Mobile handset exports grew over eight-fold to Rs 11,200 crore in 2018-19 and exceeded imports for the first time, industry body ICEA said in a note recently. Handset exports during April-July 2019 reached around Rs 7,000 crore, thereby creating grounds to hit annual figure of Rs 25,000 crore in the current fiscal, according to the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association. "The Mobile handset manufacturing industry is continuing its juggernaut. 800 per cent year-on-year growth in exports has been witnessed during 2018-19 over 2017-18 figures though on a small base. This is a humble but robust beginning for a glorious future which bodes well for the nation," ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said in the note.
Total handsets produced in India reached 29 crore units valued at Rs 1.81 lakh crore in 2018-19, from a precariously placed 5.8 crore unit of handsets manufactured in 2014-15 valued at Rs 18,900 crore with exports crashing to almost zero after shut down of the Nokia plant, as per ICEA.
The government has set "Net Zero imports" in electronics by 2020 under Digital India roadmap released in August 2014.
For mobile handset segment alone, the government under the National Policy on Electronics 2019 has set target of making 100 crore mobile handsets indigenously by 2025 with value of around Rs 13 lakh crore.
The 100 crore mobile handset manufacturing target, of which 60 crore units will be for exports with an estimated value of around Rs 7 lakh crore.
"Import of handsets as a percentage of domestic market demand which was approximately 80 per cent in 2014-15 came down appreciably to 6 per cent in 2018-19 with the sector leading towards 'Net Zero' import status faster than expected," Mohindroo said.
He said the mobile handset exports at Rs 11,200 crore have exceeded imports of handsets in 2018-19 which is recorded for the first time ever.
"Mobile imports stood at Rs 10,000 crore in 2018-19. Symbolically, this is a very important achievement for India," Mohindroo said.