Sony India is eyeing a growth of 20-25 percent this festive season as it has been beefing up its premium product range across segments, including TVs, home theatre and sound bars, personal audio devices and full-frame mirrorless cameras.
India is among the top four markets for the Japanese company globally.
The first non-Japanese Managing Director heading Sony’s operations in India, Sunil Nayyar, who came on board in April, is optimistic about the Indian market with growing disposable incomes and rising middle-income households in the country.
Nayyar said, “Our key aim is to ensure that Sony further strengthens its premium brand image. So, in that sense, the focus is on delivering cut-throat products, introducing latest technologies as well as bringing in global launches to enrich consumers’ experience.”
“In the past 4 to 5 years, Indian consumers have evolved and with higher disposable incomes and rising middle class, they are not shying away from spending on premium products. Also, consumers are increasingly opting for finance schemes, which is aiding this trend further,” he said, adding that the company is targeting an overall growth of 20-25 per cent this festive season over the same period last year.
The company has also been working on further localizing its products in the past one year through its third-party contract manufacturing arrangement with Foxconn Group’s subsidiary, CTTI in India.
Asked about the impact of the weakening rupee, Nayyar said, “Currency fluctuations are definitely a concern. We are monitoring the situation on an everyday basis . At this point, we have no intention of taking a price hike, especially since we are getting into the festive season. But we will keep evaluating the situation.”
Replying to a query on the company’s strategy with growing competition from new entrants in the TV segment, he said, “We will not play the price game. Our strategy is simple and that is to continue enhancing the premium line-up and growing its contribution to our overall revenues. Indian consumers do not want to make any compromises on product quality, especially when they are buying premium products. Even in sizes below 55 inches, we are positioned as a premium player compared to the competition.”
The company said it has a 40 percent market share in terms of value in the premium TV segment (55 inches and above segment).
He said that in almost all the categories where the company is focused on its premium line-up, it has clocked high double-digit growth. In some categories, such as personal audio products, growth has been in triple digits for Sony India.
Meanwhile, the company is also expanding distribution in tier-2 and 3 markets. “We are encouraging our distributors and sub- dealers to beef up their distribution in tier 2-3 markets as we have started seeing early signs of demand for premium products,” Nayyar added.― Hindu Businessline