Sony India targets Rs 15b by 2006; inaugurates 33rd showroom

MUMBAI: Sony India seems to be going all out to attain its target turnover of Rs 15 billion by 2005-06 notwithstanding a change of guard which is on the anvil.

The company has drawn out an aggressive strategy to increase the number of exclusive showrooms (Sony World); support these by aggressive promotional campaigns and provide a "memorable purchase" and consumer experience, according to a press release.

The 33rd exclusive Sony World showroom was inaugurated in Mumbai today by Sony India MD Teruo Ishii. The local partner in Sony World, Juhu is the Mumbai based Rashi Peripherals, which claims to be one of the Top five IT distributors in India, with a countrywide network.

However, from 1 April 2003, Ishii will hand over the reigns to Keiichi Sakamoto after having completed his three year term as MD of Sony India. Ishii will be moving to International Marketing Department, head quarters at Tokyo, from New Delhi.

The incoming MD Sakamoto has been with Sony for over 16 years, having worked in Sony's operations in Canada, New Zealand, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. He has clearly specified that his vision for Sony India operations is to move towards higher growth based on the already established infrastructure. He has set a target to achieve 10 per cent market share in CTVs in the next three years and to retain leadership in all segments Sony operates in.

Elaborating on his vision for Sony's India operations, Mr. Sakamoto was quoted as saying in a press release: "The Indian market is very exciting. I believe it is possible to attain the 10 per cent growth as I have achieved this in my previous experiences in Canada and New Zealand."

The release also states that Sony India has strengthened terms of distribution & service networks, manufacturing facility, manpower and logistics. During Isheii's tenure, the strategic decision to move out of conventional curved TVs and focus only on Flat CTVs was taken. Several IT initiatives to link Sony India network to real time operations were conducted in addition to the standardisation of the branded exhibition format which was converted into a countrywide travelling event.

The release also added that Sony India conducted 20 Sony Visions across the country which recorded business to the tune of Rs 150 million. Sony's exclusive stores - Sony Worlds - were taken into many semi-urban centres.

Sony officials said that the Sony World concept has proved very successful for Sony India on many counts. Sony World contributes over 11 per cent to the company's sales turnover, as per the officials. It also serves as a one stop hi-tech showcase for Sony's entire range of products including niche products.

"Now we have drawn out an aggressive strategy to double the number of Sony World stores and the percentage contribution to sales in just three years. We will be supporting this with national and regional level promotional campaigns. The medium of promotion will be press advertisements, TV commercials, commercials in cinema halls and the Internet," added Ishii while addressing the media during today's inauguration.

"Mumbai has been a very good market for us. Sony leads in audio hifi segment with 40 per cent market share and in CTVs, our market share is over 6 per cent. With the excellent location and our tremendous brand equity, we are confident, the Sony World at Juhu, will be a great success," commented Ishii on the occasion of the launch.

The release also added that Sony India's network in Mumbai comprises of two Sony Worlds, 52 dealer outlets, one company owned service centre and five authorised service centres.

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