Dyson eyes India entry next year with own retail stores

UK firm which makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers plans to invest £154 mn in India over five years


Dyson founder James Dyson is known for inventing the cyclonic bagless vacuum cleaner. Photo: AFP
Dyson founder James Dyson is known for inventing the cyclonic bagless vacuum cleaner. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Dyson Ltd, the UK maker of innovative vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, plans to enter India with its own retail stores by the middle of 2017.

The company has already sought permission from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to import and sell products in the country.

“If we get the permit we’ll set up middle of next year. Over the first five years, we’ll invest about £154 million in India. Our investment will be in building infrastructure (retail), taxes (to the government), marketing and promotions,” said founder James Dyson, who is known for inventing cyclonic bagless vacuum cleaner.

The founder was in India to participate in the India-UK Tech Summit held in New Delhi.

For Dyson, India will be its 76th market.

“We have been dealing with other markets and China, which is the last market we entered three years ago. Now we would like to tackle India. Besides, India was not ready for vacuum cleaners. India is an interesting market but it may take time to develop, unlike China that has emerged as the third largest market for Dyson, after the US and Japan, in just three years,” said Dyson.

The company will set up a retail store in each of the top 20 cities in India, sell through other retailers and online shopping portals in India.

“Online helps our business. We sell through Amazon in some countries and may sell through Amazon in India as well,” he added.

The average price of Dyson products will be in the range of £300-£500, on par with its global pricing. “Technology has a cost, and our products come with patented technology. We don’t discount, and we’ll not get into any price game,” said Dyson.

The company will import products from Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines for the Indian market.

Depending on volume, Dyson may look at making products in India after a few years.

“That’s a possibility. But we first need to enter the market,” added Dyson.

Besides vacuum cleaners, the company will also look at beauty and hygiene market with hair dryers and hand dryers. “We’ll also sell LED lighting products here,” he said.

Based in Malmesbury, UK, Dyson is a family owned technology company which employs more than 7,000 people globally—a third of whom are engineers and scientists.

“India produces 1.3 million engineers every year. That’s very exciting. We’ll look at working with Indian universities soon,” Dyson said. The company spends £5 million per week in research, design and development and has over 200 live technology projects and 50 active research programmes with 40 universities around the world.

Dyson’s revenue rose 26% to £1.7 billion in 2015 and profit increased 19% to £448 million, according to a company statement.

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