Sony India plans $103M biz expansion with mobile focus

Japanese electronics giant will invest INR 5.5 billion (US$103 million) to expand business with focus on mobile, which is expected to contribute bigger share of overall revenue.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Sony India said it will invest some INR 5.5 billion (US$103 million) in business expansion plans this year, with an emphasis on scaling up its mobile business.

The Hindu Business Line reported Wednesday that the company spent a similar amount last year to grow its business and market new products in the country.

The Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer said it will increase the number of retail outlets in India from 10,000 currently to 16,000 by next year, adding that some outlets will only be for its handset business.

The mobile business made up 15 percent of Sony India's revenue of INR 63 billion (US$1.18 billion) in 2011, according to its managing director Kenichiro Hibi. Mobile is expected to contribute more this financial year, while overall revenue is expected to grow between 40 to 45 percent, he added.

Hibi said integrating all of the company's mobile devices such as tablet computers and other electronic items will help increase the value of Sony India's mobile business.

The manager director acknowledged that Sony India needs to battle the competition from the likes of Samsung, Apple, Research In Motion and Nokia. "But at the same time we should not forget is that we have a uniqueness of Sony brand in India and utilize that strong proposition for the mobile business as well."

In addition, Sony India has 1,000 engineers in its Bangalore center who work on developing applications and features on India-specific phones besides global products, he said.

In India, Sony recently introduced its crop of mid-range smartphones in addition to premium ones, and now has around 20 smartphones priced between INR 9,999 (US$187) to INR 35,000 (US$656) available, the Hindu Business Line reported.

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