A few days back, Apple had put forward its conditions to set up manufacturing in India, which included 15 year Custom Duty Holiday, Always Open Clearance Process and more. Now, other leading manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, and OnePlus have approached the government asking for the same treatment.
These smartphone brands have already invested in the country and their demand for being treated the same like Apple would create a level-playing field for all phone manufacturers in the country.
“To ensure a level-playing field, the incentives should be extended to all brands offering similar value proposition, not only to a specific brand,” said Vikas Agarwal, general manager, OnePlus India.
It makes a lot of sense too, because if all phone manufacturers are getting the same treatment in India, then it would encourage perhaps others manufacturers too who have not yet invested in the country.
“Should the government extend any benefits to any one smartphone brand, those benefits should be brought under a policy umbrella and extended to all other manufacturers,” said P Sanjeev, Huawei Consumer Business, VP Sales.
Indian Government is considering Apple’s demands with an open mind, and a change in Manufacturing Policy is expected. Beside the above-mentioned benefits, Apple has also sought the benefits reserved for special economic zones (SEZ).
Earlier, Apple had also sought Indian Government permission to sell its refurbished phones , which was later denied. According to the current Indian norms, refurbished phones fall into the e-waste category.
India would be Apple’s third manufacturing hub in the world after China and Brazil. However, Apple’s conditions are too demanding in my opinion and manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo have already set up their plants in India without any such demands.
“If the government is open to giving concessions or incentives to Apple, on the scale that they’re being demanded, then the same should be given to other players. Companies like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have similar scale as Apple,” said Jaipal Singh, Senior Analyst at International Data Corporation.
Apple Needs India Too
One should not get confused even more for a second that Apple would do a favour to India by setting up its plant here. Apple sold almost 2.5 million iPhones in India in 2016 and now that the growth rate is slowing down in the developed markets, Apple is eyeing to enter the Indian market with a bang by offering locally manufactured products at a competitive price.
Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research pointed out that the concessions given by the government should be dependent on the value added by the company to the country.
“Given the right policy framework, this may also pave way for downstream investment in component-level manufacturing and kick-start export of goods,” said OnePlus’ Agarwal.
It would be interesting to note how our government persuades Apple to invest in the country while keeping other manufacturers happy at the same time.