Hiroaki Nakanishi, CEO, Hitachi explains on CNBC-TV18 that the company plans to tap Indian technical expertise to strengthen its presence in the auto and home appliance sectors.
Welcome to The Forbes India Show on CNBC-TV18. In this episode, meet Hiroaki Nakanishi, CEO, Hitachi who has been credited for the turning the Japanese company into a global technological giant.
Below is an edited transcript of the show on CNBC-TV18.
Q: This is the first time in Hitachi's over-100 year history that the board is meeting in India. What is the significance of this development? What do you and the board sense about the Indian market?
A: India is a very important market and our presence here is still not big enough. Our Indian operations contribute only one percent to total revenue. But with India growing, we are planning to emphasise our presence in the country.
Simultaneously, we are not simply interested in the business of selling products or manufacturing of products. We wish to be involved in total engineering, manufacturing and maintenance which will strengthen our position and enable us to export products from our Indian unit to other parts of the world.
Q: Your interest in India comes at a time when the economy is slowing down to cause a significant paralysis in manufacturing and infrastructure. So what make you confident about India?
A: India holds significant promise because the government has started to announce measures to boost and implement some of the infrastructure initiatives. The second aspect that has attracted our focus is the rapid rise in population and purchasing power of the middle-class. And that will significantly affect the economic environment in India. It is to emphasise our outlook on India that motivated the board to meet in India.
Q: Do you estimate a tripling of your revenues in India by 2015?
A: Yes, I expect we can do that.
Q: What will be the specific areas of opportunity in India?
A: From the viewpoint of organic growth, one product area that is growing very rapidly is home appliances or white goods. Currently, recently our engineering teams began to adjust air-conditioners to work in India as the weather in India is completely different from that in Japan. This is the kind of new trend that is driving the industry. However we do not have a big presence in other areas such as the automotive sector.
Q: In the US and elsewhere across the globe you are a significant supplier to the auto sector?
A: The Indian automotive industry is growing even though the economy is somewhat shaky. We think we have found the answer to the new challenges facing the automotive industry. We will tap India's strength in engineering, designing, maintenance and technology to enter and strengthen our presence in this sector.