The Telegraph
Thursday , July 18 , 2013
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French symphony comes to town

On a day that saw a Frenchwoman leave her city of torment after being chased by a pack of four at Lake Gardens on Saturday night, Calcutta welcomed a premium acoustic company from her country.

Focal Audio Systems’ first dedicated store in India (brought by Ace Audio Junction, the distributor in eastern India) on Purna Das Road was inaugurated by the French consul-general, Fabrice Etienne. on Wednesday.

“These are pieces of music art and design. People like to be photographed with them. What makes Focal products special is that the sound quality remains the same across categories — entry level to high-end,” said Christophe Sicaud, worldwide CEO, Focal.

Celine Dion listens to music on Focal and so does jazz trumpeter Erik Truffaz. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson has it in his studio and Calcuttans too can now own a one of Focal’s top-end speakers, sound systems and headphones in which design meets technology.

Though the brand has been available in India for several years now, this is its first dedicated store. “Calcutta has become a hub to neighbouring states. The Northeast market is growing and places like Guwahati, Nagaland and Mizoram are very important. Also, Odisha, Jharkhand, eastern UP and Chhattisgarh are reaching out to Calcutta rather than going to Delhi,” said Kammal Dhingreja, CEO, Preeti Trading Corporation, the national distributor of Focal Audio Systems.

Focal has products across several categories — professional sound systems, mobile music (headphones), car audio, etc — priced upwards of Rs 18,000 and can soar up to Rs 1.5 crore (for a pair of speakers). And whatever you will get in this store has been manufactured in France.

“We are growing in India because we are answering the needs of the Indian market more and more,” said Jean-Philippe Fontaine, export sales director and Focal China managing director.

If you are looking for custom-painted speakers, Focal has it. If a customer demands, the company can even deliver gold-plated speakers. Being premium, the company appeals to some of the top architects and real estate developers in India.

With 800-plus dealers across India, 2.5 per cent of Focal Audio System’s global turnover comes from India. Sicaud hopes the figure will increase to five to eight per cent in the next three-four years.