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BW Businessworld

Sony India: A Legacy Brand

Sony india has joined hands with nsdc and kedman to create job opportunities for youth

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Sony is not just a household name in consumer durables – it is a brand that stands for innovation and quality. It is perhaps, not surprising then that both analysts and the jury for BW Businessworld’s rankings of the Most Respected Companies (MRC) for 2019, have put Sony India in the lead and at third spot ? just a shade behind Google India and Amazon India in the rankings. 

Established in 1946 with an initial capital of just 190,000 yen (roughly Rs 119,500 or $1,685) and 20 employees, the Japanese technology giant has today grown into a colossus, with more than 117,300 employees and a market capital of $65.36 billion.  

In India, Sony has been facing rough weather across its segments, the worst affected, perhaps being its television business. Yet, the company’s managing director in India, Sunil Nayyar, is unfazed. “Sony is only talking about premium,” Nayyar, the first Indian to head the company’s India operations, told BW Businessworld recently. 

At one point, the major growth drivers for Sony India were its high-end Bravia televisions, the Vaio laptops and the Xperia hand phones, contributing to a whopping 70 per cent of its total revenue. After pulling out the smartphones and the laptops from the Indian market, Sony has over the last few years zeroed in on audio and digital imaging products. 

Nayyar said Sony is now focused only on the premium-end in India and is the largest brand in OLED and 4K HDR televisions, high-end headphones such as those with noise-cancelling features, party speakers, full-frame mirror-less cameras and lens segments. “We are going strong in our premium product portfolio and are bullish about it,” he said.  

The Indian arm of the Tokyo-based transnational now generates around 65 per cent of its revenue from the television segment, 15 per cent from audio, 10 per cent from camera and the remaining 10 per cent from other products. 

Sony Corporation expects its India operations to be its third-largest in the world in the coming decade. Sony India already oversees its fourth-largest market globally, which overtook its businesses in Brazil and Russia a few years back. India now trails behind the US, China and Japan in that order, in terms of global revenue. 

“India is currently the fourth largest contributor to global sales by value and remains a strategic and important market, given the favourable demographics and growing affluence of the middle class,” Nayyar said. No doubt Sony India’s business has been severely impacted, especially in the 32-inch television space. Nayyar, however, is extremely confident of market leadership. 

“The chunk of the market is competing for volumes near the bottom of this pyramid. However, there are a growing number of buyers looking for premium products, and we’re encouraged by market growth in the premium segment,” he said.  

Financial returns, however, are one among a range of parameters on which companies in India were assessed for the MRC rankings. The other parameters included ‘trustworthy leadership’, ‘corporate social responsibility’ and ‘work culture’. In India, Sony is involved in skilling the youth. Last September, it joined hands with the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) and Kedman Skilling to provide job opportunities to candidates from their future talent pool. 

“As a committed player towards employability development in India, we at Sony India are proud to partner with NSDC to provide job opportunities to Indian youth,” said Sanjay Bhatnagar, National Head-HR, CSR, Admin and Facilities, Ethics and Compliances at Sony India. 

In the days ahead, Sony aims to hire resources from the NSDC as associates across more than 150 tier-1, tier-2 and tier-3 cities around the country.  

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