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The ground reality of ‘Make In India’ for homegrown consumer electronics startups

In September 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched one of the flagship projects ‘Make In India’ among a host of other initiatives to build the digital economy. By July 2015, the launch of Digital India backed the Make In India ambitions and together the two projects looked to transform India into a global manufacturing and tech hub.

And in recent times, the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative also emphasises on transforming India into a global consumer electronics manufacturing hub with an eye on exports and reducing the reliance on imports from countries like China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan among others. From a vantage point, it looks promising. But in reality, can this make India 100% self-reliant? Also, are Indian consumer electronic products really ‘Made in India’?

“Currently, a lot of integral parts we need for creating the best tech for our consumers are not available in India,” said Amit Khatri, cofounder of Noise, highlighting the ground reality.

Based in Gurugram, Noise is one of most popular D2C consumer electronics brands in the country that manufactures smart wearables and audio devices. The company produces about 15-18 SKUs in all categories, across a varied price range. The company counts its cutting edge technology embedded with great design, quality products and experience as its USP.

Manoj Meena, who is founder and CEO at Automberg Technologies, another consumer electronics brand that designs and manufactures energy-efficient and smart home appliances. He told Inc42 that 95% of its products are manufactured and assembled in the Navi Mumbai plant, and said that they have working to support ‘Make in India’ initiative from launch in 2011.

“Almost 60% of our raw materials are sourced from a few vendors in India. In case of some raw materials which do not have an ecosystem in India, we are forced to source them from countries like Singapore, China etc,” added Meena. Further, he said that apart from a few critical raw materials that are sourced from outside, most of its supply chain is already fully localised.

At the same time, Mumbai-based lifestyle consumer electronics startup ICCON also claimed to have already moved 100% of its productions of many categories completely in house, including batteries, chargers, charging caves, power banks among others. However, when it came to audio products, the company said that it still sources its raw materials from top suppliers across the world. –Inc42.

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