Endefo india: Endefo’s India expansion harps on local manufacturing in line with shift away from China

Endefo, an electronics brand under the Ashtel Group of Companies, is looking to amplify its footprint beyond southern India to capture all corners of the country and eventually be a strong player in the government’s Make in India initiative. Aneef Tas, CEO of Endefo, told ET Online’s Gourab Das in an exclusive interaction that the company’s planned Rs 200 crore investment in India will go into ramping up R&D and product development in the country now, as it seeks to not only manufacture everything here for local consumption but also export products to the world. Tas also sheds light on product launches, pricing and marketing strategies. Edited excerpts:Endefo is going to invest Rs 200 crore in India. However, how do you plan to allocate that money?Aneef Tas: After successfully expanding in GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, we now have ambitious plans for the Indian market. The first thing is that most of the goods in India are coming from-different countries. But, our major focus is to manufacture everything in India and be part of the Make in India concept. Also, many heads of global companies abroad are Indians. So, we have the plan to develop the R&D centres in India to benefit from the decision makers in India as well as employ the talent pool of the country. The R&D facilities and related amenities are what our investment will be mostly targeted for.There is a massive requirement for high-quality products in India. Endefo will thus look to introduce the quality products to the Indian market from the R&D centres built here and with manufacturing happening entirely in India. We have R&D facilities in south India, but now we are moving north. Once this is done, we will associate with factories in India. We will associate with leading or major manufacturers in India.So, your Rs 200 crore is mostly focussed on R&D?Aneef Tas: The focus will be on R&D and product development both as we need a lot of product segments in India. Our products are available on Amazon, our own website and from more than 2,000 retail outlets. Right now, we have around 40 SKUs, but it is not enough for the Indian market and we have to spend a lot of money on the product also. I think the money we are spending now is not enough for our plans. You are referring to Make in India. Do you plan to cut down on your R&D and manufacturing presence outside India then? Aneef Tas: In China we have four offices only for R&D and we are associated with around 1,000 factories in China itself. We are also one of the leading exporters in China. For similar ambitions, we are coming to India. All things will be purely made in India. We have teams in different countries. We also plan to roll out our products first in India. We are ready to take any challenges here in India.There is a supply chain shift from China and many companies are reducing their exposure there. Are you also planning the same then?Aneef Tas: Yes, definitely. We plan to manufacture our products in India and supply not only to the Indian market but we also plan to export to other countries from India. We are planning that our major hub will be in India. In four or five years, all our products will be exported from India. What made you plan this expansion? Is it because this particular market in India is growing very rapidly and you noticed a huge market opportunity? Aneef Tas: We are proud to take on the challenges in India. We are sure that India will be growing and the industry has already grown in say four years. There were a few factories in 2017 when I visited. However, I am seeing an increased number of factories in India that have the potential to manufacture quality products. We are in the industry for more than 20 years and we do see the need to manufacture and export from here. What is happening in India that is further pushing the wearable gadgets or portable audio speaker brands? Aneef Tas: Right now in India, the penetration of smartphones or related devices is growing at a fast pace. So, more and more users also need mobile accessories such as TWS or smartwatches. People in India are also ready to spend the money in the market. The consumption has increased and that is also because of the growing India story. If India continued to import items from China, for example, there would not have been income generation for a large number of employees. The salaries are then going back into the system for consumption. The money is rotating.How many products are you planning to launch now and by when? Also, what is the price segment you are targeting?Aneef Tas: We are majorly looking at product segments like smartwatches, TWS, soundbars, portable speakers and boom box. We are aiming to launch most of the products at the end of this year in India. This is the first phase, while in the second phase we will cover the entire Indian market.As for pricing, for example, most smart watches right now in India are available in the price range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. We are also looking to offer at that price range but we will build super quality products. Are you looking to enter into the price segment of a market where boAt or Noise or Fire-Bolt exists right now?Aneef Tas: We are not focussing on competing with any brands. We have our own strategies in place. We want to target all categories of buyers. We will have products targeted for kids and even seniors, men and women and even for music lovers specifically. Have you finalised the branding and marketing strategies of the products? If we look at certain new brands, your competitors now, all of them have pushed for heavy marketing on online marketplaces and enrolled Bollywood or sports celebrities to perhaps capture the younger audience?Aneef Tas: We will definitely spend the money in the market to familiarise the customers with the Endefo brand, but we will not be copying or following other brands’ strategies. We have our own strategy and policy as we are looking at a long-term gain.What is the amount of profit you are looking at from your India venture? Let’s say what can your Rs 200 crore investment give you back? Aneef Tas: Our current emphasis is on delivering premium products to the Indian customer base at affordable prices, ensuring long-term profitability. But if you consider a five-year period, then definitely around 20-to-25% return on the investment is expected. However, everything depends on the market. We cannot predict because there is a pricing war.Nonetheless, if anyone is looking for the long term, they can invest the money in India.

https://m.economictimes.com/industry/cons-products/electronics/endefos-india-expansion-harps-on-local-manufacturing-in-line-with-shift-away-from-china/articleshow/101532301.cms

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