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Thomson TV re-enters India, aims to be top online smart TV brand

Even after entering the highly competitive TV space, the brand has no mass advertising and communication plans in the near term and intends to do targeted advertising through digital

French electronics brand Thomson is re-entering the Indian TV market after a hiatus of 13 years. The TV brand owned by Technicolor SA of France is launching a range of its smart TVs in partnership with SPPL (Super Plastronics). The company will not have any offline presence and will sell its products exclusively through Flipkart.

The company is looking at the market share of 6-7% within the next three to four years in the very competitive Indian market. Initially, the brand is not planning to spend anything on mass advertising and will be only on digital through programmatic and targeted advertising.

Avneet Singh Marwah

Having really ambitious plans even when re-entering such a competitive TV space, Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, Super Plastronics, the Indian Brand Licensee for Thomson, said, “With the launch, we aim to capture 6-7% of total TV market share and make Thomson, No. 1 Online smart TV brand in India.”

Sebastien Crombez

The French TV brand wants to grow its roots in India on the basis of nostalgia. Sebastien Crombez, Sales and Marketing Manager, Technicolor, said, “We have our plan in place to gain substantial market share in next three to four years. We are going to make people remember what Thomson was in the past.”

The category in which the brand has re-entered faces highly competitive advertising and significant marketing spend to reach the masses in India. The brand has decided to mark its presence only on digital through programmatic and targeted advertising and won’t be looking at any other form of advertising or marketing. The age group that is present on digital may not have much reminiscent of what Thomson was in India in the past. Therefore, to sell on the back of nostalgia for the brand might become difficult.

“People in India know Thomson. On the basis of the outcome of the launch for the first six months, we’ll think of other ways to communicate but as of today, we stick to digital,” said Crombez.

Entering the market at a stage where there are already big players sitting on the larger chunk of market share, Thomson will see a tough fight ahead. But Crombez answered, “It is also difficult in European countries, but we are winning market share in Spain, Germany, Italy and France. At least for launch, India can make some space for us. In the future, with our communication and product, we would be able to capture the essential portion of the overall market.”

In value terms, the overall size of the Indian TV market stood around $2.4 billion (Rs 15,430 crore) until 2017, according to the reports. The share of Smart TV has increased by 33% in last two years.

Talking about the future plans for the brand, Marwah added, “We have already planned to put one more manufacturing line of LED TV by next quarter in order to offer Indian consumer products that are at par with global standards, i.e. quality, innovation and elegance, at a competitive price. While technology and innovation remain the core of it, we have worked on many aspects of TV keeping in mind the Indian palate for aesthetics, colour and sound.”

Recently, Xiaomi also entered the TV space through an exclusive online partnership with Flipkart.

Around 13 years back, Thomson was a very high-end premium brand sold in India. At that time, TCL took over Thomson and tried entering India, but things didn’t work out as planned and that was the end of the Thomson brand in India back then.

The Thomson 43 UHD 4K Smart TVs come with default APK Gmail, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Netflix and runs on Android 4.4.4.0 and Aptoide with the feature to download any App. A Thomson Smart TV ranges between Rs 13,490 and Rs 27,999.

SPPL is a manufacturing concern established in 1990 with its Head Office in Noida. Its initial business was plastic injection moulding which then graduated to the manufacturing of CRT TVs and to LED TVs. SPPL one of the largest manufacturers of CRT TV cabinets in the 90s and early 2000s. SPPL has three manufacturing plants in India located in Noida, Unnao and Jammu.

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