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Indian consumer electronics break boundaries; export surge to the US and Europe

Indian consumer electronicmanufacturershave opened up new frontiers for exports of made-in-India products to the developed markets such as theUS and Europe, which were hitherto only limited to the neighbouring countries, the Middle-East or African nations.

Companies like Havells, Dixon, Voltas and Blue Star have said in their December quarter earnings call that they are forming a base for exports in the developed nations like the US.

Havells India chairman and managing director Anil Rai Gupta said last quarter, the company has formed a subsidiary in the US with plans to distribute air-conditioners in the US market. “It is one of the steps forward in forming a base for exports in the developed market,” he told analysts.

Home grown contract manufacturer Dixon Technologies managing director Atul Lall informed analysts that there will be a scale up of exports of Motorola smartphones it is producing in India with almost 28-30% of the production will be exported to the US. Dixon is pursuing similarexportopportunities to developed markets for lighting products.

“So we are definitely seeing this phenomenon called OOC, out of China, and we are working on this opportunity. We feel that we are almost close to certain significant breakthroughs in the developed markets,” said Lall.

Tata-owned Voltas too said it has received export orders for frost-free refrigerators and dishwashers from Arçelik which sells appliances in Europe under the Beko brand.

For most of the companies in electronic sectors in India, the import bill is higher than the revenue they earn from exports which they have indicated will change with higher value-addition in manufacturing in India including components and efforts to open up newer and developed markets for exports.

AC maker Blue Star Ltd managing director B Thiagarajan told analysts last week that in international geographies like the US and Europe, the company will not sell its own brand, but instead design and make for others.

“And for these markets, the products are to be designed for that country’s regulation, energy efficiency or safety or refrigerants. So, we are currently in the process of developing the products, prototyping and getting the approval and acceptance” he said.

Thiagarajan said Blue Star wants to do $500 million business from global markets in three years. “But it is only the beginning, we have a long way to go,” he said.

The contribution of exports to sales has largely remained flat or is only marginally up in the past four-five years for most consumer electronic companies, as per Registrar of Companies filings.

Samsung has been an exception with export contribution to total India sales rose to 40% (Rs 39,111 crore) in FY23 from 21% (Rs 15,322 crore) in FY19, the filings show. This is driven by Samsung phones exported to 19 markets including the US, UK and the home base of South Korea.

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