Shanthi Kannan

CHENNAI: In what is seen as a clever repositioning of strategy, Sanyo-BPL Pvt. Ltd., which makes colour television sets, has decided to push the Japanese brand Sanyo in a big way. Currently, the company makes two brands –Sanyo and BPL.

The move comes in the wake of intense competition for Sanyo from foreign brands such LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony.

The move should also be read in the backdrop of the joint venture seeing a greater growth and brand loyalty for its BPL brand of CTVs in India, especially in the South. “Promoting BPL is an easy task. Marketing Sanyo is, however, challenging,” says Toshiaki Iue, President, Sanyo TV International Corporation.

Sanyo-BPL Pvt. Ltd. was formed as an equal joint venture between Sanyo Electric Company Ltd. of Japan and BPL India. Under the agreement, BPL transferred its colour television business into the joint venture. This also saw BPL brand for CTV come under the joint venture fold.

Mr. Iue said the Indian plant, located in Bangalore, was manufacturing one million colour televisions per annum under single-shift. This comprised both BPL and Sanyo brands. If the demand increased, the plant could double its production. The company produced 6.2 lakh CTVs last year.

Mr. Iue said the dual brand strategy was beneficial to the company. It was working out various business strategies to promote both the brands simultaneously across various geographical locations. It would be introducing various models under both the brands. He said Sanyo would use the BPL platform for promoting the CTVs in India. However, it would be importing other Sanyo consumer durables from China and Thailand. At present, both Sanyo and BPL put together have 29 CTV models in India, including LCDs. To a question, he said it did not make sense for Sanyo to have a production base of its own in India because of the scale limitation. Should the demand increase over a period, Sanyo would look at a similar strategic alliance with BPL for other products, he added.