Like smartphones, feature-rich affordable smart TVs are flooding the Indian market. They come with the enticing big screen, high refresh rates, HDR content support, and consumers are readily upgrading their old bulky TV sets with a sleek LED model.
However, there is very little data on how the top-end televisions are doing in India, wherein most consumers are price-conscious. In a chat with Rohit KVN of DH, Sachin Rai, head of television business, Sony India shed light on the new innovative technology used in the company’s recently launched Android-powered Master series 4K TV models, how the response from the consumers has been and its sales strategy for the upcoming festival season in India. Edited excerpts:
DH: What are the best features of Sony’s latest 4K OLED TVs launched in India?
Sachin Rai: The new MASTER Series A9G 4K HDR OLED televisions represent the pinnacle of picture quality and is a name given to only the very best Sony TVs which provide exceptional colour, contrast, and clarity to the level of a professional-grade monitor. The new flagship A9G TV which is available in 55 and 65 inches has 8 million self-illuminating pixels controlled by 4K HDR Picture Processor X1 Ultimate and Pixel Contrast Booster aids in delivering the best picture quality by Sony. The sound comes directly from the screens and not from the speaker at the bottom as it is backed by Acoustic Surface Audio+. Additionally, it also features Netflix Calibrated Mode which reproduces the same picture quality on the TV as the creators intended. A9G is an Android TV, making your TV and home even smarter. It has Google Assistant built-in along with built-in microphones that will allow users to have hands-free TV viewing experience. The A9G is very slim in-depth, it fits as close as a picture and blends effortlessly with your room.
DH: How’s the reaction to Sony’s 4K OLED TVs in a price-conscious market like India?
Sachin Rai: The response from the market in the first two weeks of launching the new BRAVIA A9G & A8G OLED series is quite positive. Judging from the initial sales, we can comprehend that India is indeed ready for 4K content. We also have OTT platforms moving at a paced speed towards generating more high-quality content thereby making the entire TV watching experience more immersive and smooth.
DH: With very little 4K content in India, why should a consumer buy Sony 4K OLED TVs?
Sachin Rai: There is a reasonable amount of content now available on Netflix, Amazon and Blu-ray. Beyond this Sony’s proprietary X1 processors can upscale normal FHD content to near 4K quality. So, it is safe to say that this device is appropriate for not only the incoming 4K content but also for creating the better visual quality of the already available content.
DH: What is Sony’s market share in India, and what is the expectation for 2020?
Sachin Rai: Sony has 40% value share in the 139.7 cm (55) and above premium television segment in India. We expect to positively sustain this momentum with our recently launched flagship OLED series.
DH: Does Sony have any marketing plan in place for the upcoming festive season?
Sachin Rai: Sony India has a marketing budget of Rs. 500 crore and a major portion of the budget is allocated towards festive season advertisements and promotion. We will have a marketing campaign along with consumer promotion offers which will be announced closer to the festival period.
DH: Can you tell us about Sony’s after-sale TV repair service and how it is different or better from the competition?
Sachin Rai: We have a strong network of 300+ service touch-points across India. We pride ourselves on being the industry benchmark for service with premium White Gloved Service across all service touchpoints.
DH: Is there any room for more innovation in 4K, 8K (and beyond) OLED TVs?
Sachin Rai: Technology is ever-evolving and Sony will always be on top of the innovation curve. We truly believe that technology should be put in the right place and the right time when the market is ready to evolve with it.
DH: Can Sony tell us how’s the consumer reception to the 4K OLEDs in tier 2 and 3 cities and towns in India?
Sachin Rai: Tier II and III markets are catching up very strongly and we are getting a good demand from these market as well. Our customers want technology that is future-ready and Sony is always working in the direction of delivering the best quality and experience.―Deccan Herald