Samsung had to temporarily suspend operations at its smartphone manufacturing plant in India after COVID-19 related lockdown measures were put into place two months ago. Now, with slight ease in the lockdown, the South Korean tech giant has received a nod to restart the phone manufacturing facility.
The government in India's Uttar Pradesh state and relevant local authorities have now allowed Samsung to restart the production of smartphones at its Noida factory. The company plans to resume operations from this week, albeit with a limited capacity of 20-30 percent and necessary social distancing measures, according to an executive.
The government has also allowed other smartphone brands, including OPPO, Lava, and Vivo, to restart operations at their factories in Noida and Greater Noida. However, the companies are likely to face shortages of raw materials and components since their suppliers are yet to receive the government's approval to resume operations.
Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA), said, “Permissions have been received by the majority of the companies, though the workforce has been truncated to 20-30%. It is extremely difficult to reach any kind of optimization and efficiency in this manner. This stipulation will have to be relaxed. An uncompetitive industry can be run over by imports.”
Samsung's smartphone plant in India's Noida district is its largest smartphone factory in the world. It was inaugurated back in 2018, and it produces over 120 million units annually. Currently, there are close to 38,000 active COVID-19 cases in India and more than 1,800 people have lost their lives to the deadly virus.