Making a big foray into electronics manufacturing and distribution, billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)’s subsidiary Reliance Retail has acquired the licence to manufacture and market consumer durable products under the iconic Indian brands BPL and Kelvinator. The move will also allow Reliance Retail enter the electrical space. According to sources, the deal with BPL will be announced soon while the agreement with Kelvinator has already happened.
Reliance will make and sell BPL’s product portfolio, including air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and television sets in addition to light bulbs and fans. Reliance has put in place an aggressive marketing and distribution plan that could revive the old Indian brands. BPL products will be available at Reliance’s offline and online platforms. They will also be distributed across local electronic stores, and retail and online portals.
“The plan is to launch new products and major campaigns for the festival season,” the sources said.
According to Arvind Singhal, Founder, Technopak, Reliance acquiring the manufacturing rights for these brands is a good addition as it will expand the company’s reach and possibly enhance its private label segment. These brands have good recall value for the older generation. But for the brands to do well, Reliance will have to make them contemporary.
Though Reliance Retail’s store operations were impacted by the Covid-related restrictions, the company’s net profit was up 123 percent at ₹962 crore in the first quarter ended June 30. Its revenue from operations grew 22 percent to ₹38,547 crore.
Reliance Retail has been ramping up its consumer electronics segment. While announcing its first quarter results, the company said it has ramped up digital commerce to serve customer needs; this segment grew 18.8 percent. Revenue was up 1.8x year-on-year with highest ever quarterly sales from the online platform.
Reliance Retail operates online shopping platforms like JioMart and Ajio and also runs a wide network of dedicated physical stores across the length and breadth of the country which cater to categories like fashion, grocery, daily use essentials, electronics and more.