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Citizen to spread out to jewellery, consumer electronics

Citizen to spread out to jewellery, consumer electronics

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Friday, Sep 15,2006 9:01 AM

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Citizen to spread out to jewellery, consumer electronics

Japan's $2.8-bn Citizen group plans to go beyond its flagship watch business in India. While the watch business has remained the sole face of Citizen in the country, the Japanese group now proposes to introduce its consumer electronics, healthcare equipment, jewellery and industrial machinery businesses.

At present, the sole presence of the Citizen group in India is its wholly-owned subsidiary, Citizen Watches India. The group now wishes to leverage the huge equity that the 'Citizen' brand enjoys in India.

Elaborating on the group's future plans, Hideaki Nakazaki, MD, Citizen Watches India, said: “The group plans to soon introduce the new businesses in a phased manner in India.”

In fact, Citizen is considering a range of options on the specific entry route and organisation structure of its new businesses in India. “Citizen may introduce its new businesses either by floating separate companies handling each business segment or as separate divisions of Citizen Watches India till they reach critical mass,” said Mr Nakazaki said.

It intends to foray with products like LCD monitors, printers, digital cameras, pedometers, blood pressure monitors, sunglasses, diamond and platinum jewellery.

In the industrial machinery segment, Citizen plans to introduce compact CNC automatic lathes where it enjoys global leadership. ”Some products are already available in the Indian grey market and have good market potential,” said Mr Nakazaki.

Citizen also plans to reinforce its marketing operations in India for its watches business. The company plans to invest Rs 36 crore in the Indian market over the next 3 years towards brand building. While its present range of watches are targeted at SEC A consumers, the company has no plans to dilute the Citizen brand by launching low-end watches.

“Citizen India plans to double its turnover to Rs 120 crore this fiscal from last year's Rs 60 crore. We have tied up with retail chains like Pantaloons, Shopper's Stop and Lifestyle to set up shop-in-shop outlets to provide a fillip to our retail strategy,” Mr Nakazaki said.

After launching the 'Kareena Kapoor Collection' of premium women's watches, Citizen plans to launch the 'Rahul Dravid Collection' of men watches this Diwali at a price band of Rs 12,000-25,000. The Indian watch market is estimated at 25m units annually, of which the organised sector accounts for 50% of the market and is valued at Rs 1,000 crore.

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