JV with Wistron to invest Rs 1,320 crore is on track: Optiemus Infracom
Mid of last year, Optiemus formed a joint venture (JV) with Taiwan’s Wistron Corporation, one of the largest ODM’s and contract manufacturer of mobile phones to invest around $200 million (Rs 1,320 crore) over five years to make smartphones, tablets and smart devices in India. In an interview with EC’s Mohd Ujaley, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chairman, Optiemus Infracom says, ” This is the best manifestation of the Make in India initiative where Wistron brings its extensive technological know-how and partners with Optiemus to manufacture products using best in class technologies and processes for Indian consumers.”
How will the industry perform in 2017 from a manufacturing perspective? What opportunity do you see in government initiatives like the Make in India and the Skill India?
Manufacturing has emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India. The ‘Make in India’ program has placed India on the world map as a manufacturing hub. 2017 is going to be an interesting year for the Indian manufacturing industry, especially for smartphone segment as it continues to thrive in India with rapid adoption. India has potential to be the world leader in mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem.
We are strongly focused on Make in India Initiative. Optiemus Infracom is an end to end telecom ecosystem company, involved in manufacturing, retail, distribution of mobile handsets in the country since 1997. We are one of the pioneers in brining contract manufacturing in India by setting up manufacturing facilities under brand name of GDN- Global Devices Network in Noida, UP, in late 2014 under the “Make in India” initiative. We have rapidly expanded our capabilities by also setting up system design and manufacturing capabilities, primarily to serve the needs of Indian market.
We have also formed a joint venture (JV) with Taiwan’s Wistron Corporation, one of the largest ODM’s and contract manufacturer of mobile phones. The JV will invest around $200 million (Rs 1,320 crore) over five years to make smartphones, tablets and smart devices in India. This is the best manifestation of the Make in India initiative where Wistron brings its extensive technological know-how and partners with Optiemus to manufacture products using best in class technologies and processes for Indian consumers. With this JV Indian consumers will get access to latest technologies concurrent to the world. Additionally, electronic manufacturing will also provides significantly large employment opportunities and we under government’s Skill India initiative will like to leverage our growing manufacturing capabilities to provide employment in large numbers as well.
We strongly believe that as a country we have the required resources and talent to bring about a manufacturing revolution and the Make in India campaign provides the right platform to achieve this.
What is the current manufacturing capacity of the Noida facility? Any plans on expansion?
Both the factories put together has over 33 lines and depending on the complexity of the products, it can manufacture up-to 1 million smart phones in a month. We have recently signed an agreement with BlackBerry for the distribution of its premium handsets DTEK50 and DTEK60.
Is this agreement for all the other BlackBerry devices as well?
Under this partnership, we will be promoting and distributing BlackBerry branded devices in India that uses BlackBerry’s Android software and application. This also includes the recently launched BlackBerry DTEK60 and DTEK50. We will also provide the Android BlackBerry PRIV for Rs 34,990 and for enterprise customers the BB10 OS – powered BlackBerry Leap device as well. We want to ensure that we offer customers the most secure version of Android smartphones- including the DTEK series by leveraging our strong end-to-end capabilities in the mobility ecosystem in India.
What are your plans for the company’s growth in the medium to long term?
Optiemus is focused on ramping its manufacturing capabilities and will continue to invest and scale in that area. We believe in not just Make in India but also Design in India, Sell in India and Service in India. Therefore we will focus on growing our scale with our partners like Wistron. From a manufacturing point of view, we have a vision of 3 – 5 years to consistently invest and over US$ 200 million to expand capacity as well as support backward and forward integration in the manufacturing space
Additionally, with our PAN India infrastructure and deep understanding of consumer and channel behavior, we will continue to partner with smartphone players like BlackBerry to offer a secure smartphone experience to the India consumer.
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