With the arrival of the festival season, the demand for smart TVs and smartphones is set to surge. The upcoming Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be held in India this year, is another event expected to boost the sales of these products further.
The Smart TV segment in India is experiencing continuous growth, with various companies launching new TVs regularly. Gadgets 360 got a chance to sit down with Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO/Director of Super Plastronics Limited (SPPL). Under his leadership, SPPL launched four brands in India: Kodak TV, Thomson, White Westinghouse, and Blaupunkt TV.
We also gathered information from Avneet about the company's plans, preparations for the festive season, and the changes occurring in the sector and consumer behaviour. Some responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Q. In your leadership, SPPL launched four brands in India - Kodak TV, Thomson, White Westinghouse, and Blaupunkt TV. Why the need for four brands instead of focusing on only one?
Even though we operate four brands in India, each is managed under a distinct strategy. With different strategy, I mean that things are getting consolidated in the television industry in India. It is not a decade back how TVs were sold and where General trade used to contribute about 80 to 90% of the total sales. But market dynamics have changed, and we've already witnessed this change in the West.
For example, in Europe, there are very few mom-and-pop shops left. Sales are now primarily handled by large format retailers like Carrefour, Metro, and Walmart or through online channels. The same trend has been replicated in India, with online sales and Large Format Retailers (LFRs) growing significantly. You've seen a lot of regional LFRs, and online sales are growing.
Q. How do you distinguish between such a multitude of brands?
If we talk about differentiation, all four brands have very different strategies. For example, Blaupunkt is exclusive to one platform, while Thomson is with another. Blaupunkt is our premium segment category. You will be surprised to know that Blaupunkt sells about three times its 32 inches. This gives you an idea of the strong brand equity that this brand enjoys.
Our primary focus has been on large screen sizes, which has proven very successful for us. Additionally, all Blaupunkt televisions offer an added sound advantage to our consumers. The sound quality of most Blaupunkt televisions surpasses that of Thomson or Kodak. Therefore, our main consideration has always been why a consumer would need to purchase external speakers when they choose Blaupunkt.
After that, let's come to Kodak. Kodak is a brand that is available across all platforms - online, offline, Large Format Retailers (LFRs), and General Trade. So, the opportunity for Kodak is entirely different. Our thought process and strategy for Kodak revolve around catering to all sections of the market. Westinghouse, on the other hand, is an exclusive brand available only on Amazon. This is how we differentiate our brands.
In the television industry, there are very few aspects where you can truly differentiate. Besides aesthetics such as sound and brightness, you can only make one or two changes, but not much beyond that. This is because the operating system (OS) remains consistent, and we are using Android, which is currently the number one OS in the television industry worldwide.
Q. What is your Current market share in India? And What's your target for this financial Year?
In the last financial year, we achieved a revenue of Rs 700 crore; this financial year, our target is Rs 1,000 crore. Our current market share is 6%, and we aim to increase it to at least 8.5% in the next 18 months.
Q. What is the current trend in the market right now? What size TV are people buying the most, and how are your future plans aligned with this trend?
A significant shift has been observed in the industry, with a growing preference for larger-screen TVs among consumers. In Blaupunkt, 55-inch TVs are outselling the 32-inch ones. Considering the industry standard, 43 inches has become the new entry-level size for TVs. Within a couple of months, 50 or 55-inch models are expected to become the highest-selling models in the country, including in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Our focus is also on selling large-screen TVs under our different brands.
Q. The festive season is underway, and Amazon and Flipkart will be hosting their sales this month. Can you reveal the best exclusive deal before the sales start here?
During the festival season, consumers will be able to purchase the most affordable Blaupunkt TV, a 24-inch LED Smart TV, for the price of Rs 5,999. This is India's most affordable smart TV. Additionally, Thomson's standard 4K TV with a 43-inch screen will be available during the sale at Rs 18,500. Furthermore, we will introduce the Kodak 43QLED TV during the sale, and I can reveal that its price will be more competitive than any Chinese company.