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Hitachi Reshapes to Stay Afloat
Aug 24, 2004
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After 2 years of operating losses Hitachi Home & Life Solutions has kicked off a product and financial restructuring exercise. The Indian subsidiary of the Japan-based Hitachi Inc. has decided to focus on a high-end air-conditioning segment for value growth instead of gunning for volumes, said Rakesh Khanna, Hitachi's senior vice president.

On average, Hitachi's air-conditioners are now priced 25 percent higher than other companies. The company claims a 12 percent market share of the Rs 2,000-crore (approx. U.S. $431.9 million) Indian air-conditioner market, the same as last year.

"There has been no significant gain in market share in the past year, but growth has come in terms of value," Mr. Khanna said. Against a total loss of Rs 24 crore (approx. $518 thousand) in the 12-month period closing March 2004, the Indian subsidiary has posted an operating profit of Rs 6 crore (approx. $129 thousand) in the April to July 2004 quarter.

According to Mr. Khanna, Hitachi India has repaid high-cost loans, reduced operating costs by an estimated 20 percent and reduced inventories. He added that the firm is in active discussions with its Japanese parent to expand its Indian portfolio to refrigerators and washing machines. (The India Times)

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