Sunil Nayyar in Calcutta on Thursday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury
Calcutta, Sept. 5: Sony India is eyeing a 25-30 per cent growth in flat panel television sales in the second half of the year.
According to Sunil Nayyar, head of sales at Sony India, the growth will be driven by an increase in demand during the festive season following the ban on the duty-free import of flat screen television sets.
Consumers now have to bear a customs duty of 36 per cent on the import of the flat panels.
“The government’s initiative will work to our benefit,” said Nayyar, adding the timing of the decision at the onset of the festive season is expected to boost sales.
The company expects to sell about 550,000-600,000 units of its flagship television brand Bravia across the country in the August-November period.
Around 85,000 units are expected to be sold in the east.
Nayyar said the rise in sales would generate sufficient revenues to ease the pressure on costs caused by a weak rupee.
“We are trying to hold back any increase in prices,” he said, adding the company may consider a mild price hike if the rupee continues to depreciate.
According to the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), the central government was losing around Rs 750 crore on account of the duty-free import of flat screen sets.
The CEAMA has estimated the demand for flat panels at about 8 million annually of which 3-3.5 million were imported either through free baggage allowance or at concessional duty rates under various free trade agreements.
Nayyar said the company planned to earn a revenue of Rs 400 crore in the August-November period from the eastern region compared with Rs 310 crore during the same period last year.
The company is also planning to increase its distribution network to 935 from 850 across the country.