Even as the state government is fervently working towards converting its multi-crore agreements signed to further its ‘Make in Maharashtra’ mission to actual investments, one of the state’s largest investment proposals, a $5 billion deal with Foxconn, has run into delays.
Prior to its much larger unit at Talegaon in western Maharashtra, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, was to start a mobile phones production facility in Navi Mumbai by March or April. However, due to certain internal issues, the Taiwan-based company has now postponed its plans to mid-2016.
State Industries Minister Subhash Desai told The Sunday Express, “The company is having some issues with some of its clients. Representatives from the firm have said they plan to start production by June.”
Foxconn, the tradename for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has leased two industrial sheds at Turbhe, in a deal facilitated by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). The plots, leased for a five-year period, have a capacity of about 2 lakh sqft.
A senior official from the state industries department said, “The company will manufacture mobile phones of InFocus from the Navi Mumbai unit, and later has plans to make laptops as well.” InFocus, a US-based corporation, has a tie-up with Foxconn to jointly develop consumer electronics such as mobile phones, tablets and LED television sets.
A spokesperson from the Foxconn Technology Group said, “As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on market rumours or speculation. However, we can confirm that a pilot site in Maharashtra will begin manufacturing cellphones in mid-2016. Our significant plans in India are being finalised and will be rolled out in phases over the next five years.”
Separately, the MIDC is in the process of acquiring land, about 1,500 acres, at Talegaon for the company, which counts Apple, BlackBerry, Motorola and Xiami as some of its customers, to set up a larger manufacturing unit.
Some senior officials from the state government and the MIDC are, however, a bit jittery about Foxconn’s promised investment, which is touted to be one of the largest FDI projects in the country in recent times.
A senior official said, “The company is not communicating its overall plans in the state to us properly, which makes us a bit concerned. They should interact with the Maharashtra government more clearly.”
Officials said recently Foxconn representatives also had a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss certain issues related to the company’s planned investment in Maharashtra.