In a fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 'Make in India' initiative, over 100 top Chinese handset and component manufacturers gathered in New Delhi on Wednesday in what could bring $2-$3 billion investment in Indian mobile manufacturing operations in the next two years.
Top officials from Chinese companies such as Techno, Gionee, Coolpad, Holitech, Wingtech, Camera King, Galaxy Core, Poxiao, Vivo and Sprocomm participated in the first-ever summit titled "China-India Mobile Phone & Component Manufacturing Summit," in the Capital to explore avenues to tap the existing and emerging opportunities.
Leading Indian mobile companies such as Micromax, Lava, Karbonn, Spice, Vodafone and Intex also participated in the day-long event, the organisers said in a statement.
"Going by the encouraging response of Chinese companies and definitive joint collaboration talks between the Indian and Chinese mobile and handset manufacturers, Chinese investment of $2-3 billion over the next two years looks like a real possibility along with employment for one-two lakh people," said Pankaj Mohindroo, national president, Indian Cellular Association (ICA).
The first-of-its-kind summit has been jointly organised by the ICA, the apex body representing the mobile handset and components industry in India, and Mobile World (Shoujibao), China's leading mobile industry service platform.
According to Mohindroo, Chinese companies are usually reluctant to set up a manufacturing base in other countries as their own eco-system is highly efficient and supremely productive.
"But they are still seeing India as the hottest next destination to set up manufacturing base. This is a huge endorsement of Modi's 'Make in India' vision," he added.
The summit is the result of the high-level visit of Modi to China in May last year. During his visit, Modi hard-sold his "Make in India' vision and invited Chinese companies to leverage the changing business climate in India and set up manufacturing base here.
"We are wholeheartedly responding to Modi's invitation to Chinese companies to be part of 'Make in India' mission and would contribute to making India a global manufacturing hub for mobile handsets and components," said Wu, founder and CEO, Mobile World (Shoujibao), Shenzhen.
In an earlier interview to IANS, Wu had said that the three things that drew us to India are its population, the vastness of the market and the 'Make in India' drive by its government.
"We are quite impressed that the progressive policies of the Modi government and the new manufacturing eco-system are very encouraging developments for investment and business in India," he said on Wednesday.
According to Zhong Qi, vice president of Tecno, a Chinese mobile handset manufacturing major, India today is the fastest growing mobile phone market globally and presents the biggest manufacturing platform for Chinese industry.
"We are very keen to tap the potential," he said.
The summit saw presentations on various aspects of the Indian mobile manufacturing eco-system including policy framework, incentives and market potential.
The representatives of the Chinese companies also plan to visit offices and factories of Indian mobile brands like Micromax and Lava to understand their operations.