Japanese CTV maker Funai to enter India

Mumbai, Dec 2 | Updated: Dec 3 2005, 06:15am hrs
Japanese consumer durables major, Funai Electrical Company Ltd, is planning to enter the Rs 20,000-crore Indian colour television (CTV) market in 2006 with its umbrella brand 'Funai' at the premium-end. The firm has annual revenues of over $3 billion.

"Initially, Funai will enter the Indian CTV market and then look at introducing other product categories such as DVD players," according to CETMA officials who have met with Dave Tani, director, Funai Electrical Company Ltd.

An Osaka-based company, Funai is popular in Japan in categories like CTVs and DVD players, although it makes a range of products including Internet access terminals, computer peripherals and home electrical appliances.

The company also has manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, and Thailand, which cater to the North American market.

Japanese players in the Indian CTV market, including Sony, Sharp and Hitachi, however, have not been able to make any significant impact, unlike their Korean counterparts LG and Samsung.

While the Koreans enjoy a market share of 50% in CTVs here (LG with 35% and Samsung 15%), the Japanese companies have been lagging behind with Sony having a 12% share and Sharp, a poor 2.5%. This is due to the high price tags of Japanese products, fewer number of models and lack of focused marketing and promotion, said industry sources. The products are superior in quality, but not afforable in a market, which requires mass volumes.

However, Sony India general manager Mohit Parashar says the company is looking at more aggressive strategies for growth, including competitive pricing.