Even as it fights a legal battle against German rival Faber-Castell AG over alleged violations of copyright and collusion, Japanese stationery-maker Shachihata Inc is looking to step up its investment in India with the introduction of new products and a scaling up of its Chennai plant capacity. Faber Castell is currently suing Anup Bhaskaran Rana, the managing director of its joint venture, AW Faber Castell (India) Pvt. Ltd. and Ors, for participation in competing businesses among other things.
Mr. Rana currently holds a 49% stake in Artline India Pvt Ltd— a subsidiary of Shachihata Inc. in which Shachihata owns 51 % stake.
Faber Castell has also sued Artline India and Shachihata Inc. for colluding with Rana.
Shachihata Inc had entered India through its subsidiary Artline India Pvt. Ltd. in the late nineties with an export-oriented factory in Chennai. “We have no intention of changing our stake in Artline right now. India is important to us… we have set up sales and marketing teams. We are targeting a market share of 15 per cent in the next three years,” said Yasuji Mori, Director, Shachihata Inc.
The company, which clocked a turnover of $170 million last fiscal, plans to channel 20 per cent of its global investment into its India operations.
It will bring out an entire range of pre-inked stamping instruments, roller-ball and ball-point pens and whiteboard pens.
According to Biju Oommen, General Manager-Sales, Artline India, Mr. Rana does not have a day-to-day role at Artline India.
“What I have heard is that the matter is under sub-judice right now. So, there’s nothing more to say. Our Chennai factory makes around 3 million markers a month, which we will look to expand as we target the domestic market,” he said.