Kodak TV India Plans to Expand Smart TV Manufacturing and Supply Significantly

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Super PlastronicsPvt Ltd (SPPL), established in 1990 with its HO in Noida, has three manufacturing plants in India located in Noida (UP), Una (Himachal Pradesh) and Jammu driven by over 1000 manpower. They manufacture a wide range of accessories and consumer electronics for OEMs. SPPL has entered into an exclusive brand licensing and technology collaboration agreement with Eastman Kodak Company, USA, for providing Kodak HD LED and Smart TVs in India. In an interaction with Mobility Magazine, MrAvneet Singh Marwah, CEO, Super PlastronicsPvt Ltd, shares their company’s Make in India, Marketing and Technological strategies.

Q1. Please brief about Kodak’s market strategy for the LED and smart TV segment in India?

Kodak is one of the pioneer manufacturers of LED and Smart TVs in India. We have 3 brands—Kodak Television, Thomson and White WestingHouse. Kodak is one of leading Android TV brand. Sales of our products available though all the online platforms. Offline we have just partnered with QThree, we are present in 23 states. Currently we are delivering to 19000 PIN codes in India with over 500 service centers across India (including company owned and those in partnership with 3rd parties). Soon we will come up TVs with new technologies and all our TV have in built Google Assistant. We are also working on integrating different Indian languages. We have models with screen sizes ranging from 24-in to 75-in.  Our TVs will have all the necessary apps, DTH options, etc. Therefore, we have a large target audience and we have segmented our product line according to it.

Q2. How the technology and demand driving the Smart TVs segment in India?

Due to pandemic which compelled people spend more time to watch TVs, the changes we expected to happen in the next 3 years have happened in just 8 months. There is a paradigm shift in the ecosystem with people opting from high-end technologies much earlier than forecasted. There is a significant increase in the popularity of OTT and people are shifting fast from D2H to OTT, further driven by pandemic. Google Assistant is playing a big role nowadays, just by using voice commands customers are able to get the answers. So it is not only the big screen, but also the ability to connect and play with multiple devices is going to play a big role, driven by the Google Android platform. Kodak TV is one of the first manufacturing brand to get licence for Google Android Tv in india. Then through Kodak’s smart TVs supported by Google Assistant, users will have the option to choose from a vast pool content just using their voice commands. Another disruption that is happening is today you do not need a laptop to attend meetings or conferences; you can connect to the meeting just via TV and a webcam. In spite of increasing competition, people today are more inclined to buy Made in India brands. And people welcomed Kodak very well and we grew in FY2020-21 by 100% and expect our sales to increase at a similar pace in the coming years. AI, Google Assistant, big screens, and great connectivity between smartphones and TVs and operation in regional languages, etc will be the next disruption in smart TVs all at affordable prices. Despite the surge in prices, customers responded well in the last one year. In fact, a large segment of first-time customers emerged, who transitioned from normal TVs to smart TVs.

Q3. What opportunities do you see in Make in India and what are your plans in this regard?

Atmanirbharat and Make in India are great concepts. Currently, most smart TV components and raw materials needed are being imported and we are just assembling in India. But, we are sure that in the next 5 years, most of the leading providers will be able to manufacture over 40% of the needed components in India. Kodak has e have 3 factories in India. In the next 2 years, we are going to set up another fully automated TV manufacturing plant in Hapur (UP) in association with UP govt, which will have the capacity to manufacture 1 million TVs a year.

Q4. What opportunity do you see for the displays in the Indian market in general and in the T3 and T4 markets in particular? What is your channel strategy?

There are nearly 100 million CRT TV displays in India who will shift to LED displays, so the opportunity is huge. Where online purchases are rising, offline sales are also increasing, because when customers want to purchase costly TVs, they want to have physician touch and feel before they purchase. We also found that there is a vacuum in affordable TVs in the market. Kodak has come as a disruptor in this segment offering high quality and featured TVs at pocket-friendly prices. Before the end of 2021, we are opening another 10,000 counters spread in different parts of the country and we are seeing lot of demand coming from T3 and T4 cities. By the end of 2021, we want to have 20,000-25,000 counters across India. We will expand our offline channel further and appoint more partners in the coming months and years.

Q.5 What message do you want to give to your partners and viewers?

We thank our end-customers because they gave us lot of support when we were into cameras and then when we started providing TVs in 2016 we got equally encouraging response from the end-customers. We also thank our offline partners for their trust in us. For us our offline channel and channel partners are very important and they are our extended arms. We will give them our best possible support.