Shanghai, July 18 (IANS) Indian handset-maker Intex Technologies will invest Rs.1,500 crore in manufacturing and research and in the process create 3,000 jobs, the top brass of the company said on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai.
“We are looking to invest Rs.1,000 crore in manufacturing and Rs.500 crorein research and development in the next two to three years,” Keshav Bansal, director at Intex Technologies, told IANS.
The company, which is opening its fifth plant in Greater Noida over 20 lakh square metres, also said that it will add at least 3,000 jobs in the country during the same time period to build on its existing 6,000 workforce.
Asked about the company’s contribution to the government’s Digital India and Make In India campaigns, Sanjay Kalirona, head of mobile business at Intex, said: “We believe in improving the quality of life by providing affordable technology to consumers. We broke the smartphone segment to under Rs.5,000 and forced other brands to reduce the price of Android handsets.”
Further explaining, Bansal said: “Many people aspire to use technology but cannot afford it and hence at Intex our first job is to provide everybody with a smartphone or a smart device which will in turn contribute to the prime minister’s campaigns and ensure financial inclusion.”
The company is now looking to break the Rs.10,000 price band, Kalirona said.
Intex, which currently procures smartphone parts from China, is also making some components in India. “We have started making our own batteries, earphones and chargers and doing the packaging in India, which would account for 20 percent of the overall product,” Kalirona said.
“Next will be the glass for the screen. We will soon try and get the glass-cutting process here,” he added.
The company also said that the government was instrumental in creating a more friendly atmosphere for manufacturing in India. “Although several factors like labour lawss need improvement, the first step the government took was cutting duties. Now, we also have got the land we needed for our plant,” Kalirona said.
As part of its mobile business strategy, Intex is now focussing on design, software and apps. “The future lies in software and the company’s strong research and development team, which includes over 100 trained individuals, are looking at affordable products with good customer experiences, he added.
Bansal also said that Intex will roll out the Saskhat security app for women, which is now in beta phase, on the iRist and smartphone platform in 20 days.
The domestic brand, which currently has a 10.7 percent market share and ranks second among domestic handset-makers, according to analysis firm International Data Corporation (IDC), has also expanded into the consumer durables category.
Explaining the move, Bansal said that the company feels that it has the bandwidth necessary to dive into these segments. “We are looking to consolidate the manufacturing process. The plant at Greater Noida will not only produce smart phones but other consumer durables like television sets, washing machines, peripherals and IT accessories,” he added.
The company, which will spend Rs.270 crores on marketing as a part of its planned expenditure this financial year, is targeting revenue of Rs.9,000 crore during fiscal 2015-16, of which Rs.7,500 crore is expected from the handset business.
(Anirban Ghoshal is in Shanghai at the invitation of Indian smartphone manufacturer Intex Technologies. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)