Home >industry >manufacturing >Delhi firm Super Plastronics brings French TV brand Thomson back to India

New Delhi: Delhi-based firm Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. and its chief executive officer Avneet Singh Marwah were little known two years ago. Today, Marwah is in the limelight for being the man who got the iconic photographic film brand Kodak to sell televisions in India.

From Friday, Marwah will also be known for bringing French television brand Thomson— which dominated the CRT television market in 1980s globally—back to India. Thomson’s owner Technicolor SA, formerly Thomson SARL and Thomson Multimedia, had stopped selling televisions in India in 2005 as part of its ‘business strategy’. Till then, Thomson operated through a subsidiary.

Super Plastronics, originally a maker of plastic injection moldings for television companies which later started contract manufacturing for home-grown television brands such as SVL, Crown, Suntek and Beltek, on Thursday said it has got exclusive licence to make and sell Thomson TV in India.

Thomson televisions will be sold only through e-commerce marketplace Flipkart, starting with a flash sale on 13 April. “We’ll keep Thomson restricted to e-commerce only," Marwah said. To be sure, Chinese mobile handset maker Xiaomi Corp. which sells devices under MI brand, has been among the pioneers of ‘e-commerce only’ strategy. Earlier this year, Xiaomi also launched its televisions in India. Home-grown Vu Technologies Pvt. Ltd that sells television under VU brand also follows the online-only model.

“It was not easy to bring Thomson back. We were in discussions for about two and half years before we sealed the deal," Marwah said, adding that all Thomson televisions will be manufactured in India, and sold at competitive price starting at Rs13,490 for 32-inch smart television. The company has three factories in Pune, Noida and Jammu. It is planning to add one more factory at an investment of around Rs100 crore this year.

“At Thomson, our DNA is to offer friendly technologies to the market. India is a very promising market and we look forward to add to the delight of Indian consumer," Sébastien Crombez, Thomson, France, said in a statement.

Claire Villeneuve, head (intellectual property and licensing), Technicolor, France, said the owner of Thomson brand has signed a “long-term" licence with Super Plastronics as a “strategic partner to develop Thomson’s presence in India".

Over the next three years, Marwah said, the company is targeting a 6-7% share in the television market with two brands Kodak and Thomson. Currently, it has nearly 3% share in India’s television market that is projected to grow by around 6% from 13 million units in 2017 to 18 million units in 2022, according to a November 2017 report by consulting firm PwC. India’s television market is dominated by Korean brands Samsung and LG and Japanese brand Sony.

Interestingly, Thomson had, in 2015, tried to make a comeback by giving exclusive brand licence rights to Hyderabad-based electronics manufacturing firm Resolute Electronics Pvt Ltd. Even at that time both Technicolor and Resolute said that Thomson televisions will be sold through Flipkart. However, the venture failed to take off.

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