LAHORE: Chinese company TCL Electronics Pakistan is looking to further penetrate Pakistan’s electronics and mobile phone market as its executives believe the market has now reached a point where high-end tech products are gaining strength.
However, the company, a subsidiary of TCL Corporation China, is concerned about the low purchasing power of consumers in Pakistan. Despite this, it views Pakistan as a strategic market with population of over 200 million.
“The understanding of Pakistani consumers is increasing and they are now more aware of global brands and technology, which translates into more demand for high-end products,” TCL Pakistan General Manager Sunny Yang told The Express Tribune.
She said the trend would help them introduce white goods and mobile phones in Pakistan.
“Over the past few years, the market is in the process of shifting towards bigger sized panels and to smart and 4k TVs. This is a very positive trend for TCL as we already have a strong presence in the market as one of the leading players in the smart and 4k segment in Pakistan.”
Yang pointed out that it took China two years to switch from traditional to smart TVs and Pakistan was also shifting, which would lead to more demand for TV sets and other products in the future.
“Our main product in Pakistan is TVs, but we will soon offer other products too,” she added.
The company has marketed LED TVs in Pakistan as vendor of the Nobel brand from 2006 to 2013 and under the TCL brand since 2013 after 100% investment from the Chinese parent company.
Its parent company is among top three global companies producing electronics goods and TVs. It also manufactures BlackBerry mobile phones under the BlackBerry brand.
So far, the company has managed to secure 10% market share in Pakistan. According to a survey conducted by the company in association with GFK, the country’s annual demand for TV sets stands at 1.2 million, of which 18% comprises traditional and old TV sets.
Talking about the challenges that they face as investors in Pakistan, Yang pointed to the presence of illegal, grey and non-warranty products and under-invoicing of goods, which are priced well below competitive products.
“This is an area of concern not only for us but for all key manufacturers in Pakistan; we are standing in the same line due to these issues coupled with complex taxation matters,” she added.
“Many brands make more profit and evade taxes by using grey channels, but we, as a company, cannot do that,” she added.
There are also other challenges such as the weakening rupee, which creates an unstable economic environment, hurts the company’s pricing structure and makes it difficult to plan aggressively.
“We are hopeful that in the coming years these problems will be addressed for creating an environment more conducive for doing business in Pakistan,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2018.