India fourth biggest market for Sony with Rs 8,000 crore sales

NEW DELHI (TIP): Despite weak demand in the industry, Sony India has managed to break into the top five markets in the Japanese giant’s global operations, riding on healthy sales of televisions. The upsurge — to the fourth position — has been quick for the Indian subsidiary that till two years ago was a distant ninth in Sony’s global markets. Sony India finished last fiscal (2012-13) with a 27% growth at overall revenue of Rs 8,000 crore.

With this, India is ahead of many of Sony’s key markets like Brazil, Russia, Germany and Britain. India now trails US (top market for the company), China and Japan. Kenichiro Hibi, MD of Sony India, said that televisions and mobile phones (under the Xperia range) remain among the fastest-growing segments for the company. Hibi, however, expressed concern over weakening demand in line with the slowdown of the Indian economy. “The market situation is difficult and there are pressures,” Hibi told TOI after launching the premium ‘4K’ Bravia TV range that is priced upwards of Rs 3 lakh.

Hibi said that the retail end was under stress and things at the ground are “not easy”. However, new launches as well as expectations of a turnaround towards the latter part of the year make the company confident as it expects to maintain the previous year’s growth in this fiscal as well. But despite witnessing growth in India, Sony India does not have any immediate plans to start manufacturing operations here.

The company currently imports its product line-up from a clutch of countries like China, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand. Hibi said TV sales will continue to lead the charge for the company and it expects to sell 13 lakh units this fiscal against 11 lakh units in the previous year. Televisions contribute around 35% to Sony India’s revenues.

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