Samsung on Monday opened the largest mobile phone manufacturing factory in the world in Noida. The facility, said to be built at a cost of over ₹ 4,900 crore, will almost double the South Korean company’s manufacturing capacity to produce 120 million phones per year by 2020 from the 68 million it produces now, a statement from Samsung said.

Inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the manufacturing unit will produce all Samsung mobile phones, ranging from low-end smartphones to its flagship Galaxy S9. Samsung plans to make India an export hub, with 50% of its overall production coming from here in the next three years from the present 10%, the company said. The phase-wise expansion of the manufacturing unit will be completed by 2020.

Samsung’s Noida plant was set up in 1996 where it has been manufacturing smartphones, refrigerators and flat-screen televisions. The South Korean electronics giant had last year announced plans to expand the existing plant by another 35 acres in a bid to double the production capacity of both mobile phones and refrigerators.

The company has two manufacturing plants in India — in Noida and in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu — and five research and development centres in India. The company has one design centre in Noida with a workforce of over 70,000 people.

To regain lost glory

The move comes at a time when all major mobile companies are seeking to grab a pie of the intensely competitive smartphone market in India, which is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, where shipments grew 14% to 124 million in 2017, as per International Data Corp. It overtook the U.S. last year to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market after China.

Samsung will hope that the newly established facility will help the company regain its long-held position of being the biggest smartphone brand, in terms of sales, in the country.  Earlier this year, China’s Xiaomi displaced Samsung from the No. 1 smartphone spot in the country. Xiaomi said in April it will set up three more factories in India. While another major player in the Indian market Oppo also announced plans to set up a second manufacturing unit in the country.