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"Oligopoly is on the rise in the AC business"

"Oligopoly is on the rise in the AC business"

Kojin Nakakita, MD, Hitachi India, tells Business Today about tapping the premium segment in India and expanding the brand's footprint globally.

Kojin Nakakita, MD, Hitachi India (Photo: Vivan Mehra) Kojin Nakakita, MD, Hitachi India (Photo: Vivan Mehra)

How does Hitachi manage a disparate portfolio of products in an era that encourages companies to focus on one or two key areas?

Holding a large portfolio of products gives an opportunity to cater to a broader base of customers with different requirements. All businesses can converge laterally among themselves and also into the parent group to leverage each other's business expertise and technological strengths.

Hitachi has been making a big push in white goods of late. Haven't Japanese companies in general lost out to Korean competitors?

Hitachi is a leading brand in major home appliances categories in Japan, and has acquired a large share of the premium segment in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and other ASEAN countries. The key strategies for our product conceptualisation are the 'high-premium' tag and Japanese quality. We are aggressively expanding the business of high-premium products in India where assured product reliability and eco-friendly energy saving are key factors.

ACs are among your best consumer brands. Why, then, was it necessary to have a JV with Johnson Controls?

Global competition in the air-conditioning business is harsh and oligopoly is on the rise. For our air-conditioning business to survive, it is necessary to jump-up its scale. We have the advantage of employing JCI's global sales channels, and leveraging and promoting the Hitachi brand overseas.

Being a multi-product company, how do you ensure good service support to consumers?

We emphasise equally on creating a robust sales network and a parallel service network. In areas where it is not feasible for us to set up our own network, we tie up with local service stores. These business partners are trained and internalised for Hitachi processes and servicing parameters.~

Published on: Apr 02, 2016, 3:33 PM IST
Posted by: Gurpreet Kaur, Apr 02, 2016, 3:33 PM IST