In a small office, Jignesh went alone to clean the dust on the TCL TV screen, which was almost invisible to the naked eye. This is his habitual action. He waited in anxiety, but the TCL he saw in his heart was like a mirror. He became one of the last two standing soldiers of TCL India and he was the one who stayed on his own initiative.
This year is 2011 with some bitter tastes, memories and an unclear future. Since joining TCL India in 2007, Jignesh has never had the idea of leaving. At that time, TCL India, for various reasons, did not announce the withdrawal from the Indian market, but the employees that remained were only dealing with some after-sales matters to serve the local users. Even Indian industry insiders believe that TCL TV no longer regards the Indian market as the focus.
As the first Indian employee to work in TCL, Jignesh met the company before 2007 as a part-time employee as TCL’s warehouse official in India. Before 2007, the 25-year-old Jignesh contacted Chinese companies and the first company was TCL.
“In 2007, I officially joined TCL. At that time, my judgment on TCL was that this brand must have a better future in India. For various reasons, TCL India’s strategy in 2011 was adjusted. At that time, I still adhered to TCL India’s after-sales service. And so on, but I firmly believe that TCL will be able to return to India,” Jignesh said in an interview with Blue Technology.
During this over decade long period, competitors in the television industry found Jignesh, and he was also offered other opportunities, but he was dedicated to TCL. In India, many people have different beliefs, but what they have in common is persistence and piety. Jignesh took on many of TCL’s works in India in 2011. He had had confusion at work but did not waver.
“I am optimistic that TCL will have a very good future in India because I understand the brand and understand the style of the company. I only want to use the best products to serve customers. This is the trend in India. TCL has grasped it. Now, success proves that TCL is correct in returning to India and it also proves that TCL has impressed Indian consumers with the best products.” In the TCL office in Mumbai, India, Jignesh made the above statement when communicating with Blue Technology.
In the second half of TCL India’s “old staff” he saw the tipping point.
The first half of TCL and the second half of Jignesh’s life are 12 years of reincarnation. Judging from the Chinese way of thinking, Jignesh, as an old employee, has more than just feelings for TCL and the future that is tied to TCL India.
From the age of 25 to 37, the second half of Jignesh’s life accompanied TCL to kill the “returning carbine” into India, he re-felled that the future has arrived.
The Indian market demographic dividend has not yet arrived, and Indian consumer electronics is still far from the outbreak. Foreign TV brands such as Samsung, LG and Sony have become the main buying brands of Indian consumers.
To be exact, from the official entry of TCL into India in 2007 and almost all of TCL’s withdrawal from India in 2011, Jignesh has a bit of anxiety inside. Although the Indian market was somewhat difficult to shake at the time, TCL needs to persist and stick to it in India. Samsung and LG have brand advantages and user advantages, which is lacking in TCL’s entry into the Indian market, but it is not without opportunities.
When TCL left India in 2011, Jignesh got married. It is the primary responsibility of every man to support his family and find better opportunities. The wife and family once advised him to go to other companies because they could not see the future direction of TCL in India.
But he waited as his intuition tells him that if India’s big market is in the future, it will definitely not be only the mainstream of Korea and Japan. The rapid rise of China’s manufacturing industry is bound to penetrate rapidly in India and Southeast Asia.
From 2011 to 2016, it was another five years of persistence and waiting and finally ushered in TCL return to India. This time around, TCL is fully advanced, from product to team, from sales to marketing and from channels to supply chain. Jignesh had never seen TCL in India like this before.
In 2016, when TCL returned to India, it rekindled Jignesh’s dream. He clearly remembered that when he first met the new team in India, General Manager Chen Shikai, marketing manager Dong Wenjun and other Chinese leaders in various lines, he returned home at night and he was excited to chat with his wife. New teams and new goals are awaiting.
For TCL, entering India again in 2016 is different from the past, and it can be said to be the watershed of TCL India.
