Reliance Retail is exploring avenues for domestic manufacturing of its newly launched laptop, responding to the Union Government’s import restrictions on laptops, tablets, personal computers, and servers.
New JioBook Launch
Last week, Reliance Retail unveiled the JioBook, a new laptop model. Priced at Rs 16,499 and originating from China, this laptop boasts an 11-inch HD screen and is powered by an octa-core chipset.
Import of Initial Laptops: The first batch of laptops, necessary to fulfill the initial demand, has already been imported. Reliance is keen on increasing domestic manufacturing within India to ensure future laptops are also produced here.
Domestic Manufacturing Partnerships
Reliance is exploring collaborations with established contract electronic manufacturers to facilitate domestic laptop production.
Reliance may enter a partnership with Dixon Technologies, a prominent contract electronic manufacturer. Dixon Technologies is already involved in manufacturing the Jio Bharat Phone, having received a large order from Reliance Jio for 15 million units. It has already successfully delivered about a million phones to Reliance.
Reliance is also considering collaborating with its manufacturing partner, Sanmina. In October 2022, Reliance Group announced a significant investment of Rs 1,670 crore to establish an electronics manufacturing joint venture with Sanmina. This joint venture aims to produce a wide range of products, including 4G and 5G telecom equipment, cloud infrastructure, healthcare systems, clean technology, and defense and aerospace solutions, catering to both local and overseas markets. Sanmina operates an expansive 100-acre manufacturing unit in Chennai.
Potential Flex Collaboration
Reports suggest that Reliance might also explore a partnership with Flex for manufacturing Jiobooks.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) recently announced a new licensing regime that will regulate the import of certain categories of laptops, tablets, and personal computers, effective from November 1. Hardware manufacturers will need a valid license and are required to pay duty for importing PCs, laptops, tablets, servers, and similar devices.
The move towards domestic laptop production by Reliance Retail comes in response to the import restrictions imposed by the government. The company’s partnerships with Dixon Technologies and Sanmina, as well as potential collaborations with Flex, signal its commitment to enhancing domestic manufacturing capabilities.