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Flex beefs up plant operations, to hire 4,000 more

Posted: 09 Sep 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:electronics  DTA  special economic zone  smartphone 

Flex, a $26-billion tech company, has expanded its plant operations in Sriperumbudur after receiving the domestic tariff area (DTA) licence last year, The Hindu Business Line reported.

Since then, it has hired close to 2,000 employees for the DTA area, said Sekaran Letchumanan, head of the Flex Chennai Industrial Park, adding that the company plans to hire 3,000 to 4,000 more employees in the next 12 to 18 months.

Formerly named Flextronics, the electronics manufacturer has some 10,000 employees in India, including 4,000 at its Sriperumbudur factory, 5,000 at its Global Business Service units in Chennai and Pune, and about 1,000 in the logistics division.

The Sriperumbudur plant began operating in 2001 as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). With the DTA status, the Flex Chennai Industrial Park can now produce and deliver intelligent and innovative products for export but also to the domestic market.

Letchumanan said that after getting the licence, Flex teamed up with Lenovo, which owns Motorola Mobility, to make their smartphones at the plant. In addition, the facility was split into SEZ and DTA. Almost a third of the 645,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to DTA. The products manufactured by the plant are distinct from the other, but employees are allowed to swap plants as needed.

Full capacity

Capacity utilisation of DTA operations at present is about 40 per cent, said Letchumanan, but the company plans to make it 100 per cent within 18 months. The plant has so far manufactured 250 million phone chargers and power adaptors, 1.5 million modems, 400,000 photo receptor units, more than 50,000 base stations, and at least 3 million mobile phones.

The plant is expected to manufacture new products, such as wearable devices, for both global and local customers in various areas including telecom, automotive and energy.

The last two months saw an exciting time for electronics manufacturing industry in India as the government received about $14.17 billion investment proposals, according to the Hindustan Times. Many of the local and foreign companies that offered to invest in the country had plans on manufacturing mobile phones.

According to Strategy Analytics, India is among the fastest-growing smartphone market globally and is expected to replace the United States in the second spot after China in the years to come. This makes the country an attractive destination for making mobile phones.

- Stephen Padilla

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