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HMD Global to ramp up exports from India, source locally

HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded handsets, is keen to scale up its mobile exports from India, as the company looks at various levers, including sourcing more components locally, to deepen its commitment towards manufacturing ecosystem in the country, according to a senior official.

India is a “very important” market for HMD Global, and the company considers it to also be a key global destination for sourcing and manufacturing, Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, Vice President, HMD Global told PTI in an interaction.

The company on Tuesday announced a slew of devices including the Nokia G21 smartphone (that offers up to three-day battery life), Nokia C01 Plus, two new feature phones – Nokia 105 and Nokia 105 Plus and two new audio accessories, Nokia Comfort Earbuds and Nokia Go Earbuds+.

Nokia G21 comes with 50MP triple camera with AI imaging, provides up to three-day battery life and offers two years of OS upgrades as well as more security updates in the segment, according to a company release.

Nokia 105 is the global bestselling feature phone model, which now has been refreshed in a new stylish design and comes with Wireless FM radio, the release added.

Kochhar claimed that when it comes to feature phones, the company is now “number one” in India, in value terms. At present, HMD Global — through its Indian Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) partners — manufactures both feature phones and smartphones in India.

Except for Nokia XR20, all the smartphones it currently sells in India, are manufactured here. In December 2021, HMD Global began exporting locally manufactured Nokia 105 feature phones to the UAE market, and the company expects to open up exports to newer markets.

“We are evaluating how we can increase our exports from India for feature phones, or even smartphones. We have already started export of Nokia 105 feature phone, but we’re also evaluating other aspects like export of smartphones…” Kochhar said.

Asserting that the company is firmly aligned to the government’s Make in India programme, Kochhar highlighted that India is one of the key markets for HMD Global, not only from a growth standpoint, but also for being a lucrative destination for sourcing and manufacturing.

“Globally, India is one of our destination markets for sourcing and manufacturing,” he said. At present, the company is sourcing many components for feature phones and smartphones locally, and it now intends to double down on local sourcing, further.

“There are plans to source more components locally, whatever we can…from India because that helps us grow the ecosystem in India market,” he said.

While the company is evaluating export of Nokia smartphones that are made in India, it is also interested in expanding the exports of feature phones to cover additional markets, models and customers, Kochhar explained.

India is a buzzing market for devices and smartphones, and the government through various schemes and incentives, including a production-linked incentive (PLI), is aiming to bolster local production of electronic items, in order to position the country as a global manufacturing powerhouse.

Asked if the company is also planning to manufacture tablets in India, Kochhar said, “we are evaluating that but we have not started anything.” PTI

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