MoU for Sri Lanka’s first 4G mobile phone, Hypro inked | Daily News
Lodule International South Korea and Hypro Holdings to introduce 5G smartphone and assemble LCD TV panels in SL

MoU for Sri Lanka’s first 4G mobile phone, Hypro inked

Groundbreaking Rs. 900 mn initiative will also look at exports from mid next year

Lodule Korea CEO, Byungehul Kim exchange the MoU with Hypro Holdings Chairman, Dhammika Samarawickrama at Micro E.I. Group of Companies (Pvt) Ltd office in Colombo. Secretary of Ministry of Industries, Daya Ratnayake  Former Korean Ambassador and Foreign Economic Affairs Director-General, Dr. Saj Mendis and SLC HR Manager Tanesh Dias look on.

Heralding a new era in the technological landscape in Sri Lanka, the historic MoU to assemble and distribute Sri Lanka’s first mobile phone was inked last week in Colombo between Lodule International South Korea and Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. Branded as Hypro this would be for a 4G enabled mobile smartphone.

Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, a new company under Micro E.I. Group of Companies (Pvt) Ltd and will also enter the Sri Lankan history books as the holder of the first-ever Made in Sri Lanka SmartPhone manufacturing plant. Lodule International Ltd., South Korea, CEO, Byungehul Kim, speaking to ‘Daily News Business’ said that their company in Korea has been manufacturing and supplying all smartphone accessories, LCT panels to most of the leading mobile and Television manufactures in the world. “When we were contacted by Micro Electric International Sri Lanka we decided to move into the manufacturing segment in Sri Lanka.”

Under the MoU Lodule will send the machinery and accessories needed to assemble the mobile phone to Sri Lanka and will also station a few Korean engineers to oversee the operations who in turn will pass the technology to Hypro Holdings in Sri Lanka.

“Since Micro Electric International is already manufacturing electric accessories locally, some mobile accessories such as the mobile cover and few other items can be manufactured locally.”

Asked why they are not producing Mobile phones in Korea he said that the expense was too high for a component manufacturer like them to diversify and they also don’t have the marketing skills to compete with mobile giants like Korea’s Samsung. “Once we increase value addition in our Sri Lanka operations we will start exporting to African countries,” he said.

Lodule International Ltd., South Korea, CEO, also said that this is only the beginning of their operations and in the future hopes towards introducing the 5G smart phone and also towards the assembly of LCD TV panels in Sri Lanka.

Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd Chairman, Dhammika Samarawickrama said that some of the molds and other equipment has already being imported and they are confident that the first made in Sri Lanka mobile phone, Hypro could be marketed by December 2021 for under Rs. 30, 000.

He said that this groundbreaking initiative is a Rs. 900 million joint venture and will also look at exports from mid next year. The former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to South Korea and Director General Economic Affairs, Foreign Ministry Dr. Saj Mendis said that the launch of the Hypro Made in Sri Lanka mobile phone would contribute towards changing the economic landscape of Sri Lanka elevating the nation to a high tech nation.

Dr. Mendis who promoted this project from the inception recalled that when Samsung was launched in South Korea many leading global mobile operators laughed at them. “However Samsung unseeded several mobile manufacturers and became top of the world. Today Samsung turnover is bigger than some of the GDP of several countries!’’

It also contributed towards elevating South Korea to be the eight most innovative nation in the world.

Secretary to Minister of Industries General Daya Ratnayake said that this project would help Sri Lanka technological space to be transferred to the next level. “The Ministry highly endorses this project and will give top priority to projects of this nature.” Micro Electric International, existing for over 25 years, is a ISO certified family-owned electrical products and accessories company, founded by Dhammika Samarawickrama.

“We have over 350 well-trained employees (with outsourcing) and supply our products globally and domestically. The Company has a dealer network of 2,745 and 40 distributors selling over 40 products ranging from plugs, holders, fuse boxes and other electrical accessories,” said Managing Director, Micro E.I. Group of Companies, Kumari Samarawickrama. “For the first time our distributors selling electrical accessories will market this phone giving them an additional livelihood.”

Some highlights from the historic MOU signing. Pictures by Shirajiv Sirimane


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