Friday, the thirteenth, came with some bad news for consumer electronics major LG Electronics India Ltd (LGEIL). Ajay Kapila, vice-president, sales & marketing, put in his papers after a seven-year stint at the Korean company. LG assistant general manager, marketing, Sanjit Banerjee told agencyfaqs! that Pradeep Tognatta, who was heading the air-conditioner division as senior general manager "will henceforth discharge the duties of vice-president, sales & marketing, although he hasn't been designated the veep yet".
So was it a case of the proverbial seven-year itch? "No, not from my side, " said 38-year-old Kapila. "I believe, I've made good contribution to the company's growth. And the company in turn has made a substantial contribution to my career. But now I have a sense of task accomplished. So, I would say, it was most logical for me to explore bigger challenges and higher growth opportunities." Kapila added that he is "enjoying my leave now" and hopes to take up his new assignment by end May.
However, Kapila is not ready to talk about what his new assignment is going to be. "I might not remain in the durables / electronics industry at all. But, I will be in consumer sector most definitely," was all he would say. "I've had a long stint of 11 years in the consumer durables industry - three years at Onida, between 1990 and 1993 and then in LG." Incidentally, Kapila used to work for the Thapar group before he took a plunge in consumer electronics.
Kapila, who was named the LG Man of the Year 2000, had joined LGEIL in 1993 as marketing manager and has seen the company get over two false starts to emerge as the largest player in the consumer electronic market. His departure comes at a time when the consumer electronics major is looking at IT products to drive growth in the year 2001. Last year, the IT business had contributed about 10 per cent to the total turnover of the company. This year the company hopes to double that to Rs 500 crore. Products such as notebook PCs, mobile phones, LCD TV monitors, finger print monitors would lead this growth.
LGEIL also plans to assemble PC monitors in India. In May 2001, LG's assembly unit of PC monitors at its Greater Noida facility will be fully operational. This would help the company push sales from 3 lakh units in the year 2000 to 5 lakh units in 2001, say company sources.
Now the company looks poised for good times ahead. It has seen dramatic growth across all product categories despite the overall industry slump. While the consumer electronics and home appliances industry has grown by 8-10 per cent in the year 2000, LGEIL has grown by a phenomenal 80 per cent, taking its turnover to Rs 1,903 crore in the year 2000 from Rs 1,056 crore the previous year. The company has also indicated that it plans to divest 25 per cent stake in its Indian operations to the public this year and hopes to take its turnover up to Rs 2,500 crore in 2001.
© 2001 agencyfaqs!