"The comeback of BPL with an exclusive tie up with Flipkart" A Story Of Trust & Success From Scratch!!!

A damaged, burnt, bullet-ridden television set reached the BPL corporate office in the winter of 1999, addressed to the managing director Ajit Nambiar, much to the surprise and amusement of all.The TV-set, a 14-inch BPL KTR model, was sent by the Indian Army from the battlefield of Kargil with autographs all over a gesture of thanks for the entertainment it had provided for over many years.

"It was a cheap set which bore the brunt of the war during that summer. To us, it showed the reach we had among Indian customers at that time. We kept it inside a glass box for everybody to see," recalls general manager Manmohan Ganesh.
That TV reflects the fortunes of the company today bruised, battered, a shadow of its former self. But it's now trying to make a comeback with the very product that once took them to crazy heights. And it all started when e-commerce giant Flipkart approached last year urging them to restart the business.
"Flipkart's market intelligence showed that BPL was still one of the most preferred television brands in the country. That took us by surprise, as we had moved away from that segment altogether. It is then that we decided to test the waters again," says Nambiar, whose father had started the brand in 1963.
BPL, which since January has been selling 32-inch and 40-inch HD televisions manufactured in their own facilities, is targeting revenue of Rs 100 crore this fiscal from TV sales. Nambiar says they sell about 8,000 units a month, and is already one of the top three brands on s in sales in the 32"-40" categories."Former dealers requested us to go through the brickand-mortar stores, but the economics of the e-commerce route is good for us. We get real-time reaction and reviews from customers, which were not available previously," Nambiar says.
For years around the turn of the century, BPL was the No. 1 television brand in India. But a combination of circumstances expansion into unrelated businesses, family squabbles, financial indiscipline and the entry of multinational brands such as Samsung and LG brought this once mighty group to its knees.
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"We took a lot of things a lot of things for granted," says Nambiar, who spoke to TOI at Dynamic Ho use -the group's headquarters on Church Street in Bengaluru's central business district, from which BPL became a household name.
The final blow came about a decade ago when its Japanese technology partner Sanyo Electric filed for bankruptcy and was eventually bought by Panasonic. "The liquidation of Sanyo was a rude shock for BPL and nobody wanted to start from scratch all over again," says Nambi ar. "So we focused on medical devices, lighting devices and home automation."
Brand BPL, however, continued to resonate among a lot of people. "Many of our earlier users still sometimes call us and ask whether we have an advanced version of a product and we are at a loss to react. That is also one of the reasons for getting back into television," Ganesh says.
Last fiscal, BPL's revenue grew to Rs 40.4 crore, from Rs 23.9 crore in 2014-15, but it suffered a loss of Rs 8.5 crore, compared to a profit of Rs 7.8 crore the year before, because of the investments it made in the TV business.
But the executives are cautious in a market which has changed beyond recognition in the past decade. "There were so many things we did first in the consumer electronics space, such as India's first wide-screen TV, first frost-free refrigerator and first VCR. Now we have put all eggs in one basket ( Flipkart) and my first target is to get the lost numbers back," Nambiar says.
The company is also exploring launching fridges and washing machines. "Our target is an online market share of 10% in the next two years. If I can be a significant player on the platform, it is better than dealing with dealers," he says.
via times of india

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