New Delhi,Sep 12 (): HMT watches that were a favourite of the older generation will now be a thing of the past.
HMT watches, the iconic brand will be pulling the shutters down. After the Planning Commission and the Finance ministry’s attempt to revive the failing company, the Public Enterprises Reconstruction Board has told the government that HMT watch division cannot be saved and has to stop going further.
HMT Ltd is a government-owned company and its subsidiary is HMT watches and HMT Chinar watches. From 2002, it has been running up losses to the extent that it had no money to pay salaries.
The HMT watch company had a tieup with Citizen watch of Japan. Starting on a high note, the company made profits but gradually it lost ground to other players like Titan.
Top management failed to reinvent itself and continued with models that turned obsolete. Sources say that private players also poached the brains behind the watches.
Last financial year, the loss stood at Rs 242 crore. It was paying salaries through government-allotted funds. The government had infused Rs 252 crore to revive the company but it did not work.
HMT watches produced Rs 14 crore worth products and sold for Rs 11 crore. As regards HMT Chinar watches, the report said Jammu and Kashmir unit employees have been given VRS, with only 54 employees; it had sales of Rs 0.36 crore in 2012-13 with nil production.
HMT was advertised as time keepers of the nation. It was the first to come with a day- date function that automatically updates. It was a gift that a father gave to a son. Like any other public sector, decisions to modernize got caught in red tape.
Competitors raced ahead while the watch company stuck to old methods of marketing and no publicity. UPA deferred the decision to close down the company and now NDA has decided to put a lock on the company. Like Ambassador, now HMT is a nostalgia for many.