The festive season is here and big brands have come up with big offers for the consumers. The electronics giant, Sony India, is expecting a 25% growth in sales across all categories in this year’s festive season and over 20% growth in the current fiscal. The company aims to achieve a Rs.250 crore sales target from August till November 2017 in West Bengal. BE’s Varsha Singh spoke to Satish Padmanabhan, Sales Head, Sony India, about the company’s plans for the festive season and the impact of the GST on the company.
Q. What is your marketing strategy for the festival season?
A. For the festive season, we plan to invest Rs.250 crore towards our marketing activities including TV commercial, OOH, Online and Shopfront. Our TV commercial for the festive season would also be on air for our biggest category BRAVIA along with other marketing activities to engage with customers.
To further uplift consumer sentiments, Sony India will announce attractive consumer promotion offers across categories. The special festive offer would include Sony products itself and range from PlayStation4 1TB, external hard drive 1TB, headphones, USB portable chargers, pen drives, and memory cards.
Q. What kind of new technological innovations are you planning to bring in with your products for the festive season?
A. Sony India has added an array of innovative products to the company’s product portfolio across categories that include BRAVIA OLED TVs, Alpha 9 mirrorless camera, Alpha 5100 entry-level mirrorless camera, Xperia XA1 Ultra mid-range smartphone, stylish yet compact 2.1 channel Soundbar HT-CT290, high power portable home audio system MHC-V50D and stylish 5.1 channel tall boy home theatre system HT-RT40.
Q. How is the sale for the Consumer Audio Video (CAV) category? Give us an overview of your plans for this year.
A. We closed FY16 with 20% growth from previous year in the CAV category and we plan to continue this momentum with similar growth this year as well. In the first half of FY17, we have been on the growth track as per our original targets. As per strategic direction from our headquarters, Sony India will remain committed towards driving profitable growth through a measured and strategic approach and not through volumes.
Q. Is the latest tax structure going to affect your sales?
A. The implementation of the GST is a game-changer in tax reforms. Sony as a company believes in transparency and the new tax regime will benefit consumers. We believe that the introduction of GST will not only improve the efficiency of our business operations but also help streamline the indirect tax regime thereby reducing our compliance costs in the long term. We feel that the GST will contribute in controlling the issue of counterfeit products and encourage transparency in the system. In the long run, this should be good for the customers and brands because it encourages transparency.
Due to the fear of rise in prices, many customers rushed to buy consumer electronic products before the implementation of the GST, and there was a spike in sales. However, as an overall industry, there is huge demand in the market and the same is expected to rise ahead of the festive season. Hence, there has been no slump after the implementation of the GST and we expect sales to rise as we inch closer to the festive season.
Q. Are you planning to enter the low cost mobile phone segment or will you stay in the premium segment?
A. We always believe that our product should be able to give value to consumers. For keeping that value we cannot sell products at a lower price. So we are in a segment of `15,000+ mobile phones and are very happy with the decision as it has been working very well for us.