Thomson, which had entered India through an exclusive partnership with Flipkart, will invest Rs 150 crore to set up a new television manufacturing facility in Noida in January 2019.
Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, SPPL (exclusive brand licensee of Thomson in India) said that the television brand is the second largest in the online market.
“We entered the market in April 2018 and have been able to beat the larger brands in the online sales. This is because customers are looking for large-screen televisions at an affordable cost,” he said.
Thomson is planning to launch a set of premium models and upgrades to its existing products in 2019, Marwah said. He added that SPPL will continue with its online-only model of sales.
“Flipkart has access to about 14,000 pin-codes. Further, they are looking to add 4000 additional pin-codes in January and February. Through their distribution reach, we are looking to deepen our penetration in the eastern part of India,” he said.
With respect to the new products, Marwah explained that they will be a combination of new technology and content-based television models.
The company now plans to enter the premium segment of 4K televisions and plans to launch its new premium TV models, bigger than its existing models, in the January-March quarter of 2019.
In the April-June quarter this year, SPPL sold more than 40,000 Thomson televisions online, Marwah said, adding that during the recently-concluded Diwali sale, the number was upwards of 100,000.
Televisions sold online account for about 10 to 15 percent of all televisions sold in India.
Despite representation by appliance makers, the goods and services tax (GST) on televisions larger than 27-inches stands at 28 percent. Marwah said that a tax cut is necessary to improve customer sentiment.
“When fully automatic washing machines are at a lower GST slab of 18 percent, why are large-screen TVs at 28 percent? These washing machines which have a much lower rate of penetration are being considered necessary goods, whereas we are considered luxury goods,” he said.
Thomson will continue to play in the affordable television segment, the SPPL CEO said, adding that there is an equal amount of demand for the brand from smaller towns as there is from metro cities. — Moneycontrol