India's lantern king feels China heat
Faced with stiff competition from China, an Indian co that claims to be the world's largest producer of hurricane lanterns is fighting hard to maintain its market share at home and abroad.india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 12:16 IST
Faced with stiff competition from China, an Indian company that claims to be the world's largest producer of hurricane lanterns is fighting hard to maintain its market share at home and abroad.
But China is not Anupam Home Appliances' only problem. Spurious products flooding neighbouring countries are an added source of tension.
"The Chinese are giving us a tough time by producing much cheaper lanterns. But for now Indian firms have the edge because of their better quality lanterns," said Anupam Batra, the company's managing director.
"Another worry we have is duplicate products flooding Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, making it hard for us to differentiate between the original and the fake," Batra, who has just returned from Bangladesh, said.
Anupam Home Appliances claims to have cornered 50 per cent of the lantern market in India. It sells its products to the defence ministry besides exporting to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and several countries in West Africa.
Batra said the company's lone unit in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh produced around 5,000 lanterns a day.
"Even though the market for hurricane lanterns will eventually shrink as more areas get electrified, technology is making lanterns more fuel efficient through better wicks and designs," he explained.
The lanterns, he added, also helped the country save valuable kerosene.
Batra said: "Innovations will also help us fight competition from China."