Mirc Electronics Ltd, owner of the consumer electronics and durables brand Onida, is brewing plans to set up an air-conditioner assembling facility, “most probably in Maharashtra”, in the next couple of years.

It may entail an investment of Rs 400 crore.

“We will firm up our plans only when we reach a critical volume base, of at least five lakh units,” said Gulu L. Mirchandani, Chairman and Managing Director.

The company currently commands close to 14 per cent share of the country’s 2.7-million-unit split air-conditioner market, and majority of the models are imported as completely built units from China, to Onida’s specifications.

The company has its R&D facility in Mumbai, which designs all its air-conditioner models, said Mirchandani.

It also has a facility at Roorkee in Uttarakhand to manufacture window air-conditioners and some models of split air-conditioners.

However, the company proposes to exit the window segment next year, as the share of window models is coming down drastically.

Inverter-based models

For the ensuing summer season, the company today launched a range of split and window models, including inverter-technology based ones.

It has also earmarked Rs 50 crore for above and below-the-line marketing expense for the current year.

By 2015, the company wants to garner an 18 per cent share of the split air-conditioner market. According to him, the sales of inverter-based models are almost doubling every year, and hence, the company will focus on growing its range of inverter-based models.

TV segment

On the TV front, the company commands eight per cent share of the five-million-unit flat panel TV market. “TV is our flagship product category, and we will continue to concentrate more on this”.

The TV business alone contributes over Rs 1,000 crore to the Rs 1,600-crore Mirc Electronics, while the remaining Rs 600 crore comes from air-conditioners, washing machines and others, including microwave ovens and induction stoves.

ravikumar.ramanujam@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 5, 2013)
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