SOUTH Korean mobile phone manufacturer, LG Mobile’s assessment is that India can overtake China and become its largest market in terms of size and demand for handsets in the near future. In the background of a sharp economic slowdown in the US and Europe, the company has identified India as a strategic market for investment for its GSM and IT verticals, its managing director Moon B Shin said during an interaction with ET.
How important is India for LG, especially with demand in developed countries such as the US slowing down? What are your plans for India in the current fiscal?
India is an important market for us due to the opportunities it presents. We have plans to launch more than 32 new models here, of which six will be touch phones, while many other models will be 3G-enabled and some of these will also be entry level phones. At present, we have about three touch phones and six 3G-enabled handsets already in the market and we plan to have about 10 models each in both these segments by the year-end. We are betting big on the touch screen segment and we are targeting sales of up to six lakh units and a 10% market share in this space alone within the next six months.
What will be your investments in India this fiscal?
We will double our investment this year and the company as a whole will spend about Rs 400 crore on advertising this year. Additionally, we will invest Rs 200 crore in R&D to study market dynamics and consumer behaviour here. We are looking at increasing our headcount in our sales vertical to enhance our presence.
How many of the products you sell here are made here? How have your sales been so far?
Currently, we manufacture mobile phones at two units located in Pune and Greater Noida and these plants have a production capacity of three million units per year. About 70% of the production is exported while the rest is for domestic consumption. We sold about 2.4 million GSM handsets in India last year and we expect a 50% increase in sales this year.
Our institutional sales account for just 10% our total mobile sales.
Currently the Indian mobile handset market is dominated by some of your competitors.
How are you looking at improving your brand visibility here?
LG is rapidly gaining market share in the GSM market, despite being a late entrant. We are already the fifth-largest player in the segment. I believe our distribution line was poor earlier, but now we are reworking our strategy here. Based on the analysis of our marketing team, we are deploying 1,000 additional shop sales executives and we will be launching about 1,000 additional shop-inshop formats in rural and tier II cities. On the organised retail front, the overall channel coverage is at 42%.
India is an important market for us due to the opportunities it presents. We have plans to launch more than 32 new models here… We are betting big on the touch screen segment
MOON B SHIN
MANAGING DIRECTOR, LG
Filed under: Internet / Mobile, Mobile Stores, News & Articles, Retail Formats, Retail Technology, Retail Verticals, Shop-in-Shop | Tagged: 3G, China, GSM, Handsets, India, IT, Korea, LG, mobile, Rural, Shop-in-Shop, Slowdown, stores, Tier II Cities, Touch Phones |