itel, a smart TV and mobile phone brand of TRANSSION Holdings, is driven by the tagline ‘itel hai. Life sahi hai’ and strives to democratize technology by providing latest technology and connectedness at affordable prices. With over a decade of presence worldwide, itel has expanded its presence in around 40 emerging markets globally and has established its leadership in both smart TVs and smartphones segments. In an interaction with Mobility magazine, Mr. Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, TRANSSION India (itel), shares his views, itel’s brand strategy, and plans.
What demand trends do you see for Smart TVs at present and in near future in India?
As per a recent study, Indian smart TV market is set to reach USD 20.4 billion by 2024 growing at a CAGR of 4.7% between 2017 and 2025. This is fuelled by the increasing internet penetration and the preference of streaming apps with regional offerings. Similarly, large screen models recorded 2-3 times growth post the lockdown, as per the media reports. We believe the trend of large screen smart TVs with a plethora of OTT apps will play a predominant role in home entertainment. We can also foresee the prevalence of smart home devices in Tier 2 cities offering a connected experience to Indian households wherein itel TV can play a major part.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic contribute to the growth of Smart TVs?
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a major shift in consumer behaviour and their consumption pattern with increased demand for at-home environment. As stated by a recent report by Redseer research firm, Indian consumers spent 204 billion minutes on video streaming apps in January 2021 fuelled by the Covid-19 lockdown last year. Such a scenario paved way for Smart TVs with better entertainment offerings, thus shooting up revenues and becoming a key platform in the ‘New Normal’.
What are the USPs of your Smart TV brand and what customer segment is your target?
Our latest G-series Android TV range resonates our brand philosophy ‘itel hai. Life sahi hai‘ by offering superior features such as 400 nits bright display and 24 W stereo Speakers which are very competitive in the market. Coupled with more features like Dolby Audio, Frameless Design and the Google ecosystem (Play store, Google assistant, Chromecast etc.), itel TV becomes a superior product even at an affordable price point.
The television also comes with 2 Years Warranty on Panel, 1 Year on hardware with Free Installation and 6 months’ warranty on accessories which is one of the best service offerings. Moreover, as a part of the introductory offer, we are also offering our customers an extended warranty for 3 months.
The product range is targeted towards aspirers and millennials from Tier 3 and below markets who are willing to upgrade to a premium Smart TV experience.
What are the latest innovations in Smart TVs and what new innovations do you foresee?
Smart TVs, today, are a one-stop platform for all entertainment needs in this new normal. Features like google assistant, smart remote control and smart home connectivity etc. are paving the way of innovation. The Smart Home experience is one of the most desired innovations in the world which we even foresee in the Indian market. Apart from this, there are innovations like real-time video recognition and 8K resolution which can further enhance the viewing experience for the new-age customers. However, a major infrastructure push is required for these innovations to be prevalent at a mass level.
What is your channel strategy and how do you motivate your channel partners?
We are primarily an offline brand and our major strength has always been our robust retail presence. We have more than one lakh retailers who are selling itel products. Further, we have a healthy base of around 1000 channel partners. Our channel engagement programmes backed with strong distribution presence helps us to be able to serve our customers across Tier 3 to 6 towns with trendy technology propositions through our unique product portfolio.
What are your future plans for Smart TV segment and where you want to be in the next 2 years?
With the robust presence of itel’s distribution network and our latest range of G-series Android TVs, we aim to penetrate into Tier 2 & beyond regions by offering premium viewing and listening experience to our customers at an affordable price point. In the coming years, we aim to grab a substantial market share by targeting the aspirers and millennials who want to upgrade to a premium Smart TV experience.