Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jun 11, 2003
Corporate - New Projects
Maharaja Appliances' Jammu unit to go on stream soon
NEW DELHI, June 10
THE Rs 110-crore small appliances major, Maharaja Appliances Ltd (MAL), is all set to commission its recently acquired plant in Jammu. The company, which is targeting a turnover of Rs 150 crore, is also taking steps to undergo a complete brand revamp while expanding its product portfolio.
The company is proposing to relocate its unit from Delhi, Mr Harish Kumar, Managing Director, MAL, said. "At present we have three units in and around Delhi," he told Business Line. The unit will be manufacturing all the appliances under the company's brand portfolio, he said.
Elaborating further, he said that the investments involved for the Jammu plant was not much as it is a leased factory. The company has made an initial investment of about , Rs 1 crore, Mr Kumar said.
Talking about the company's performance, Mr Kumar said, almost Rs 4 crore, in the company's total turnover of Rs 110 crore, is from export contribution. Maharaja exports to the Mauritius, Sri Lanka, the US and Canada (mixer grinder and wet grinder), and West Asia.
Further, the fact that the company was an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for some of the branded players as well as involved in cross-promotion supply has boosted sales and generated revenue for the company, he said.
Sprucing up the business portfolio, the company is now making a re-entry into the washing machines category. "We have already soft-launched the product. It is available in 6 kg capacity and priced competitively at Rs 5,999," he explained. The company has in fact spent Rs 4 crore in special plastic moulding machines and moulds for washing machines tubs.
Maharaja has also lined up a slew of products to hit the market.
These include, stainless steel electric kettles, steam irons, detachable multi-grill toasters, water purifiers and water heaters.
Commenting on the need to go in for an aggressive brand building strategy, Mr Kumar said, "After establishing ourselves in the domestic market, we felt that the time is ripe to undergo an image change. We have set up a group within the organisation and are also seeking professional help to suggest measures for brand building and creating more visibility."
Simultaneously, the company is in the process of increasing its distribution network and strengthening its sales team, Mr Kumar added.
Maharaja is also looking at the direct marketing route, besides the retail route in which it is already established.
And if this isn't enough, Maharaja is scouting for a brand ambassador for its products. Confirming this, Mr Kumar said, "We are looking for a celebrity who has a mass appeal. By the festive season, the company would be ready with its new ad campaign."
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