Younchul Park, Director-Home Entertainment, LG: Our focus is on premium TV segment
LG Electronics India is betting big on its smart television (TV) range to capture a larger pie of the Indian market. The company is unperturbed by the growing presence of Chinese firms in this segment in the country, especially in the online platform.
LG Electronics India is betting big on its smart television (TV) range to capture a larger pie of the Indian market. The company is unperturbed by the growing presence of Chinese firms in this segment in the country, especially in the online platform. In an interview with Mansi Taneja, the director-home entertainment of LG Electronics India, Younchul Park, says the TV brand is targeting to be number one brand this year.
What kind of threat you see from Chinese players who are offering big discounts online?
Chinese firms have been trying to penetrate the Indian market for last five-six years but their market portion is limited and the share has been static, it has neither increased nor decreased.
The Indian TV market is dominated by three brands and together, they occupy 75% of the industry. We have about 20,000 dealers and we have invested hugely in setting up infrastructure in the last 21 years. Chinese firms will take time some time to build that kind of infrastructure. Even in the coming years, they will have limited penetration. They are just focusing online with low prices.
We have a strong product portfolio with the latest technologies, including the new OLED and Super UHD TVs which will excite the customer to upgrade to the latest technology products backed with robust service support. The life cycle of a TV is generally assumed to be more than five years, hence a robust service network and experience zones are seen to play a major role in the consumers buying decisions, which has been a core strength at LG.
How big is the market and when do you see LG occupying top slot in TV/home entertainment products?
TV market size is close to 13 million sets and LG is already among the top two brands in the TV industry. We plan to be number one by this year. We are targeting delivering real value to customers and as result market share will come on its own. Indian customers buy a brand and pay money for value.
What is your focus — low end or premium segment of the market? And when will LG bring in AI in all their products?
Our focus is surely on the premium segment in the market as it has been driving growth in the industry. We have launched more than 25 models with artificial intelligence (AI) this year and it covers the majority of our smart TV range.
With AI functionality in LG TVs, the consumers can directly speak into the remote to control TV functions and seamlessly discover and play content. These TVs doesn’t only work on fixed voice commands but also understand the intent of the query before providing a search result. Additionally, there are a set of 800+ commands which works even without internet connection. Other feature Mobile Connection Overlay enables customers to view both the mobile and television screens simultaneously. The range starts from Rs 32,500 to around Rs 29.5 lakh (can we put a round figure for the upper range?) across sizes starting from 32 inches till 77 inches.
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What is the ratio of sales of smart vs non-smart TV? When do you see non-smart TV phasing out?
Smart value contribution is currently around 45% which we anticipate will be touching around 60% by this year end and subsequently more than 75% in 2019. In India, there is still demand for non-smart TVs. But, smart TVs will replace those just as smartphones will replace feature phones.
Will LG be focusing more on online segment?
It all depends upon customer demand. We are open to all channels. We are covering all strata of customers by offering a premium to affordable products. Currently, we have 45 models in the market, including 25 which we launched recently.
Source: DNA Money