Encouraged by a three-fold jump in sales in 2019, China-based consumer electronics firm TCL Electronics said it is aiming to be among the top three brands in the smart TV segment in India. The company would focus on introducing a smart range of products with artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) in the domestic market here, which would be the "basic infrastructure" of its offerings.
TCL, which has also forayed into the home appliances segment, plans to introduce a smart range of products and would launch an air-conditioner this season with AI and IoT features.
"In 2019, the sales of our Android AI TVs grew by 300 percent. The same feat elevated our status as the fourth largest TV brand in India. Empowered by a great response from our customers, we are eyeing the number three slot in the Indian smart TV segment," TCL India Country Manager Mike Chen told PTI.
TCL has been successful in "disrupting the status quo" in the domestic smart TV segment by introducing AI Android TVs and is also the first to introduce Android Pie (9.0) TV in India, he said.
"We have already enjoyed a successful run in the smart TV segment and continue to strengthen our presence. Furthermore, with the launch of smart ACs, we would further diversify our offerings," Chen said.
TCL, which has invested over Rs 2,200 crore in setting up an LED panel factory in Andhra Pradesh, would also expand its sales network and open its first brand store in Chennai this year.
"In 2020, we will be pursuing our brand shop expansion pan-India. The TCL Exclusive Centre will house the smart home ecosystem that we are trying to accomplish in India. The first such store is slated to be launched in Chennai," he said.
The company has also launched its TCL Home App, through which its smart home devices can be controlled via mobile phones and voice-based commands.
"This will prove to be one of the key differentiators for the brand," he said.
"We are launching the full range of smart ACs in January. Furthermore, our washing machines and refrigerators have already hit the markets," Chen added.
Asked whether TCL has any plans to partner with any network services provider for its smart products, he said, "No such plans at the moment. However, open to exploring the possibilities."
TCL expects the first batch of LED panels to roll out from its Tirupati plant this year in July.
"We are entering into the mature phases of setting up the panel factory. Adhering to the current flow of work, we expect the first batch to roll out by July," he said.
According to a joint report by industry body CEAMA and Frost & Sullivan, the Indian TV market is expected to grow to 284 lakh units in 2024-25 from 175 lakh units in 2018-19.