Khaitan Group Plans Domestic Electric Appliances Mart Foray

Kolkata, March 28 | Updated: Mar 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
The Khaitan group of companies, Indias third-largest fan manufacturer after Crompton Greaves and Orient, plans to enter the domestic electrical appliances market with products manufactured to its specifications by third parties in China, Taiwan and South Korea.

The soft-launch, set for July, will include products like OTGs, microwave ovens, toasters, geysers, blenders and mixer-grinders.

According to Mr Sunil K Khaitan, vice-chairman of the group, the company will start with third-party products bearing its brand.

Once we are successful with the test market, we may even develop these items in India, Mr Khaitan said.

The company plans to sell in two distinct categories - economy and high-end. The economy models will be targeted at rural India.

He said the market for electrical appliances is huge and largely unexplored, especially in rural areas where local manufacturers rule.

Khaitan is planning to counter these local products by offering value-for-money and backing it up with quality service and guarantee.

Meanwhile, in its core business, the company is buoyed by new export orders of ceiling and exhaust fans from countries like Iraq, Sudan and Yemen.

We expect to close current years exports at 1,20,000 units and the target for 2004-05 is 2,25,000 units due to a good order book position. For April-June 2004, we have orders to supply 50,000 units a month to Sudan, Yemen and Iraq. Iraq has placed an order for 75,000 units alone, Mr Khaitan said.

Khaitan is a regular exporter to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Male, West Asia, Jordan, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya.

The Kolkata-based group expects to close the current year with a turnover of Rs 170 crore, against Rs 150 crore in the previous year.

The company is also planning to ramp up its production capacity at its factories in Kolkata, Faridabad and Hyderabad to 4,00,000 units a month from 3,00,000 as of now.

Fans being a seasonal product, the production is fully utilised in the summers. We currently make 3,00,000 fans a month and by 2004-05, we will raise it by 1,00,000 units more, Mr Khaitan said.