After the smartphone production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme came into effect, 50,000 direct jobs were reportedly created by Apple's contract manufacturers and component suppliers in India. The contract manufacturers for Apple's iPhones in India include Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron while Sunwoda, Avary, Foxlink, and Salcomp are the component suppliers.
In addition to the direct jobs, the Apple manufacturing ecosystem in India may have also created almost 100,000 indirect jobs, The Economic Times reported citing a government official. According to experts, Apple may have emerged as the largest employer of blue-collar workers in India's rapidly expanding electronics industry through its contract manufacturers.
The PLI scheme for large scale electronics manufacturing was introduced by the government in April 2020. After the guidelines were announced it started on August 1, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the scheme was later prolonged by a year; as a result, the scheme's start date for Apple's contract manufacturers was August 2021.
More than 40 per cent of the employment created by the three Apple contract manufacturers was done by Foxconn, as per government officials quoted in The ET story. They further added that, over the past 17 months, the component and module providers have increased capacity for the Apple iPhone supply chain. It created a few thousand direct employment.
The Tata Group employs roughly 10,000 people at its 500-acre plant in Hosur, which produces components for iPhones and other smartphones. According to officials, Tatas anticipates increasing hiring to 45,000 over the following 18 months. The Tatas and the Wistron group are also discussing working together to produce iPhones in India.
Apple exported iPhones worth Rs 11,000 crore in fiscal 2021 in the first year of the PLI scheme. More than Rs 20,000 crore has been projected for exports in 2022. It was importing approximately 90 percent of the phones from China before implementing the PLI scheme.
As per a report by the Delhi-based Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, job losses have been occurring in the manufacturing sector over the past few years. However, the officials noted that the electronics sector is emerging as an outlier, driven by the smartphone PLI scheme.