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    Guitarmaker to set up base in India

    By Staff

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    Kochi (UNI): Leading Spanish flamenco guitar maker Enrique Keller is going to set up a production unit in the Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) shortly to produce its world-renowned musical instruments. The company has taken about 20,000 sq. ft of land in the CSEZ on lease. It is expected to set up its plant in the next two to three months and start commercial production by September-October this year, informed sources told UNI. This will be the first foreign direct investment (FDI) in the CSEZ to manufacture complete musical instruments.

    Faced with stiff competition from China and South Korea, Enrique Keller had been looking for a production base in Asia. Not wanting to set up its unit in China, which has a large number of guitar making units, it had zeroed in on India, the sources said. Kochi seemed to have found favour as it has a well developed sea port, which the company would use for shipping out its goods. Also, India, alongwith Germany, Canada and some African countries, is the main supplier of wood for the instruments.

    The company is expected to hire about 100 to 300 workers for its Kochi plant. It is expected to make an initial investment amounting to about Rs 50 million to 60 million in the venture, which will be run by a fully-owned subsidiary. With the middle class youth in India having increased purchasing power, and also a taste for popular music, the company is interested in tapping the local market also. The Kochi facility, however, is to to be a hundred per cent export-oriented unit.

    Founded in 1944 by German Enrique Keller Fritsch, Enrique Keller S.A. is today rated as among the best Spanish companies for the manufacture of musical instruments including Spanish guitars and xylophones. Its main export markets are in Europe, the US and Asia.

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