Major consumer electronics players like LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony and Haier are in the race to gain a majority stake in the growing LCD TV market in India. The latest ORG survey for the quarter ended March 2007 revealed that nearly 65 per cent of the LCD television market was dominated by Samsung and LG Electronics. Samsung leads with 36 per cent market share, followed by LG with 30 per cent, and Sony at 14 per cent.
R Zutshi, Deputy Managing Director, Samsung India, said, “LCD television still remains a premium category in the Indian market, even though the affordability has improved considerably due to growing volumes, domestic manufacturing and the efforts by manufacturers to grow this category through attractive pricing and product bundling.”
“There are various factors fuelling the growth of the LCD category. The growing availability of the LCD product ranges in different parts of the country, growing affordability among consumers, innovative product introductions, the awareness creation on this technology by manufacturers and the consumer preference for flatter displays are responsible in contributing to the growth of this category. Innovative value-added promotional offers like product bundling of LCD with home theatres, free Tata Sky connection, etc. are also helping in the category growth,” added Zutshi.
On the other hand, LGEIL has a different marketing strategy. The company recently announced its latest innovation, the Pearl Black LCD range. V Ramachandran, Director-Sales and Marketing, LGEIL, said, “We hope to sell 20,000 units of Pearl Black range over the next 45 days, generating Rs 8 crore in the launch phase. LG is witnessing exponential growth in this category. LGEIL plans to capture around 30 per cent of the flat panel display or FPD market by the year-end, as against the current 23 per cent market share.”
“Currently, we are market leaders in the plasma TV category. The launch of the Pearl Black LCD range will strengthen our position in the LCD TV market so that we can lead the segment by Q1 2008. We are number two in the LCD category and we aim to be number one in 2008,” added Amitabh Tiwari, Business Group Head, LGEIL.
RT Rajan, Vice President-Sales and Marketing, Haier Appliances India, said, “One of the growth factors behind LCD market is that people today are looking for a fusion of style, technology and innovation in the products that they buy. The LCD TV market remains in a phase of explosive growth, mainly due to booming sales of large-sized sets as the consumers’ desire for large TV screens is growing. Even though the market share for LCD CTVs is still small, this segment will eventually dominate the market due to innovations in technology and declining prices for large screens.”
“According to industry figures, the flat TV market is growing by 47.7 per cent and contributes to over 50 per cent of the CTV market. Last year, the market size for LCD and plasma television sets was 30,000 units and this year, it is expected to grow to two lakh units,” added Rajan.
Sony India has also recently launched its new Bravia LCD TV range in India. Commenting on the launch, Masaru Tamagawa, Managing Director, Sony India, said, “We are targetting the Bravia range of LCD televisions at the Rs 10-lakh plus annual income group.”
According to LGEIL’s Tiwari, availability of easy finance, along with reduction in prices, and increase in disposable incomes of people has led to a spurt in the demand for LCDs, which are now becoming increasingly accessible even to the middle class. The company is trying to reach out to mini-metros in addition to the big cities.
Meanwhile, Samsung has a different strategy to maintain its stronghold on the market. Zutshi elaborated, “At Samsung, our endeavour has been to grow this category by continuously introducing our new and innovative models, by focussing on product displays at our multi-brand counters as well as Samsung brand shops, and by offering innovative product bundling offers for consumers. Currently, we are offering our consumers unique combo offers. In order to strengthen Samsung’s LCD range offering, we are setting up attractive LCD displays at around 600 multi-brand counters across the country.” Samsung already has a strong presence in all the large retail formats like Reliance Digital and Croma, and plans to strengthen its presence in upcoming retail chains in the country.
Zutshi explained that the FPD market, which was at 1.45 lakh units last year, is expected to grow to 4 lakh units this year. “We expect it to touch three million units by 2009-10. Being a market leader in the LCD and plasma TV markets, Samsung is aiming at a 50 per cent market share this year,” he added. The company currently has a 37 per cent market share in LCD TVs segment, and 33 per cent market share in plasma TVs segment, as per the ORG survey for January-May 2007.
With all the top names in the LCD market space vying for the numero uno position in the market, it will be interesting to see how the upcoming festive season will affect their individual sales and profits.