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Thomson to consider exporting India-made products to global mkts; to enter domestic laptop segment

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Thomson, which has global manufacturing facilities in various countries, is in talks to take TV units manufactured in India to some of its global markets

New Delhi: Consumer electronics major Thomson will enter the laptop market in India in the next two quarters and is also considering to export smart TVs and other products manufactured in the country to foreign markets, a company official said on Wednesday.

Thomson, a brand owned by US-headquartered Established Inc, said it is “pretty satisfied” with the quality and standards of manufacturing by its India brand licensee Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL), which is investing Rs 300 crore to set up a fully-automated plant at Hapur in UP to increase its manufacturing capacity to 2 million TV units per annum.

Thomson, which sells laptops in niche markets such as the US, France and other parts of Europe, will enter the laptop segment in India in the next two quarters in the entry, mid, and premium segments.

India is one of the fastest growing markets for Thomson, which re-entered India through SPPL in 2018 after 15 years and is aiming to be among the top five global markets, said Sebastien Crombez, Sales Director, Established Inc.

Thomson, which has global manufacturing facilities in various countries, is in talks to take TV units manufactured in India to some of its global markets.

“We would like to… we also have had discussions… Every company is interested in working with a manufacturer with a long-term relationship,” Crombez told PTI.

The company is visiting manufacturing units of SPPL “also because we would like to motivate our partners in Europe to buy the products from India,” he said.

They would not only save in terms of cost but “it is also very competitive”, he said, adding, “Quality is also good… we would like them to buy products from India.”

“Such opportunities are not limited to televisions but also laptops and smartphones, where there are many things happening in India on the manufacturing side.

“A lot of companies are turning their back on China or are trying to find alternatives to manufacturing there. There are a lot of geopolitical aspects of the business that are also impacting us, so we need to remain open and look at these opportunities,” Crombez said.

However, on whether Thomson has selected any specific market for ‘Make-in-India’ products, he said, “We do not have any specific markets (at the moment).”

If there is any opportunity, Thomson will put SPPL in contact with all partners for discussions, he said.

Thomson, an online brand sold through channel partners such as Flipkart, has expanded its presence from smart TVs to appliances such as washing machines, airconditioners and small appliances.

SPPL Director and CEO Avneet Singh Marwah said starting with laptops, the company would like to collaborate with Thomson to introduce more technoplogy-based products.

India is the fastest-growing market in the category, he said.

On the technology part, he said, “Thomson is selling laptops in various countries, where it has partners.”

Besides, it has also selected “strategic dedicated Indian partners for the product”, he said, adding that the recent government notification allows it to import laptops till September 2024.

Marwah did not share price details, but said “it would be disruptive”.

On the smart TV segment, Marwah said the market was on the decline in the first half of 2023 but is expected to grow in the second half, led by festive sales.

SPPL, which has a portfolio of five global brands in the TV and appliances segment, including Thomson, Kodak, Blaupunkt, White-Westinghouse TV and White-Westinghouse (Trademark of Electrolux), is aiming to generate a revenue of Rs 1,200 crore in the current financial year.

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