This July, Gionee had charted out plans for manufacturing phones in India on a contract. Fast forward to September, the Chinese handset manufacturer announced that they are teaming up Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest contract manufacturer and Dixon Technologies to start manufacturing phones in India by October. According to Gionee, Foxconn will begin their operations at its Sri City plant in Tamil Nadu, which coincidentally also houses assembly lines for larger competitors like Xiaomi. The Noida unit will be handled by Dixon Technology with them promising the factory to be ready by October 5th.
This is a part of Gionee’s ‘Make in India’ plan as they are looking forward to an investment of $50 million (approximately INR 330 crore) in the next three years on manufacturing in India by Foxconn and Dixon Technologies. Reports say that Foxconn will be making Gionee’s F series and P series smartphones while Dixon will mainly focus on feature phones and other low-key smartphones introduced by Gionee. Gionee plans to begin commercial production as early as October 16th according to Arvind Vohra, CEO and Managing Director of Gionee India. The combined capacity of the two factories is expected to reach a production of more than 1.2 million units per month. This will help Gionee save up on a lot of additional cost and import duties, as the company intends to make India a manufacturing hub for other African countries and members of SAARC, and also help them introduce devices quickly and reduce cost for customers, which will ultimately boost sales.
Gionee is also planning to increase the investment in research and development team in India, which will be working on personalizing Gionee’s custom UI, named Amigo, and making it more suitable for the Indian market. According to William Lu, president of Gionee, India’s market is a second home to Gionee after China, and the investment in Indian manufacturing is just another step in a line of much more to come for the Indian market and customers. Studying the success of online retailing over brick and mortar stores for over two years, Gionee also has plans to embrace the online sales route. They are holding discussions with major online retailers in India, including Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal, and they have plans to introduce one model each month.
This announcement by Gionee follows a trend as many major companies are seeking to open manufacturing units in India. Last week, Sony had announced its plans to assemble Xperia and budget phones in India, in partnership with Foxconn. Lenovo and Motorola have already started manufacturing phones in India, along with Xiaomi while Vivo, HTC, Microsoft, LG, Motorola are some of the international manufacturers who have expressed significant interest in manufacturing phones in India.