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Sharp bets big on LCD televisions

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MR PRASUN BANERJEE, Vice-President (Sales & Marketing), Sharp India Ltd, at a press conference to announce the company's marketing strategy in Chennai on Wednesday. — Bijoy Ghosh

Chennai , April 26

Sharp India Ltd sees India as a promising market for its high-end products ranging from LCD television sets to refrigerators.

The company, previously a joint venture between Sharp Corporation, Japan, and Kalyani Group of Bharat Forge, is now 80 per cent held by the $25-billion Japanese parent.

Announcing its marketing strategy and line-up of its product range in Chennai, Mr Prasun Banerjee, Vice-President (Sales & Marketing), Sharp India Ltd, said, "We see India as a very promising market for our LCD TVs and we are hopeful of selling at least 6,000 units this year and 20,000 by 2008." According to him, LCD technology continues to be a key part of Sharp, which claims to have pioneered the commercial application of LCD screens 30 years ago. "LCD will be our growth driver, and it's our strength," says Mr Banerjee.

It sells LCD TVs under its sub-brand Aquos. In India, Aquos TVs are priced from Rs 45,900.

Sharp also has some "innovative" products, such as TVs for dual viewing, and steam ovens, up its sleeve. "We will launch them once we find a market for them here," says Mr Banerjee.

According to Mr T. Yamazaki, Managing Director, Sharp India, the company believes technology is its hallmark and will launch the latest products in India as soon as they are launched worldwide to ensure that the Indian consumer gets the latest in technology. Sharp operates in over 30 countries. In India, the company has a manufacturing facility at Pune where it makes only conventional TVs. It imports LCD TVs from Japan and its range of refrigerators from Thailand for the Indian market. In India, it sells conventional and LCD TVs, refrigerators, microwave ovens, air-conditioners and is planning to bring in home theatre systems and DVD players.

Sharp India has earmarked Rs 10 crore for advertising this fiscal. Percept H is handling the company's advertising accounts in India. According to Mr Banerjee, Sharp India at present has no plans to rope in any celebrity for endorsement.

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