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Esselgroup firm turns retail focus to convergence

Calcutta, Nov. 27: Esselgroup company Agrani Convergence plans to set up around 800 retail outlets across the country by 2005 to sell personal computers, cellular and basic telephones as well as media and entertainment goods.

Agrani chief executive Pankaj Mohindroo said the outlets would be one-stop shops catering to needs in the convergence sector.

“Although convergence faces a few roadblocks, it is bound to come through since it is a global trend. We plan to be ready with the products in time.”

The company, which clocked only Rs 100 crore turnover in the very first year of business, plans to achieve a Rs 900-crore turnover in the next five years.

Mohindroo said the company’s focus is to provide convergence products at an affordable price so that the customers get value for money.

“As long as convergence products like mobile phones, personal computers are not cheap, the revolution in this field will never come. It should be the motto of all companies to make their products quite affordable for people of every profession,” he said.

Agrani Convergence currently has 30 retail outlets, of which 18 are company-owned while the remaining are managed by franchisees. The company wants to add another 65 outlets by March.

Besides retailing, Agrani also plans to make personal computers at a price as low as Rs 9999.

“This is a great challenge for us, but I can assure you that we will not compromise on quality. We are not going to make money out of PC sales. What is more important is that the increased PC population will pave the way for real convergence in future,” Mohindroo said.

In telecom, the company is dealing with mobile handsets, mobile services and landline phones.

In the information technology sector, the Agrani Convergence will offer personal computers, laptops, scanners and peripherals.

On the media front, the company’s offerings will be education CDs and learning software while in entertainment it will deal with gaming, music and videos.

The outlets would sport the same look everywhere to position Agrani as a strong brand.

The company is also going ahead with a plan to set up service centres across the country to provide “end-to-end” solution to customers.

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