Hyderabad: Datawind Inc., a leader in delivering low-cost Internet connectivity to emerging markets, on Friday formally launched its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility here.
Coming up at GMR Complex of Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at an investment of Rs 100 crore, the 40,000 sq. ft facility will manufacture 20 lakh tablets and phones in the first year. Its full capacity can reach up to five million units.
Inaugurated by Telangana’s Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao and Canada’s High Commissioner Nadir Patel, the plant employs 600 people and will increase the headcount to 1,000 by March next year.
This is the Canadian company’s second facility in India after Amritsar, which is the country’s first and only manufacturing facility for touch panels. It manufactures more than one lakh units per month.
Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind, said the company had positioned as India’s largest tablet manufacturer for the last many quarters.
“We are coming out with full range of products including tabs, mini laptops, smart phones. The unit has been functional for the last few months and shipped 2.5 lakh units,” he said.
Suneet pointed out that Datawind lead the tab market with a 37 per cent share.
Smart phones is the new segment for the company and it recently launched Rs 1,500 smart phone with touch screen and free unlimited Internet for one year.
“We have capacity for producing 50 lakh phones. We are focussing on low cost devices in the Rs 1,500 to 5,000 range and help bring down the cost of phones in the market.”
He said the company was looking to set up a production unit in eastern India.
“We have applied for licence for Telecom operations and VNO. VNO will be a big focus of ours, will probably invest Rs 70-80 crores. As part of this we will have our own sims and offer Rs 20 unlimited browsing plan by next year. Under VNO we don’t buy spectrum, don’t have towers, but will be partnering with an operator and offer our own sims,” he added.
Rama Rao said the government created a mobile manufacturing ecosystem in the state and in six to seven months three major manufacturers Micromax, Celcon and Datawind have set up their units here.
He revealed that European TV manufacturer Thompson is venturing into Telangana in tandem with a local company.
According to the minister, Telangana is offering and an attractive investment opportunity for Canadian companies.
More than 40 Canadian entities have their presence in Telangana. He also sought help of the high commissioner to start Air Canada flights to Hyderabad.
Datawind’s is a prime example of Canadian companies investing in India for its betterment, and reflects the best of Canadian values.
We look forward to continue strengthening our partnership going forward as India strives to achieve its Make in India objectives,” said the Canadian high commissioner.