Monday, September 15, 2008

We took time to understand the Indian market: Toyota honcho

The Financial Express carried an interview with Dy. M.D. of Toyota in India. See how Toyota mentions planning as the most important approach. Typical Japanese thinking ensuring a long term strategy for success. Editor.

______________________________________________________

Toyota, with a conservative outlook, has been shying away from the Indian market. But is now gearing up for a ‘jumpstart decade’ in India, beginning with its mass-market compact car, to be rolled out by 2011. “We are looking at a presence in all segments in the country,” says Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd. He spoke to FE’s Shweta Bhanot during the Corolla Altis launch in Mumbai recently. Excerpts:

What will be Toyota ‘s strategy as it prepares to enter the mass-market segment in India?

Toyota is a very conservative organisation. Before it comes in a big way, the company tries to understand the market, reads the customer mind, buying behaviour and then looks at maintaining a balance between cost & quality since there can be no compromise on the quality front. India is a diverse country and we entered the market with our multipurpose vehicle, the Qualis. Later the Qualis was replaced by the Innova. During this process, the vendor base and dealership development was also undertaken. Now, Toyota is geared up for what we call a ‘jumpstart decade’ in India.

Toyota has completed ten years in India. However, when it comes to market share, there is still long way to go…

We took time to understand the Indian market. We needed model line-up and capacity to achieve a sizable market share. Now we feel that we will be able to achieve at least 10% market share by 2015, which may go further up looking at the market scenario and growth prospects in India. India is the fastest growing automobile market despite the sluggish growth witnessed at the moment. We expect the Indian market to double in the next seven to ten years.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Unitech Machines, Nohmi Bosai form JV

As the Indo-Japan relationship diversifies into various areas, welcome developments like this JV announcement, further underscore the good news. Fire protection systems is a fast exploding and emerging field especially when considered the in light of the massive infrastructure upgradation projects in India. The recent Saravana stores fire disaster in Chennai also is an unfortunate reminder of this need. Such cooperation in the Industrial sector will also pave the way for more job opportunities for bilingual students in sectors other than IT. Our best wishes for the success of this venture. The article in Times of India is given below for those interested in the details. Editor

---------------------------------------------------
10 Sep 2008, 0112 hrs IST,TNN

NEW DELHI: Unitech Machines Ltd, a Rs 700 crore firm has formed a joint venture company with Japanese fire safety major Nohmi Bosai Ltd. In the JV, Unitech Nohmi Fire protection System Pvt Ltd (UNFPS), Unitech Machines will own 49% and the rest 51% will be held by Japanese firm.

The JV would be working to establish a comprehensive and secured fire safety system for airport, metro rail, refineries, petrochemicals, and commercial real estate, said MD VK Chhabra of UNFPS. The company has already advised GVK group for the Mumbai Airport project. Chhabra said that the implementation of the new fire safety system in the airport led to substantial reduction in the cost without compromising on the fire safety.

The new company will be involved in fire safety consulting, advance products selling, and turnkey project execution. It will also support customers’ challenge in minimizing the risk and damage so that they can improve their performances. Chhabra said that they will get the expertise of the Japanese partner in servicing their customers. Nohmi Bosai is the largest Japanese fire safety company and has an array of products in the sector.

Takeshi Hashizume, president, Nohmi Bosai said, "The JV would provide them an opportunity to enter into the growing Indian market. It will not only create an exciting business opportunities for Nohmi, but also increase the company’s capacity to penetrate new Industry."

The size of the fire safety business in the country is of around Rs 1,200 crore. But, it is growing at a speed of 40% per annum. At present fire safety industry is not well organized. Companies merely follow the fire regulation guidelines, which, Chhabra said, does not fit well with the complicated and advance building and production facilities. He said, there is a demand of the customized safety design. Unitech Machines has experience in providing complete turnkey solution in infrastructure for mega power plants.