Friday, Jan 17, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Addressing a press conference here today, A. Vellayan, Vice-Chairman, EID Parry, said Parryware had improved its market position in the organised sector, which was worth about Rs. 230 crores. He said Parryware had managed to improve its leadership position by fighting competition from within and outside.
The foreign brands, especially, had been active in the upper segment of the market, he added. The division had posted a turnover of Rs. 70.20 crores for the half-year ended September 2002.
A combination of factors ranging from introduction of new products to greater focus on customers had been primarily responsible for the division to beef up its market share, he pointed out.
Parryware has three plants - one each in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It had grown inorganically - first by the acquisition of Falcon Gulf Ceramics ten years ago and later by taking over Johonson Peddar.
These, Mr. Vellayan said, had given Parryware not only a national presence but also visibility in the middle and lower segments of the market. He presaged good potential for the business what with the housing boom in the wake of interest rate cuts and the current low level of sanitaryware penetration in India. "Though we are 50 years old, we have maintained youthfulness and glamour through constantly rejuvenating products," Mr. Vellayan said.
The Vice-Chairman said about 6-7 per cent of the turnover came from exports. The objective was to take this up to around 15 per cent of the turnover over the next 2-3 years. At present, Parryware products were exported to South Africa, West Asia and Sri Lanka. Mr. Vellayan claimed that Parryware was the largest imported brand in South Africa.
Mr. Vellayan indicted that Parryware might have to think of infusing fresh investments into its plants in the next couple of years for rejuvenating them. Nevertheless, he insisted that the current focus was on injecting greater investments into the marketplace.
G. Ramprasad, Vice-President, Parryware, the division would lay much store by the expansion of customer care network and enhancing the service levels to customers.
Parryware, he indicated, would extensively use information technology to cut cost and reduce response time. The objective of all these, he said, was to become a leading provider of bathrooms solutions
To raise stake in Godavari Fertilisers
The Murugappa Group is proposing to beef up its equity holding in Godavari Fertilisers and Chemicals, it is learnt.
The Group is at present holding 12 per cent stake in the company through its flagship EID Parry (India), another little known outfit. Sources said the group would be inclined to move its stake up to 14.85 per cent in the company over the next couple of months through market operations.
The Murugappa Group, it was pointed out, was keen to ensure that it did not reach the 15 per cent threshold limit set by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for triggering the takeover code, which would then force the group to come out with an open offer for minority shareholders.
The Andhra Pradesh Government controls around 25.87 per cent shares in Godavari Fertilisers and Chemicals and IFFCO 24.9 per cent.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has already put the company on the `disinvestments block'. If sources were to go by, the Andhra Pradesh Government would most likely to set the process rolling sometime in April this year. If that happened, the Murugappa Group would enter the fray and bid for the AP Government's stake in Godavari Fertilisers and Chemicals.
Godavari Fertilisers, it was argued, would give the Murugappa group greater presence in the Andhra Pradesh market.
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