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May 6, 2002 | 1135 IST
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Mega sporting events to boost CTV sales 20%

BS Corporate Bureau

Colour television sales are expected to grow at least 20 per cent this year, as compared with a miserly 6 per cent growth recorded last year.

Industry players say while growth will primarily come because of the big events such as the football and cricket world cup tournaments and the coming festival season, the fundamentals of the economy are turning favourable and will provide the growth impetus.

"If you notice, the stock market has not reacted much to the political turmoil in the past one month. It was not the same story last year, which means the economy has matured and markets will now be driven by the fundamentals. This is where our optimism comes from," says Suresh Khanna, executive director of the Consumer Electronics and TV Manufacturers Association.

Cetma says the industry will grow at least 20 per cent this year.

The growth projection is based on the assumption that the gross domestic product will grow at 6 per cent this year, while consumer spending will also improve.

"Consumer sentiment has become positive after a long time and we can already feel a movement happening at the retail level," Khanna said.

Cetma president and senior vice-president (consumer electronics business) of Philips India, Rajeev Karwal, points out that the several important sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in June and the cricket World Cup in the last quarter of the year, will boost sales.

"Sales are already picking up in West Bengal, Kerala and Goa ahead of the football world cup. We do not have the absolute figures yet. But the reports are encouraging. A similar trend is expected in the third and fourth quarter, just before the cricket world cup."

Says Gurdeep Singh, director (sales, marketing & service) at National Panasonic India: "The normal 6-7 per cent growth of the industry will continue like last year. We will get another 7-8 per cent because of the mega sporting events. But we are also expecting another 5 per cent growth because of the good monsoons, and the overall buoyant consumer sentiment. A good monsoon will help grow the rural market."

Cetma is expecting several existing black & white televisions owners in rural and semi-urban markets to upgrade to colour televisions this year, especially since there is an opportunity to watch two world cup tournaments within a span of six months.

Growth will also come as a result of people upgrading to flat TVs or large screen TVs, says Khanna.

Industry is also assured that the availability of quality software (televised programmes) and cheap software and hardware (compact discs (CD), CD players, etc) will help boost sales.

"The new family soaps are wooing a lot of new consumers in the semi-urban and rural markets where we operate," says AN Sehgal, director at Super Cassettes Industry, which makes the T-Series brand. Sehgal is hoping industry will grow more than 20 per cent this year.

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