Konka Electronics - a US$ 2 bn Chinese white goods major has entered the Indian television market. The TV manufacturer best known for its cutthroat pricing in other markets has surprisingly chosen to stay away from the pricing game in India.
Konka is the largest colour television (CTV) manufacturer in China. Over the past year, it has grown by almost 45% in the USA. The company derives much of its financial muscle from the Chinese government, which has set aside 4.5 bn yuans to promote the company's globalisation drive.
The company has positioned its products in the Indian market with the adage 'digital technology at affordable prices'. It has launched products across as price ranges, which compare well with its competitors. For example, its lowest priced model is a 14 inch television at Rs 6,990 and the highest priced model is the 42 inch CTV at Rs 800,000. The company will currently import televisions in a semi knocked down (SKD) form from China. It has indicated plans to set up a production base through a 100% subsidiary. The company is looking to make India its export base for the West Asian markets. It will roll out its range of washing machines by October this year and refrigerators by the end of the current fiscal. March 2000 will also see the launch of its range of air conditioners in India.
The entry of Konka into the already crowded consumer durables market is an indication of international confidence in the Indian market. All major international players (LG, Samsung etc.) are looking at the massive middle class to perk up their sales charts. With only 61 televisions per 1,000 people in India, as compared to 776 in the US and 250 in China, the sector could witness more excitement in the times to come.
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