Japanese consumer electronics giant, Sony is spreading its net wide to smaller cities in India to boosts its business besides studying the possibility of entering affordable mobile handset segment that uses the Android One platform.
The company’s Indian arm, is seeking to leverage on the strong Sony brand equity in the market to offer a range of products — ranging from affordable mass market to premium — in its bid to enhance its position in the country.
"Our TV business has been growing well, thanks to the second and third tier cities. Many of the customers owning CRT TV have just started replacing with LED TVs. That offers a huge opportunity to grow. So, both in the segments — mobile and TV, we see big opportunities," said Kenichiro Hibi, MD, Sony India.
Besides, this year Sony India had launched its 22-inch LED TV priced as low as Rs 13,900 to tap the affordable segment for the Indian market to add to its range that stretches to the ultra high definition 85 inch TV priced at Rs 15,99,900.
"It has really helped us expand … Thanks to the affordable prices, we could grow the business to second and third tier cities," he said, however, adding the company would also give equal focus to the premium end.
"To win the business in India, we cannot just focus on the premium segment but we also have to attack the mass segment. However, even when we are attacking the mass segment, Sony will retain some premiumness, even if it is in mobile or TV business," Hibi said.
Sounding bullish on the Indian market, he said: "I see thousands of opportunities. The perception of the Sony brand is very good and it is quite well established in India. Having such a good heritage, we can really take good advantage through brand recognition and strengthen it further."
The company expects its overall distribution network to touch 24,600 this year, up from 20,000 last year.
This year the company is looking for a 20 percent growth in revenue in India from last year’s Rs 10,000 crore with the TV and mobile businesses expected to account for 40 percent each and the rest 20 percent from the other business such as camera, home-theatre and playstation.
On the mobile handsets business, Hibi said considering India’s growth potential, the company would look to tap affordable mass market segment and is studying the opportunities offered by a platform like Android One.