Tata Group Expedites Apple's India Growth, Plans New iPhone Factory

Tata Group Expedites Apple's India Growth, Plans New iPhone Factory
Tata Group, a conglomerate, is set to establish one of India's largest iPhone assembly plants, aligning with Apple Inc.'s strategy to enhance manufacturing in the South Asian nation. The proposed facility is planned for construction in Hosur, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, as per sources familiar with the matter. It is anticipated that the plant will feature approximately 20 assembly lines and employ around 50,000 workers within the next two years, with the aim of becoming operational within 12 to 18 months. Those familiar with the plans preferred to remain anonymous while discussing undisclosed details.
The establishment of the plant will contribute to Apple's initiative to regionalize its supply chain and enhance its collaboration with Tata. Which currently owns an iPhone factory obtained from Wistron Corp. in the adjacent Karnataka state, is a key partner in this endeavor. Apple's strategy involves diversifying its operations beyond China by engaging in partnerships for assembly and component manufacturing in various countries, including India, Thailand, Malaysia, and other locations.
The Indian conglomerate has taken other steps to increase its business with Apple and expand beyond its traditional businesses that range from salt to software. It has accelerated hiring at its existing facility in Hosur, where it produces iPhone enclosures or metal casings. Tata has also said it’ll launch 100 retail stores focused on Apple products. For its part, Apple has opened two stores in the nation and is planning three more.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s production-linked subsidies have spurred Apple’s key suppliers such as Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron Corp. to ramp up in India. That helped Apple assemble more than $7 billion of iPhones in India in the previous fiscal year, increasing the country’s share of the device’s production to about 7%. The rest are assembled in China, which until a few years ago made all of them.
The upcoming plant is expected to fall within the mid-sized category among iPhone factories on a global scale. It is likely to surpass the size of the one Tata obtained from Wistron, currently employing over 10,000 people while being smaller than the largest facilities operated by Foxconn in China, which employ hundreds of thousands of individuals.