Nokia’s defunct Sriperumbudur plant to reopen under Salcomp

Long association: Salcomp has been present at the Nokia SEZ near Chennai since 2007 and supplied parts for phones manufactured by the company.  

Salcomp, a major supplier of chargers to Apple for its iPhones, will soon commence production at Nokia’s Sriperumbudur plant, which it acquired last year.

Nokia’s Chennai plant has been closed since 2014 due to a tax dispute. When Microsoft took over the Nokia handset business, the plant was excluded from the deal.

In 2018, the tax disputes were settled and Nokia indicated that the plant was ready for sale, which led to its acquisition by Salcomp in 2019.

‘Permissions obtained’

“Everything there [the plant] is almost ready. All permissions have been obtained... a few tests are on, post which we will commence production,” said Sasikumar Gendham, managing director, Salcomp India.

The Finnish firm will be manufacturing several components that go into phones from this particular premises. “Apart from chargers, this plant will make several other minute components that will go into chargers and phones,” he said.

The manufacturer recently inked an MoU worth ₹1,300 crore with the Tamil Nadu government and in 2019, during the second edition of the Global Investors Meet (GIM) 2019, it had given an investment commitment of ₹500 crore.

Salcomp will be utilising the majority of these funds for purchasing new plants and machinery.

“We will also be ramping up production lines. The Nokia purchase happened with this investment,” Mr. Gendham pointed out.

Workforce addition

Interestingly, the firm has added 1,000 workers to its rolls after the lockdown was lifted. The firm now has 8,000 workers, of which over 85% are women. By the end of 2021, Salcomp will be adding 5,000 people to its workforce and intends to add another 5,000 after 2021.

The company did not retrench any employee during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like with every other organisation, the pandemic has hampered production at Salcomp’s Chennai plant too.

“Production volumes have dropped since we had to slightly realign our lines because of social distancing and we have to disinfect our premises after every shift, which is time consuming. We have lost 15% of production,” Mr. Gendham said.

He added, “Costs have increased post COVID-19 as more money is going towards the transportation of workers. We have put up plastic curtains between two operators on the shop floor.”

Salcomp has been present at the Nokia SEZ near Chennai since 2007. The firm was initially supplying parts for Nokia phones.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 10:37:24 AM |

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