An Exciting Quarter, JFM 2017

The television market in JFM quarter of 2017 is estimated to have seen a 7–8 percent growth in value terms. The wary consumer, who now needs to declare his PAN number on purchases above Rs.100,000 ventured into the market for the wedding season; and was tempted by January 26 promotions and Gudi Padwa in the Maharashtra region. Manufacturers at their end saw profit margins erode further. While on the one hand, the chain reaction of shortages across the panel industry on the interplay of Foxconn, Samsung, Sakai Display, and Hisense resulted in an increase in panel prices, on the other, retail prices were reduced by leading brands. Some price correction was done in large-screen sizes due to those models reaching end-of-life and in the 32 to 42-inch segment due to increased competition from local and Chinese brands. (The panel prices since end-February have somewhat stabilized, and are expected to remain flat for the AMJ quarter.)

The early onslaught of summer has been welcomed by the air conditioner and refrigerator players, who since the last ten days of March have seen a major revival in demand. The industry is looking at a 20 percent growth in this segment in AMJ quarter.

In anticipation of GST implementation in July 2017, while the AC makers are pushing to secure a slot for the inverter and 5-star segment in the 18 percent tax bracket, the dealers are firm that in anticipation of falling prices they will reduce their inventory to the minimum in June.

There was a flurry of activity in the M&A space. Havells acquired Lloyds, Videocon d2h and Dish TV proposed a merger, BOE forayed into the Indian market, LeEco seems to be in an exit mode, and Kenstar is looking at several restructuring options.

While the Indian economy gears up to emerge as the third-largest consumer economy in the world by 2025, it will be prudent for the brick-and-mortar retailers to fundamentally rethink their business models. Having raised USD 1.5 billion from Tencent, Microsoft, and eBay, Flipkart is looking at raising another USD 500 million from SoftBank, before it finally merges with Snapdeal to become the largest e-commerce company in India.

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