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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Onida streamlines, seeks a comeback

Rachit Vats , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 16, 2013
First Published: 23:06 IST(16/7/2013) | Last Updated: 02:28 IST(17/7/2013)

Mirc Electronics and maker of Onida brand — once positioned as 'neighbour's envy, owner's pride' with the devil as its mascot — is overhauling itself to make a comeback, taking on South Korean rivals  in an attempt to bounce back to profits.

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Under a new setup Mirc has roped in ex-LG veteran Yasho V Verma as chief executive officer. The company has also elevated G Sundar, former CEO of Onida, to the position of strategic director and also focus on financing new businesses. The company says the new setup will help it take faster decisions, and swifter go-to market strategy with a five year timeline to set the wheel running.

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"Our priority is to make a comeback in the market. Verma has successful experience of scaling up business in consumer durables industry. In his previous role with LG he scaled up the business to R10,000 crore from scratch," said Gulu Mirchandani, chairman and managing director, Mirc Electronics.

"With an innovative product pipeline at the retail front and a robust backend we aim to make a strong come back in the market over the next five years. While we'll be aggressive on all fronts there will be emphasis on the 'Be Indian, Buy Indian' proposition," he said. 

While Mirchandani is optimistic about the future, the road to past glory may not come easy for Onida. Before Samsung and LG entrenched themselves in the country, Onida and Videocon had formidable presence in the market. Over the past decade the South Korean players have emerged forerunners in this space with Mirc not even in the race.

"The currency fluctuation hit us badly wiping out a significant chunk of our profits over the past few years. The market moved to plasma and LCDs rapidly and we were not prepared for it," said Mirchandani.

The company will leverage its 70-acre facility near Mumbai to churn out white and brown goods, suited for the younger generation.


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