For all those who say that modern day capitalism doesn’t have a heart- here’s a wake-up call. Philips Electronics, the Amsterdam headquartered €25.42 billion electronic goods behemoth seems to have gotten bored of racking up year after year of multi-billion dollar profits and finally ventured into an area where even angels fear to tread. As most of you would probably not know (and plz don’t ask how I do), snoring in bed is fast emerging as one of the most popular grounds for divorce in the entire western hemisphere. With the increasingly stressful lives most modern day couples lead, denying your better half his/her share of a good night’s sleep can apparently amount to marital cruelty, and in the age of the internet talaq, that’s a more than good enough reason to start looking for a new spouse. Now before you start getting ideas, let me clarify that it isn’t a good enough reason in Indian courts-at least not yet. And if Philips has its way, it is unlikely to be anytime soon. In the true spirit of social service, the Dutch giant has come out with an entire range of products exclusively meant to put sleep back into the busy schedules of bickering couples across the globe. Its Respironics range offers a range of solutions designed to help you tide over your many sleep issues and ensure that your nose does not come in the way of you and eternal marital bliss.Now, while it may be tempting to think of Philips as the next best thing to a marriage counselor, you might just want to hold back a moment. We are still talking about one of the biggest names in the world of electronics, and as noble as their intentions may be, making a tidy profit never hurt anybody- after all, greed can often be good. And going by how it is steadily expanding into every nook and corner of our household, it would appear that Philips has taken the timeless Gordon Gekko maxim truly to heart.
With an extensive presence in almost every conceivable segment, not finding a Philips product in your home could well form the basis for Mission Impossible 5. Be it the home theater system in the drawing rooms, the water purifier that makes our ammonia infested water drinkable, or the coffee maker that churns out undrinkable coffee day after day (it’s not the machine’s fault that you make disgusting coffee), Philips is a name that has truly made itself a part of the daily routine in millions of homes across the country. And it’s not just our homes. With nearly 50 % of its revenues coming from the lighting segment, Philips India has turned its attention towards tapping the hitherto unexplored street lighting segment – as anyone who has walked the eerily dark and desolate streets of most Indian metros would agree, one can’t help but be grateful to them for bringing some much needed light into our lives. So what do all the street lights and sleep labs tell us about the road ahead? The obvious conclusion would be that Philips is no longer content with the plain vanilla electronic giant tag and is focusing instead on branching out to ever-newer market segments, gradually evolving into a more holistic healthcare and well-being brand than focusing only on its core strengths.
But how many takers will the respironics line have in India? .certainly more than you might expect. As per a Philips research conducted in 2009, 93 per cent of Indians are sleep-deprived and 11 per cent of them even took leave from work because of lack of sleep. While the results may well be cause for optimism for the Dutch giant-with more and more Indians adopting western work hours, it can rest assured of a ready market waiting to lap up any sleep inducing device that they can lay their hands on- I would advise you to be warned. Unless you actually work for Philips, offering insomnia as an excuse the next time you stay up for that World Cup game might not be the best of ideas.