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With G3, LG aims to replicate white goods success in smartphones

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - 7:10am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Aims to treble mobile sales this year
  • Soon Kyon- MD LG India

South Korea's consumer electronics major LG Electronics, is targeting over 200% growth in sales from its mobile communications business in India this year.

The company, a major player in white goods segment, launched a premium smartphone LG G3 on Monday.

According to Soon Kwon, managing director, LG Electronics India (LGEIL), the company achieved sales of Rs 800 crore from the mobile communications segment in 2013.

"The target this year (2014) is to achieve sales of Rs 2,500 crore. And with products like G3, we are also looking to increase market share to 10% as against 5-6% at present," he said without sharing sales numbers achieved so far this year. LG Electronics follows January to December financial year.

According to research firm IDC, Samsung is the market leader in smartphone category in India with 35% market share followed by Micromax (15%), Karbonn (10%), Lava (6%), Nokia (4%) and others (30%). While the market size for smartphones in India is pegged at 40-50 million units, LG is looking to sell at least half-a-million G3 handsets by December 2014.

LGEIL hasn't been an aggressive player in the handset market, which it is looking to change with the launch of G3 Beat and G3 phones and a host of other products in the coming months.

However, it faces stiff competiton from with Chinese electronic giants like Xiaomi and Gionee, etc hitting the Indian market with feature rich, high-specification and low-price handsets, apart from the entrenched players.

On competition from Chinese brands, Kwon said, "Each brand targets at different set of consumer segment. There is a big chunk of consumers who pick up products based on various parameters like brand quality/leadership, reliability, technology and support infrastructure and LG scores well on all the parameters."

The company spends about Rs 800 crore across products for above the line and below the line advertisement, and it expects it to increase with new products.

The G3 is currently being imported from Korea and hence will attract basic custom duty (BCD) of 10% levied in the annual budget. It is not clear if the two G3 variants priced at Rs 47,990 (16GB) and Rs 50,990 (32GB) are BCD inclusive. "We are still unclear on how the levies announced in the budget impact the pricing of imported mobile handsets hence cannot comment on the same," said Amit Gujral, head – marketing, mobile communications, LGEIL.

The company plans to launch 25 products in the segment-- starting from Rs 6,500 and going up to Rs 65,000 – this year.

"We have been growing two-and-a-half times month on month and G3 will help us grow four times," said Gujral.

On the impact of late arrival of monsoons this year, Kwon said it has been good for the consumer electronics industry – especially for the compressor based products. Accordingly the white goods sector is expected to register marginal growth in sales. "Summer business has been encouraging and it spells good times for the festive season ahead," he said.




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