Having a good reputation matters

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Oct 13 2014, 07:53am hrs
Back in the 1990s, Raj Saraf created a sensation in the Indian PC industry when he introduced his Zenith line of PCs at much affordable price points compared to MNC and other Indian PC offerings. Zenith primarily succeeded because it managed to convince home PC buyers that it used the same high quality components in its computers, as did the multinationals. Two decades later, his daughter is taking on some of the biggest names in the TV industry with her brand of Vu Ultra HD TVs. Devita Saraf is the CEO and design head of Vu Technologies, the California-based television company. We are screenagers. We love screens. We make screens from 2-inch gadgets to 20 feet video walls. At Vu (derived from view),

our aim is to keep-up with the changing technologies and lifestyle of todays consumer, she tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts: Vu Technologies is your brainchild. Tell us something about the company.

Vu Technologies is a display brand. Our offices are in India and California. We are an affordable luxury player. After Sony, Samsung and LG we are only one having TVs from 50, 55, 65 and 85 inch screens. We also have 32 and 40 inch. We are selling our product online and offline. Our USP is luxury and technology and that comes from the fact that Vu is an A+ Grade panel for our entire product. We are the only A+ grade panels in India, which is the top 15% of all the worlds television production. A+ Grade is only given to brands in Europe and USA.

We also have a very strong B2B division, so all the major five star hotels, banks, airports, corporatesall buy from Vu Technologies. So we are a trusted brand for a customer who is looking for very innovative, unique and young TV.

Recently, Vu Technologies announced the launch of their 50 inch and 55 inch 4K Ultra HD TVs exclusively on snapdeal.com till Diwali. Vu 4K Ultra HD TVs are nearly half the price of similar products from the competitionR89,900 for the 50 inch versus Samsungs 48 inch 4K TV at R1,59,556, and R1,19,000 for the 55 inch versus Sonys equivalent model at a market price of R2,18,000.

Why is that not much known about Vu Technologies in India

Companies like LG, Sony and Samsung are very old companies whose budget for marketing is approximately R350 crore for this Diwali, whereas Vus budget for marketing is pretty modest for this festive season. However, there is much difference between being known and having a good reputation. There are certain brands that everybody knows but consumers wouldnt buy, whereas Vu is like those best kept secret brands with very selective advertising and marketing. Those who buy Vu TV, love it and recommend it to their friends. So Vu is a respective brand rather than just a common place brand.

Can you name come of your customers

In the hotel segment, we have The Oberois, The Taj, The Hyatt, Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Hotel, The Leela. For the bank segment, we have ICICI Bank, SBI Bank, City Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, and then we present in Mumbai Airport, Mc Donalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFCthey all are buying from us. We also have customers like Microsoft, IBM, Audi, Toyota, Shoppers Stop, I mean you name it and we are there.

How important is the spirit of entrepreneurship to you personally and how has it helped you shape Vu Technologies

Today in this technology business it is like Being in What. Every day when you open the paper, there is some new technology, competitions launch something, someone has slashed their prices, somebody has new tie ups, so you have to have that passion in you to really fight it out constantly and enjoy the fight. It is not, like setting up some sugar plant or some machinery somewhere which is a onetime capital investment and then you are on production. This is a very hard business to grow and sustain it in the market where the completion is very tough but at the same time it is a very enjoyable business.

Today, there are so many changes outside that the management cannot afford to have any inertia inside the company. The employees need to be as driven and as passionate as I am or my father is about this business and that spirit of entrepreneurship not only comes from my father to me and my brother but being in the office it also passes on from me and my father to the young people and across my team. So entrepreneurship is no more limited to the owner of the company, today the spirit of entrepreneurship has to be, there in your team as well.

So what is the secret of your success and how have you driven the organisation

I guess I am my fathers daughter. Here I would like to say that we have a lot of passion and I have not wasted a single moment. Whether I am 22 or 33, I have been working hard all the time. I think the biggest thing that I have done and with no regrets is that I have worked hard every minute. There is a lot of enthusiasm which my team also has.

However, my role in the company has transformed from being a boss to a coach. Earlier, I used to be on top of the organisation, in charge, but now it has become entirely reversed. Now I help these young professionals in my company, guiding them, enhancing their skills, by standing at the back-end.

What do you think is really working for the company in India

Here I would like to comment that 20% of our products are customised and 80% are the normal Vu products. So the innovation we get while customising one product, lets say for a particular bank, gives us the idea about what consumers are looking at. Accordingly, we develop a new project based on the study and deploy the new and improved products to 20 more banks. Our customer relation team is very interactive .

In recent times, mobile brands such as Xiaomi, Motorola have become widely popular in India. Do you think the same kind of hype will be generated for televisions here

Yes definitely, TV is a very new segment and we are the only one this Diwali who are going to be very aggressive, because most TV brands keep one foot online and the other foot offline and they do not know how to balance it.

What are the opportunities that you see in the Indian market

The business opportunity in India is huge. Earlier the parents in the family used to decide what to buy, today the youth decides what to buy. I believe that Vu appeals a lot to the youth, we know what language they are talking in, what content they are looking for.

The opportunities we are seeing is that we are more in touch with the consumers than any other brands in India, because we are continuously interacting with the customers and coming up with more and more newer, innovative and affordable products in the market.

How are you going to create more visibility for your company

We are focusing on a lot more digital marketing, events and interactions. We are also looking for partnerships and we are going to do a lot more promotions on partnership as well.

Technologically, we are the only one with an IT background starting from ZenithComputers. We have come up with a high Graphical

Engine power into our television, which gives much better and

enhanced picture quality. If you see Yash Raj Films, Farhan Akhtars films and Dharma Production, they have all used Vu televisions.