Kochi, Oct 5 (UNI) Hong Kong-based sanitaryware manufacturer Beljino International has announced a US$ 400,000 joint venture in Kerala to produce bathroom furniture, glass and ceramic wash basins and bath cubicles.
Addressing a press conference here last night, Beljino International Chairman Wen Hen Fie said the joint venture would be floated alongwith Apex Marketing, which is the sole distributor for its products in India.
Possible locations for the factory are being identified in Kottayam or Idukki districts and the company plans to start the venture by the middle of next year, he added.
Replying to a query, Mr Wen said his company had no apprehensions about investing in Kerala, which had a reputation for labour problems.
Apex Marketing MD Augustine Abraham said the plant, to be located in a one acre area, would initially employ about 75 people. The float glass used for the wash basins would be imported.
A second plant would be set up in Karnataka, at a similar investment, after the Kerala factory is completed.
Stating that the Beljino ware, which was launched in India in 2003, had evoked a good response from the market, Mr Abraham said the sales turnover during the last financial year was Rs ten crore.
The company was targeting a turnover of Rs 18 crore this year, he added.
The price of the Beljino products ranged from Rs 2,000 to Rs 75,000 for wash basins and around Rs 10,000 for the bathroom furniture, he said.
Apex Marketing, which was distributing the Beljino ware through 600 dealers in south India, was planning to appoint 200 more dealers in other partsd of the country besides ten exclusive showrooms in the southern cities of Bangalore, Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur. The company already had three exclusive showrooms in Chennai, Kochi and Kozhikode, he added.
UNI ARC DK1430