Fielding a range of questions, he said the company could consider, at an appropriate time, manufacturing lifestyle products at the plant. That would, however, depend on how the markets evolved, he added.
Harman, he said, had already an R&D (research and development) base in India with facilities in Bangalore and Pune. Employing close to 650 people, these facilities were also tuned to the product development needs of Harman globally, he pointed out.
Global car-makers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Land Rover and Ferrari had already been rolling out vehicles fitted with Harman infotainment systems, he said. For the first time, select Indian cars, too, would be fitted with Harman infotainment systems, he added. In this context, he pointed out that his company had just inked tie-ups with Tata Motors and Fiat. Under the tie-up, Bolt and Zest cars of Tata Motors, and Linea and Punto vehicles of Fiat would be fitted with Harman infotainment systems.
To a question, Mr. Lakshminarayan said Harman had also initiated parleys with other Indian car-makers, including Maruti.
Harman has in its portfolio a range of brands such as Harman Kardon, JBL, Mark Levinson, Lexicon and Infinity. At present, it imports all its products from its plants in China, Mexico and the U.S. The company also provides systems for home entertainment and lifestyle products such as headsets. Mr. Lakshminarayan expressed the hope that Harman would notch up revenue of $250 million in three years in India. Sales were in the vicinity of $70-80 million at the moment
Harman has roped in Sunitha Sarathy, a vocalist and performer in both Indian contemporary and western classical music genres, as its brand ambassador in India. It has signed up with Oscar-wining music director A. R. Rahman as the brand ambassador for JBL by Harman’s ‘Hear the Truth’, a multi-year campaign aimed at exciting music lovers across the globe.
Harman has just opened its exclusive Harman Kardon sound lounge in Chennai, showcasing a range of its premium lifestyle products, including sub-woofers and headsets. The lounge is operated by Sahil International, which is the authorised sales and service partner for Harman lifestyle division products in India. Harman has also commenced online sales of its products.