BPL Group

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BPL Group
Type Public (BSE500074)
Industry Electronics
Founded 1963
Headquarters Bangalore, India
Products Medical equipment, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves & audio equipment
Revenue INR118.50 crore (US$20 million)
Operating income INR90 crore (US$15 million)
Net income INR77 crore (US$13 million) (Extraordinary income inclusive)
Employees around 250
Website www.bpl.in

British Physical Laboratories Group (BPL) is an Indian electronics company. It makes consumer appliances, home entertainment products and health care equipment. It was founded in 1963 in Palakkad, Kerala, and is headquartered at Bangalore, Karnataka.

History[edit]

British Physical Laboratories was founded in 1963, during the Licence Raj, by TPG Nambiar in Palakkad, Kerala, as a company for manufacturing hermetically sealed precision panel meters for the defence forces.[1][2][3] Nambiar had worked in the United Kingdom and United States, and when he returned to India, he desired to create a company that manufactured high-quality electronic products, and he wanted to make BPL a household name.[1]

BPL initially expanded its medical product ranges to include electrocardiographs and patient-monitoring systems.[2] After the 1982 Asian Games, BPL expanded its range further and manufactured colour televisions and video cassette recorders, and later refrigerators, batteries and other consumer electrical equipment.[3]

The company headquarters was moved to Dynamic House, Church Street, Bangalore.[2] From medical electronics, it expanded into consumer electronics, telecommunications, soft energy and electronic components.[2]

1980s[edit]

From 1980 onwards, when the industrial licensing was relaxed, BPL began manufacturing televisions and telecommunications equipment, demonstrating its potential and future business area. It began collaborating with the Japanese Sanyo Electric Company in the early 1980s with a technology-transfer agreement.[2][4] In the early 1990s, after globalisation and liberalization of the Indian economy, competition entered the market. BPL retained its strong presence and growth rate. During the late 1990s, the company's annual revenue peaked at INR4300 crore (equivalent to INR110 billion or US$1.8 billion in 2014).[2]

BPL concentrated on importing technology, improving product quality, innovations and manufacturing of electronic products. In late 1980s, BPL had metamorphosed from an entrepreneurial venture, into India's biggest consumer electronics & telecommunication company.

Following economic liberalisation in India in 1991, BPL faced increased competition from South Korean companies LG and Samsung.[2] Internal disputes within the controlling family took away attention from external threats, and the company's fortunes declined.[2] By 2004, BPL and Sanyo were facing serious financial problems due to intense competition in the global electronics market.[4] In 2005, the companies announced a joint-venture, and BPL transferred its colour television business, then worth US$80 million, to the new venture.[5]

BPL was restructured with a focus on energy, healthcare, consumer electronics and home security systems.[2]

Performance[edit]

BPL Ltd has reported a net loss of INR34.76 crore (equivalent to INR60 crore or US$10 million in 2014) in the second quarter of fiscal 2005-06, on gross sales of INR34.71 crore (equivalent to INR60 crore or US$10 million in 2014). Operating losses were at INR13.91 crore (equivalent to INR24 crore or US$4.1 million in 2014).

Gross sales were INR64.45 crore (equivalent to INR117 crore or US$20 million in 2014) in the corresponding period during 2004-05 while net loss was at INR41.59 crore (equivalent to INR75 crore or US$13 million in 2014).

According to the company, the promoters have brought in INR50.08 crore (equivalent to INR91 crore or US$15 million in 2014) as contemplated in the corporate debt restructuring scheme. The amount was to pay statutory liabilities, unsecured, pressing creditors, dealers, credit balances, employee dues and working capital requirements, in part.

In respect to the auditors' qualification of the company's accounts for the period ended March 31, 2005, about undisputed amounts payable in respect of income-tax (INR4.44 crore (equivalent to INR8.0 crore or US$1.4 million in 2014)), dividend tax (INR2.51 crore (equivalent to INR4.5 crore or US$760,000 in 2014)), wealth tax (INR0.11 crore (equivalent to INR2.0 million or US$33,000 in 2014)), TDS (INR6.77 crore (equivalent to INR12 crore or US$2.1 million in 2014)) and customs duty (INR1.68 crore (equivalent to INR3.0 crore or US$510,000 in 2014)), the Chairman and Managing director, Mr Ajit G. Nambiar said the company had earlier not been able to remit the dues because of cash flow constraint but in July 2005, remitted the entire dues except INR1.26 crore (equivalent to INR2.3 crore or US$380,000 in 2014) in customs duty.

The balance in customs duty would be paid once the financial restructuring is completed and normalcy of operations is achieved, according to the company.

Joint venture with Sanyo[edit]

The BPL Group and Japanese electronics major Sanyo Electric Company Ltd formally started their 50:50 joint venture.

The partners, who had shared a long-standing relationship since 1982, had been off the market for about two years, going through some tough times. In the year 2006, they decided to get back in action together to regain lost market share.

While unveiling the Joint Venture's plans, Sanyo-BPL Pvt Ltd Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ajit G Nambiar, said the company expected to post revenues of around INR2000 crore (equivalent to INR30 billion or US$500 million in 2014) by 2009 and lead the market in consumer electronics and white goods in five years.

They, however, decided to market their brands separately with BPL focusing on the volume segment while Sanyo brand positioned itself as the value driver.

Besides, Sanyo also planned to use India as its sourcing base and has already started sourcing slim TVs from India. It also expected India to contribute five per cent of its global revenues from its operations in India.

In May 2007 after the failure of Sanyo BPL venture. The attrition in rate in Sanyo BPL was 70%. BPL concentrated 100% on Healthcare Business group which has its own manufacturing of electromedical equipment such as electrocardiography apparatus and patient monitors, with a well-established distribution and service network across the country. The company focuses on delivering to the customers a high degree of support reliability and has re branded its the service offering under the "Sure Care" brand. Sure Care provides support for the complete range of BPL Healthcare products.

BPL Med[edit]

BPL Medical Technologies was spun off into a separate company in 2013. In May 2013, Goldman Sachs purchased a 49% stake in the new company for INR110 crore (equivalent to INR122 crore or US$20 million in 2014).[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Our History". BPL Group. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Babu, Venkatesha; Pulla, Priyanka (2011-03-15). "The rise and fall of BPL". Mint (Bangalore: HT Media). Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  3. ^ a b "‘B’eyond ‘P’erceptible ‘L’ogic! - Nambiar’s misplaced trust in his son-in-law was just the icing...". Indian Institute of Planning and Management. Archived from the original on 2014-04-18. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  4. ^ a b "BPL Ltd & Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd: An Enduring Alliance". IBS Center for Management Research. 2006. Archived from the original on 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  5. ^ Mathew, James; Sinha, Vivek (2005-06-28). "Bombay HC clears BPL’s debt restructuring plan". The Economic Times (New Delhi: The Times Group). Archived from the original on 2014-04-18. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  6. ^ "Goldman Sachs picks up 49% stake in BPL Med". Business Standard (Business Standard Ltd). 2013-05-14. Archived from the original on 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 

External links[edit]