We will focus on high-end products that generate better value

Written by Anushree Chandran | Updated: Jan 3 2013, 21:28pm hrs
Anirudh Dhoot,director of Videocon Group is a rising star in the Indian corporate world. Apart from being the head of sales and marketing at Videocon's consumer electronics division, he is also the president of Consumer Electronics & Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA). In an interview with FEs Anushree Chandran, Dhoot says that he is all set to drive his legacy and the brand to greater altitudes. Edited excerpts.

You are one of the leading lights of an electronics to an oil manufacturing conglomerate. How do you see the $5billion global group moving forward

Since its inception in 1979, the key philosophy driving the Videocon group is delighting customers with unique offerings. The group's diversification into sectors such as consumer durables, direct-to-home broadcast services, mobile handsets, telecom services, retail, oil and gas, power has increased our touch points with consumers besides bolstering our books. The growth during this phase of diversification has been spectacular. In the consumer durables sector, for instance, we sell televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens and several other home appliances and have a solid market share. Likewise, in the mobile phone segment, we have a variety of options, including basic colour FM phones to high end Android devices. We are one of the world's largest CPT glass manufacturers in the world.

And in the oil and gas sector, we account for 7% of the oil produced by the private sector in the country. We have interests in exploration, prospecting and we plan to get into gas distribution.

Telecommunication, DTH, retail, power, are some of the other areas we are present in. A bulk of our business comes from oil and gas. Telecommunications, retail and DTH are comparatively new businesses. We are constantly investing in these businesses and scaling them up and their contribution to our total kitty will only go up in the future.

Which are the products in the consumer electronics segment that contribute most to your turnover

We are present in all the consumer products categories. Colour television and flat panel display products, however, sell the most among all the product categories we sell. Going forward, we are focussing on high-end products that will generate better value on decent volumes.

What has been your assessment of the festive season sales this year

This festive season, we unveiled a new range of multi-functioning digital direct broadcast LEDs. It has an industry-first feature like a 450 MHz dual core processor integrated with 14 bit processor capable of creating a 4 trillion colour bandwidth besides many other interesting features that enhance the overall audio-video experience. We also introduced side-by-side refrigerators in our product portfolio this year.

The slowing economy didn't much impact the festive season sales. The reason is traditionally the Indian consumer durables market is festival oriented and a season driven market. Most of the people plan their purchases in advance for this season. Also, most consumer durable products have become more of a necessity than luxury, so slowing economy doesn't really affect the purchases.

We sought to boost our sales by 20% this festive season over last year and aimed to reach a target of R2,000 crore in sales. To realise this, we spent close to R100 crore in our advertising and marketing this festive season.

What were the other highlights of 2012

This year we invested heavily in our manufacturing and research and development centres. We had set aside an investment budget of R50 crore for this. At the consumer end, upgradation of products was the biggest theme. New technology has made a sea-change to the industry.