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The new company will be named Hero Electronix.
The new company will be named Hero Electronix.

Hero picks up majority stake in Mybox, enters electronics biz

Mybox is a leading supplier to direct-to-home (DTH) and cable operators across India

New Delhi: The Brijmohan Lall Munjal-led Hero Group—primarily known for manufacturing motorcycles—will enter the electronics sector by acquiring a majority stake in Mybox Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which makes set-top boxes (STBs) in India, according to an official statement on Monday.

An STB is an appliance used to receive satellite signals and convert them into viewable content. Mybox is a leading supplier to direct-to-home (DTH) and cable operators across India. The firm will be named Hero Electronix.

The firm will add associated business lines of the Hero group to its portfolio over the next few years and grow the vertical, said Suman Kant Munjal, chairman of Hero Electronix.

“The company has lined up investments of 500 crore in the next few years. This will give a huge impetus to the ‘Make in India’ initiative by helping reduce imports of electronics into the country," Munjal said in a statement.

Hero Group sold 7 million shares of Hero MotoCorp Ltd for as much as $306 million in February. The sale proceeds are being utilized to fund the new venture, Sunil Kant Munjal, joint managing director, Hero MotoCorp said on Monday.

As per estimates of India Electronic and Semiconductor Association (IESA), which represents the industry, the import of electronics is at 65% of overall demand. “Hero Electronix sees immense potential in Mybox and its management team. Using its core competence in hardware and embedded systems design, Mybox is strategically focusing on fulfilling the demand of digitization in India, while simultaneously developing products for the world," the company said in a statement.

Monday’s announcement could be yet another bid by the owners of Hero Group to de-risk and diversify into other important sectors, according to Rakesh Batra, partner and national leader (automotive sector), EY.

“India provides tremendous opportunities," Batra said. “They are looking to get into areas where the group does not have a presence. This will also give them space to help new-generation family members set up their businesses."

The Munjals, who migrated to India from Pakistan before India’s Independence, started selling bicycles and went on to form Hero Honda Motor Ltd, a joint venture with Japanese auto maker Honda Motor Co. Ltd that lasted 27 years before the two sides decided to pursue their own business interests separately on 16 December 2010.

Even earlier, and in a much more aggressive way since, the Munjal family has sought to diversify its business interests, primarily to identify new growth areas for the group and accommodate third-generation family members.

Rahul Munjal, son of the late Raman Kant Munjal, founded Hero Future Energies Pvt. Ltd, a renewable energy firm in 2013. Rahul’s younger brother Abhimanyu founded the Hero Group’s financial services business Hero FinCorp Ltd the same year. Hero Future Energies hopes to produce 1 gigawatt power by 2016-17; Hero FinCorp expects to have a 5,000 crore loan book by 2016-17.

Akshay, Rahul’s cousin and son of Suman Kant Munjal, chairman of Hero Electronix and managing director of Rockman Industries Ltd, entered the education business by opening a university in Manesar, Haryana.

Akshay’s brother Ujjwal works with his father at Rockman.

The current managing director and chief executive of Hero MotoCorp Pawan Munjal, has two daughters and a son.

The son, Anuvrata, studies abroad; Vasudha, the elder daughter, runs a chocolate boutique under the brand Choko la; the other daughter, Supriya, has a clothing line.

Sunil Munjal, the youngest son of family patriarch Brijmohan Lall Munjal and joint managing director of Hero MotoCorp, has a daughter, Shefali Munjal, who assists him at Hero Corporate Service Ltd, a company in the business process outsourcing segment.

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