The French firm has no immediate plans to sell its TV units offline. Image source: PTI
After a gap of almost 15 years, French TV brand Thomson, owned by Technicolor SA, is tuning back into the Indian market. It has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Indian contract manufacturer Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL), which will manufacture the products while the brand, design, packaging and marketing will be done by Technicolor.
The products will be sold from today through an exclusive tie-up with e-commerce major Flipkart.
“We are entering India aggressively. With the affordable products, we will penetrate the market, and subsequently, will diversify our range of products. We will compete with high brands present in India and in the future, step by step, we will bring all our products with latest technologies,” Sebastien Crombez, sales and marketing manager, trademark licensing, Technicolor told DNA Money.
There will be no direct investment by the company in India. It has licensing partners in most of the countries including Europe, Russia, Africa, China and earns through royalty payment mainly.
The company announced three products announced on Thursday, with price a range of Rs 13,490-Rs 27,999. All the products are smart TVs with access to all kind of internet applications, he said. One of the products — Thomson 43 UHD 4K Smart TV, comes with default APK Gmail, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Netflix.
On many TVs the company expects to sell in the first year, Crombez said, “It is a comeback for Thomson, it is hard to give a number on sales. It will take time for Thomson brand to come back to India but there is a huge potential in the Indian market.”
The French firm has no immediate plans to sell its TV units offline. Even the marketing campaigns will revolve around digital medium - Facebook, Twitter and through Flipkart.
The brand had exited the Indian market in 2004 by selling off its business. It has been in discussions with Indian partners to re-enter the market for the last three to four years.
“We had huge competition from the Japanese and Korean firms and we had our manufacturing facility in Russia,” he said on company’s exit from the Indian market.
“We were too innovative back then. We had the right technology at the right time but the market was not ready. We reviewed that decision and decided not to be that innovative and during this, we missed the shift to flat TVs. We were focusing more on B2B (business-to-business),” he said.
SPPL has three manufacturing facilities in India and it plans to set one more in the next quarter for Thomson’s products.
Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, SPPL, said, “We aim to capture 6-7% of total TV market share and make Thomson the number one online smart TV brand in India. We have already planned to put one more manufacturing line of Led TVs by next quarter to offer consumer products that are at par with global standards at a competitive price.”
By Mansi Taneja, DNA Money
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