TV manufacturers switch channels to boost sales

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 24, 2017

Kodak and BPL taste success by selling online

TV manufacturers, who primarily depended on selling their products through pan-India retail distribution networks, are jumping onto the online bandwagon to shore up sales.

Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL), headquartered in Noida, which retails home-grown brands – SVL, Suntek, Crown and Suzikon through a network of 400 multi-brand stores and 350 service centres across India – hit the jackpot when it decided to launch Kodak HD LED TVs exclusively on online platforms such as Shopclues, Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm last August.

In a little over a year, SPPL, the brand licensee for Kodak HD LED TVs in India, sold over 100,000 Kodak TVs. It outdid its target for the just-concluded Diwali season, selling 30,000 Kodak TVs, which is equal to 20 per cent of its overall sales in FY 2016-17.

BPL makes a comeback

BPL, once a household name, which continues to enjoy high brand recall despite being forced out of the market in 2006 when its long-term technology partner Sanyo collapsed, staged a re-entry into the India market in January 2016.

This time around, BPL, which had mastered the art of retailing TVs out of 3,000 stores pan-India, decided to opt for the online route and partnered with Flipkart, selling 55,000 units of TVs last year. Since January this year, the company has shifted to Amazon and has doubled its TV sales, fuelled by festive season demand.

“We targeted to sell 20,000 Kodak TVs in the 45-day Diwali sale period from September 1 up to Diwali, but sold 70 per cent (14,000 units) of that during the Big Billion Days sale itself and overshot our target, selling 30,000 units for the season,” Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of SPPL, told BusinessLine.

The company sold 1.4-lakh units of TVs in FY 2016-17 and achieved ₹200 crore in revenue, and is aiming to achieve ₹350-400 crore this fiscal with the sale of 2.5-3 lakh units, led by the escalating demand for smart TVs.

According to Marwah, online is the best medium to reach a vast consumer base, at a negligible cost, considering that brand Kodak has already garnered 7-crore impressions online.

“The Kodak brand has a very high recall in India. That coupled with our product pricing for the Diwali sale – ₹14,990 for a 32-inch Kodak Smart TV compared to the regular price of ₹17,490 – resulted in stellar sales. Demand is robust and we keep going out of stock despite manufacturing 40,000 units of Kodak TVs per month.”

On a similar vein, Manmohan Ganesh, COO, BPL Ltd, believes online is a very efficient channel for sales. “Today, we have reach in areas such as Meghalaya, Andamans and Lakshadweep, which we never had in our heydays when we were purely an offline player.”

Asked if BPL would eventually set up a retail distribution network, he said: “Not in the foreseeable future. Going offline would push up costs by 25 per cent, which includes dealer margins, cost of manpower, logistics and stocking inventory. However, we are planning to set up Experience Zones with Amazon, with an entire range of products from BPL in metros and Tier 2 cities shortly, where consumers can experience our products first-hand.”

Published on October 24, 2017
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