It is a fact that the India's rapid economic growth has revolutionised the electronic industry here. In the case of the liquid crystal display (LCD) television market, the top players have brought on superior technologies in a race to outdo competitors. LCD TV sales in India this fiscal are expected to hit 2.7 million units. And while companies are eager to bring in higher-end sets that cost in the Rs 1 lakh range, the attractive price of Rs 40,000 appears to be the sweet spot, pushing sales. "Sony India Private Ltd has registered a growth of 65 per cent in the first half of FY10 (April-September 2010) vis-a-vis the corresponding period last year," said Tadato Kimura, general manager (marketing), Sony India. He added that Sony hopes to increase its sales to 800,000 units in the fiscal, up from 400,000 units last year. Other players like Panasonic India Private Ltd also hope to clinch a fair share in the market. "The LCD market during 2010 was expected to be in the range of 3.2 million units, and a growth of 70 per cent over last year. Panasonic is targeting a market share of 10 per cent by the end of this fiscal year," said Manish Sharma, director (marketing), Panasonic India. "Videocon is hoping for a good year in terms of revenue. Our 33-inch LCD was an outperformer, while 19 and 22 inches did well at the entry level. We hope to touch 5 million units in 2011," said Shekhar Jyoti, chief operating officer, electronics and appliances division, at Videocon Industries Ltd. Onida India Ltd also boasts of 60 per cent to 65 per cent growth in LCD sales this year. "We expect the same trend to sustain in the next fiscal. Onida is tripling LCD sales volume this year, thereby growing share. We plan to enjoy an 8 to 9 per cent market share by the next fiscal," said K Sriram, vice president, sales and marketing, Onida. It is not just the numbers that are spelling the growth story in the LCD segment. The battlelines have been drawn been set with companies readying for a shakeout. "Sony India aims to achieve 30 per cent share in the LCD TV segment by FY10.
It was 25 per cent in the corresponding period last year," said Kimura, adding that the company's brand Bravia has been ruling the Indian market at the No 1 spot in the flat TV segment since May 2010. Corroborating this, the latest data from the research firm GfK notes that Bravia has recorded a 33.7 per cent market share (by value) in October 2010. The brand was also the top-selling brand in key screen sizes, the GfK data shows. Even as Sony is getting ready to launch a new range of Bravia ahead of and during the International Cricket Council World Cup 2011, for which it holds the principal sponsorship, Panasonic has lined up expansion plans for both its large- and small-screen television sets.
The small-screen models will be introduced with an intention to "utilise the potential of growing demand in tier 2 and 3 markets. Consumers are eager to upgrade from colour television to LCD, which will fuel demand," said Panasonic's Sharma. "We are also planning to expand our distribution and service network and reach to smaller towns in order to place our products closer to the consumers in these towns. We are targeting a market share of 15 per cent during the next fiscal," he added.
For Sony, "extensive marketing activities are planned for this season, including above-the-line and below-the-line promotions to reach out to our target audiences augmenting their celebrations this cricketing season," said Kimura. Incidentally, in an India-specific TV market study, market researcher DisplaySearch reported that LG Electronics India Private Ltd increased its unit share of flat panel TV shipments to 22.7 per cent in the third quarter of the fiscal, grabbing the top market share position in the Indian TV market. DisplaySearch says LG's rivals, Samsung Electronics Co and Sony, followed close behind with shipment market shares of 21 per cent and 20.8 per cent, respectively. In addition, Panasonic almost doubled its unit share in the region to 11 per cent in the third quarter, up from 6.7 per cent in the second quarter of the same fiscal. Both Videocon and Onida also increased their unit shares.