Turkey’s largest business house, Koc Group, is betting on the Indian market, which is being seen as one of the bright spots in the world despite the current slump.
Koc, owner of consumer durable brands like Grundig and Beko, will roll out made-in-India refrigerators, washing machines, microwave ovens and dishwashers to take on the well-entrenched Samsung, LG and Whirlpool in the country. Controlled by Istanbul’s wealthiest family, Koc is hoping to replicate its European success in India.
Though Koc has a diversified portfolio such as financial services, energy and tourism, it will begin in India with consumer durable brands Beko and later Grundig. The Turkish business house has partnered with the Tata Group for the home appliances business in India. The 50:50 partnership, however, does not cover airconditioners (ACs) as Tata has its own play in that space.
The joint venture has invested $180 million in setting up a manufacturing facility in Sanand, Gujarat, to manufacture washing machines and microwaves, among other products.
India is a rare market where Koc has a joint venture for consumer durables, said one of its top executives. The home appliances arm of Koc — Arcelik — is a leading player in Europe, the heartland of kitchen appliances. And in the UK, one in five appliances sold is a Beko. India, however, is a difficult market to foray into without a local partner, said the company’s CEO Hakan Bulgurlu.
Koc identified India as a growth-potential geography in 2010, following which it started gauging the size of the market and meeting prospective partners. In 2017, Arcelik inked an agreement with Tata Group company Voltas. Arcelik’s greenfield factory in Sanand follows its refrigerator plant in Thailand.
For Voltas, the joint venture marks a re-entry into kitchen appliances, a segment it has visited multiple times in the past. A couple of years after India’s economic liberalisation in 1991, Voltas had acquired Allwyn refrigerators. In 1998, it sold Allwyn to Sweden’s Electrolux.―Times of India