Giesecke & Devrient Opens State-of-the-Art Smart Card Production Facility in India

Giesecke & Devrient Opens State-of-the-Art Smart Card Production Facility in India

Chip card plant to supply India’s booming market with SIM cards for mobile communications and with payment cards

Munich/Delhi, August 24, 2006–By opening a new factory in Delhi, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D)–the second-largest manufacturer of smart cards worldwide–is strengthening its position in Asia to meet the particular requirements of India’s up-and-coming chip card market. When completed, the new production facility will be the largest of its kind in India. Besides Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards for mobile communications, the plant will also be producing cards for other applications such as electronic payment, ID, etc.

With a population of 1.1 billion, India is among the world’s fastest growing chip card markets. Already today, there are around 65 million wireless customers with SIM cards in their cell phones, and that number is increasing by around 20 percent annually. The use of payment transaction cards, too, is growing rapidly throughout the country, at a rate of 35 percent per year.

The new G&D plant is located in the NOIDA high-tech industrial zone to the east of Delhi and designed for an annual production capacity of more than 40 million chip cards to cater for this market volume. The cards produced there will be sold not only on the Indian market, but also exported to other countries in Asia. Using high-performance, state-of-the-art machinery, the card bodies are manufactured and printed, then embedded with chips and, in the case of SIM cards, the the Plug-in SIM is then punched out. The next step is the card personalization process, in which data is stored on the chip. Once this has been completed, the cards are shipped to their respective destinations.

The production facilities meet the demanding security standards called for by the Asian customers and, naturally, have the appropriate certification of network operators.

“The new factory in NOIDA will give us a very high degree of flexibility in terms of supplying our customers in India and Asia. This flexibility is particularly important where India’s mobile communications market is concerned, given that the country’s major mobile operators are subdivided into a large number of regional operating companies with highly varying requirements. Our new factory means that we can cater to precisely these requirements, with custom-tailored chip card products, extremely short lead times, and the most varied batch sizes at competitive prices,” says Michael Kuemmerle, G&D Group Executive for Cards and Services.

G&D has maintained business relations with India since as early as the 1990s. In 1997, the company transacted its first sales of banknote processing systems to India, and in 2001 a subsidiary, Giesecke & Devrient India Pvt. Ltd., was set up. The head office is located at Gurgaon on the southern outskirts of Delhi and G&D’s Indian operations now employ a workforce of around 250. G&D is the second-biggest SIM card supplier in India, and supplies the country’s major mobile network operators, including Idea, MTNL, BSNL, and Bharti.