Evolution of the Television Market in India

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From the wooden box with door to shut the screen to bulky colour sets, from flat to curved screen for theatre-like effect, from table-tops to wall mount, television set has been through an overhauling dynamic change like no other appliance. This is so as it was one of the early electronic gadgets to be invented and sold to consumers in large numbers since past mid-century. Five decades ago, owning a television was a matter of pride when children from the neighborhood would gather before your set to watch Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana or Mickey Mouse on Sunday mornings together. However, with changing times, television is more of a necessity than luxury.

As industry data reveals, 14.5 million TV sets were sold in India in 2015, of which 12 million comprised LCDs and LEDs. Further, consumers are preferring bigger screen size LEDs, with 32 inch and 40 inch being the favorites for better viewing and picture quality. Going by the trend, India is certainly one of the most lucrative market for many big players. While Korean companies like Samsung and LG and Japanese firms like Sony and Panasonic have been present for long, giving them a tough competition are domestic players like Intex and Vu, which are steadily creating a foothold in the television industry.

Foreign companies made way to the Indian market with their household electronic gadgets and then introduced mobile phones. On the contrary, Indian companies approached it the other way. Companies like Intex and Micromax, were established brands in mobile handsets before they ventured into LED TVs.  For instance, Intex sold 182,000 LEDs in FY 14-15, a whopping jump of over 400 percent since its previous year when 44,000 units were sold. The growth sky rocketed in the last fiscal 2015-16 when 400,000 LED televisions were sold.

With increasing disposable income of consumers and rapidly advancing technology, LED televisions have witnessed swift transition in the last three to four years. Unlike its predecessors like the LCD or Plasma, which remained visible in the market for a short duration, LEDs have successfully adapted to the changing preferences of consumers and continue to offer more than expected. They are sleeker, provide better picture quality and consume less power than other models of televisions. In addition, cost effectiveness is another important reason for it growing popularity. For instance, the range for Intex LED TVs starts from Rs. 24000 for a 32-inch to Rs. 70000 for a 55-inch screen. Interestingly, South and West regions of the country contributed to combined sale of 64% of Intex LED TVs in FY 15-16, closely followed by North at 22% and East at 15%.

Further, with a plethora of options for accessories, a consumer is tempted to upgrade his viewing experience. Home theaters and high-quality speaker systems streaming with LED for a complete theatre effect makes it an irresistible deal.

The latest innovation is IoT where technology is exploring the future possibilities. With IoT, an LED is transformed into a Smart TV where a consumer can access and control compatible devices like cameras, lights, locks and thermostats on a home automation platform. In short, a television will control other smart appliances. Many firms have introduced Smart TVs and working towards incorporating the IoT infrastructure at high-end performance.

According to a latest report by Ken Research, there is already a phenomenal increase in the sale of 32 inch LED television in the market across categories. The LED and OLED TV market in India is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 40 percent by FY 2019. But as of now, OLEDs will have to wait to make big numbers due to their high cost. In the meantime, LED is dominating the market and fast emerging as consumer’s favourite.

The potential is immense and it is only the beginning. Time we call the idiot box a smart choice.

By: Ms Nidhi Markanday, Director & Business Head – Consumer Durables & IT, Intex Technologies