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A gift from the blue

Victory for Sony’s BD format is a gain for Moser Baer too.

Print Edition: March 23, 2008

A Moser Baer plant
A Moser Baer plant
It has been nothing less than a windfall for Moser Baer. And Ratul Puri, Moser Baer’s Executive Director, cannot stop smiling at the unexpected change in the company’s fortunes. After all, Moser Baer has become an inadvertent beneficiary of a recent development on the Japanese shores.

What has actually happened goes like this. In mid-February, Japanese electronics major Toshiba announced that it was suspending its investment in HD-DVD, a next-generation optical media forformat. This amounted to Toshiba handing rival Sony victory for their Blu-Ray Disc (BD) format. Both HD-DVD and BD store several times more data than DVDs.

But how does Moser Baer come into the picture? Puri explains that there was confusion in the markets about which of the two formats would reign and that had made consumers hesitate and postpone choosing one over another. “Now the market has the potential to explode as people swap their DVD players for nextgeneration sets,” he says.

The development has several advantages for Moser Baer, which is part of the Blu-Ray Disc Alliance (BDA) that includes Panasonic and Apple. For one, Moser Baer, which is the world’s second-largest optical disc manufacturer, can now concentrate its research rupees into one technology.

Two, since the market for BDs is now set to boom, Puri expects the advantages his company has in the BD format to pay handsome dividends. “Our acquisition of OM&T from Philips last year brought several technologies with it, which gave us an advantage over our rivals. We were the first to hit the market with a writable BD and also the first to introduce a high-speed writable BD,” he says.

Finally, with margins on writable CDs and DVDs dwindling, the BD market promises to also bring with it high margins to supplement Moser Baer’s bottom line. And with Moser Baer being only one of two companies making writable BDs, Puri can go on smiling!

— Kushan Mitra

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