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Philips set to go rural with solar products

Philips Electronics India is set to launch made-in- India products like solar and battery powered lanterns, rechargeable and fuel efficient wooden stoves and torches that run without a battery to cater to the rural population, Ruchi Hajela reports

india Updated: Mar 21, 2009 01:07 IST
Ruchi Hajela

Philips Electronics India is set to launch made-in- India products like solar and battery powered lanterns, rechargeable and fuel efficient wooden stoves and torches that run without a battery to cater to the rural population.

This falls in line with the parent company's aim to increase its presence in the emerging markets like India, China, Brazil and Russia that contribute about 30 per cent of its overall revenues and also diversify from consumer lifestyle products.

“We will launch new categories with low cost solutions made in and for India to cater to the rural market and smaller towns in India,” Murali Sivaraman, chief executive officer, Philips Electronics India, told Hindustan Times. India alone contributes about 2.5 per cent of Philips’ overall revenues.

The first product in the range would be a Rs 1,000 solar lantern designed in India, and will hit the market in a month or so.The company also plans to launch in the next three months a new category of wooden stoves based on renewable resources – like a rechargeable one that will have a fan to remove the smoke and another that will work on natural air – both priced between Rs 1,000-Rs 2,000.

“The upcoming products will be in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500 and we have been in talks with the government over the last few months for subsidising and promoting the products,” Rakesh Sharma, senior director, strategy and business development, Philips Electronics India told Hindustan Times.

The company also plans to explore options like microfinance and self-help groups in addition to partnering with distribution channels like cooperatives.