Nikhil Sardana: What is the history of Yamaha Music? When did you first start operations in India and what products do you currently offer in this field?
Hitoshi Mochizuki: Since 1887, when it began producing reed organs, the Yamaha Corporation in Japan (then Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd.) has grown to become the world’s largest manufacturer of a full line of musical instruments and a leading producer of audio/visual products, semiconductors, computer related products, sporting goods, home appliances, furniture, specialty metals, machine tools and industrial robots. Yamaha now owns 44 subsidiaries and representative offices in overseas markets in addition to numerous related companies in Japan.
Established in March 2008, Yamaha Music India Pvt. Ltd. is part of the Yamaha Corporation worldwide group of companies and offers a full line of Yamaha musical instruments, Pro Audio and Audio Visual equipments to the Indian market. It began its operations in October 2008 with its headquarters at Gurugram, Haryana.
NS: What were the various challenges you faced with the Indian market?
HM: Yamaha Music India has completed almost 8 years in the Indian Market. This region has a very rich tradition of its own music. In the beginning of our operations, there was a small demographic that was interested in Western music. Supplying instruments from other countries with a competitive price range and working towards creating an interest towards this genre has been the biggest challenge in the Indian market. We are now also working to develop Western instruments like portable keyboards, synthesizers and electronic drums which would all include Indian instruments’ sounds.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of the interview incorrectly stated, “We are now also working to develop Indian instruments including the sitar, tabla and harmonium.”
NS: Please tell us briefly about your background and association with Yamaha.
HM: My uncle was a music teacher at a junior high school in Japan and often taught me how to play instruments during my childhood. I dreamt to play music like him and knew the Yamaha brand. I joined Yamaha in 1981 and have worked in several countries such as Japan, France, Germany, Malaysia and now India from July 2012. Through these experiences, I found that Yamaha’s strength lies in offering a full line of products with good quality, professional knowledge and serious business partners everywhere and this the same situation in India. Making the best possible use these factors, we would like to develop unique business models which no other companies can execute in India.
NS: How many stores do you currently have in India? Do you plan on further expanding to other cities? What is the most popular instrument sold in India today?
HM: We have exclusive 23 Yamaha franchise stores across India and have big plans to expand in other cities. The Yamaha portable keyboards are the most popular instrument followed by the Guitar and Digital Pianos.
NS: Why is music and its education important?
HM: Music education helps to develop language and reasoning, mastery of memorisation, emotional development, enhance imagination, evoke intellectual curiosity and boost self confidence.
In India almost every human being loves music in terms of listening and singing, however not so much towards learning an instrument. Yamaha Music is trying to change this and provide everyone a platform where every individual can look for a career as an instrumentalist.