It Came, It Saw, It Conquered!

Ever since the CBI inquiry against Videocon gained momentum, and the brand started losing share, the slot vacated by the electronics major has been crying to be filled. Initially, the brands, across the entire TV, HA, and AC spectrum, sold all that they could manufacture, and there was some shortage. As anticipated, the Chinese crept in, with Xiaomi televisions slowly, steadily gaining market share, the last count is a 13 percent share, March 2019. Haier, another Chinese brand, too has been steadily gaining a leading position. The Korean brands, Samsung and LG, which have been in India since the late ‘90s, were caught napping, while the Japanese brands, Sony and Panasonic, were left gasping for air. While the Korean leaders dropped prices and maintained market share, the Japanese duo lost ground.

Xiaomi strategized that rapid strides could be made by taking the e-commerce path. Having strengthened itself, with dominance in the Indian smartphone segment, the brand has been at the numero uno position in this segment for eight consecutive quarters, it could afford to be bold. Xiaomi entered the market with three models of smart TVs in March 2018. By November 2018, the brand had sold one million sets. It took the Chinese maker just six months to sell another million sets; and by October 2019, in five months, the brand had one more million sets under its belt. In a time span of 18 months, the other 40 brands, including many global ones were feeling the heat.

Xiaomi showed great acumen on what the Indian consumer wanted. OTT content and digital viewing were gaining popularity, but the share of TV viewership did not fall as precipitously as it has done in many markets across the world; India still watches television on the screens, huddled together as a family. The brand launched smart, large-screen TVs at never-before prices, and armed with popular OTT apps. The recipe was potent. Talk of disruption!

How the market shapes up in 2020 is anybody’s guess. Brand loyalty or brand dominance are strangers to this industry.

On that note, we wish our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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