What does Hisense mean for Indians?
Hisense, does not ring a bell in the ears of the Indian population. The reason is the non-availability of the products in the Indian market. The Chinese technological major has not launched its products in one of the largest consumers markets in the world yet i.e. India. Chinese companies such as TCL, Xiaomi, Haier etc. have launched their products in India and are gaining popularity as against the Korean or Japanese brands among the new generation of consumers.
Hisense Co. Ltd. is a Chinese multinational major appliance and electronics manufacturer. The company started out in 1969 headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong province, China. It is a state-owned enterprise with publicly traded subsidiaries. The company is a market leader in the Chinese TV market. The company manufactures some of the most amazing display panels in the TV industry.
China’s Manufacturing Prowess
China is home to some of the best manufacturing units in the world including all the major electronics companies from all around the world. Hisense is one of their homegrown prodigies amidst the hundreds of local brands. Over the past 3 decades, the country has learnt the art of manufacturing to the extent that they themselves can recreate the beautiful technologies for consumers and also innovate enough to bring out new technologies often.
Indian Consumers’ Trust
The trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to the actual purchase of home appliances or consumer electronics. No matter how much money you spend in advertising and marketing, if the users do not connect on a deeper level and if they do not have trust in their hearts for your brand, they will never purchase the products especially when it comes to the expensive products such as the large home appliances like TV.
Understanding the Indian Market
Indians are one of the most price-sensitive consumers in the world. In the Indian market, the trust factor has played for a long time now. This is proved in the conversations with the salesperson of the major electronics outlets such as Tata’s Croma, Reliance’s Digital, Vijay Sales and so on. The sales person in an interview with our research team revealed that the highest sales in their store are generally of Sony, followed by LG and Samsung.
So what is the reason behind the high sales of the Japanese and Korean brands considering that their price is higher compared to the Chinese brands?
The answer is the trust factor. Flat screen TVs were generally an expensive buy for any family until a couple of years back. Therefore, the families tried to invest the big amount in a TV that they trusted and that would last for a long time. This resulted in the sales of the established brands. However, the game started to change with the growth of the e-commerce market.
Case Study of Xiaomi and its Success
Xiaomi has become a household name in India due to its unbeaten range of affordable but reliable smartphone range under the sub-brand o Redmi and the recent Poco phone. The brand has created a sense of trust among the customers with their reliable products and that has resulted in huge sales for the brand’s TVs online. Xiaomi is one of the highest selling TVs along with a new entrant French TV brand Thomson.
Xiaomi has launched a number of smart TVs in India and the starting range is as low as 13,000 Rupees making them extremely affordable for most of the middle-income group Indian families. The smart TVs are a huge upgrade from the earlier flat panel LCD or LED TVs. The advent of high-speed internet and its widespread use has further helped in the growth of the sales of smart TVs in India. The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) is brewing in India that is boosting the sales of smart devices. Tech-savvy youth are always updated with the latest developments in the tech world and thus the interest is really high when it comes to an actual product which can be used by the same youth population.
E-commerce platforms and brand performance in India
Talking of Hisense, the brand has a good chance of succeeding in India. The most favourable channel they can use is the online one. It has been noticed that the newer generation of consumers in India has gained trust for the e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon. They are not shy when it comes to spending 15,000 to 20,000 rupees on a TV brand which is not an established one and that too online. Flipkart and Amazon, both record a high number of sales of TV sets through their online platforms.
Hisense has proven its quality manufacturing through its huge sales in China. Their new range of laser TVs and 4K display panels are selling like hot cakes.
Hisense is not available on any platform in India currently. However, there are ways to import TVs from China. The problem lies in the channel. The websites that list the products are often unreliable and this creates issues in the whole order process. It becomes very difficult for a consumer to place an order and pay the whole amount without the guarantee of the product reaching them.
Hisense should launch their products in India especially in the entry-level segment to gain the trust of the masses. If they see the products are performing well in terms of sales, they can gradually start bringing in their more expensive and higher range of products that will eventually compete with the market leaders such as Sony, LG and Samsung.