BHUBANESWAR: Mobile phone industry is beginning to show interest in Odisha with the Government keen to play a proactive role in developing the State as a major mobile phone manufacturing hub in the country.
The State Government has started discussion with Indian Cellular Association (ICA) and the National Task Force on Mobile Phone Manufacturing to present its case for attracting industry majors by promising an amenable ecosystem for manufacturing units.
The first round of talks was held between ICA president and chairman of the Task Force Pankaj Mohindroo and State Industry Secretary Sanjiv Chopra and IT Secretary PK Jena here recently and will be followed up with another high-level meeting in New Delhi on July 14.
“We are encouraged by the stance of the Government which is serious about facilitating establishment of mobile manufacturing clusters in the State. We have started the first-level of engagement and are fairly enthusiastic about carrying it forward,” Mohindroo told this paper.
The industry has, however, stressed on preparation of proper ecosystem to draw investments to Odisha. The State is predominantly based on mining and mineral industries and will have to chart new ground to create strength in manufacturing. All decks will have to be lined up - from creating an atmosphere, infrastructure, facilitation and cluster development along with strong political intent.
Odisha is making a start with the greenfield electronic manufacturing cluster (EMC) proposed to be set up at Info-Valley, Bhubaneswar. The more than Rs 209 crore project is envisaged to house over 100 electronics manufacturing units with an estimated investment of around Rs 979 crore.
“The EMC cluster could well lead way for establishment of a mobile phone manufacturing hub on the same cluster approach,” Mohindroo pointed out.
The National Task Force constituted by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has the mandate to rejuvenate India’s mobile manufacturing sector and achieve a target of production of 500 million mobile phone handsets by 2019.
Phone manufacturing in India has witnessed a slump due to various factors even as the mobile phone market is growing leaps and bounds. The phone market in the country is set to cross Rs 1 lakh crore during the current 2015-16 fiscal, growing at a rate of 30 per cent. But only around 70 to 80 million phones were made in India against sale of 300 million units in the last fiscal.
The target is to raise India’s share in mobile phone manufacturing to 25 per cent of global output by 2019. While manufacturing had dropped down to less than three per cent with several companies like Nokia closing down shop last year, things are looking up. Several States have established manufacturing hubs with Telangana the latest to join the list.