Apple’s increased focus on India could result in the addition of about 120,000 new jobs in FY24, including 40,000 direct and 80,000 indirect roles concentrated on the manufacturing side with retail contributing smaller numbers, staffing firms said. By FY26, this is expected to rise to at least 300,000 new positions with a third of them being direct employees and another 200,000 indirect jobs.
“We are already seeing increased demands (by Apple’s contractors in India) on the manufacturing side. With the additional plants, factories being planned, an additional 1 lakh direct jobs would come up in the next 36 months,” said Kartik Narayan, chief executive, staffing, TeamLease Services.
For every job created under the production-linked incentive scheme (PLI) announced by the government, two-three indirect ones will be generated. “So even with a conservative approach, we will see two lakh indirect jobs created through Apple by FY26,” he said.
Apple had created 50,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs in India since the smartphone PLI scheme came into effect in August 2021.
Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron are the contract manufacturers for Apple’s iPhones in India. The component suppliers include Sunwoda, Avary, Foxlink and Salcomp. All these companies are scaling up operations as the US tech major doubles down on India as a base for manufacturing to cater to local demand and exports in a concerted move to diversify out of China. JP Morgan expects Apple to produce 25% of its iPhones in India by 2025. Currently, it’s around 5-6%.
Apple is reshuffling its management team to make India an independent sales market, Bloomberg reported this week. This comes as Apple’s India shipments and revenue are growing at a record pace. Apple also became the first company in India to export smartphones worth $1 billion (Rs 8,100 crore) in a month, meeting the milestone in December 2022, ET reported January 23. Apple’s export numbers formed a bulk of the country’s smartphone exports of over Rs10,000 crore for that month.
According to experts, Apple locally produces 85% of the phones it sells in India. Before the introduction of the PLI scheme, it was importing nearly 90% of them from China. The company currently manufactures the iPhone 11, 12, 13 and 14 in India through its Indian contractors for the domestic market and exports.
“Nudged by the Make in India initiative of the government, these companies have been able to set up large manufacturing units and are now scaling up their capacities,” said Yeshab Giri, chief commercial officer, staffing and Randstad Technologies, Randstad India. “This will lead to a significant ramp up in direct and indirect hiring.”
Genius Consultants, a Kolkata-based staffing firm, expects Wistron to triple its existing workforce next year (FY24). “The others will also look to expand their employee base to meet increased demands,” said Genius founder RP Yadav.
New jobs will be created on the retail side too but not at the scale in manufacturing. Retail jobs will depend on the pace of Apple’s footprint growing in India. For now, it plans to have two company owned flagship stores — one each in Mumbai and Delhi — and multiple smaller ones, including franchise outlets.
The profiles of these employees will also differ from those currently in the market. For example, Apple’s hiring will skew towards iOS specialists and application experts, TeamLease’s Narayan said, a profile that may not be readily available at current large-format digital retail stores.
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