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Blaupunkt enters television market with Rs 365 million investment

Arnab Dutta/New Delhi 12 Sep 18 | 05:31 AM

It is already marketing TV sets in 97 countries and has a significant presence in India with a wide range of audio systems

Blaupunkt, an electronic equipment manufacturer from Germany, is planning to raise the heat in an already competitive television market in India. The Hildesheim-headquartered firm on Tuesday entered the local market with a range of LED TVs priced competitively.

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The latest entry comes after Xiaomi, Thomson, TCL and Kodak forayed into the Indian TV market in the past one year and managed to push the existing players to cut down prices of smart LED TVs. Blaupunkt is planning to invest close to Rs 365 million initially and Rs 22 billion over the next three-five years, said Andrzej Cebrat, managing director, Blaupunkt.

According to him, the firm will procure TVs from a plant at Sonipat, Haryana. It is already marketing TV sets in 97 countries and has a significant presence in India with a wide range of audio systems. According to Cebrat, India is among the top three markets for the German company in terms of growth.

Blaupunkt’s foray into the market is expected to further intensify the competition as the firm pitches its 32-inch model at Rs 12,999, lower than Xiaomi’s Rs 13,499. The launch of eight models — ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches — is targeted at the smart TV consumer base that is growing at more than 50 per cent since early 2018.

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Xiaomi, Thomson, and TCL — global TV brands that entered India in 2018 — have launched 32-inch TV models at as low as Rs 14,000 per unit, a drop of more than 50 per cent over the market operating price of similar-sized TVs pushed by incumbents such as Samsung, LG, and Sony. Consequently, the new entrants have virtually turned the market on its head, say experts tracking the market.

Similarly, the price of a 40-inch smart TV has plunged to nearly Rs 20,000 per unit, thanks to these new players, from nearly Rs 50,000 earlier, retail and trade sources say. And easy finance has further brought 32-inch and 40-inch smart TVs within the reach of masses, according to them.

Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic — the big four of TV market in India — have much work to do. The firms have already cut prices in select models in the 32-inch, 40-inch and 49-inch models.

Additionally, new players are stitching up multiple content deals with video-on-demand (VoD) operators such as Hotstar, Voot, Sony Liv, and Hungama.

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