While consumers in the electronics and appliances industry remain price-conscious, they have also moved towards smarter and multi-functional products. The operational efficiency in the supply chain has improved even though input costs have continued to rise, and this has led to the growth of this industry.
In an exclusive interview with Nijhum Rudra, Lalit Arora, the co-founder of VingaJoy —an India based gadget accessories and consumer electronics firm – explains that the Indian consumer electronics market continued to grow throughout 2019, owing to an increase in the sales of portable and in-home consumer electronics. Here are excerpts from the interaction.
EB: What do you think of the current consumer electronics and accessories market in India? Where do you see it in the next five years?
In the coming five years, we would love to see the company acquiring a good market reach across India. We also expect exports to neighbouring nations like Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand to increase during this period.
Right now, the main focus is to build a good reputation in the Indian market. Considering the hectic lifestyle of today’s youth, the primary objective is to help the average Indian consumer stay fit. We are also focusing on sustenance, the manufacturing units, and the marketing and sales operations as well. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that nothing is permanent. We are updating ourselves accordingly.
We have been focusing on shifting to digital platforms and creating an engaging customer base via social media. We strongly believe that this will help us in the future.
EB: What are your expectations from the government to make the future of manufacturing more promising? Would you like to give any message to the government?
Talking about the future of the manufacturing industry, I believe that to promote the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the government should exempt GST for the next two years.
Doing so will help more businesses by encouraging them to set up their manufacturing units in India. That said, the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ announced by the prime minister is going to be a huge boon to the Indian electronics market.
EB: Though the demand for consumer electronics and accessories is huge in India, the sector also faces numerous impediments. Can you highlight those challenges? What are some of the initiatives you have undertaken to solve them?
The focus on ‘Make in India’ in the Indian electronics industry has increased the number of opportunities for electronics manufacturing services (EMS) in the country. However, working in the industry is not always a bed of roses. For every successful product, there will be many failed prototypes. The industry also faces several other challenges such as obsolete technologies, impatient consumers, slowing demand for products, and slow technology adoption.
The easy availability of sub-standard products in the market is another major hurdle the electronics industry faces in our country right now. Not only does it leave consumers with a bitter after-taste about the product category itself, but it also affects manufacturers of high-quality products adversely.
At VingaJoy, we focus on every aspect from innovation to revenues, as we strongly feel that customer satisfaction is paramount. We update customers on the latest technologies and trends, and then present a solution based on these while also taking their requirements into account.
EB: A majority of Indian electronics firms claim that the duty structure/taxation for export/import is very intricate for them. What are your views and expectations on this issue?
Duty structure should be nullified for components used to manufacture products in India. Imports should be reduced so that we can promote ‘Make in India’ products. In addition, exporting them will also boost morale and expand the market for Indian products in foreign countries.
EB: According to various reports, major global electronics firms are moving their manufacturing base from China to India. How do you paint the economy of India in this aspect?
I would advise to bring more transparency to the process and to make it more consultative because for the past 12 to 18 months, we have been seeing US based companies take more domestic-oriented decisions, be it in e-commerce or data localisation. If India is concerned about cheap goods coming from China, an FTA will eliminate that need, I think.
Barriers can be put on the entry of Chinese goods, and the US can provide access to the Indian market and vice versa, so that issues like GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) diminish. We need to understand how we can attract those companies. And that would encompass everything —from addressing land and customs issues to being part of the global supply chain.
EB: Do you have manufacturing plants in India?
Yes, our manufacturing plant is in Delhi. The company manufactures quality gadgets at an affordable price by focusing on both the right assembly of equipment as well as a superior build quality.
We recognise the needs of every type and category of consumers, and cater to each segment by providing a wide range of more than 126 products and accessories.
We are planning to set up more manufacturing plants in India under the Make in India initiative.
EB: Could you elaborate on the business model of VingaJoy, and its mission and vision in the country and globally?
VingaJoy wants to be a gadget accessories and consumer electronics brand that caters to the needs of the customer with the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology at competitive prices. Hence, we are working on developing and designing products such as Bluetooth speakers and headphones, chargers, cables, car accessories, care products, and much more.
Our mission is to be a premier consumer electronics company, which manufactures and sells innovative and technologically advanced products, and thereby to improve the quality of people life globally.
With respect to our vision, we look to a future where we have achieved continued growth by becoming a worldwide name both in current operations and new businesses – a future in which successive generations can see a vital and vibrant VingaJoy.
EB: There is no serious intervention of good branded players in the mobile phone/consumer electronics accessory world. How is VingaJoy taking advantage of this?
VingaJoy is actually capitalising on the product segment. Every brand focuses on either the product quality or the price range. There is a huge gap when it comes to making quality products at an affordable price range. At VingaJoy, we have been working to fill that gap by offering quality products in an affordable price range.
EB: How many R&D centres do you have right now?
As of now, we have three R&D centres—one in our corporate office and the other two in our ‘Make in India’ factory.
With the help of our research teams, we are focusing and working towards developing more innovative products. Together, we aim to make VingaJoy a major force in the Indian electronics accessories market with awesome products, using breakthrough technologies.