According to some sources who are directly involved in these matters conveyed to Reuters on Tuesday that a fire incident at the Foxlink factory in southern India will most probably cause a disruption in the supply chain. The factory is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The factory produces charging cables for iphones and was engulfed in flames on monday, leading to the collapse of a part of facility 

There were no casualties from the incident however the facility suffered significant damage to its assembly unit. Sources have conveyed that the factory’s four damaged assembly lines are unlikely to resume operations for a period of two and more months. Foxlink operates ten assembly lines across two facilities at the plant in Andhra, six of which will resume operations later this week, However, the unaffected assembly lines cannot be operated due to damage to IT servers.

According to additional sources who are familiar with this incident, Foxlink is a key supplier for Apple in India.

The sources further added that there is a possibility of a supply chain disruption for iphones made in India or exported from India. Both Apple and Foxlink have yet to comment on the situation, and the root cause of the fire is still being investigated.

A significant supply chain disruption could have a drastic impact on Apple’s operation in India, which is one of the company’s fastest-growing markets. Apple has been increasingly focused on localizing its supply chain in the country, with reports suggesting that the company plans to shift as much as 20% of its production capacity from China to India in the coming years. The foxlink incident can be taken as an example of the complications faced by Apple and other multinational corporations while establishing intricate supply chains in developing countries such as India. 

The inadequate infrastructure and regulatory environment in India act as an unforeseeable consequence like the Foxlink fire. which can disrupt operations and have a substantial impact on the supply chain. Furthermore, the incident emphasizes the significance of diversification of suppliers for companies like Apple. Apple has been subjected to supply chain disruptions before, most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to extensive factory closures and delays in the production of vital products such as the iPhone.

To reduce the risk of further disruption, Apple has taken the initiative to not rely upon a single supplier or region. For example, the company has been working with Taiwan’s Wistron to produce iPhones in India, and it has reportedly been in talks with other manufacturers about diversifying its supply chain further.

The Foxlink factory incident is a timely reminder that even the best-laid plans can be disrupted by unforeseen events. However, companies that take a proactive approach to supply chain risk management and maintain a diverse set of suppliers are better equipped to weather such events and minimize their impact on operations.