October 2019 \ Business & Investment \ INDIA-SOUTH KOREA TIES
Samsung heir in India

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong ...

  • Mr Lee Jae-yong, Vice Chairman, Samsung Electronic

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was in India in early October, provoking speculation that the South Korean tech giant may make further investments to expand its presence in the country, industry sources have said. On his arrival, Mr Lee was briefed by Samsung Electronics officials. It is his first visit to India since March. Samsung is one of the equipment suppliers for Reliance Jio’s 4G network business. With the Indian telecom firm planning to establish a 5G network in the country, industry observers speculate that the two moguls may consult on the issue if there is a meeting.

“There’s also a possibility that Mr Lee could meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a source said. In July 2018 Samsung India set up one of the world’s largest mobile manufacturing facilities in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. PM Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in inaugurated the 35-acre Samsung Electronics facility.

Samsung currently has two manufacturing plants—in Noida and in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu—and five research and development centres in India. The company has one design centre in Noida with workforce of over 70,000 people. India today is the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world after China. According to a survey conducted by mobile industry body ICEA, the 268 mobile handset and accessories manufacturing units in the country employ about 6.7 lakh people.

Due to the focus on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ programmes, Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the new hub of mobile manufacturing in the country over the past few years. The new Samsung facility in Noida was set up with the aim of doubling its capacity for mobile phones in Noida from 68 million units a year to 120 million units a year, in a phase-wise expansion to be completed by 2020.