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Philips plans new wares to tap domestic market

Mumbai, Sept. 7: Philips India, the subsidiary of Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics .V., is planning to launch a range of products in every segment of the electronics market.

In an exclusive interview to The Telegraph, Gottfried Dutine, the global CEO of consumer electronics division and a board member of the Dutch consumer electronics major, revealed plans that would see its local subsidiary making a slew of new offers.

It will even contemplate entering new segments, including micro digital cameras, shaving accessories and consumer durables.

Revealing that it will look at new opportunities opening up in the country, including the set-top box business, Dutine said: "We have a strong set-top business and we are major players in the US.

"We are looking at the business potential of the conditional access system very seriously", he indicates.

Philips India's changing profile within the global family is evident by the fact that four out of five members from the parent board were in India to review its local operations last week.

President and CEO Gerard Kleisterlee, who was part of the entourage and leading the team, has said, "We have to be more daring in terms of investment in India now that the restructuring is over."

Chief financial officer Jan Hoffman, chief technology officer Ad Huijser, Asia Pacific chief executive officer Jan Oosterveld, and Gottfried Dutine were also included in the team.

Against the backdrop of the 21-inch colour television market being cornered by the Korean, Japanese and domestic electronics majors, Dutine said, “We are reviewing the value proposition of our 21-inch range in India.”

On cell phones, Dutine said he was not unduly worried by the negligible presence of Philips products. Almost 70 per cent of all cellular products have at least one Philips component, he adds.

The Dutch parent has already amalgamated businesses, including consumer electronics, lighting, domestic appliances and semi-conductors under Philips India and has increased its stake in the subsidiary to over 93 per cent.

Philips India has posted a net profit of Rs 84.3 crore for the year ended December 31, 2002, compared with a loss of Rs 21.2 crore in the previous year.

The company has reported net sales of Rs 1,615.7 crore for the year against Rs 1,544.6 crore in the previous year.

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