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June 6, 1997


Microsoft appoints Videocon as national retailer

A Staff Writer in Bombay

Microsoft products are to be sold through 400 of the select Videocon dealers and 25 dedicated stores throughout India.

Microsoft has tied up with consumer electronic and appliance giant, Videocon. This is the most significant initiative by Microsoft to increase its presence in the Indian domestic retail market.

The company will market a wide range of Microsoft products, including software (operating systems and applications), popular CD titles and hardware items in India.

This comes in the wake of the recent visit by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to the country and the increasing focus on the region.

Videocon, as Microsoft's national retail partner, will be responsible for marketing Microsoft operating system like Windows 95 and application packages like Microsoft Office 97.

Other products which will be made available via this channel are popular CD titles like Flight Simulator, Oceans, Encarta and hardware products like the IntelliMouse and Natural Keyboard.

"Microsoft's business alliance with Videocon, an established name in the field of consumer electronics, further strengthens our commitment to investing in key partnerships in India," said Rajiv Nair, managing director, Microsoft India.

"This partnership will play a pivotal role in our business strategy in the country, bringing information technology to the consumer," he added.

According to V N Dhoot, chairman, Videocon Group, "India has among the lowest penetration levels of computers and IT infrastructure in the world. Given the forces of economic liberalisation unleashed in the country, we expect this to change quite rapidly. The tie up with Microsoft is a part of our effort to tap this large and lucrative market," Dhoot said.

This partnership will result in tremendous synergy as Microsoft will be able to capitalise on Videocon's widespread marketing and distribution network.

Microsoft primarily plans to retail its products through 400 of select Videocon dealers around the country. Apart from these, around 25 stores would be set up for the dedicated sales of Microsoft software products, along with a wide range of multimedia products.

Videocon is the country's largest consumer electronics and appliances brand with a dominating presence in colour and black and white televisions; VCRs/VCPs and audio systems market.

The company also has a commanding presence in washing machines; refrigerators and air conditioners segment.

Videocon has among the largest distribution networks in the country, with over 4,000 dealers and sub-dealers, and an after-sales service network of over 100 service centres. This has always given the group a cutting edge in marketing of it consumer electronics and appliances products.

Videocon has recently set up a telecom and information technology project near Bangalore in Karnataka. This export-based project envisages manufacture of colour monitors, personnel computer, PC sub systems and peripherals, etc, with tieups with leading US and Far Eastern manufacturers.

Microsoft Corporation India Private Limited is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, USA. It has had a presence in India since 1987 and currently has offices in New Delhi, Bangalore and Bombay.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the world-wide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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