The country’s total smartphone exports are set to be upwards of Rs 42,000 crore ($5. 6 billion) in the justending fiscal, a growth of nearly 83% against Rs 23,000 crore achieved in 2020-21. The growth has been meteoric if one considers that till just four years ago, smartphone exports were only at around Rs 1,300 crore (in 2017-18), which then moved up sharply to Rs 11,200 crore in 2018-19, and thereafter to Rs 27,200 crore in 2019-20.
The numbers were subdued in 2020-21 at Rs 23,000 crore due to production and supply disruptions because of the Covid outbreak in the year. The surge in exports is being seen as exemplary as it also came at a time when the broader electronics market was suffering from severe component shortages due to the semiconductor crunch, apart from the disruptions because of the Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions. India’s stressed relations with China, a key supplier of critical components, had also resulted in certain parts being held up, or coming in slower than usual. But the industry seems to have overcome this challenge as well.
“The impressive performance comes in the backdrop of three devastating Covid waves, loss of workforce, lockdowns and the worst-ever crisis on the supply chain, including acute scarcity of chips and semiconductors,” Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of industry body Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) which worked on the data, said.
ICEA said that against earlier export destinations in South Asia, Africa and parts of Middle East/Eastern Europe, the India-made smart- phones are now going to some of the world’s most-advanced markets. “Companies now target some of the most competitive and advanced markets in Europe and developed Asia. These markets demand the highest levels of quality, and manufacturing units located in India are up to the task,” Mohindroo said. Apple and Samsung have the lion’s share in the exports tally. While Apple is understood to have exports upwards of Rs 12,000 crore (from models such as iPhone SE, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12), for Samsung this figure is estimated at around Rs 20,000 crore.