B&O to expand in India

Chennai: An ear phone for Rs8,000, a remote control costing Rs14,000, a mobile phone Rs65,000, home theatre speakers costing couple of lakh and the home theatre costing over Rs10 lakh; the products look futuristic — some even after being designed more than a decade back — the price is current. Welcome to the world of Bang & Olufsen's (B&O) audio and video products, the pride of kings, queens and industrialists and the envy of the commoners.

Says Prekash Ramsingh, CEO, AMS Distributors India Pvt Ltd the sole distributor for India and the neighbouring countries for the Danish company, "B&O products are created to be seen, heard and experienced in homes where sound and vision are taken as seriously as architecture and interior design."

It is not only their price and the looks. Even the simple loading of a compact disc in the B&O's products itself is jaw dropping performance. For instance the BeoSound 9000 designed 15 years ago has six CD holders. The CD player moves smoothly from one disc to another depending on the selection. The product could be hung on horizontally walls or kept on a vertical stand. Adding grace to the player are the two long conical shaped active speakers-speakers without amplifiers.

According to Ramsingh, the B&O stores are located in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. "The Chennai store is our latest. The Delhi and Mumbai stores have around 150 clients each." However he declined to reveal any numbers. Selling audio, video and telephone instruments, Ramsingh says the company would soon introduce B&O's simple but hitech mobile phone soon.

"We will be opening more than 10 stores in two years time. We will be having a mix of own and franchisee stores." According to him, the investment per store will be around Rs2.5 crore and the payback period is a year and half. The states that he is looking at are Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal.