2018 at a glance: Demand growth, Smart tech, online channels buoy Electronics sector

LG India’s Amit Gujral, Mirc Electronics’ Pratyush Chinmoy and Xiaomi India share the key trends and developments in the Electronics sector in India in 2018. They also reveal the products that are expected to disrupt this sector in the coming year. 



Amit Gujral, CMO, LG Electronics India

LG India’s performance in 2018:
2018 has been a year of mixed bag of performance for LG across various seasons and timelines spanning through the year. Our focus at LG India in 2018 had been to introduce Health & Hygiene and Environment friendly products across all our verticals of Home Electronics and Home Appliances, and we saw a good traction of consumers with some of those products across verticals. Traditional seasonality wise performance saw some highs and lows and gave us some new learnings. 

Overall, the company has seen consistent growth year-on-year and we look forward to entering the New Year with all our learnings from the market in 2018 to implement in 2019 and continue to grow and also enlighten many more lifestyles of Indian consumers with innovation and the latest in technology products for their households. 

Sale via digital channels:
A few years ago we saw the emergence of a new form of brick and mortal channel for home appliances and home electronics in the form of Large Format Retail (LFR) and that added newer avenues of sales for all industry players. The year 2018 saw an improved emergence of online channels when it comes to selling small and big home electronics and appliances. Just like increased LFRs increased the opportunities for customers to buy more with newer shopping experiences and overall brick & mortal industry grew year-on-year, similarly online platforms’ increasing contribution towards sale of electronics and appliances has provided consumers with added awareness on newer technologies. This had a positive effect with improvement of high-end and premium sales at brick & mortar stores across the Tier types in country. 

Though online channels did better in their contribution towards home electronics and appliances (where we also participate in a good way), the overall offline and online contribution put together has grown year-on-year. 

Products that will disrupt in 2019:
With the increased awareness and usage of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things), 2019 is most likely to be the Year of AI and IoT. The products that will deliver best consumer experience on AI and IoT will see more and more traction with te consumers. We at LG India are totally poised to bring in newer experiences to our consumers via AI and IoT in almost all our products in Home Electronics and Home Appliances. 

Pratyush Chinmoy, Head of Marketing, Mirc Electronics 

Mirc Electronics’ performance in 2018:
This year 2018 has been good for us as we have witnessed increased demand for our products in both rural and urban markets. During the year, we started manufacturing panels for our captive consumption. We have started manufacturing television sets for Reliance and we are awaiting final approval from the Bureau of Indian Standards for manufacturing television sets for other players. Another major trend that we have observed during the year is that the market is clearly shifting to high-end 4K and smart televisions. We have enough models to tap this segment. 

Our investment in the sound platform and coming out with Super KY Thunder series has really helped us to grow volumes. We have also seen substantial growth in our washing machines volumes, led by capacity addition, increased demand, our marketing push, and GST rate cut. We have also launched 18 new models in this segment during the year. 

Our marketing spends have also increased in this year compared to last year, capturing the millennial consumers’ attention via our digital reach along with other traditional marketing media. Overall, our focus is on brand rebuilding, which we have been investing in the last couple of years. 

Sale via digital channels:
Onida has considerable presence on all leading e-commerce sites, including Amazon and Flipkart. Onida started with Flipkart and moved to Amazon and now has presence in Snapdeal, PayTM and Tata CLiQ – the last three channels extended in 2018. Currently, 5-6 per cent of our revenues come from online retailing. Though the percentage of digital’s share is less as compared to brick and mortar stores, this pie is growing very fast. With the increased focus on digital marketing by Onida, we have really enhanced our presence on digital platforms in the last two years, including our social media handles, and we are continuously working to better this. We have also launched very innovative campaigns online to promote our products in the recent past. 

Products that will disrupt in 2019:
A major trend that we have observed during the year is that the market is clearly shifting to high-end 4K and smart televisions, along with the demand to have highest quality of sound. Our KY Super Thunder definitely lead this section with its superior sound and picture quality. The KY Super Thunder is made for today’s generation, which is smart and connected. It has full Internet connectivity option with a Multi-Core Processor along with Android smart TV, which allows for faster browsing and easier multi-tasking. It also runs the most demanding games without lags, thus quenching the thirst of the most avid gamers. 

