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LG is today a leading player in the manufacturing of IT displays and it is optimistic of carrying this legacy forward. Sanjeev Mittal, Product Head - IT, LG throws more light on this market and how it views the opportunities and challenges that it faces in the current scenario -   


Where does channel stand in LG’s scheme of things? What kind of a role do you envisage for them to play in the growth strategy of the company?
Channel is the most important medium of exchange between the end consumers and LG IT sales division. Be it retail, B2B or B2G sales, the channel stratified by the verticals - deep insight about their geography, end customer connect and service- contributes almost 100% of the sales. In future we would only solidify the connect with the channel through tighter and more personalized engagement. After all, the channel is the first customer for us and unless we live and match our goals and expectations together, our growth will be just a pipe dream.  

   
What strategic plans do you have in 2018 to build on your Channel eco-system?
LG has been the most consistent player in IT displays, Digital Storage (DVD writers) for the last 20 years. A deep engagement with channel has commanded the loyalty of many a channel partner. It is not uncommon to come across channel partners who are as old as the LG IT presence. Channel engagement is already our strategy, not a plan.


What big opportunities do you see in the country today for LG products? 
We are the only company manufacturing IT displays in the country while the DVD writers are almost end of their PLC so there is no point to start manufacturing facility due to economies of scale. Despite the fact that the monitors fall under 0% BCD, LG is the only company yet that has risen to the challenge and started manufacturing monitors, upto 20” in size at our Pune manufacturing facility.
  
Sadly, there is no direct benefit that has accrued to us in sales despite the fact that PMA in government procurements supports domestic manufacturing. Hopefully government will be stricter in implementing the PMA policy.


On the other hand initiatives like GST have opened up opportunity for sales of computers to many first time buyers. Since these buyers tend to be on shoestring budget and prefer cheaper assembled computers, we have already witnessed a spurt in demand for monitors just like a spurt witnessed in component business. With support from the channel and our strong GTM in wake of GST we have increased our market share to almost 30% in the unbundled segment. LG is leader in the standalone monitor segment for 2 consecutive quarters.


How do you see the growth of small, mid-level businesses and start-ups in India today? 
MSMEs and start-ups are seeing an exponential growth curve. We continue to evaluate our distribution to reach out to these companies and be their first choice. With our own directly managed service network and 24X7 support, LG will try to remain the MSME and Start-up first choice for displays.


LG has also launched its range of low cost PC through its PCoM (PC on Monitor concept) along with Intel and Microsoft. For below 20K the PCoM is an out of the box solution for MSME and comes with genuine preloaded Windows 10 Professional OS.


How is LG trying to innovate and differentiate itself in terms of offerings and market strategies?  
•    With display being our staple business driver, to keep growing,   we stratified and researched specific customer needs, products that cater to the specific needs of such customers. With 40 plus models of monitors we cover most of the customers’ expectations.
•    LG monitors product portfolio includes 4K, UHD, 21:9 (UltraWide) apart from regular computer monitors. Most of the range now comprises of IPS displays which have better colour reproduction and offer wider viewing angles.
•    In B2B, Enterprise and corporate segment we have strongly positioned our 4K & Ultrawide display range while for government sales we offer monitors with TCO certification. We spoke to DGS&D, and they created a separate category for monitors in their product listings to various buyers through GeM portal. Since computer monitors are required as second monitor to Laptops, Thin Client displays and also double up for viewing video source through NVRs in surveillance equipment.  
•    Since 2016 LG has been selling its premium Notebooks i.e. ‘Gram PC’ in consumer segment. In 2018 we would be introducing the Gram for the enterprises to offer a larger bouquet to our ever growing enterprise client list  


We are optimistic LG’s reputation in the premium display category will carry over to make a positive impact in people’s lives. LG’s long history of developing premium displays will give customer the peace-of-mind that what they are seeing on-screen is extremely accurate backed by one of the finest service networks. 

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