Lava, one of the more prominent smartphone companies of India, has reportedly written to Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, claiming discrepancies in the manner in which it was disqualified from serving a department of the Uttar Pradesh government. According to a report by the Press Trust of India, Lava has urged the UP chief minister to initiate an inquiry in the smartphone sourcing process that was seemingly put forth by the state’s women and child development department. The company alleges that the reason for disqualification was “unjustified”, was linked to the company’s “origin country”, and was also “irrelevant to the performance of the device.”
As stated in the PTI report, Lava seemingly claimed, “It is sad to see that Uttar Pradesh being such a big democratic state and whose people are already suffering from the attack of Chinese virus is getting another big scam by some overseas company with the help of the Department whose responsibility is to reduce the burden on common people. We sincerely request (the government) to consider our request and initiate an immediate inquiry on the cartel, company and the officials who are involved in this practice, by disqualifying an Indian brand on the basis of land border – when everyone knows that Lava is an Indian brand.”
While it may have seemed generally unbecoming of a corporate brand to underline an ongoing global pandemic as “the attack of the Chinese virus”, the complaint seemingly stands as of now. Ever since the central government of India announced the performance linked incentive (PLI) move for OEMs to invest in smartphone manufacturing and assembly chains in India, Lava has been one of the companies that vouched to shift its manufacturing establishments from China to India. The company had then underlined its roots being in India, before claiming that the government’s PLI offer will help it gain the same cost advantages that it was getting in China, and subsequently committed business revenues of Rs 1.25 lakh crore over five years of manufacturing and exporting mobile devices from India.
Lava has since launched its own smartphones, while it was also believed to have been in talks to launch a co-branded entry level 4G smartphone with a leading Indian telco. Lava is also believed to have been making phones for Nokia in India, while it was also in talks with Motorola to make its devices in the country. Under these circumstances, it isn’t exactly clear as to why Lava was disqualified from serving the UP government body’s contract on (as it claims) grounds of its origin country. No government official in the UP state cabinet has yet issued a statement on the matter and if any action will be taken basis Lava’s complaint.
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