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Mobile handset manufacturers may recruit 50,000  in next year

22nd October 2020, BENGALURU: India’s handset manufacturing industry is expected to hire about 50,000-60,000 employees in 2021 amidst its efforts to lure global brands racing past China to become the world’s top handset manufacturer.

“In 2021, we will be hiring about 50,000-60,000 people. This could turn into a $190 billion opportunity by 2025 with the country looking to export 600 million mobile phones worth Rs 8 lakh crore, both in the entry level as well as high-priced segments, to markets like Europe, North America and Africa,” Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman, India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) told TNIE.

Currently, the industry provides employment to about 7.5 lakh people and Mohindroo believes this figure to go up significantly as existing plants ramp up capacity and new plants set up manufacturing bases in India. With the production-linked incentive scheme (PLI), the government has already roped in more than a dozen firms to scale up their infrastructure in India including tech giants like Samsung and Apple’s three contract manufacturers such as Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.

The PLI scheme provides incentives in the range of 4-6 per cent to mobile phone and electronic component makers in India. Mohindroo, however, added that the scaling up to an $80 billion domestic mobile manufacturing market is challenging now. “A strong focus has to be there on how we build the market to this level. Exports will depend on global value chains - individual ecosystems have their own vibrancy,” he added.

Like China, India needs to build its capabilities for export growth. The industry, he said, has recovered to 90-92 per cent of the pre-Covid levels, but the revenues are estimated to be hit 8-10 per cent in FY21.