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Thursday, Apr 22, 2004

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Hitachi aims 25% share of plasma TV segment

Ajita Shashidhar

Chennai, April 21

THE home electronics division of Hitachi, which recently entered the Indian market with its high-end plasma televisions, is looking at a 25 per cent market share in the plasma segment by 2005.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Tarun Jain, Regional Manager, Hitachi Home Electronics, said that the company has chalked out a two-tier distribution strategy for the Indian market.

While on the retail front the company is going to target only high-end audio-video stores, it has also appointed dedicated distributors to look after corporate and institutional sales. "There are a number of corporates, hotels and organisations such as the Airport Authority of India, who are looking at upgrading to plasma or LCDs. Therefore, we see a tremendous opportunity in this segment," said Mr Jain.

The company, according to Mr Jain, is also setting up demo-rooms at all the retail outlets it is present in, to create a home-theatre kind of an ambience for the consumers. "The décor of the outlets is being done in such a way that when the consumer visits the store, he feels as if he is sitting in his own living room," said Mr Jain.

He said that the company plans to set up two such demo-rooms in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad by the end of this year. Mr Jain also said that in order to get an edge over competition, the company has launched plasma televisions in unconventional sizes such as 37-inches and 55-inches. "We have priced the 55-inch TVs at Rs 6.95 lakh, whereas a 60-inch TV costs around 11-12 lakh. Therefore, the consumers can buy a slightly smaller television at a more value for money price."

Hitachi claims to be the leader in the high-end TV segment. "Brands such as LG and Samsung mostly cater to the mid-segment. However, we can see competition coming in with companies such as Pioneer and Panasonic planning to launch high-end TVs shortly," said Mr Jain.

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