Anti-China sentiment, customer service help home-grown VU sell record TV sets in lockdown

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Updated: Jun 09, 2020 6:46 PM

VU Technologies on Tuesday said it has sold a record 50,000 television sets in the largest selling category of 4K TVs in May, even as the lockdown continued across several parts of the country.

Anti-China sentiment, VU Technologies, VU  TV sets, COVID-19 lockdown, Samsung,LG, song,MI TV,covid 19 lockdownSaraf, who owns the entire company fully, said she played the lockdown months in an opportunistic way wherein the inventory levels were maintained in such a way that the rise in demand could be met.

VU Technologies on Tuesday said it has sold a record 50,000 television sets in the largest selling category of 4K TVs in May, even as the lockdown continued across several parts of the country.

Its chairman and chief executive Devita Saraf said the brand’s performance was “standout” as compared to an industry reeling under the pressures of lacklustre demand during the COVID-19 lockdown and claimed that it has emerged as the largest selling TV brand in May, ahead of rivals like Samsung, LG, Sony and the Chinese MI.

Speaking to PTI, she attributed the high amount of sales to anti-China sentiment and also customer service wherein the company replaced TV sets if it was not able to repair them because of the lockdowns.

It can be noted that in the past few weeks, as the tensions on the borders grow, there have been widespread calls to boycott both Chinese goods and software.

Saraf said consumers in the premium segment – a 4K TV set retails between Rs 25,000 to 48,000 depending on the size – have become very discerning, and with TVs getting smarter, also understand the privacy concerns which emanate from using Chinese apps like Tiktok or UC Browser.

“The anti-China sentiment is boosting our sales,” she said, adding that e-commerce major Flipkart, which used to sell 200 units a day has reported days of over 2,000 TV sets being sold in a single day. Saraf said that the growth in sales is not due to pent-up demand of April spilling over.

Parrying a question on the previous high on monthly sales, Saraf said the company imports the TV sets as completely built units and does some local assembly before sending them to the customer. The sets come from not just China, but other countries as well, she added.

Saraf, who owns the entire company fully, said she played the lockdown months in an opportunistic way wherein the inventory levels were maintained in such a way that the rise in demand could be met.

The company did not initiate any unpleasant actions against its employees, she said, adding that advances were paid to people to help them meet expenses.

Addressing concerns around discretionary spending going down because of aspects like job losses, salary cuts or lack of optimism, Saraf said the demand for TV sets has grown because it has become into a necessity during the lockdown with some households buying multiple sets as all the members in a family are confined to homes.

She also said that the pricing power has not been affected, stressing that her focus is on growing profitably even if it means that the revenues do not rise beyond 20-25 per cent per year.

Predicting the remainder of the fiscal year will be very difficult and the company will respond to the changes in the marketplace as they come, she said, hinting that marketing activities will also continue.

The company is doing its first launch of a range of TV sets with enhanced capabilities like automatic parental control of content in what is billed by it as a out of home launch, Saraf said.

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