The TV market is seeing a slowdown in demand and increased competition across the country. Unlike 2018, now that the slot vacated by Videocon no longer provided a cushion, H1 2019 was a real challenge.
With the import duty on open cell television panels continuing to be at 5 percent, and FTA countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia at zero levies, local production and investment remain at a disadvantage. Indian TV makers find it impossible to match the Chinese prices, TV imports from China were a whopping Rs 3810 crore last year. The ICC World Cup was a total wash-out and the companies now have a huge inventory pile-up to contend with. With an exploding video streaming market, 65 percent of video consumption coming from rural India, with only a 40 percent internet connectivity, TV sales may continue to be a challenge. The oncoming festive season no longer seems to be the savior it always has been.
In contrast, the home appliances sector did not disappoint. In the scorching summer months, the refrigerator segment saw an increase of 15 percent. Washing machines too grew by about 10 percent in the AMJ 2019 quarter, as against the same period last year.
Air conditioners, having seen two stagnant years, finally saw an increase of 15 percent in H1 2019. With input costs having stabilized, and lot of repeat buying coming from urban consumers, this product with an abysmal penetration level seems to be headed toward steady growth. This is one segment which is embracing smart technology, having had great success with inverterization before this.
All eyes are on the government, which will need to step in and save this industry from going the auto, aviation and telecom services way! Having defied global slowdown for so long, the government cannot afford to let this sector slide. This has implications that go far beyond poor performance of a product segment in the country!