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SanDisk eyes manufacturing base in country

SanDisk, the company that leads the world in USB drives and ultra-thin flash memory cards that go into smartphones, digital cameras and tablet computers, is mulling a manufacturing base in India, which, apart from already housing a technology centre, is also a hot market for the US-based company.

business Updated: Jun 22, 2011 22:33 IST
Vivek Sinha

SanDisk, the company that leads the world in USB drives and ultra-thin flash memory cards that go into smartphones, digital cameras and tablet computers, is mulling a manufacturing base in India, which, apart from already housing a technology centre, is also a hot market for the US-based company.

With revenues of around $5 billion SanDisk commands roughly a quarter of the total storage device market globally. Both its chief executive officer Sanjay Mehrotra and chief strategy officer Sumit Sadana are Indian-born.

IIT Kharagpur-educated Sadana told HT that the proposed manufacturing facility will mainly be an assembly unit for digital storage products.

"We have a strong manufacturing footprint around the world. But with robust growth of flash storage devices we are continuously evaluating options to set up new production facilities and India is a candidate for our future investments," Sadana said.

He offered no detail but said that there could be a "significant capital investment for India".

In 2010, SanDisk produced around 600 million units of digital storage devices and expects 700 million units this calendar year. The company currently has manufacturing facilities at Taiwan, Japan, China, UK, Israel, Ireland and Spain.

The company is also boosting its R&D facilities in India and plans to add "hundreds" of employees, mostly engineering and technology experts, to its current workforce of 300, Sadana said.

The global flash storage market was around $20 billion (R90,000 crore) in 2010 and is still growing at a rapid pace, he said.