We have an India-first approach: TCL India MD

Jinoy Jose | Updated on December 05, 2019

TCL India Managing Director Mike Chen

Even though it entered India’s television market just a few years ago, Chinese consumer electronics company TCL has been able to build a niche portfolio in the space thanks to its line-up of affordable TVs. It now aims to be among the largest four players in the television space anchoring on the robust growth it has been witnessing in the past few years. TCL India Managing Director Mike Chen speaks to BusinessLine about the company’s India strategy and growth plans.

How has your India strategy transformed over the years?

Ever since our launch in the country, we have been bullish about adopting an India-first approach. To expedite the delivery of our latest innovation here, we have invested ₹2,000 crore in a large panel factory in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. Our offerings have also evolved over the years. From QLED and Android TVs, we now have a range of AI-powered Android TVs. We have also introduced Android Pie (9.0) in the TV segment. Focussing on advanced technologies, we have been able to make larger panels more affordable. So, our key focus remains on introducing trailblazing innovations that would make life simpler and more intelligent for Indian consumers.

But the smart TV space is seeing a lot of action and challenges now. How TCL is bracing up to meet the emerging challenges?

There are two key trends in the Indian smart TV segment. The first has to do with the advent of cutting-edge technologies such as AI and IoT. Indians are increasingly opening up to utilising the latest and digital technologies for transforming the age-old TV viewing experience. They not only require a range of content but also AI-powered offerings to offer a simple and seamless experience.

The second key feature is a growing preference for large-screen TVs. We have observed a growth in the large-screen TV segment month-on-month. At TCL, we are staying relevant and at the helm of these upcoming changes by delving into the leading technology and making it easily available in the large-screen category.

But almost every big brand brings out affordable 4K TVs now; what’s your edge here?

Our USPs would include having a real panel factory and our own supply chain and R&D centre in-house, which help us to provide the cutting edge product in that price point. When it comes to other major brands, we are the manufacturer and supplier to them. That said, one of the key impediments in the 4K screen space has been a lack of availability of 4K quality content in DTH. To combat the same, we launched TCL Channel. This allows us to bring different content providers under one roof and serve a seamless and integrated experience to our customers.

Further, driven to make everyday living smarter for our Indian customers, we are venturing into offering a complete smart home experience. The foundation of this offerings lies in our expertise in Android and IoT system.

Also, after receiving a thunderous response to our cutting-edge ranges of TVs, we are now bringing full range of Smart ACs, which will improve the lifestyle of Indian families. While we enjoy the No. 2 sport in the global TV segment, we are placed exactly a place below at number third spot for ACs across the globe. Our range of smart ACs will soon be available in India. Besides, even for other appliances such as refrigerators, etc, we stand amongst the Top 5 global brands.

Are you enhancing your online presence?

We are available at some of the leading online platforms in India, including Amazon for TCL and Flipkart for iFFALCON. At present, we are enjoying an impressive online response from these platforms; we are counted amongst the Top 3 brand on each of the platforms and are leading the bigger panel and AI product segment.

Moving forward, we do intend to diversify our reach and adopt a more omni-channel approach, which would include growing both of our online and offline reach to the masses. At TCL, we are constantly working towards to making it easier for our customers to avail our products and services.

Published on December 05, 2019

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