Content Is Pushing Sales, No Matter What The Gadget Is

"Artificial Intelligence will also remain a game changer in the way it connects devices across one’s house," Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO, Super Plastronics, a Kodak brand licensee says

How has the devaluation of the rupee impacted the consumer durable and manufacturing industry in India? What are you expecting from the government?

Industries are facing several hiccups due to factors, such as a rise in US dollar rates, the simultaneous fall in the value of the Indian rupee and commodity price increases.

The weakening of the rupee against the dollar has impacted the whole industry, and nobody saw this coming. There was an increase of 5-6 per cent only in the currency. It has impacted the import cost, which may reflect in the pricing in the coming months.

The government has tried to reduce its forex so that the US dollar rate comes down, but that’s not working. Dollar stability is important for India to become a global manufacturing giant. It is also essential, for both import and export.

How has the lockdown of international ports affected the Indian consumer durable market?

It is the supply chains that have been gravely affected by the many lockdown-impeded delays. These delays have been caused due to the many newly introduced COVID-19 protocols. Whenever there is a serious spike in cases in China, delivery timelines are massively shaken world-over as 70 per cent of import happens from that country. Earlier it would take 11-15 days- for deliveries to reach India from China. That timeline is now 40 days or more.

As the protocols are for health reasons, there is not much that can be done, but where there is scope for improving the timeline and avoiding artificial delays.

Please explain the evolution of televisions from CRT to LED and QLED and the growth of the TV industry in India?

It was only in 1959 that India saw the launch of the CRT TV, that is 20 years after its global launch by the French brand RCA. The colourisation of the only TV channel in India- Doordarshan was a path breaking event for the country.

At the time, TVs were an expensive buy, and it was enough if a neighbourhood had one. It was all because of great content, such as The Ramayana, and The Mahabharata, that the sales of TV continued to see a positive growth. In the 90s, the flat screen was introduced, but the sales did not increase. It was the liquid crystal display technology that really made the case for TVs. It looked sleek, too. With the introduction of plasma technology, the industry grew even more. And as the technology got better, so did the case for even more stylish TVs that also delivered great results. QLED led to a premium viewing experience.

Smartphones did try to dent the industry, and content was being viewed while on the move although at a subpar quality. Content is pushing sales, no matter what the gadget is. And, with India soon becoming the third-largest OTT content industry, it will continue to play a big role.

What trends are you expecting in technology in the year 2022-23?

While the pandemic may have delayed shipments for us, in the realm of technology, it sped up the process. A few weeks into the lockdown, and consumers found creative ways to use their gadgets. Before the lockdown, it was the smartphone that became a prime gadget to watch OTT content, but with shops shut and nowhere to go, we all went back to our TVs. People also moved their offices online, and TVs, for instance, were also being used in place of laptops to conference with their team members. All of this pushed brand owners to accelerate their plans for new launches while also giving an insight into how their products can be better suited to the evolving needs of the consumer.

The increased usage of TVs encouraged us to improve sound and viewing technology. The change from DTS to Dolby MS 11 to Dolby Atmos was quick. OTT platforms have also come up with new releases given the hike in viewership for good content. We are expecting QLED to be that mass game-changing technology. Not only has its popularity risen, but OLED continues to be expensive.

Artificial Intelligence will also remain a game changer in the way it connects devices across one’s house.

What are your expected trends in the Smart TV industry during the upcoming festive season? Do you see any major trend in spikes during the festive sales?

We are seeing positive changes in most people’s spending habits which are clearly showing in their travels. People have begun to feel safe again travelling to international waters too while also feeling safe about spending much of their discretionary income to do so.

Hence, we are hopeful about what this may mean for the consumer durables industry too. People are going ahead and spending on their wants along with their needs.

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