Corning, maker of phone glasses for major smartphones, will invest ₹1,000 crore in India to set up a gorilla glass facility

Corning Inc., a major name when it comes to those glossy glasses for the front and back of your smartphone, is set to make a mark on India’s technology manufacturing landscape with a substantial ₹1,000 crore investment. According to media reports, this investment will include establishment of a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, particularly Pillaipakkam near Sriperumbudu, and will mark Corning’s first formal entry into the Indian market. Tamil Nadu once again appears to be a favoured state within India, when it comes to electronics manufacturing, owing to sound infra and a large engineering talent pool.

This move comes after prior reports revealed that Corning would be investing in Telangana (something that the state government confirmed at that time). Later, Corning picked Tamil Nadu over Telangana owing to the electronics ecosystem available in the state, amongst other reasons.

The upcoming facility is set to be strategically positioned in close proximity to key Apple suppliers like Foxconn and Pegatron, and the 25-acre plot chosen for the facility provides ample room for expansion, anticipating future industry demands. The collaboration between Corning and Optiemus Infracom (Corning’s Indian partner) has given birth to Bharat Innovation Glass (BIG), heralding India’s foray into high-quality finished smartphone cover glass production. Operating on a 70:30 partnership, this joint venture aims to address the burgeoning demand for premium electronic components in the region. The proposed factory is likely to commence operations by the end of 2024.

“While I choose not to delve into the specifics of potential investment commitments which may be under consideration, I can affirm that Tamil Nadu is diligently crafting an outstanding electronics ecosystem of international standards,” TRB Rajaa, Minister of Industries of Tamil Nadu, commented on the matter. “Our strategic approach involves ascending the electronics value chain by enticing specialized manufacturers capable of catering to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Attracting these niche players forms a crucial component of our targeted initiatives to position Tamil Nadu as a global leader in electronics manufacturing, contributing to India’s emergence as a prominent electronics hub,” he added.

Headquartered in New York, Corning Inc. is currently a Fortune 500 materials science company, internationally acclaimed for its invention of Gorilla Glass. This technology is currently integral to portable devices like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, solidifying Corning’s position with a virtual monopoly in the market. While the exact timeline for the project remains undisclosed, industry sources suggest that the construction phase will extend over approximately a year. The formal signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to take place during the Global Investor Meet (GIM) scheduled for January.

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