Sony takes its audio business very seriously: Sunil Nayyar, MD, Sony India

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Updated: Oct 01, 2020 1:46 PM

In the premium headphones segment, Sony has been at the number one position since the last two years and with WH-1000XM4, we want to further consolidate our position.

Sunil Nayyar, MD Sony IndiaSunil Nayyar, MD Sony India

With work-from-home becoming the new normal, Sony expects huge demand for its flagship WH-1000XM4 headphones during the coming festive season. “We expect to grow by 100% over last year festival sales in headphones segment,” Sunil Nayyar, managing director, Sony India tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:

What are the key demands of consumers and how does Sony fulfill them?
From premium headphones point of view, customers in India demand three things: premium sound, best noise cancellation, seamless comfort and ease of use. While our 1000X series headphones so far have addressed all these requirements, in WH-1000XM4, all these aspects have been further improved and we have incorporated AI to take user experience to the next level.01

What are the market expectations from the new flagship— Sony WH-1000XM4?
In the premium headphones segment, Sony has been at the number one position since the last two years and with WH-1000XM4, we want to further consolidate our position. We plan to sell 1.5X more units of WH-1000XM4 vis-a-vis WH-1000XM3.

What is your marketing strategy? What is the target audience for these under 30K premium headphones?
We will continue to invest on digital platforms to reach out to our target customers. We are targeting people in the age group of 30s and 40s, businessmen and corporates, frequent fliers, people who look for best technology and best design. We will re-impose “Industry Leading Noise cancelling Headphones” message with WH-1000XM4. We will also emphasise about our innovative features like “Speak-to-Chat” which is the industry’s first such headphone. Premium sound quality with high resolution audio and LDAC support with DSEE Extreme technology will also be highlighted in all our marketing communication to differentiate ourselves from competition.

The launch is in time for the festive season. What are your expectations this year?
Due to the elongated work from home period and considering the new normal, we are expecting huge demand for WH-1000XM4 during Diwali/ festive season. We expect doubling of sales for WH-1000XM4 vis-à-vis WH-1000XM3 this Diwali. We expect to grow by 100% over last year’s festival sales in headphones segment.

The audio devices segment today has several brands in the fray; what sets Sony apart from the rest of the crowd?
Sony India conducts in-depth market research before launching audio products which suits the Indian customers. Since we are present in every price segment and form factor, we check for the right kind of product positioning in respective segments and decide what models to launch. Sony is the only brand in India which offers almost every kind of audio products for varied customer needs. From premium soundbars to voice recorders, Sony has products for personal usage as well as family consumption, which includes categories like soundbars, headphones, party and bluetooth speakers.

In addition to a wide range of product portfolio, Sony also has the most advanced technologies such as Speak-to-chat in headphones, Dolby Atmos in soundbars and gesture controls in party speakers.

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