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Business News/ Technology / News/  Optiemus to open 3rd factory
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Optiemus to open 3rd factory

Homegrown contract manufacturer Optiemus Electronics Ltd will open a new factory for wearables in Noida by December-end as part of its strategy to expand capacity to meet growing demand for smartwatches and truly wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds, said director Nitesh Gupta

Optiemus produces wearables for brands such as Noise and Harman.Premium
Optiemus produces wearables for brands such as Noise and Harman.

NEW DELHI : Homegrown contract manufacturer Optiemus Electronics Ltd will open a new factory for wearables in Noida by December-end as part of its strategy to expand capacity to meet growing demand for smartwatches and truly wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds, said director Nitesh Gupta.

“We are looking at a rapid capacity expansion as the market is also growing at a very rapid pace. Next year, we are also planning to set up manufacturing in South India," said Gupta in an interview.

India’s smartwatch market grew fourfold from a year earlier in the June quarter, while TWS shipments grew two and a half times, according to Counterpoint Research.

Optiemus currently manufactures wearables for homegrown brands such as Noise and Samsung unit Harman. According to Counterpoint, Noise was the second-highest selling smartwatch brand in India and fifth globally in the June quarter.

The new facility will boost Optiemus’ manufacturing capacity by 2 million units per month. The company currently has two factories for wearables, also in Noida, with a combined capacity of 3.2 million units per month.

The expansion will also double the workforce for Optiemus. “The wearables segment is quite labour intensive. We currently employ 2,500 workers. We expect the headcount to grow to 5,000 with the expansion we have planned," said Gupta.

That said, most smartphone and wearables manufacturers in India are still not doing full manufacturing and are assembling products from semi-knocked down (SKDs) kits that are imported from China, Taiwan, and other regions. Though Gupta noted that most components are currently being imported as their local assembly requires heavy capital investment, he added that the company is working on cutting dependence on imports for some components.

“Our target is to enable assembly of high-value components in the bill of material (BOM), which are possible in India. We are targeting batteries, displays, and microphones. We will start PCB assembly early next year as the infrastructure and capability is already in place," said Gupta.

The growth in India’s wearable market and the government’s plans to introduce production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for wearables has also been attracting global interest.

Gupta said the company was in talks with multiple global brands that are looking to manufacture wearables in India. “Global brands are also showing a lot of interest in manufacturing in India. We are expecting them to start manufacturing wearables in India by the middle of next year," he said.

He didn’t mention the names of global brands due to non-disclosure agreements (NDA).

Gupta also said that hearables and wearables are a huge segment within lifestyle accessories. However, it is not limited to any one form factor. “Hearables and wearables will keep evolving in form factors. We are also testing to manufacture smart glasses in India. Flexible displays are becoming big in smartphones. It can also offer a bigger display on wearables," he added.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abhijit Ahaskar
Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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Published: 19 Oct 2022, 12:40 AM IST
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