Harman International, the maker of JBL, is expecting 50-60 percent growth in the consumer electronics space this year, said Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of the company. JBL saw a 100 percent growth last year.
In a bid to tap this opportunity, Harman is now spreading its wings in India. The audio solutions and connected car company has committed an investment of $50 million or about Rs 350 crore in phase 2 expansion of its manufacturing plant at Chakan, Pune.
“We will be expanding beyond the two existing production lines established in 2014. This will triple production and will double the number of jobs at the plant on the engineering and manufacturing front,” said Paliwal.
With this expansion, Harman will be able to manufacture customised connected car electronics solutions for its large domestic and global customers including Maruti Suzuki, Daimler (Mercedes Benz), Volkswagen Group, TATA Motors and Fiat Chrysler. Harman is also looking at making India an important export hub to cater to global requirements.
The renewed push on innovation comes after Samsung acquired Harman International for a whopping $8 billion in 2016. The deal has helped Harman further focus on long term innovation and has also helped boost distribution in emerging markets.
“We are utilising 350 flagship Samsung stores to sell Harman products, bundling AKG earbuds with Galaxy phones,” said Paliwal.
Harman is also in talks with Reliance, Flipkart and Amazon to further increase distribution and point of sale touch points. The aim is to grow India revenues significantly.
“We are on track with our internal revenue plan… we don’t give a country-specific breakup. 65 percent of global revenues come from the automotive space and India also sees a fair share of the revenue from this space,” added Paliwal.
Owing to the increasing disposable income and stable government, Harman International is bullish on India. “Modi government coming back for the second time is a positive for corporates because we need continuity and consistency. India will be in the top three markets for Harman International in 10 years and in the top 5 markets in 5 years,” Paliwal further mentioned.
New product and technology launches in the India market are expected to drive growth for the company.―CNBC TV18