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Haier eyes $300 mn from India sales

India is expected to snap up about 55 mn handsets this year, up 71% from 2005.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 12:10 IST

China's Haier group is aiming for revenues of $300 million from the sale of mobile handsets in India over the next 18-24 months and then consider setting up a plant, its India head of mobile operations said on Thursday.

India is expected to snap up about 55 million handsets this year, up 71 per cent from 2005, and the market is forecast to grow to $5.8 billion by 2010.

Haier Telecom (India) Ltd, a joint venture of Haier group and India's Scope group, will sell GSM and CDMA phones imported from China priced at Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000 ($43-$432).

"The aim is to be among the top brands in the Indian mobile handsets segment by the end of our first year of operations," Arun Khanna, managing director of Haier Telecom India, said.

The company would also consider starting manufacturing operations in India about two years from now "with a significant investment," he said. That would cater to the Indian market as well as south Asia and south-east Asia.

Haier hopes that its mobile handsets can piggyback on its appliances in the Indian market. Haier Electronics has said it plans to become India's third-biggest home appliances and consumer electronics firm by 2010.

Haier said in April it would sell its struggling handset business to parent Qingdao Haier Group Holdings.

Nokia controls more than half the $2.5 billion Indian handset market and has a manufacturing unit, as do South Korea's LG Electronics Inc and Samsung.

"We do not believe we are late ... the market is growing quickly, and there is room for everyone," Khanna said.

Between 4 million and 5 million new users enter the market each month, and analysts expect the user base to expand to 278 million by 2010.

First Published: Jun 01, 2006 16:24 IST