Sony may set up manufacturing unit In India to drive growth

Consumer electronics major Sony India is looking to set up its own manufacturing facility in India, the top markets for its products where it is expecting a 40-per cent increase in sales this festival season beginning August.

Sony India, which sells Bravia range of televisions, has allocated Rs150 crore as advertising spend during the August-November period to increase its sales. The ad spend for the entire year is placed at Rs400 crore

The company expects a 30 per cent sales push with increased sales of its LED television followed by its audio products.

Reports quoting Kenichiro Hibi, managing director of Sony India, said the plans for setting up a manufacturing facility is still in the planning process and nothing has been finalised.

"Don't deny any possibility. Still in discussion for opportunities in the future to expand manufacturing, but nothing concrete," PTI quoted Hibi as saying.

"We are talking more seriously about what we can do in India," he said.

At present, Sony assembles TVs and media products in India with a local partner while it has resumed manufacturing of some products in the country after almost a decade.

Sony currently assembles its LED televisions in Chennai through the contract manufacturing route and has appointed Taiwan's Foxconn for the job.

Sony has manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia and Japan, Hibi said, adding that it has a software development centre in India which employs 1,500 people.

The electronics major is aiming for a 30-per cent sales growth during the festive months of August-November in the country this year with Rs 150 crore push in promotion and campaign for the period.

"We are targeting 30 per cent growth during the four months between August and November in India against 20 per cent last year," Hibi said.

In West Bengal, Sony is targeting a 40 per cent growth in flat panel and overall growth of 30 per cent, Sony India sales head Satish Padmanabhan said.

Flat panels contribute in excess of 50 per cent of its India sales followed by audio and the segment is growing rapidly.

However, Sony India officials refused to divulge the sales figures. Sony, which failed to make much headway with mobile phones, has decided to pull out from the mass segment altogether and concentrate only in the premium segment with handsets priced above Rs20,000.

"Henceforth, we will remain in the premium segment and all products we launch will be in excess of Rs20,000," Hibi said.

Also, it is considering manufacturing of smartphones and other products in India through the outsourced route.

Asked if Sony will harness the opportunity presented through the government's Make in India initiative, Hibi said, "The manufacturing environment is improving in the country. We are discussing the opportunity."