Manu Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India, and Vice President, Xiaomi, says, “India, to become a global manufacturing hub, should compete with the other manufacturing hubs such as China and Vietnam. The investors much prefer these countries because of their stable and attractive export-oriented policies linked with better infrastructure and logistics networks.”
The Chinese smartphone maker has started a small export pilot to Nepal and Bangladesh for smartphones from India.
In an interview with IANS, Manu Jain said, “We requested the government to make India a more export-friendly destination.”
He also added, “We should also invest in laboratories, which allow for global standard testing since BIS is not a globally accepted standard.”
According to Jain, some initiatives will work in favor of this initiative, such as duty drawback refunds for the merchant exporter.
In terms of incentivizing domestic manufacturing, India has to learn a lot from Vietnam.
The government of India has declared the “remission of duties or taxes on export products” (RoDTEP), which would replace the current Merchandise Exports from India Schemes (MEIS). It is not in compliance with the rules of world trade. But the cloud around RoDTEP needs to be still cleared.
According to Jain, Xiaomi can fast scale-up exports with more government incentives. Currently, Xiaomi has seven manufacturing plants of smartphones in India, which are in partnership with Singapore-based technological manufacturer Flex, and Taiwanese multinational electronics company Foxconn.
Out of these 7 plants, 4 are located in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, 2 in Tamil Nadu, and 1 in Noida. More than 99% of smartphones, which are sold in India are produced locally.
Jain said to IANS, “In 2015, we started production locally with one plant, extended to two units in 2017, and to seven units in 2018. Across the seven plants, we have employed over 25,000 people, out of which 95% are women.”
The company has also invested in setting up a smart TV manufacturing plant in partnership with Dixon Technologies in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The company is trying to establish a component manufacturing local sourcing network in India for smartphones.
“Xiaomi joined the Indian market in July 2014. It has just been five years since we entered the Indian market and have received an overwhelming response from our Mi Fans.”
He added, “Xiaomi’s vision is to deliver innovative products to everyone with an aim to provide high-end and advanced technology products at reasonable prices to the people in India.”