‘TV will no longer just be the big screen at home’
TV is no longer an idiot box. Smart TVs are changing the way consumers interact with content. The large screen at home will be connected to various other smart devices, not in the distant future but by the turn of the year, says Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, Super Plastronics, the exclusive brand licensee of Blaupunkt in India. “India is one of the fastest-growing smart TV markets in the world,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:
What is your growth strategy and roadmap for India business?
Super Plastronics is an Indian TV manufacturing company that was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Noida. It has three manufacturing plants located in Noida, Una and Jammu. Recently, we added Blaupunkt (the German brand for consumer electronics, car multimedia, and related consumer lifestyle products) to our portfolio, the other three renowned brands being Kodak, Thomson, and White Westinghouse. Blaupunkt plans to capture a 6% market share of the TV market in India in the next two years. We feel Indians trust German engineering products more than Chinese products.
We will be investing more than Rs 200 crore in the next three years in technology and innovation; our focus area will be AI technology for Android TV. Apart from that, we are investing in a new manufacturing plant in UP. In the future, we will be introducing more TVs with better sound output which will be state-of-the-art.
What are the major trends in the TV industry for 2021 and beyond?
Currently, 32-inch and 40-inch are the most selling TV sizes in India, but the trend is changing fast. Today Indian customers need bigger sizes at honest pricing. We feel Blaupunkt has that kind of offering. No brand gives a deal of 55-inches Android TV with 60 watt sound output at a price point of Rs 40,999. Therefore, the time has come for premium affordable brands to grab a major chunk of the market in India.
One of the biggest revolutions which happened in technology is AI. Today, voice is the new UI of your TV; with just one command you can operate the smart features of your TV—from opening your favourite apps such as Netflix, Prime, Hotstar, etc., to search for your best OTT content. While watching your favourite content, you can dim your smart bulb via Google Assistant or you just ask for the cricket score, trending news, etc. Apart from watching content, TV is your new smart speaker. You can listen to your favourite music podcast etc, from various top apps such as Spotify, YouTube music, Ganna, Prime Music, etc.
How will Blaupunkt stand out in the crowded Indian TV market?
Blaupunkt is one of the premium luxury brands which has a global presence of more than 97 years with huge legacy in audio. We wanted to transform this legacy into smart TVs. Therefore, we have launched Android TVs with the best sound output. The main USP under the Cyber sound series for our 4K TVs is sound output of 60watts. It also has Dolby MS12, a decoder that can decode audio formats, that is, Dolby digital plus and Dolby atmos. These TVs are an alloy metal silver finish with an exclusive bezel-less design with more than 550 nits of the backlight which are the top features in the category. The TVs are powered by Android 10. These will have more than 7000 games and apps with the latest media tech chipset which is one of the best processors for any Android TV.
What is the opportunity you see in the Indian market?
India is one of the fastest-growing smart TV markets in the world. There are more than 210 million households that still have CRT TV, so there is a huge replacement market for smart TVs. TV now will no longer just be the big screen at home, but the screen which will be connected to various other smart devices, no longer in the distant future but by the turn of the year. There are more than 300,000 products or consumer appliances that are already available, from washing machines, refrigerators, lights, home safety & security systems, and other electric devices, that can be connected to a smart TV. We will witness more such trends.