The $ 17-billion consumer durables major Electrolux of Sweden plans to adopt a three-pronged strategy for greater market presence in various global markets, including India. Hans Straberg, President and CEO, said this exercise would include strengthening the position of the company through local acquisitions, enhancement of manufacturing capacities and increase in the retail network.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday, Straberg said Electrolux was in India for “the long haul” and “we have the patience to build our brand in India”. A new R&D center in Shahjahanpur, Rajasthan, and the Electrolux Home in Gurgoan, Haryana, would be functional in the coming few weeks. An investment of Rs 400 million will be made in these centres by 2007.The initial focus of the R&D facility will be to “develop innovative products based on consumer insight”. The company currently spends around 1.6 per cent share of its annual turnover on R&D, he said.
India is assuming a greater role in the overall group strategy which is evident from the fact that the business operations of SAARC (excluding Sri Lanka) will be handled from the country, Straberg said.
Electrolux is also looking at India as an attractive outsourcing centre for the entire group. Components worth $ 300 million will be sourced from India over the next three years. India would be used as a sourcing base for components like chain saws, riders, lawn mowers and lawn tractors in view of the country’s strength in the two-stroke engine segment, Straberg said.
The company also plans outsourcing of IT and call centre services from India. In the coming few years, a part of Electrolux’s North American call centre activities will be shifted to India. In the first phase, a 20-seat test centre is being set up in New Delhi which will be run by Hero Group in association with Livebridge of the US. Besides this, Electrolux has also entered into a contract with Patni Computers to outsource IT services, mainly application support and development, Straberg said.