Consumer durables major Godrej & Boyce is planning to enter the television segment in 2008.
At present, it operates within 5 categories - microwave, airconditioner, refrigerator, DVD and washing machine.
“We launched DVDs last year and within one year we have gained 4 per cent market share in India, encouraging us to focus strongly on the electronics segment, besides appliances. It was therefore a conscious decision to plan entry into the Rs 10,000 crore Indian television market next as we perceive it as one of the rapidly growing categories,” said Kamal Nandi, vice president - sales and marketing, Godrej and Boyce.
The company plans to roll out LCDs and flat panel televisions in 2008.
“The move is towards LCD and flat panel televisions. So our television range would essentially be in these two categories,” Nandi added.
The television range is likely to be manufactured at the company’s Pune or Mohali plants where it is currently manufacturing refrigerators and washing machines.
“We have already invested Rs 100 crore in our Pune plant to increase capacity of refrigerator production from 1 million right now to 1.5 million units annually. Once we launch televisions, we would be looking at further increasing capacity of our Pune or Mohali plants, if required,” Nandi added.
The company is not talking to any technology giant for a technical partnership as it plans to make the most of its own technology expertise and R&D.
Talking about its brand makeover, Nandi said the company is planning to bring its entire range under the ‘EON’ umbrella. The ‘EON’ classification would be used for products that would look stylish outside and would be built using the latest technology.
“For years now Godrej was perceived as a mass brand. As we look at a brand makeover, we would harp more on technology-rich products as this is also in line with today’s youth-friendly products,” said Nandi.
The company launched the EON range of refrigerators in September 2006 and were very successful as its market share within three months grew by 4 per cent to a 16 per cent in frostfree refrigerator category, Nandi said.
The company is looking at launching 25 new models in airconditioners (ACs) this summer, of which 5 would be under the EON range. The new range of EON split ACs would use advanced i-Sense technology wherein the AC remote would pick up the temperature and condition the air around you accordingly, instead of the wall unit doing it.
The company is planning to spend close to Rs 10 crore in promoting the EON AC range in India. The company is also planning to launch a new range of washing machines in July and then refrigerators in September, thereby bringing all its technology-rich products under the EON umbrella by end-2007.
The company has also signed actress Priety Zinta as Godrej’s brand ambassador to promote all products under the EON umbrella.
“We had Zinta as our brand ambassador between 2003 and 2005, but discontinued as we were in the middle of developing several new products,” Nandi said.
Godrej plans to finish next financial year with Rs 1,400 crore turnover, from Rs 1000 crore this fiscal, with ACs and refrigerators being the growth drivers.