“Getting labour is easy in India, but finding skilled workers is difficult”

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Nimit Luthra, managing director, Stanlee India Enterprises Pvt Ltd
Nimit Luthra, managing director, Stanlee India Enterprises Pvt Ltd

Televisions comprise a major and booming segment of the consumer electronics market in India. The interesting thing is that there is a steady increase in the number of Indian players who are manufacturing television sets in the country, and using locally made products in large part to do so. Nimit Luthra, managing director of Stanlee India Enterprises Pvt Ltd, talks to Baishakhi Dutta and Mukul Kumar from Electronics Bazaar about how his firm plans to make an impact in this highly competitive market, and how the Make in India initiative has helped it so far.

EB: Can you walk us through the range of televisions that you currently offer in the Indian market?
Currently, we offer LED TVs ranging in size from 43.18cm to 165cm. We have started incorporating software in all our smart TVs that are sold under our new brand. With this, we aim to bring out televisions that are not offered in the market by competitors like Mi. We have started a new company called Stanlee India Pvt Ltd. Going forward, we are going to promote this brand for all online and offline sales. We are planning to come up with 101cm and 139cm TVs also, by around the first week of April. We have our own manufacturing unit where we assemble the TVs.

EB: What are the main technical USPs of your TVs?
We are using panels from LG and Samsung. The chipsets are from Mlogic. We are in talks with other companies for tie-ups, and very soon we will be bringing out models based on production. We are also focusing on bringing out improved TV interfaces—something that is not of good quality in our competitors’ products today.

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EB: Where are you expecting your major sales from—online or offline?
Our offline sales are going pretty well. We have not tried our hand with online sales yet. However, we have developed a completely new setup and the products manufactured here, from April onwards, will be exclusively for online sales.

EB: From where do you import your SKD products?
At the moment, we are importing the TV panels from Guangzhou, China. All the other parts are sourced from Indian companies only. We primarily source these products from the Shahdara area in New Delhi, where many factories are located. We have tied up with many companies here to supply to us.

Going forward, we aim to stop importing from China and support the government’s ‘Make in India’ drive. We are gradually trying to use whatever can be manufactured within the country.

EB: What are the biggest challenges in setting up a manufacturing plant in India?
Lack of skilled labour is a huge challenge. Getting labour is easy in India, but finding skilled workers is difficult. It took us a lot of time to get the kind of workforce that we wanted. We took around six months just to set up our labour force.

EB: Are there any plans to export your products in the future?
Definitely… We are targeting the South African and Dubai markets. We have a very small team in Dubai that looks into the R&D of our products. In terms of exports, the day our products become available in India, the same day, they will be available in Dubai too.

EB: Is ‘Make in India’ helping you in this project?
Yes! Many products that we used to import are now available in India at a much lower price. For example, back cabinets, LBDS wires and more. All these had to be imported earlier.

EB: Have you applied for any government incentives?
No, not yet. We just want to focus on our manufacturing operations at present. We will definitely apply for these incentives—but at a much later stage.

EB: Apart from TVs, which other area are you planning to venture into in the future?
We are already into the headphones and power bank businesses. Right now we are focusing exclusively on LED TVs, and this will continue for the next six months.

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