Akai set to make Indian comeback with new partner

Akai, the Japanese consumer electronics brand that introduced inexpensive television sets in India and made a dent in the late 1990s before getting squeezed out, is making a comeback with a wide range of products, from TV sets to microwave ovens.

The 80-year-old company intends to import some of these products from its Southeast Asian units and also source from Indian firms by lending their technology under what in industry parlance is called original equipment manufacture.

The Akai brand is being relaunched in the country by Global Brands Enterprise Solutions Pvt Ltd, promoted by a group of investors led by Pranay Dhabhai, which has an exclusive licence for the brand in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

"Our Akai portfolio will include high-definition television sets, colour TVs, washing machines, microwave owens, DVD and home theater systems," Dhabhai, whose company also has the rights for China's Hair's ovens and modular kitchens, told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"We are re-launching the brand with a total of 37 models across these segments," he said and added that they will be priced in a range of Rs2,400 to Rs55,000. "We are targeting an annual revenue of Rs435 crore in the next 12 months."

Explaining some innovative products under their portfolio, Dhabhai said some of the TV models have video UBBs, or provision to insert pen drives, that can enable viewers to watch movies or similar programmes without using a DVD set.