Tata Group is planning to multiply the number of employees at its electronics facility in Tamil Nadu that makes iPhone components, news agency Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Tatas are looking to add tens of thousands of workers as part of a push to win more business from Apple Inc.
Quoting sources privy to the development, Tata Group will hire as many as 45,000 women workers within 18 to 24 months as it sets up new production lines. The factory, which produces iPhone housings or the cases which hold the device together, currently employs about 10,000 workers, most of them women.
The salt-to-software conglomerate is among Indian firms trying to benefit from Apple diversifying its supply chain beyond China. While just a small fraction of iPhones and its components are made in India, the country is making inroads with its push to challenge China as its neighbour struggles with Covid-related lockdowns and political tensions with the US.
The Hosur unit, spreads across 500 acres, in September hired about 5,000 women, including those from the indigenous tribal communities, the sources said.
Women at the Hosur plant get gross salaries of just over Rs 16,000 rupees a month, nearly 40 per cent more than the Indian industry average for employees who use hands or tools for assembly, according to the sources. The workers are given free food and lodging within the campus, the people said, adding that Tata also plans to provide training and education.
Apple’s main manufacturing partner, Foxconn Technology Group, is grappling with mounting concerns that a Covid flare-up at its main Chinese plant could hurt production ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.
To diversify beyond China, Foxconn and fellow Taiwanese contract manufacturers Wistron Corp. and Pegatron Corp. have ramped up iPhone output in India, a move also boosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s financial incentives programme.
Adding more local component manufacturing would also bolster India’s effort to expand deeper into the technology supply chain. Competing iPhone housing suppliers include Lens Technology Co., Jabil Inc., and Lingyi iTech Guangdong Co., according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
Meanwhile, Tata Group is in talks with Wistron to establish an electronics manufacturing joint venture, seeking to assemble iPhones in India, people familiar with the matter said in September.