Sony India is looking to step up domestic manufacturing of television to 55 per cent in FY19, in the wake of the government’s move to raise Customs duty on some electronic items, including televisions and mobile phones.

According to Satish Padmanabhan, Sales Head, currently close to 30 per cent of its televisions are manufactured locally.

The company has tie-ups with several vendors for third-party manufacture of its products, which include television, mobile phones, optical drive and pen drive.

Duty hike

“Till last year, close to 30 per cent of our TVs were produced in India. Starting this year, we expect more than 55 per cent to be made in the country,” Padmanabhan told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the launch of Bravia OLED television and specific offers coinciding with the football season.

The government had, in December last year, raised the import duty on completely built TV sets and smartphones to 20 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, to encourage local manufacturing.

According to Padmanabhan, increasing the share of local production will help revive a portion of the margins lost due to hike in customs duty, which it had absorbed. However, the company has no immediate plans of setting up its own manufacturing unit.

“The third party model (for manufacturing) is working pretty well for us and we are not considering going in for our own manufacturing at present, unless something changes drastically,” he said.

Better market share

The company, which claims to hold a 25 per cent market share in the TV segment, expects to increase to 35 per cent by early 2019 with a slew of product launches.

Televisions contribute nearly 60 per cent to its total sales in India at present, the remaining 40 per cent coming from audio sound systems and high-end cameras.

Growth drivers

However, according to Padmanabhan, its audio products and cameras have been ‘big growth drivers’ for the company.

“The audio sound systems and cameras are going to blast in the future, we expect business from these two categories to double,” he said.

Sony India is also ‘closely evaluating’ the possibility of locally manufacturing its audio sound systems.

“That (local manufacturing) could be a possibility,” he said, refusing to share further details.