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Godrej TVs may hit market in 2011
Fast moving consumer goods major Godrej may commercially launch television (TV) sets next year. Following a successful test run of its TV sets in Andhra Pradesh, Godrej Appliances has extended the pilot project to three more states — Kerala, West Bengal and parts of Maharashtra.

“Extending the test run is a step towards the commercial launch,” said Godrej Appliances’ COO, George Menezes. The company is a division of Godrej & Boyce.

“For the last one year, we were test marketing our colour TV sets, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) only in Andhra Pradesh. The response there has buoyed us to extend the test run to allied markets.”

The products will be priced more or less in line with the industry, according to Menezes.

While the price of colour TVs will start from below Rs 10,000, LCDs and LEDs will be priced Rs 17,000-18,000 and over Rs 40,000, respectively.

When Godrej launches its TV sets next year, it will mark its foray into consumer electronics, a space dominated by Korean chaebols — LG and Samsung. Each player has about 25 per cent market share of the TV market — the largest consumer electronic segment in the country — followed by Videocon (22 per cent) and Onida (11 per cent).

K Sriram, vice-president, sales & marketing of Onida, said that “two-thirds of the TV market is dominated by the top three players”.

Making an impact, then, would not be easy for Godrej despite a strong brand equity, said analysts. “That is because incumbents in the space have already invested heavily in feature-rich products,” said Purnendu Kumar, associate vice-president, Technopak. “Their distribution and marketing, too, are sound.”

LG, for instance, had gone a step beyond investing in after-sales service, thereby taking the consumer experience to a new level, pointed out Kumar. “For Godrej to get its distribution, after-sales service as well as product offering right is going to be quite a challenge.”

Menezes didn’t buy the argument. He said his division was prepared to deal with the challenges at hand.

Source: Business Standard

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