The Android OS and built-in WiFi along with the 8 GB built-in storage allows the customer to download from millions of apps on the play store. Apart from that, our Google Android 4K HDR10 UIC Smart TV with is Android 8.0 Oreo operating system would be a massive game changer in 2019 in the TV segment. 

This TV is smart in the true sense as this series of TV is enabled with Artificial Intelligence, powered by Google Assistant, which ensures the user is not continuously struggling to swap channels, but rather use the voice commands to control the TV operations. It also enables the user to use multiple applications on the TV, just like they are used to on mobile phones. The user has the freedom to download as many applications from the play store as they wish on their TV. 

Xiaomi India 

Xiaomi India’s performance in 2018:
The year 2018 saw many firsts, many new milestones. We introduced a new range of ecosystem products, which include Mi Air Purifier 2S, Mi Home Security Camera 360, and Mi Luggage, to name a few, which aimed at promoting smarter living. 

We saw many milestones such as:

  • Mi TVs became the No. 1 smart TV brand as per IDC Quarterly report; New journey for our Make in India commitment with our new Smart TV manufacturing partnership with Dixon technologies. Recently, we also sold 1 million Mi TVs in close to nine months upon launch.
  • We conducted a one-of-its kind Supplier Investment Summit in India with our top 50 suppliers visiting the country to explore investment opportunities. This led to one of our key suppliers, Holitech to invest in India and simultaneously sign an MoU with AP government.
  • Shared two unconventional brand marketing campaigns – Kiska Bajaa and Naya Note, both campaigns which deeply resonated with millions of Mi Fans across India. The ‘Kiska Bajaa’ campaign highlighted Xiaomi’s prominent presence in the Indian market using a simple, yet powerful tool – the signature Xiaomi ringtone; while Naya Note was a quirky, comical take on the brand’s Redmi Note 5 series which were majorly popular in the country.
  • Achieved 2 Guinness World record achievements in a span of 3 months: first by building the largest light mosaic logo in the world, and later by opening 500+ Mi Stores at the exact same time in a single day.
  • We will continue focusing on bringing more categories and more innovative products  to India.
  • Working on expanding other domains such as after sales, investments, India infrastructure, etc.

We are also excited to be the No. 1 smartphone brand for the fifth consecutive quarter as per IDC Q3 Quarterly report, with 27.3 per cent market share. Our focus will remain towards offering innovative products and ensuring our Mi Fans are happy. 

Sale via digital channels:
Xiaomi began operations in India in 2014 as an online only player and since then, online sales has played a significant role for Xiaomi. In fact, Xiaomi played a major role in transforming the smartphone market in India by unlocking the potential of online segment. However, offline is an equally important space, considering the online market space constitutes of only one-third of the overall market in India. Therefore, Xiaomi forayed into the offline market in order to attain overall market leadership and achieve greater access to as many Mi Fans across India as possible. 

Online platforms still remain a major contributor to Xiaomi’s overall sales, but offline is catching up equally. In an effort to ramp up the offline business, we have increased our physical presence and today offline business contributes considerably to our overall sales. 

Products that will disrupt in 2019:
Our commitment is to bring innovation to everyone in India by offering great products/ services at honest prices. Having said that, some of the new trends to look out for in the overall smartphone market for future are:

  • Faster Chips: Faster chip sets that will be able to run seamless applications while also allowing consumers to multitask are the need of the hour. Apart from fast processing, these chip sets will also provide optimal power consumption from a single charge. Most of our chip sets are a perfect combination of performance and power efficiency.
  • Better ergonomics: Bezel-less smartphones will be the game changer in the smartphone industry. We will see more and more smartphone players launching bezel-less display which will enhance the overall viewing experience by providing a higher screen-to-body ratio.
  • Better Battery: With an upsurge in smartphone usage, we will see smartphone makers focusing on better battery, which can handle long hours of LTE usage, multitasking and high graphics games and video content. This can be achieved through more optimised software and bigger batteries.
  • 5G Enabled Smartphones: Smartphones makers might be focusing on launching 5G enabled smartphones in the upcoming year.
  • Multi-Camera Lenses: As we see more and more features getting improved, year on year, the next year could see the emergence of the multi-lens camera. These would add to features like smoothing of background, optical zoom, better low light performance, improved HDR reproduction.

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