The CE, HA, and AC market was buoyant in the AMJ 2016 quarter. As heat waves in several parts of the country reached dangerous levels, they brought some relief to the marketers. Industry sales of air conditioners reported a 50 percent increase over AMJ 2015, while some refrigerator brands struggled to keep up with surging demand.
With online predatory discounting gradually fizzling out, the leading brands are charting out a formal strategy for e-commerce trade. Partnerships are being formed with leading e-commerce sites, exclusive models being launched, and online brand stores strengthened. The focus is shifting from vulgar discounting to enhancing the infrastructure and retaining the customer. Monies are being spent on precision analytics, bulking up logistics and making customers realize a particular e-commerce portal is all they need to meet most of their requirement.
The GST (Goods and Services Tax) bill is likely to get introduced in the monsoon session of parliament (July–August 2016). The passage of the GST bill would need approval by two-thirds of the parliament and will have to be ratified by half of the states. Once passed, it would be a huge positive in the process of simplification of tax structure and could over time have a positive impact on real GDP growth to the tune of ~1 percent.
The Indian government has cleared 69 projects envisaging investment of Rs.17,112 crore under the electronics manufacturing scheme. However, as long as depth of manufacturing is not there, and backward integration does not take place, the import bill for electronics goods will continue to increase as shall imports of television sets, home appliances, and air conditioners.
Our recent participation at BroadcastAsia, Singapore, reaffirmed that virtual reality is quickly growing and the day is not that far away when VR devices may just replace TV sets. VR headsets would be cheaper for consumers, less destructive to the environment, and overall offer a more dynamic viewing experience. After Mark Zuckerberg’s investment in Oculus Rift, virtual reality no longer remains the dream of science fiction. Will VR replace TV, will it find a new niche, or will it crash and burn, only time will tell!