Tatas to take on Korean majors in durables

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The Tata group is set to take on the Korean might in the consumer durables space. With a foreign partner and Rs 1,000 crore planned investments, Tatas-owned Voltas will manufacture and sell refrigerators, washing machines, microwave ovens and dishwashers in direct competition with Samsung and LG.

For Voltas, it is a return to a category it had bid adieu in late nineties, following sluggish business and steep competition. The company, which has the largest share in AC market and recorded revenues of around Rs 6,300 crore in 2017-18, has partnered global home appliances maker for technology. Arcelik is a part of Turkish conglomerate Koc group.

Tatas and Koc will hold 50% stake each in the venture and the products — to be branded as Voltas Beko — will be made in a plant that is coming up at Sanand in Gujarat. Till then, the products will be imported from China, Turkey and Thailand. Beko is one of the brands of Arcelik.

“The competition in the consumer durables space is pretty stiff, but we are confident on our prospects due to our healthy access to the channel partners and a fairlystrong branding for Voltas,” Pradeep Bakshi, MD of the company, told
TOI. Products are expected to be priced near to LG and Samsung, and Bakshi said the effort will be to provide “value-for-money and affordable” products.

The company may also look at TV panels in the future, though there are no immediate plans at this moment.

LG and Samsung dominate most of the categories in the consumer durables space, though Indian companies are gradually looking to challenge their hold.

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