Hitachi Koki is a name that needs no introduction, being a global leader in the field of power tools. On the back of continuous R&D and unflinching commitment to quality, the company has carved a niche of its own in the field since 1948. The Indian subsidiary of the company, Hitachi Koki India Pvt. Ltd., established in 1996, has made rapid inroads into the Indian market with a wide range of power tools, as well as outdoor power equipment. In an exclusive interview with The Masterbuilder, Dattatraya Joshi Executive Director & Secretary of the company gave detailed insights into various aspects including Hitachi Koki India’s product range, dealer & service network, technology initiatives and future plans. Here are excerpts from the interview.
You have been synonymous with power tools for decades now. Please share with us your organizations journey and contributions to the power tool industry.
Hitachi Koki’s journey in India started way back in 1996. In fact, we would be celebrating our 20th anniversary next year. In the beginning it was very challenging for us to establish our brand among the Indian consumers, establishing the dealer network etc. But from early the 2000’s we had consolidated our position and started growing much faster than the industry growth. Today we are one of the leading brands in India & have made significant contribution towards technology, efficiency and safety of power tool users.
What is your market share in India in the power tool market segment?
Market share may vary from segment to segment, but in terms of absolute numbers we may be holding 16% of the market share in the power tool industry.
Please tell us about your presence in Tier I and Tier II cities in India as far as your sales and service network are concerned. Do also share with us your plans for expansion in India.
At present we have 9 branches and a sales and services force of around 100 across the country. In terms of distributors we have more than 350 across the country out of which 50% would be in state capitals and in future we want improve the tally to 400 with more focus on tier II cities. We are also planning to have two more sales offices (Pune & Jaipur) by end of this year.
Competition in the power tools market is quite stiff. How have you positioned your brand among the competitors?
Our trade tools are quite popular, we have been competitive in the ‘ DIY’ (do- it- yourself) segment. We have now introduced professional cordless tools to cater to the automobile industry. We also intend focusing more on professional tools (construction tools& anchor fasteners) to tap the opportunities that are available in that segment.
Can you brief about your expansion plans in terms of products / verticals?
Though construction / infrastructure sector is going through a turbulent period but with the kind of reforms and spending by the government in this sector, it will bounce back very strongly in near future, Hence to tap this huge business potential we have started a new vertical, ‘Key Account and Anchor fasteners’. Though Hitachi does not have Anchor Fasteners in its own brand, in order to give complete solution to our construction customers, we added Anchor Fastners in our product portfolio by entering into a marketing tie-up with Mungo, which is one of leading brands in Europe.
What is the unique selling preposition of your products?
Our products are known for its quality and durable design, which is our biggest USP. Plus we have a very good distribution and service network across the country.
You had mentioned earlier that your products have made a significant contribution in terms of technology. Could you please elaborate?
Hitachi has been one of pioneers in innovation, the latest one being the ‘brushless motors technology’ which has lots of advantages over the traditional universal motors. The technology offers constant voltage, constant speed, maintenance free rotor (no carbon brush, no winding) and hence very less maintenance of tools. We have introduced 5 models with this technology and in future we would be bringing in more products with this technology. We believe this would be a game changer in the power tools industry.