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TCL Plans To Foray Into Refrigerator Segment In India
Smart TV and smartphone makers are foraying into other segments to control the damage of COVID 19 impact on their businesses. Some companies have launched a sub-brand and some have forayed into the consumer durable segment.
Similarly, TCL is likely to foray into other segments. We had a word with Mike Chen, General Manager of TCL India, about the company's plan regarding COVID- 19 effect on their business, competition, and new products.
Q1 What is the major USP of TCL Smart TVs?
We continue to push ourselves to bring more advanced technology products. This March, we've launched India's First 4K HDR TV with Android TV 11 and Video Call Camera- P725. And on this Android TV 11 model, you can enjoy video calling via Google Duo on a bigger screen. We are planning to launch Mini LED QLED TVs - C series range this year.
Q2 Tell us the impact of COVID 19 and lockdown on the Indian television sector?
According to GfK, in 2020, despite a two-month nationwide lockdown, consumer durable categories witnessed good recovery, especially during the festive time, pent-up demand, and a strong festive season helped the sector bounce back. From July to September, the PTV sector has realized 0.6 percent Y-On-Y growth while October-December has witnessed 2 percent Y-On-Y growth.
Q3 How much your business has been affected due to lockdown and COVID 19?
Our online and offline business has been affected due to lockdown since the end of April. But, as we approach the lockdown deadline, we've seen a positive trajectory in the online sales performance month on month. And daily offline installation data is also increasing day by day. Hopefully, once the lockdown is over, we will resume normal business and see more positive sales performance.
Q4: To what extent pandemic has disrupted your smart TVs launching strategy in India?
We've witnessed lots of brands have postponed their launch after lockdown. So taking into consideration the current situation, we have postponed the new range TV launch in India, however, still being hopeful that tentatively later this June we will have a launch.
Q5: Tell us about the competition with smartphone companies that are launching smart TVs at affordable prices?
We are not threatened by smartphone brands venturing into the TV segment as compared to others. We have an integrated technology, which is advanced in nature and focuses on creating an ecosystem of smart life. Also, we do give a lot of discounts to make sure that our consumers enjoy the best of technologies without burning a hole in their pockets.
Q6 Do you plan to foray into another segment in India?
TCL Global has recently acquired Homa Appliances, a big manufacturer of refrigerators, and we are in the early stage of making plans to foray into the refrigerator segment. Soon, we will let it be known once we are in a constructive stage.
Q7 How many smart TVs you are planning to launch this year?
We've launched the P725 series in March, and we will be launching our 2021 C series range this year also. Still given this year's pandemic situation, we are thinking about whether we will launch our 8K range this year or not. As much as we want to sell our products, we also care for the sentiments in the country.
Q8 What else we can expect from TCL this year?
We are shifting towards the high-end 4K/QLED segment while building up an "affordable premium" leadership image through the launch of Mini LED and new QLED range products. Besides, the AC category penetrated most of the LFR/RLFRs (over 50 percent).
TCL is gradually becoming TV+AC multi-category home appliances brand, and the future will tap into more such as home audio systems and big appliances categories.