LG plans to re-enter the Indian market and make sure it grabs a major chunk of the market unlike its last foray two years ago when it withdrew its models. This time, in an effort to not repeat the earlier story, LG has altered its business strategy.
According to Sanjoy Bhattacharya of LG Electronics' IT division, LG plans to become one of the top five laptop manufacturers in India in three years. Considering its earlier foray one might wonder whether this is an ambitious plan. But Bhattacharya clarifies that LG would shift the focus to provide laptops that offer great value-for-money. In other words, LG would now be focusing on the affordable low-end consumer segment unlike its concentration on the premium segment during its previous tenure. LG plans to provide in a 13.3 inch notebook the important features normally found in a 14 inch laptop, according to Bhattacharya.
It's worth remembering that LG's earlier laptops had impressive features such as extra dual screen so you could view what's on the screen from sides, extra USB ports and blue core. LG has probably realised that it needs to shed some of these technological marvels to bring sleek and attractive looking laptops that offer great features but not more than what consumers normally want. This would help lower the prices too, in order to make LG laptops more attractive.
LG now has 13 notebooks in its arsenal for its second assault on the Indian market. It plans to ensure there is a notebook in as many price points as possible in the range of Rs 26,000 to Rs 66,780. Its earlier models were priced above Rs 32,000, but had fewer price points, and so the number of consumers LG could satisfy was limited. Now though, it has two 3D laptops in the high-end segment, at prices of Rs 66,000 and Rs 69,000. LG seems to have played the value card well here, as high end 3D models from the competition are generally priced higher. Additionally, LG's laptop are 16 per cent lighter and 50 per cent slimmer than the competing laptop brands.
While this is the current plan, LG Electronics plans to launch notebooks in the price in India point of around Rs 22,000 in the long term. This price in India point, targeting the lower end mass segment is again lower than the Rs 25,000 to Rs 32,000 laptop of the competition that make up 70 per cent of India's total laptop sales. There is further good news for LG as industry forecast reports indicate that there could be more than 20 per cent average growth in the notebook and laptop market, growing to 4.4 million units by the end of 2011.
LG Electronics has certainly chosen a good time to begin its second innings, but it plans to move forward in a measured way. It will initially carry out its marketing activities in a restricted manner through Below the Line (BTL) marketing programs with the laptop placed at 125 brand shops, 40 large format stores and 300 IT outlets. This number will increase by the ends of 2011 and grow massively to an all-out marketing effort in 2012.