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Chinese firms raise interest in Indian durables

Chinese firms raise interest in Indian durables
Chinese appliances maker Haier on Thursday inaugurateda Rs 600crore industrial park in Pune, becoming the second Chinese company after the Guangdongbased Midea Group to increase its India bet in the sector.
In June, Midea, which hasajoint venture with air conditioning major Carrier in India since 2012, had announced an investment of Rs 800 crore for the domestic market.
This included setting upamanufacturing plant in Pune, which would come up by the end of 2018, to produce refrigerators, washing machines, andwaterheaters.
WhileHaieralreadyhadaplant in Pune producing mainly refrigerators, the latest investment would allow the firm to increase capacity from 0.8 million units to 3.8 million units, covering not only refrigerators but also washing machines, air conditioners, water heaters, and LED TVs, said Eric Braganza, president, Haier India.
The current round of investment also supported the firm´s growth plans, he said.
The Qingdaobased firm eyesaturnover of ~6,500 crore from India by 2020.
Braganza said the company, headquartered in New Delhi in India, was expected to close this calendar year withaturnover of ~2,400 crore,a47 per cent increase over the previous year.
Haier follows a January to December accounting year.
Song Yujun, vicepresident at Haier Electrical Appliances Corporation, the parent company, who is also director for Haier in South Asia, said the firm was also looking to set uparesearch and development facility in India to design products based on local needs.
It might also consider setting up more manufacturing facilities as India grew in importance for the Chinese major, he said. “We remain committed to the Indian market, and our plan is to get into the top five league of durable brands in India by 2018 and break into the top three league (of durable brands) by 2020,” he said.
The Rs 60,000 crore consumer durables market in India is largely dominated by Korean firms LG and Samsung, followed by Indian and Japanese majors such as Videocon and Panasonic, respectively.
Other key players include Godrej Appliances, Blue Star, and the Tataowned Voltas, which recently tied up with Turkish major Arcelik to foray into appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and microwave ovens.
Voltas, like Blue Star, currently plays in air conditioners only.
In the past few years, Chinese firms have ramped up investments acrossabroad swathe of sectors in India, the most visible being mobile phones and ecommerce.
Chinese mobile brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus, for instance, are already household names in India, constituting half of the domestic smartphone market.
The Business Standard, New Delhi, 17th November 2017

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