With SoftBank's $2.5-billion mega investment in its kitty, Flipkart is charging ahead to invest and grow some of its high margin categories as it locks horns with Seattle-based Amazon to win the ecommerce battle in India. Right on top of that list is its television category. Flipkart is looking to grow its market share in the television category by over three times to 20% by March 201 8. "For the television category , we currently own 6-7% of the overall market including online and offline (channels). In the upcoming festive period, we want to hit high double-digit growth," Sandeep Karwa, the head of large appliances at Flipkart, told ET. "By March 2018, we want to claim 20% of the overall market share," Karwa added. A lion's share of this growth will come from the sales of Vu Televisions, an exclusive partner for the ecommerce firm, forming 35-40% of the latter's revenue share in the television category. This would mean that Vu Televisions would form 8% of the entire market share by March 2018, taking the brand to the number 3 or 4 spot in the market, according to the company. Vu Televisions has benefitted immensely from Flipkart's focus to drive growth in the large appliances category this year - a move that saw the brand clock 200% growth in the first two months of FY18 with revenues touching Rs 80 crore during Flipkart's Big 10 sale in May. "We have grown 150% in the first half of 2017 with Flipkart. We closed FY17 with revenues of about Rs 480-500 crore of which 70% came from Flipkart," said Devita Saraf, CEO of Vu Technologies. With Vu Televisions contributing significantly to the success of television sales for Flipkart, the ecommerce firm is not shying away from exploring an equity buy in the television maker, however, clarifying that nothing is on the cards in the immediate future. "We will explore all the options to ensure this (partnership continues). If that points out to a (requirement of a) long-term solution and for that if we need to make certain investments which needs an equity proposition to come in, then it is something we will explore at that point of time. Today, I don't think we are at a stage where we are looking at an equity stake buy," said Karwa. However, analysts believe emulating the success of mobile phone sales for its TV category will be extremely tough for Flipkart. "Consumers' preference even today, is to buy slightly larger and expensive television sets through an offline channel. The price difference between offline stores and online channels like Flipkart is not significant," believes Harminder Sahni, founder of retail consultancy firm Wazir Advisors. "Secondly, the time taken for delivery and installation is a real pain point.It is a difficult category from a consumer behaviour point of view as also with post-purchase pain points through an online channel. Hence (growth to 20%) seems like a very ambitious target," Sahni said.
A lion's share of this growth will come from the sales of Vu Televisions, an exclusive partner for the ecommerce firm, forming 35-40% of the latter's revenue share in the television category.