Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn is all set to invest Rs.1,600 crore for setting up a high-end electronic component manufacturing unit at Kanchipuram near Chennai. Foxconn Group, a subsidiary of Foxconn, on Monday, signed a deal with the Tamil Nadu government to establish a manufacturing facility that will offer jobs to 6,000 people.
The proposed investment was finalised during a meeting between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Foxconn chairman Young Liu at the state secretariat in Chennai. The Tamil Nadu government and Foxconn signed a letter of intent after the meeting.
“Chennai is the biggest site for Foxconn in India. I had to pay a visit here as there are many developments in the production size. We have six or seven units under construction. It is going quite well. We got a lot of support from the state government. This is the largest facility we have in Tamil Nadu. We have 40,000 workers altogether. Definitely, there is a very important base for us to go on. With Tamil Nadu’s talent pool, we can do, not just production but also plan big in Tamil Nadu,” Young Liu told reporters after visiting the IIT research park near Taramani in Chennai.
“Foxconn’s repeated investments and expansion plans in Tamil Nadu are a testament to the state being the top choice for manufacturing in India for major companies across the world. This is a major achievement for the state. Manufacturers who have seen immense success in Tamil Nadu over the past many years know that by investing more in the state they will only gain more,” said Industries Minister T.R.B. Raaja.
With this proposed investment, Tamil Nadu is poised to not only remain the top electronics exporter in the country but also will significantly increase its electronics exports in the coming years, Raaja said.
Answering a question from THE WEEK on Foxconn’s breakup with Vedanta on the semiconductor front, the minister said the Tamil Nadu government and the industries department are in talks with not just Foxconn, but many other players to bring in investments in the semiconductor industries. Foxconn is scouting for locations across India for setting up its semiconductor assembly plant. Young Liu had attended the Union government’s semiconductor conference on Sunday.
With its expansion plans to quadruple the workforce at its Tamil Nadu iPhone factory by late 2024, Foxconn has also signed a research and innovation agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and the state government's investment arm, Guidance. The tripartite MoU, facilitated by Guidance Tamil Nadu between Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry) and IIT Madras was signed and exchanged amongst V. Vishnu, MD and CEO, Guidance, Prof V. Kamakoti, director of IIT Madras and Vincent Lee, associate vice president, Foxconn.
The MoU enables Foxconn to support the development of research and development capabilities in partnership with IIT Madras to improve the skills and industry-readiness of the talent pool for the evolving needs of the electronics industry, share knowledge and best practices in higher-order talent and workforce development.
A key supplier of Apple products, Foxconn has its iPhone assembly facility at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, manufacturing high-end iPhone 13 and iPhone 14. In 2021, Foxconn’s annual revenue reached $175 billion and was ranked 20th in the 2022 Fortune Global 500. It is the world’s largest technology manufacturer and service provider.
Apart from Foxconn, Tamil Nadu, which is leading in electronics exports in India, is home to several electronic giants, including Nokia, Samsung, Flex, Motorola, Dell, Salcomp and HP. Tamil Nadu also has two Special Economic Zones (SEZ) dedicated to electronics and hardware manufacturing units in Sriperumbudur and Oragadam.