Sony sees growth at the premium end

As Sony India's audio and colour TV manufacturing operations in India are due to cease partly due to the upcoming FTA with Thailand and low market share here, its colour TV sales zoomed 64 per cent in the first six months of 2004. As a result Sony''s market share went up to 10 per cent at the end of July. Buoyed by the results the company now plans to double its turnover by 2006 and is expecting sales of 400,000 CTVs by the end of the year and a top line growth of over 50 per cent.

The future growth of the company will most likely come from premium products like Handycams and digital imaging products.

According to Mohit Parasher, general manager, Sony India, "Although CTVs still account for more than 50 per cent of the company''s turnover, digital cameras were growing at 300 per cent. He said, "CTVs and digital imaging products like handycams will be the key growth drivers for Sony in India."

Another category expected to promote growth are display products (LCD, projection and Plasma TVs). All the products in these categories are sourced from Sony's plants across the world. According to senior company officials Sony does not believe in fighting on the price front and let its technology speak for itself.

The company says the equations in the Indian market are changing on the price front. The company plans to capitalise on the fast expanding DVD market. With Indian consumer becoming quality conscious the company feels this category will help it to grow the high-end market.

Sony India is thus looking at a 70 per cent growth in turnover this year over last year''s Rs800 crore. Sony India has 40 company-owned outlets called Sony World, 60 outlets in the metros, which contribute 22 per cent to overall sales. The company plans to open 10 more outlets while Sony exclusive showrooms will be increased from 60 to 90 and multi-brand outlets (MBOs) to 2,000. Service centres will also be increased from 119 to 170. In the past year Sony has been fighting on the price front in India. Following reduction of duties earlier this year the company reduced prices of its 21 and 29 inch Wega CTV to competitive levels. Its entry-level 14-inch Wega CTV is priced at Rs 9,495 and a 21-inch at Rs 11,990.