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Thursday, Nov 13, 2003

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LG Pune factory to be made export hub

Our Bureau

Mr K.R. Kim, Managing Director of LG Electronics India.

Pune , Nov 12

LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd (LGEIL), the wholly-owned subsidiary of LG Electronics, South Korea, is all set to place Pune on the global map with its products.

Mr K.R. Kim, Managing Director, LGEIL, told presspersons that plans had already been put in place to make the Pune factory, situated at Ranjangaon near Pune, the export hub. The factory, being built up on a 50-acre land, would become operational by August 2004. The facility currently would cater to the production of refrigerators (10 lakhs) and colour television, CTV (six lakhs). The CTV would cater to the export model, high-end model and big size TV screens.

Mr Kim said the Pune facility would cater to the markets of West Asia, Africa and the neighbouring countries. Exports to the tune of $40 million had been carried out during the current fiscal and the target was to achieve exports of $300 million by 2006.

Giving figures, he said Maharashtra during the last calendar year had contributed to sales of Rs 390 crore and for the current calendar year sales had touched Rs 550 crore (January-October 2003), an increase of 31 per cent. On an all-India basis the company had recorded sales of Rs 3,600 crore for the previous calendar year and this year the target was Rs 4,500 crore, he said.

Talking about the other expansion plans, Mr Kim said Pune would have a human resources training centre, the first of its kind in India. This would be a full-fledged training centre imparting training for field staff on all models and equipment brought out by LG into the market. The centre was expected to become operational by April 2004 and would be housed at the same Ranjangaon complex. About 35 personnel could be trained as one batch, which would be across all the products.

The Pune facility would also house the research and development centre, which was being set up on the same lines as that of Noida. The R&D centre would look at modification of technology to suit the local requirements, he said. This would also be operational by April 2004.

New mobile handsets: Mr Kim, who was in the city for the launch of the mobile handsets for the GSM market, said the company has launched two handset models - G5300 and G7030 - imported from Korea in the completely built unit (CBU) form.

Both the models of handsets come with 65K colour display and have features such as LMS (SMS with 3,200 characters, MMS and GRPS). The model G5300 would be priced at Rs 13,490 and G7030 would be priced at Rs 18,990. G7030 has a dual colour LCD and scrolling external screen that could be personalised, the first of its kind feature in any mobile handset.

Mr Sachin Saxena, General Manager, Production, LGEIL, commenting more on the GSM segment noted that the company might put up an assembly line for the mobile handset production if the rupee stood strong and the import duties came down. Going by the market trend for the GSM handset, he added that Mumbai was the leading market in the sales followed by New Delhi.

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