Sriperumbudur-Oragadam belt, one of India’s most industrialized zones and home to 22 Fortune 500 companies, received a big boost as Apple started assembling iPhone 11 at the Foxconn plant at Sriperumbudur. This is the first time the world-famous company will be assembling a top-of-the-line device in the country.
Prior to this, Apple has been making two handset models in the country – iPhone XR which is being assembled by Foxconn and iPhone 7 assembled by Wistron in Bengaluru.
Foxconn plans to invest up to $1 billion to expand its unit in Sriperumbudur which will add some 6,000 jobs.
Over the years, the Sriperumbudur-Oragadam zone has become one of the fastest-growing suburbs of Chennai. it has evolved into a multi-faceted industrial zone with self-contained residential spaces, educational institutions, hospitals, and other social infrastructural facilities.
A 30 minutes’ drive from Foxconn is Hiranandani Parks, Oragadam, Chennai’s first satellite township. Built amidst acres of open green spaces and stately high-rises, this township is complete with all essential needs and first-in-class amenities. From a multi-specialty hospital and school to clubhouse, swimming pools, a gym, multiple sports facilities, theme parks and more to cater to the evolving needs of professionals, including expats working in the IT and industrial belt. Many apartments at Hiranandani Parks have been leased out by companies in the vicinity to accommodate their employees. The open green spaces and the wide range of trendy amenities are a favourite with the expat residents.
Apple’s move is a vote of confidence that Sriperumbudur and India are ready and competitive for high-end electronics manufacturing. If things go well — and the government has an important role to play in this — Apple’s main manufacturing partners could expand their presence here, employing tens of thousands of people, and growing the ecosystem that can support millions of livelihoods, say experts.
That in turn can raise not only productivity but also offer much higher quality workplaces and living conditions for India’s professionals.
Earlier this year, Nokia’s Sriperumbudur plant, once the largest mobile manufacturing facility in India, which had to shut down, got a lifeline as Salcomp acquired the facility to produce components – mostly chargers for Apple.
The production of the iPhone 11 will be ramped up in phases and the company may also consider exporting the India-made iPhones.
Apple is also considering a plan to make the new iPhone SE at the Wistron plant near Bengaluru. Foxconn and Wistron, both Taiwanese firms, are Apple’s contract manufacturers of iPhones.
The Wistron plant near Bengaluru earlier used to produce the old iPhone SE, which has been withdrawn following the release of the new model.
The production will also help Apple to avail of the benefits under the government’s recently announced production linked incentive (PLI) scheme.