Wistron enters India Through a Big Electronics JV with Optiemus

    Wistron, Apple iPhones production supplier from Taiwan, has inked a strategic deal with Delhi-based Optiemus Electronics to manufacture mobile devices, IT hardware and telecom products. This is a big boost to India’s atmanirbhar bharat Make in India program.

    As part of the deal with Wistron, Optiemus will invest over Rs 1,350 crore in some five years and is targeting a revenue of Rs 38,000 crore across all products.

    Optiemus is qualified for incentives under the Indian government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for mobile devices and IT hardware: an edge Wistron could use to manufacture mass-priced products.

    Wistron has a production facility exclusively for Apple Inc in Karnataka and it is among a clutch of global companies eligible under PLI scheme. The others include Foxconn, Pegatron and Samsung. Sources said Wistron invested Rs 1,250 crore between August 2020 and March this year, exceeding its commitment to the Indian government by 25 per cent more.

    Unlike Foxconn, the world’s largest maker of iPhone, Wistron did not go in for two separate applications under the PLI scheme. Wistron uses one licence exclusively for Apple and it planned a second company for non-Apple brands.

    The company earlier had a joint venture with Optiemus to manufacture only mobile phones for leading global brands in India. Optiemus, which is promoted by Ashok Gupta, this year bought the 19.91 per cent Wistron stake had in the company.

    “We have had a long relationship with Wistron, but it was only for manufacturing mobile devices. We have now extended that relationship to include a range of electronics products. Also, we are also together going to make India into a design hub,” said A Gururaj managing director of Optiemus.

    Wistron is looking at making phones which are less than $ 200

    Gururaj didn’t comment on whether Wistron will once again take a stake in his company.

    Gururaj said the Taiwanese company could leverage the PLI eligibility of Optiemus to enter the affordable end of the market in mobile devices and for IT hardware as well.

    Unlike Wistron, domestic players do not have to manufacture phones with a production value of over US $ 200. “Therefore for Wistron which is looking at making phones which are less than $ 200 which accounts for bulk of the market the alliance provided them a great opportunity to do so. And we are looking at both the domestic as well as the global market,” said Gururaj.

    David Shen, president and CEO of Wistron Smart Devices, said: “PLI will be a key enabler to bridge any gaps in developing the ecosystem for the next decade. It is time to extend our support to our Indian Partner as we embark on a wonderful and exciting journey.


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