Global mobile equipment maker Motorola on Friday said it will consider manufacturing in India to comply with the eligibility criteria of deals with state-run carriers like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd, but remained non-committal on any immediate plan in this regard.
"We are not closed to it. We will consider manufacturing here. We will do everything to comply with the tender conditions of the PSU telecom carriers, but that will be when and in what shape, size and form, I can't say at this point of time. Our focus is to gain significant market share here and attain a critical mass," Edward Zander, chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola, said in Bangalore.
India, with a mobile user base of 59 million, is one of the fastest growing wireless markets in the world and is currently adding about 25 lakh (2.5 million) subscribers every month.
According to a proposed government policy, vendors would need to have local manufacturing facilities to be able to bid for tenders of public sector units like BSNL and MTNL. BSNL alone is close to finalising a Rs 13,000 crore (Rs 130 billion) tender for its 40 million GSM mobile project.
A number of multinational vendors of mobile telephony equipment, including Nokia and Ericsson, have announced plans to start manufacturing in India.
Zander said to gain a major market share, Motorola would look at 'connecting the unconnected' by launching handsets costing below Rs 2,000.
The company has already launched one such handset, while another would be out by October. These handsets would be targeted towards low-end users and rural areas.
Expressing strong faith in the Indian market, Zander said: "The market is growing in India. There are enough opportunities to grow. Motorola would stress on brand resurgence in India."
Zander was also very bullish on carrying out R&D in the country. Motorola plans to increase its staff in India by about 1,000 by the end of next year from the current 3,000. It currently employs 3,000 staff in India of whom 2,500 work at its R&D centres with the rest in sales, marketing and support.
Motorola is contributing more to India by investing in R&D in the country than if it were to set up a manufacturing facility in the country, he said.
Based is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, Motorola set up its first R&D facility in India in 1991.
Recently, the US-based company announced an investment of $85 million in the Indian R&D centre which is the second largest outside the US. This investment is expected to grow 10-15 per cent per year.
Motorola is the second largest handset vendor in India.