nearly 10,000 workers, 95 per cent of whom are women.
The coming of a PCB unit to Chennai is significant, considering the troubles the mobile manufacturing ecosystem around the city has seen over the last few years. Nokia’s plant, one of the largest in the world in its heyday, shutdown in 2014 following sales tax and royalty payment disputes. The unit remains shut, despite continuing efforts to revive it. Xiaomi’s announcement to manufacture PCBs however might revitalise the ecosystem. Counterpoint Research’s Associate Director Tarun Pathak says the move can help in sourcing and ironing out supply chain issues.