The defunct Nokia plant in Sriperumbudur, Chennai is set to reopen, five years after it shut shop in 2014. Finland-based Salcomp, a key supplier of chargers for Apple has taken over the plant, along with a unit of Taiwan-based component maker LiteOnMobile for nearly Rs 350 crore.
Salcomp will be investing Rs 2,000 crore in the next five years, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced on Monday.
Salcomp, which is also the world’s largest mobile chargers’ maker will start operations in the Chennai plant by March 2020. The Chennai plant was shut in 2014 following a tax dispute. According to a Times of India report, Salcomp will now have to get a go ahead from the Tamil Nadu government and the tax department to complete the process.
Reports quote the minister as saying that the plant will directly employee up to 10,000 people and another 50,000 indirectly. And 70% of the products made in this plant will reportedly be exported to other countries, especially China.
Salcomp now reportedly owns more than 55% of the production facilities in the Nokia Special Economic Zone. This is also Salcomp’s third facility in India. It already has one in Chennai and one in Noida. Nearly half of its global workforce is reportedly now in Chennai.
Nokia had started manufacturing handsets at the plant in Sriperumbudur back in 2006. In September 2013, Nokia announced that it was selling its devices and services business to Microsoft. This included India assets as well, however the Chennai facility wasn’t transferred to Microsoft due to taxation issues between the company and the state government.
Microsoft then said that it would be terminating the manufacturing services defined in the agreement from November 1, 2014. And with no further orders expected from Microsoft, Nokia too, suspended production of handsets at the Sriperumbudur facility from November 1.
Apart from Salcomp taking over the factory, the minister also announced that Apple has started manufacturing iPhone XR at Foxconn’s Chennai plant. This is now being sold in the Indian market.
As promised, delighted to receive an iPhone XR, which reads “Designed by Apple in California and Assembled in India”. I expect further expansion of manufacturing in India by #Apple. pic.twitter.com/02QE0f3wS8— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) November 25, 2019
“As promised, delighted to receive an iPhone XR, which reads “Designed by Apple in California and Assembled in India”. I expect further expansion of manufacturing in India by Apple,” he tweeted.
The government has reportedly told Apple to expand its operations in the country. Ravi Shankar Prasad reportedly said that India will have the most favourable regime to become a big centre for mobile manufacturing.