World's second largest mobile phone company Motorola is expecting its manufacturing unit in India to commence production by the first quarter of 2007.
"We will start manufacturing at our unit at Sriperumbudur near Chennai in the first quarter of 2007," Director of Marketing at Motorola India Lloyd Mathias told PTI on the sidelines of 'Mobileasia', a mobile phone exhibition.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Home Minister Shivraj Patil who said the growth in the telecom and IT sector has created new jobs and proved all those who said that they would lead to employment loss, wrong.
Mathias said that the company's manufacturing unit would make all categories of phones and has enough capacity to cater to the domestic and export markets in Asia.
The company is investing $100 million in the unit and its capacity is one million phones per month.
Motorola is setting up its unit in the Tamil Nadu government promoted SEZ and had signed an MoU with the state government in this regard in June.
Apart from the manufacturing unit, Motorola has a development centre in India employing 3,500 people.
"The centre has been developing software for Motorola products worldwide. This team would also be used for customising products for the Indian market," he said.
The company's decision to set up a manufacturing unit near Chennai coincides with its resurgence in the Indian market.
Last year, Motorola branded itself in India and a new team was brought in.
"We have a 40-member team and have launched new products for the market. We have now 18 models in our portfolio," Mathias said.
The company has also tied up with Bharti Teletech and the number of distributors of the company has increased to 175 and the number of outlets at which its products are available has grown to 25,000.
To make its phones more suitable for the Indian market, Motorola has increased the battery life of its products, increased the capacity of the phone book and enhanced the audio levels.
The company has divided its products into seven categories. The two new categories — Moto Krzr and Moto Ming — were launched last week.
While Moto Krzr is a higher version of Moto Razr, Moto Min is a PDA phone.
The company would be launching a new category of e-mail enabled phone — Moto Q in the first quarter of next year.