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Japan's Shachihata to expand India operations

Posted on Feb 12 2014 | IANS

Chennai, Feb 12 : The Indian subsidiary of Japanese stationery products maker Shachihata Inc. has decided to expand production to target school and office segments, said a senior company official.

"We will be soon launching various types of pens, crayons, oil pastels, geometry boxes and others," Biju Oommen, general manager-sales, Artline (India) Pvt. Ltd., told reporters here Wednesday.

He said the company would make some of the products at its plant near here and get some outsourced.

Artline's plant near here makes around three million pieces of marker pens per month.

Agreeing that Shachihata is present in the Indian market for the past 15 years, Yasuji Mori, director, said: "All these years our focus was not on the domestic market... But now we have decided to focus on the Indian market, which is growing."

He said: "Indian stationery industry is growing at a healthy rate of over 10 percent and it is a critical market for Shachihata. We are committed to grow in India with a target to capture 15 percent market share in relevant categories (writing, scholastic and colouring) in next three years."

He said India will also be the new export hub for the group.

According to Oommen, the company will be launching all its new products by the first quarter of the next fiscal and the necessary distribution network would be in place.

Another Japanese stationery group, Kokuyo, in 2011 bought controlling stakes in Indian company Camlin Ltd. The company renamed as Kokuyo Camlin is also setting up an integrated plant near Mumbai.

"Kokuyo's investment in Camlin was a major milestone for Japanese companies in this segment," agreed Mori while declining to share Shachihata's investment plans in India.

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