Dizzy growth is one thing, but competition is another. Industry officials say the hot consumer electronics market has got more crowded than before, with aggressive new entrants taking close to a dozen the key names that will vie for a share of the R35,000-crore annual market that is growing at a clip of 12 to 13 % a year.
No wonder that Samsung, Sony and LG — the recognised industry brand leaders — are gearing more to defend their turf.
"The penetration for consumer electronics is still low but the growth potential is exponential," Ravinder Zutshi, deputy managing director, Samsung India, told Hindustan Times. "Companies that invest in innovation improve their market position and not everyone is investing in this direction."
Samsung, which has presence in 17,000 outlets across the country, is aiming to increase its retail reach.
At the heart of the high-growth buzz are flat colour televisions and home appliances. According to Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Association (CEMA) the sales of flat panel displays rose by 45% in 2010. Sales of airconditioners rose nearly 12%, and home appliances by 23%.
In flat panel TVs, Samsung, LG and Sony are the leaders. Samsung has an overall marketshare of 31.7%, according to GfK), Sony 30.7% and LG 21.8%.
For airconditioners LG is the market leader with 27.8% market-share, followed by Samsung at 20.7%.
Domestic players Videocon, Godrej & Boyce and Onida too are increasing their presence and market share even as Japanese players Panasonic and Toshiba are eyeing a bigger slice of the India pie. Bosch Siemens has joined the game, in addition brands such as Voltas and Whirlpool. "India is a last destination for a number of international brands," said Yasho Verma, COO of LG Electronics India. "We have a headstart and are now prepared to take the competition to the next level."
LG India claims it will stay away from the price war and instead focus on India-centric products and enhance its retail presence. "We have grown double the industry rate," Verma said. "Our revenue target of R45,000 crore by 2015 is achievable. Our products will have more India-centric, offering higher value."
Godrej Boyce for instance had multiple launches in these categories. "AC and refrigerators are growth areas. The market is expanding and there is room for everyone but the product offering has to be unique along with the pricing. Reach plays a key role as well," said Kamal Nandi, (Vice-president ) Sales & Marketing, Appliance Division, Godrej & Boyce.
Japanese firm Panasonic is now looking at flooding the market with India-focussed products, and hopes to emerge the market leader in five years.
"Our investments are substantial and the re-entrance is just in time as the Indian market if evolving," said Manish Sharma, director (marketing), Panasonic India.