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Nov 12, 2012, 10.24 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Harman on an expansion spree, hums India's tune

When the going in the European and American markets became tough, premium audio and infotainment company, Harman, which owns the JBL brand, shifted focus to emergeing markets like India and hit the jackpot.

When the going in the European and American markets became tough, premium audio and infotainment company, Harman, which owns the JBL brand, shifted focus to emergeing markets like India and hit the jackpot. Farah Bookwala of CNBC-TV18 reports that with Indian music maestro AR Rehman now endorsing the JBL brand, Harman has a spring in its step, and a song on its lips. 

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Stock markets crashed, growth screeched to a halt and globally, the pandemonium resulted in cacophony. So, Harman International, which owns the JBL brand, turned to emerging markets to boost growth and it's been making merry music ever since. The new markets are made up a healthy portion of its Rs 20,000 crore turnover that it recorded in 2011.

Dinesh Paliwal, Global CEO & President, Harman Intl says, "We had zero presence in these countries. Today, we have nearly 20 percent of our sales coming form BRIC countries, which are growing at 35-40 percent per year over the last 12 quarters, that is three years in a row, we have had a growth of 19 percent on the top-line and 230 percent on the bottom-line."

India is at the centre of this boom. With digitalisation and technological makeover of the music and entertainment industry providing a fillip to the company's mainstay segments of premium audio and lifestyle equipment, with music maestro AR Rehman being roped in as global brand ambassador for JBL, Harman International is looking to kick up the music a notch. And Rehman says JBL's increasing presence is fine tuning the growth of the Indian music industry.

However, Harman international is not satisfied with just the audio segment.The company also services the top end of the Indian luxury car segment by providing sophisticated navigation, control and audio entertainment technology to brands like BMW, Lexus and Mercedes. It is now developing technology for both the entry-level car category, and the fast-growing Indian two-wheeler industry. To this end, it has partnered with M&M and Tata Motors and more are on the anvil.

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