GE Remodels Businesses in India
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
BANGALORE, India-As General Electric Co. assessed the lingering impact of the global financial crisis, it saw that some emerging markets-chief among them India-had come through the trauma better than the developed world.
The Fairfield, Conn., company has been in India for more than a century, but it revamped its operations there only a few years ago to tap into the country’s large consumer market and its economic growth, which rose 8.5% in the year ended March 31.
Now, the effort is beginning to pay off. GE makes an MRI scanner and a baby warmer in India that it sells there and elsewhere. And sales for GE’s health-care unit there rose 20% last year to $300 million, and it expects them to rise to $400 million this year and hopes to reach $1 billion in the next five years.
The key for GE was to focus not just on sales and marketing but also on using India as a hub for designing low-cost products for India, other emerging markets and, ultimately, the developed world. GE isn’t alone in taking that tack-auto makers have developed similar strategies. But its moves come as foreign investment in the country is dropping.