Dixon Partners With Bharti To Make Telecom Gear Under PLI Scheme
A worker assembles Dixon Technologies mobile phones at a factory in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Dixon Partners With Bharti To Make Telecom Gear Under PLI Scheme

Dixon Technologies (India) Ltd. partnered with Bharti Enterprises Ltd. to make telecom and networking equipment to take benefit of the government’s Rs 1.46-lakh-crore ($20 billion) incentive programme to boost manufacturing in India.

Dixon Electro Appliances Pvt., a wholly owned arm of the contract manufacturer, or any other company identified by the parties, will make modems, routers, set-top boxes and IoT devices for the telecom sector, including Bharti Airtel Ltd., according to an exchange filing. The joint venture—74% owned by Dixon and 26% by Bharti Enterprises—will file necessary applications with the Ministry of Communications or any other nodal agency to avail benefits under the production-linked incentive scheme.

India in November announced production-linked incentives to 10 sectors, including automobiles, solar panels, pharmaceuticals and specialty steelmakers, over a five-year period for manufacturing in India. Telecom and networking products were allocated Rs 12,195 crore.

Dixon makes lighting, televisions, mobile phones and home appliances for Xiaomi, Samsung, Voltas, LG, Flipkart and Foxconn.

According to Atul Lall, managing director at Dixon, meeting targets of the PLI scheme in the first year itself will post a challenge for several players. “Approvals for the scheme came only in October-end," Lall told BloombergQuint in an interview on April 5. "In our case, we have achieved the investment targets, but not the revenue threshold."

"For year two, that is FY21-22, we’re confident that we’ll meet the investment threshold in the first quarter," he said. "The order book is extremely healthy, so by the second quarter, we should be able to achieve the revenue threshold. Many other beneficiaries under the scheme would be having similar status."

The industry, he said, has urged the government to shift the base year for the PLI scheme. “The request is that companies should be allowed to use 2021 or 2021-22 as the base year. This was made due to the approvals coming only in October and certain shortages on the components side. We haven’t heard anything from the government,” he said.

The PLI scheme is important since any industry needs support from policymakers at its stage of infancy, Lall said. “There would be some misses, but overall, the industry is going to emerge much more strongly because four-five years is a fairly long time for the industry to become more competitive,” he said. “I’m of the firm conviction that there will emerge a stronger electronics manufacturing industry.”

Shares of Dixon Technologies snapped three straight days of losses to close 3.8% higher compared with a 0.9% rise in the Nifty 50 on Wednesday.

Of the 20 analysts tracking the company, 14 have a ‘buy’ rating, five suggest a ‘hold’ and one recommends a ‘sell’, according to Bloomberg data. The stock is trading 10.7% higher than its 12-month consensus price target of Rs 3,129.4 apiece.

Watch the full interview here:

Also read: Mobile Phone Makers Ramp Up Amid Modi’s ‘Make In India’ Push: Credit Suisse

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