Tadato Kimura , General Manager, Marketing, Sony India
The Indian consumer durables industry has been dominated by Korean firms that as of today capture over 60% of the market? Do you see the dynamics changing?
Of course! The Japanese firms are getting deeper involved and engaged in the Indian market than ever. Fresh marketing and distribution strategies are being taken up by them to achieve newly set targets. For instance, Sony India is committed to provide products and marketing strategies that make a positive difference to the lifestyle needs of the Indian consumers. It is due to these efforts that we are now the No. 1 player in the Flat Panel Category. Sony has reworked on its pricing and the company has also started looking at consumers in the `2-5 lakh income group.

Any specific reason behind this sudden change in the pricing strategy?
Competitive pricing has always been one of the key virtues of Sony India. We have always offered the best possible price to the Indian consumer and we will continue to do so in the near future.

Currently how much does India contribute to Sony’s overall turnover? And how do you plan to increase it?
India is a very significant market for Sony. We plan to expand our Indian operations in the coming years considering the always ‘better-than-expected’ results from the Indian market. We are committed to make a true and positive difference to Indian consumer’s lifestyle through the products and the marketing activities employed by us.

Market research firm GFK Nielsen has rated Sony as the market leader in Flat Panel Display sales in May 2010 with a market share of 32%. So, how did Sony managed such a phenomenal growth?
Strong product line up, effective marketing activities, innovative consumer promotions and a very efficient sales team have all resulted in this achievement. The company is reported to have sold more than 35 thousand units in May 2010. This is more than the sum of the LCD and Plasma TV units sold by any of its main competitors in May 2010 in India. What makes this achievement even more commendable is that we have been able to substantially increase the market share of BRAVIA category (by value) from 24.3% in January 2010 to 32% in May 2010.

Besides LCDs, on which other product categories are you betting in India?
We have high expectations from our product range of VAIO, Cyber-shot, Walkman and Handycam.

So, what marketing initiatives are you planning in the near future to stay ahead of the competition?
Sony keeps coming with various promotional offers for the consumers from time to time. Taking its commitment towards the enhancement of talent among children forward, Sony India organised Kaun Banega Dancing Star contest in various cities in April this year. With an objective to provide a real time experience of 3D Television viewing to the Indian consumer, Sony started a unique ‘3D World Road Show Campaign’ which involves mall and airport consumer activation activities in 31 locations across India. Even in the recently concluded FIFA season, we had an innovative promotion in which replica of the FIFA official Match Ball was given as a gift with purchase of any 26” LCD and above. In fact, to add zing and cheers to the festivities of Onam, Sony has recently announced wide range of consumer promotion offers for various product ranges.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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