Mirc Electronics to extend Igo brand into washing machines

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on May 11, 2011 Published on May 11, 2011

Tapping into the potential of the rural market, the Rs 2000 crore Mirc Electronics is extending its lower end brand of Igo into the washing machine segment. The makers of the Onida brand had introduced a lesser priced brand under Igo to target the rural markets nearly seven years ago to sell low end television sets pegged at Rs 5,000. It has now decided to go beyond televisions and enter the washing machine category with a similar price point of Rs 5,000.

Speaking to Businessline, Mr. Gulu Mirchandani, Chairman & Managing Director, Mirc Electronics said, ``We are introducing low end washers under the Igo brand in the same price range as the television sets. Rural sales are growing and the Igo marketing team will be addressing a new set of distributors for the rural market. In fact distribution has always been the key to reach the rural markets and currently Mirc electronics is in the process of building an extensive distribution network to reach its Igo brand to a new set of dealers who do not necessarily sell electronic items. As Mr. Mirchandani says, ``Today we are approaching a new set of dealers like those selling bicycles and even alcohol, to grow the channel of distributors. These are distributors who have never handled electronic items.’’

Banking on innovation to differentiate itself in the competitive consumer durable industry dominated by MNCs, Mirc has always relied on its indigenous technology to survive in the industry. ``We did have a technical collaboration with JVC in the past, but now we believe in developing the business on our own. The purpose has always been to differentiate our products based on new innovations,’’ says Mr. Mirchandani. For instance in its latest communication for its Onida AC brand, Mirc has introduced a method of switching on the AC through SMS before the consumer reaches his home on hot summer day. Onida shed the devil in its communication last year and has based its communication on product led innovations across the categories.

Spending between Rs 15 -20 crore on R&D annually, Mirc’s latest challenge is to make a mark in the LCD and Mobile phone market. ``We expect both LCD and Mobile phones to record a turnover of Rs 1000 crore each in the next two years,’’ Today the Onida brand of LCDs has a turnover of Rs 180 crore, while the bulk of the turnover is contributed by the regular Onida televisions (Rs 800 crore) and washing machines(Rs 420 crore) and the balance by home appliances like washing machines, microwaves and DVD players. The Mumbai based Mirc Electronics is now getting ready to enter the lightening segment with a new range of LED led lighting sytems.

Published on May 11, 2011
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