Videocon, one of the country’s oldest consumer durables company, is planning to rejig its product portfolio and take the battle straight to its Japanese and Korean rivals.
Leading the charge is Akshay Dhoot, the 23-year-old scion of the Rs 30,000-crore Videocon Group, who has readied a range of innovative products based on disruptive technology that could well be his trump card.
While Akshay Dhoot, son of Rajkumar Dhoot - younger sibling of group chairman Venugopal Dhoot - was this month officially announced as the head of technology, he has been involved with the group’s technology enhancements for some time now.
The first of the high end range, a wi-fi enabled air conditioner range, was launched recently.
Priced between Rs 36,000 and Rs 41,000, the AC is powered by an app enabling users to remotely control it. It will hit markets in a week.
“We are taking concepts to a new level, adding features to products that will be useful to consumers while at the same time remaining price competitive,” said Dhoot.
Over the past few years, Videocon has expanded from consumer durables to other areas such as retail and oil and gas exploration.
But electronic goods still account for majority of its revenue. For the 18-months ended December 31, Videocon reported net sales of Rs 18,968 crore, of which `17,046 crore were contributed by consumer electronics and home appliances alone. And Dhoot wants to turn the spotlight back on this business.
The company has made major investments in its research and development centres located in India, Japan, Korea and China. It will also be changing the composition of its workforce to also include software engineers as it looks to integrate internet-enabled capabilities in its new products.
“We have started projects in the categories of innovative refrigerators and washing machines, which haven’t changed for years,” said Dhoot.
The company, already the market leader in flat screen TVs, is looking to scale up this category too.