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Business News/ News / India/  World's largest smartphone glass company to make in India from 2024
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World's largest smartphone glass company to make in India from 2024

Corning Inc's decision to manufacture in India is directly related to its goal of diversifying away from China, a senior official said

Corning Inc's headquarters in Corning, New York (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
Corning Inc's headquarters in Corning, New York (Photo: Bloomberg)

New Delhi: Corning Inc, the world’s largest maker of smartphone cover glass, will begin manufacturing the product in India by the end of 2024 through its joint venture with Noida-based contract manufacturer Optiemus Infracom Ltd, which will be called Bharat Innovation Glass Technologies.

“For the first time cover glass will be made in India for both local and international OEMs that are assembling their devices in India. The technology is scalable and can be expanded to support an increase in supplies. It is consistent with the Make in India vision of the government," John Bayne, senior vice president and general manager, mobile consumer electronics at Corning Inc, said on Thursday.

He noted that the company's decision to manufacture in India was directly related to its goal of diversifying supply chains and moving some of its manufacturing away from China.

“During covid the world realized it was overly dependent on some regions, and a little more diversity would probably help just as a backup to avoid situations like [the pandemic] or natural disasters, or if a country shuts down. So you've seen people start to diversify in different countries in Asia, and our priority is to be close to our customers," he said.

The JV aims to make 30 million units in India in the first phase of manufacturing, which will employ between 500-1000 people. The parties are currently in discussions with state governments, including those of Tamil Nadu and Telangana, to acquire land for the factory.

Corning, famous for its ‘Gorilla Glass’, said the JV was considering applying for financial incentives for the manufacturing of electronic components and semiconductors.

Optiemus Infracom will diversify into glass-cover manufacturing with this joint venture, in which it will have a 30% stake. The company currently makes laptops, tablets, telecom equipment such as routers, and hearables and wearables for a number of brands.

Cover glass is an important component in mobile phone manufacturing is presently imported into India for lamination with display panels. Bayne said the company’s move to set up local manufacturing would lead to more companies to setting up shop in India.

The JV will aim to offer the component at the same quality and price, but save on logistics and shipping costs. Once it gains scale, Corning also plans to bring glass-sheet manufacturing and glass melting capacities to India.

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Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Published: 26 Oct 2023, 06:22 PM IST
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