Wistron restructures India management team after factory troubles

Wistron, Taiwanese assembler of Apple iPhones, has restructured its setup and management ranks in India, after an investigation into violence at its Narsapura phone plant in Karnataka state.
Wistron manufacturing Apple iPhoneWistron’s smooth working is important for the success of Apple’s business in India as it moves some of the production to markets beyond China, Reuters reported.

Wistron has curtailed the roles of its India head and operations head.

Sudipto Gupta, Wistron’s former managing director in India, will be moving to a business development role as part of the shake-up.

Wistron is searching for a new India head. Wistron has moved its former head of operations to a less critical role.

Some internal reporting structures would also change as part of the rejig.

Wistron and Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Thousands of Wistron’s contract workers, angered over payment delays and incorrect pay deductions, destroyed equipment and vehicles at its Narsapura plant in southern Karnataka state, causing millions of dollars of damage and forcing an extended shutdown.

Apple put Wistron on probation after its audit showed the contract manufacturer had violated a supplier code of conduct. Wistron also admitted some workers had not been paid properly or on time, and removed a top executive.

In February, Apple said Wistron had begun restarting operations at the violence-hit site and it was working with the Taiwan firm to ensure all necessary systems were in place.

About 7,000 workers are now assembling iPhones at the plant and shipments have started.

Apple’s other key Taiwan-headquartered suppliers, Foxconn and Pegatron, also have a presence in India.

The three companies together have committed to invest a total of almost $900 million in India over five years to tap into a new production-linked incentive plan, Reuters has reported.

Wistron is also looking to expand into making Internet of Things (IoT) devices and servers. That plan, which will help Wistron widen its India base beyond Apple, is likely to kick off over the course of the next year.