GODREJ Appliances is getting ready to enter the biggest consumer durable product category in the country, colour televisions (CTVs). The appliances manufacturer is going to start with a pilot project in a few months which would be extended into a full-fledged entry into the segment under its own brand. This puts to rest market expectations of it tying up with a multinational company like Japanese major Panasonic which had evinced an interest in partnering Godrej in the past.
The consumer durable arm of privatelyheld Rs 4,000 crore Godrej & Boyce is eyeing both the mass market as well as the top-end segment such as LCD televisions. While the picture tube-based flat-screen televisions in all categories including entry-level 14’’ and higher end 29’’ screen products would be sourced from third party manufacturers in the country, LCD televisions would be imported and sold under the Godrej brand.
“We want to build scale and one of the ways is to extend the brand presence in other product segments beyond appliances and televisions is a natural choice. We will be designing the products with a differentiating factor at the pilot project time itself and depending on the response we would go for a national launch in the middle of 2009,” said Godrej Appliances vice-president, sales & marketing, Kamal Nandi.
Godrej had earlier diversified into the consumer electronics market by starting the DVD player business. Now its getting into the CTV market which is the biggest consumer durable segment both in volume and value. It is also considering to enter other allied product categories in the future.
Appliances division, which had revenues of around Rs 1,000 crore in FY07, is hoping to close the current financial year with a turnover of Rs 1,400 crore which would be about 35% of Godrej & Boyce.
Initially, Godrej was largely a refrigerator manufacturer but over the last few years it has extended its brand reach into categories like airconditioners, microwave ovens, DVD players and washing machines. Godrej’s medium to long term plans include entry into the small appliances market in the country, which is largely fed by unorganised sector apart from the likes of Bajaj Electricals and Philips among many others