Kodak doesn’t require any introduction to the Indian market, however, most of the consumers will relate it with imaging first. Kodak is not only into imaging, now the brand is associated with several products. Kodak forays into TV segment as well and producing numerous choices for various consumers. In an interaction with PCQuest, Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, Director, and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. (SPPL), Kodak HD LED TV India spoke about the segment and what they are planning for.
‘Kodak’ was synonymous with camera technology in India. At this juncture, do you believe that people will accept Kodak primarily as a TV brand?
Kodak was synonymous with camera technology in India and the reason behind launching KODAK HD LED TV was to highlight the transition from still picture to video technology. Kodak at the time was a brand leader when it came to still photography and we would like to repeat the same with video technology as well. So far, we have received a tremendous response from our customers in India.
What are Kodak’s thoughts on the possibility of entering the premium segment of Smart or Curve TVs?
We currently have 4 SKU’s in smart TV and are focused on the smart technology at this point. Our highest selling SKU is the 32” smart TV. We are currently working on, and will be looking to launch a 4k smart TV in the future.
What is the customer segmentation that Kodak is looking to target in the Indian market?
Our aim with Kodak HD LED TV’s is to provide products that are considered ‘value-for-money’ and are within an affordable range for the masses. Why would a consumer wish to pay more when they are getting the same features and technology at an affordable price? We are looking to target the masses with our affordable pricing and are hoping to change the perspective of the Indian consumer, as well as their belief that only the big brands are sustainable.
Could you elaborate on the current trends in the consumer electronics industry?
India is a region with more than 1 billion people and we believe it will be the 3rd largest consumer market in the world by 2025, after China and America. The current trend reflects a first mover advantage, as technology is changing at a rapid speed.
If we talk about LED television, the market is shifting to more content based televisions. The Indian customer now wants better software content on bigger screens. Recent observations show that there is a shift in the average panel size from 32” to 40”, purchased by customers. They have now started comparing the specifications for all their electronics, before buying any technology. The biggest trend that we have witnessed is that the consumer doesn’t want to hamper the viewing experience by limiting himself to a small screen. He would rather connect a smartphone through a screen mirroring option to a bigger screen for a comfortable and enjoyable viewing experience.
What would be the market share of Kodak HD LED TV with regards to the consumer electronics segment? What market share do you hope to capture by 2020?
Our target is to attain a market share of 3 % by 17-18. KODAK HD LED TV is a “Make in India” initiative so our aim is to capture 7% of the market share by the end of 2020-21.
What is your vision for Kodak, as a brand over the next 2 years?
Post our introductory launch, which has been highly successful, we are expanding our outreach by launching the brand in different states. We are currently available across several retail outlets and are simultaneously building our presence in the e-commerce market place. With 28 branch offices and 350 service centers across India, we are confident that we will be able to reach a majority of the country.
Could you give us some insight on the trend that has made the maximum impact in the industry in 2017? What are other areas of technology you wish to explore next year?
With the increase of internet speeds at very affordable prices, consumers have started shifting from normal TV sets to smart TVs. Additionally, the Indian consumer is now aware of the latest technology and has started comparing products and their features against one another. Due to the plethora of brands available and each brand at a more competitive price than the former, the consumer has more choice than ever before. The current ratio of smart to non-smart is 30:70 which is changing every quarter and can reach an equation of 60:40 by the end of the financial year.
Kodak has recently introduced one of our leading smart televisions where the RAM is 1GB and the ROM i.e. the storage is 8GB. These features are offered by very few of the leading television companies currently in the market. The rationale behind this upgrade is that the consumer should be able to download as many applications as possible and slowly eliminate the need for a USB stick.
Our 32-inch Smart SKU is the bestselling model till date. It has an anti-glare protection glass so that the screen doesn’t break easily. We are currently working on our 4K SKU’s and have taken a lot of time and effort to research the product and the technology, as we want to launch a 4K product that is compatible with all playbacks. The software is not readily available in the market and modes of 4K are still limited, hence we would like to wait a while before we introduce a 4K product for our consumers.
As the GST roll out is slated for July 2017, what are the biggest pressure points you feel will impact the industry? What impact do you think it will have specifically on your current business model?
GST is not a pressure point for us. In fact, it a relief, as Kodak HD LED TV is an affordable brand. Several brands face difficultly as the products being sold are fake, sold in the grey market or sold in cash- all practices which are terminating the market as well as the economy. So, with one county, one tax policy, I feel all these practices will slow down, which in turn is a good sign for affordable brands in the market.
Post GST, the price of televisions will increase by 4-5 %, if LED TV’s fall under 28% tax slab. We have unanimously agreed to support our trade partners in this respect. There will be an impact on the sale of our products in the first 2 months of the GST roll-out, however, once the festive season starts off, sales will begin to pick up once again.
August 2017 will mark Kodak HD LED TVs first anniversary in India. Looking back, what would you say are the highlights of your journey?
The journey has been fantastic and we have learned a great deal in this past one year. We continue to try to improve on areas where we believe we are lacking and hope to build on our strengths. We would like to thank all our customers who have believed in us. The key highlight will be the kind of visibility we have received across the country, transforming KODAK HD LED TV into one of the best, and most affordable brands in India.