From the background, in 2015, India’s per capita income was 1,500 US dollars, and in 2016 it reached 1,670 US dollars. The income of Indian residents continued to increase, which is a good foundation for home appliance consumers.
In 2001, the household TV ownership rate in India was 31.6%, and by 2011 it had reached 47.2%. These gradual positives are also important indicators for India’s economic recovery and growth in the active consumption.
Returning to India means that TCL must make a good turnaround in the first half of the Indian market. For Jignesh, this is also his second half. He is ready for the next 12 years perhaps.
In stark contrast to India in 2007, TCL’s entry into India in 2016 brought new products, new technologies, new teams and a new culture. Channel integration, research market, user insight, after-sales service, etc. were the issues that need to be solved in 2016 when TCL enters India.
In fact, his second half was the same as TCL India’s first half. They saw the future with their eyes. In the second half, TCL India’s ‘oldest staff’ he saw the turning point.
“In 2007, many people around did not know TCL. In 2011, people who knew gradually increased, but still limited. In 2016, TCL returned to the Indian market, precision marketing and good experience, let more people know. TCL. Now, I think TCL is a critical point rather than a watershed.”
The critical point according to Jignesh is that TCL has attracted a lot of attention from opponents in the Indian market. Consumers’ acceptance of TCL and brand referral rate, and when he entered TCL in 2007, it was simply a cloud. If 2016 is back to India as a watershed for TCL, then 2018 is a tipping point.
This critical point goes one step further, TCL will enter the first camp of the Indian market, or will sit on the second. Currently, TCL TV ranks first in the second camp in the Indian market.
The number of people looking for Jignesh to buy TV has gradually increased, because his relatives and friends know that he is working at TCL; his family is also proud of his work at TCL, and many people even want to enter TCL India through his relationship. Or try to find opportunities for recruitment.
Affecting people around Jignesh, more reasons are the performance of TCL in the Indian market. Blue Technology was informed that in 2017 TCL increased by 100% in India and by 375% in 2018; in the first half of 2019, offline channels are expected to grow by more than 500%, and the first half of the year is expected to complete the sales task for the whole year.
In terms of market share, in the first four months of this year, TCL India ranked fifth under the online market with a market share of 4.7%. Among them, the industry accounted for more than 20% in the 40-inch size segment, and the smart ratio exceeded the industry average by 10% to 45%.
In response to TCL’s performance in the Indian market, the Japanese and Korean brands have listed TCL as a high-level ‘warning’ category. In their eyes, the real opponent in the Indian TV market is not Xiaomi (only foundry without core technology) but TCL.
Jignesh, who is already the father of two children, really likes the team of TCL India. Zhang Chi has a degree, a trial and error mechanism and can improve his personal ability, which will be very helpful for his future career. If there is a purely Indian company with a strong seniority and a high level of hierarchy, I am afraid he will not have the opportunity now.
Marketing, channel, sales, customer relations, etc., are the things Jignesh will know a little bit, TCL India requires every employee to have a full marketing awareness, must establish a comprehensive view of the results.
This is something that Jignesh never thought of when he didn’t enter TCL. At TCL India, this has become a reality. His classmates and friends agree that Jignesh has changed in essence. Good talk, international vision, and different thinking and execution.
In 2016 and 2018, he went to TCL headquarters in Huizhou, China for technical training twice. This gave Jignesh a stronger awareness and identity for China and TCL. He saw his second half and hoped to shine in TCL’s endeavor. He saw the tipping point of TCL in India. He hopes that TCL will break through the tipping point and stabilize the first camp in the Indian TV market and Jignesh, as a participant, performer, and witness, has the capital to show off to others.
He wants to think of TCL as a capital to show off his life. For the next 12 years, he will not go anywhere and will continue to be at TCL. Of course, he still wants to go to China’s TCL headquarters and wants to go to Beijing to see the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
[Blue Technology] Xiaowen