New Delhi: Japanese industrial solutions giant Hitachi on Thursday announced plans to invest about Rs 4,700 crore for expansion in the country, including setting up of five new manufacturing plants and acquiring local firms, by March 2016.
The company that has over 20 group companies in a wide range of segments, including power and industrial systems, industrial components and equipments, air conditioning and television, is also looking to almost treble its revenues from the country to Rs 20,000 crore by 2015-16.
Signifying the importance of the Indian market, the firm that is looking to nearly double its employee strength to 13,000 in the next four years, held its board meeting here, the first outside Japan.
"On Thursday Hitachi had its first board meeting outside Japan and we held it in India. We also fixed India strategy till 2015-16. We target to treble our revenue from here to 300 billion yen (about Rs 20,000 crore). India's contribution will rise to three percent by then from one percent now," Hitachi President Hiroaki Nakanishi told reporters.
The company had a consolidated revenue of about 100 billion yen (Rs 6,700 crore) during 2011-12, he added.
Commenting on the investments for India, Nakanishi said: "To meet our target, we will invest 70 billion yen (about Rs 4,700 crore) by 2015-16. Part of this investment will go for expansion of businesses by acquiring local entities... New type of business development is our target."
For acquisition, the company will look for targets in social infrastructure segment that will include "engineering capabilities", he added.
Asked what makes the company so upbeat about investment scenario in India when many global entities have expressed apprehensions in recent times, Nakanishi said: "That is the challenge as you will not be satisfied always while working with government.
"Slowdown of economy is not only happening in India, it is a global issue. We have to manage business between this. We do not change the priority or investment decisions in the current scenario of the Indian economy."
He said the company had to adjust output of automotive components due to slowdown of vehicle sales in India.     

Hitachi India Managing Director Ichiro Iino said difference of policies between Central and state governments, along with "environmental policies of the Union government are concerns" for the company.
When asked how many new plants will be set up, Iino said: "Currently we have 12 plants in operation, including those of joint ventures in India. We will have five new facilities coming up by March 2016 across all our business verticals."     

The five new plants will include two for auto components in Chennai and Neemrana in Rajasthan and also plants by joint venture, he said without sharing further details.

On manpower, Nakanishi said: "One of our focus is human resource management in India. With our expansion taking place, we will increase our employee strength to nearly 13,000 people by 2015-16 from about 6,800 people at present."
Elaborating India's importance to Hitachi's global business, he said the country is its fifth key management area and regional headquarter outside Japan along with China, Southeast Asia, Europe and the US.
"We will make India a manufacturing hub for other markets. We will expand business to Africa and Middle East making India as a base. We are planning to export construction machineries and infrastructure systems from here," he added.
The company will also consider various proposals to form number of joint ventures with Indian entities in diverse areas such as power solutions, railways equipments, infrastructure systems and IT and telecommunications, Nakanishi said.
Currently construction equipment division is the largest contributor to Hitachi India's revenue, Iino said.
"We hope that social infrastructure segment will be contributing most to our revenues by 2015-16," he added.
The company is currently working on a sea water desalination project at Dahej in Guajarat. It will also strengthen its R&D prowesses by having 50 engineers by FY'16.


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