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Rajesh Exports in talks with Indian states to set up AMOLED display fab

Rajesh Exports, a major gold trading company in India without prior experience in electronic manufacturing, is looking to invest in the manufacturing of EV battery cells and AMOLED display.

Rajesh Mehta, executive chairman of Rajesh Exports, told The Economic Times that they would invest INR500 billion (US$6.4 billion) in the EV segment over the next seven years and launch its own range of EVs in the next 12-18 months, for which Karnataka has been chosen as the plant location.

Furthermore, Mehta said Rajesh Exports has been talking with three states, including Tamil Nadu, to set up an INR240 billion display fab, and he expected Rajesh Exports to arrive at an MoU with one of the states in about three weeks.

Elest, a subsidiary of Rajesh Exports, is an applicant for display fab under the US$10 billion Semicon India Program announced in mid-February. Business Standard reported that Elest would invest in 6G AMOLED display fabs. According to Semicon India Program for display fabs, India will provide up to 50% of the project cost with a maximum subsidy of INR120 billion for each fab.

Rajesh Exports is also one of the four companies eligible for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for investing in advanced chemistry cells with a committed production capacity of 5GWh.

Despite being ranked the 348th in the Fortune Global 500 2021, Rajesh Exports has never been in the display and EV industry previously, and its entry has raised eyebrows in the electronic manufacturing industry. Rajesh Exports beat other large battery manufacturers such as Exide and Amara Raja under the PLI scheme for advanced chemistry cells, and it will have to compete with players from South Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan in terms of display manufacturing.

Mehta refused to reveal Rajesh Exports' business plan to Business Standard. He told The Economic Times that they would raise funds needed internally first and open for capital infusion from other sources such as private equities after one year.