New Delhi: Japanese air conditioner-maker Daikin on Monday said it will set up a development centre in India as part of plans to roll out products specially designed for the market here.
The company, which claims to be the world’s number one air-conditioning firm in terms of revenue, with earnings of ¥940 billion in FY2010-11, said it has identified India as one of its most important strategic markets for the next five years to sustain the growth momentum.
“We are going to establish a sub-base of a research and development centre to make products only for India. We will do designing in Malaysia, or Bangkok, or Japan, but we will bring those designs and develop in a way that is most suitable for Indians,” Daikin Industries (Thailand) chairman Toshio Nakano said.
He, however, did not disclose how much the company will invest on setting up in the new centre, saying the plan will be finalised by next month.
At present, Daikin has a manufacturing plant at Neemrana, in Rajasthan. It has already invested Rs 210 crore on the factory. The development centre will be set up at the Neemrana facility.
Nakano said setting up a product development centre in India is in line with its global strategy to cater to the demands of the local market.
“For instance, here (in India) the voltage range is different and temperature is different. We will do customisation based on what Indians want,” Nakano said.
Earlier, Daikin was focusing mostly on developed countries in Europe and the Japanese market, besides other small Asian markets, Nakano said.
“In order to become number one, we had to have new markets, like China and India,” he said, adding that the two countries and Brazil were its most strategic markets.
“So, we have made medium-term plans. India and Brazil are the most important countries to develop for as these are the potential growth markets for us,” he added.
As part of the plan to sustain the growth momentum in India, Daikin is focusing on the volume segment by bringing in more products and enhancing its distribution networks.
“We have increased our presence considerably. Product availability and approachability is the issue earlier. We were operating in metros and mini metros. Now we have moved to tier II and tier III cities,” Daikin Airconditioning India (DAIPL) managing director Kanwal Jeet Jawa said.
The company currently has 760 outlets. It also has 40 Daikin solution plazas. The firm plans to take the number to 200 by December, 2012.