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Yashica enters India with digicam

September 27, 2005 10:16 IST

The yen 50-billion Japanese camera and accessories major Yashica is entering the Indian market for the first time with its new digital technology products.

The multinational photo tech major, which has tied up with the Mumbai-based Harmony Distributors Ltd, the Indian division of its long time distribution partner in South Asia - Jashanmal Group, is planning to build a retail network of over 1,600 outlets all across the country.

Morihiro Akasaki, managing director, Yashica Hongkong Co, is in the country to launch three models of digital camera. Yashica, the world's second largest photographic technology company, is entering India with a direct distribution channel for the first time.

Akasaki told Business Standard, "Yashica did not enter India as the gray market had been very strong in the electronic segment and the company did not want to come to a market where an unhealthy competition existed. The prices of electronic products with the influence of gray market had been crashing. Moreover, with the high rate of import duty, it was difficult for the company to explore this market at the prevailing Indian price tag."

"Our India market analysis shows that the prices of analog and digital camera have almost settled down and it is unlikely to dip further," he said.

"Thus we decided to come to the country with strategic prices, which are on par with the competing brands in the market," he said.

Through the existing distribution channel, the company would have 6 models of digital camera within the price range of Rs 2,995-8,495 and 6 models of analog camera in a price band of Rs 1,395-10,795.

The company expects Rs 170-200 crore (Rs 1.7-2 billion) sales from India with a 4 per cent market share in the initial year.

The total market size for branded camera-both analog and digital- is 3 million pieces a year in India. Akasaki said that by 2007, the company could improve its market share to 10 per cent with current growth rate of 20-25 per cent.
C H Unnikrishnan in Mumbai