By Praveen Paramasivam
CHENNAI (Reuters) – Finland’s Salcomp, a supplier to Apple, plans to double its workforce in India to 25,000 over the next three years, targeting annual revenue in the country of at least $2 billion to $3 billion by 2025, a top company executive said on Monday.
The plans come as Apple shifts production away from China after its strict COVID-related lockdowns and restrictions, and with rising trade and geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington.
“The whole supply chain is now kind of looking at an alternative. And India is poised to be one of the best alternatives,” Sasikumar Gendham, managing director, Salcomp Manufacturing India, told reporters in Chennai city in southern India during an industry event.
“Everyone knows that the whole world has been depending on this one nation (China) over the last few decades and it’s time to really diversify and decluster,” he added.
Cupertino, California-based Apple has bet big on India since it began iPhone assembly in the country in 2017 via Wistron and later Foxconn, in line with the Indian government’s push for local manufacturing.
Gendham told Reuters that Salcomp will have a “significant role” in Apple’s supply chain.
Salcomp currently employs about 12,000 at its Chennai plant, where it makes mostly chargers, but also other smartphone parts.
It started the Chennai operation in 2020 having reached an agreement a year earlier to take over the facility formerly owned by Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia.
Gendham said he expects the India business to generate at least $2 billion-$3 billion in revenue by 2025, from less than 40 billion rupees ($484 million) now.
Foxconn is also planning to quadruple the workforce at its iPhone factory in India over two years, Reuters reported last year.
J.P.Morgan analysts estimated last year that a quarter of all Apple products would be made outside China by 2025, from 5% currently. Apple wants India to account for up to 25% of its production from about 5%-7% now, the country’s trade minister said in January.
Salcomp also said it is setting up a housing complex with entertainment and education facilities for about 15,000 people.
(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Chennai; Writing by Sethuraman N R and Aditya Kalra; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Kirsten Donovan)