Budget Smart TV Brands Leverage ICC World Cup


By cannily targeting first time smart TV buyers and upwardly mobile customers graduating from non smart models, some Indian brands are making the best of the World Cup cricket craze

Daiwa 32-inch smart TV

Fifteen years ago, corporate strategist, late CK Prahalad, stunned the global business world with the central premise of his book, “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid ”: that there was money to be made from huge number of very small spenders in developing countries, because at the end of the day, it was a volume game.

The essential truth of the Prahalad maxim, is being driven home this week by an interesting development in the marketing of television sets in India. TV sales always go up when major sporting events like the Olympics or the Football World Cup or, as is now underway in UK, the ICC Cricket World Cup, take place. Multibrand TV showrooms all play cricket reruns and hope to sell premium TV sets – mostly international brands, costing Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh plus.

But two Indian brands are working on a different strategy altogether. They are tapping the entry-level smart TV market, targeting first time smart TV buyers and upwardly mobile customers graduating from non smart models.

Offers made not to refuse

Like The Godfather, they are making an offer that users may not be able to refuse, because the pricing is so aggressive. Shinco is offering a range of TV sets from Rs 6,499 to Rs 57,999. The best deals are on HD or HD-ready smart TVs in the sizes around 32-42 inch, in the price range of Rs 10,490 to Rs 17,490. These prices constitute a World Cup seasonal discount of almost 50 per cent.

Daiwa has also announced a 32 inch smart LED TV: ‘D32SBAR’ with built-in Soundbar and a so-called Cricket Picture Mode, priced at Rs.12,990. Daiwa says the special mode “brings unforgettable cricket viewing experience with surround sound and enhanced picture quality.” Let’s face it there is nothing like a Cricket Mode, except in the mind of the copywriter, but even if we discount the hype this is still compelling pricing.

TV sweet spot: 32-inch

In fact the 32 inch smart LED TV is the sweet spot in this sector of the TV business. Larger than many older, CRT 20 inch TVs that many Indians still use and with the added attraction of “smartness”, i.e. the ability to view Internet-based content like YouTube, Hotstar, NetFlix etc. With so much over the top (OTT) content, either free or ‘fee’, many middle class households see value in upgrading to a smart TV.

Two years ago as a thumb rule, a 30-inch LED cost around Rs 30,000, a 40-inch cost Rs 40,000 etc. Today with players like Shinco and Daiwa, these prices have crashed to almost a quarter – and these TVs are Internet-ready smart versions.

Yes, Prahalad will be smiling today if he were alive: Indian buyers of aspirational electronic goods are proving that he was dead right. And the ‘Make in India’ TV industry is making lucrative hay while the sun shines over the ICC World Cup.

This story is submitted by Anand Parthasarathy. His rich experience, reporting ACE (Appliances and Consumer Electronics) stories encompasses working 15 years with The Hindu as its IT Consulting Editor. He is a qualified instrumentation systems engineer who has worked for 20 years as a scientist on numerous defence R&D projects, and as a project manager for surface-to-air missiles at DRDO.