After the mobile handset industry now it is the turn of consumer durable industry to witness a rapid shift toward the young brands who understand the pulse of Indian consumer and offering products which are not less than any establish brand and comes within the pocket friendly pricing. Abaj is one of the debut brand in this industry which has started its journey with LED TVs and now gearing up to take on ACs and other appliances step by step. 29 years old Nirav Patel the founder and CMD spoke in length with newscore on the genesis of brand Abaj and the journey so far.
Since how long the brand is there is a market and how it started?
It’s a riveting story of success. Way back in 2012, the foundation of Abaj World was laid. Hailing from the small village of Kadi Taluka of Mehsana District of Gujarat, I graduated as BE (Electronic and communication) in the year 2011. I left the family business to walk my own path. After completing studies, I felt the need to make a name for myself outside my family owned real estate businesses. Then I decided to give the entrepreneur inside me a go and focused on starting my own business. Starting your own venture different from a family business and harder than you initially think, but interestingly enough, it gets easier as you set a vision and work on it step by step. I started with share market trading but it was not a smooth start. After bearing a loss of 50,000, I decided to switch to stock Brokerage Company by the name SMC Global, which is listed amongst top 5 franchises globally. This was not enough for me. In 2010, while working for KAYNET I came across a customer who had imported LED TV from Thailand and was struggling with two to three containers for its sales. I helped him out and managed to sell those containers. While I had done this easily I thought that I could get into this venture. Also, I had placed one of the LEDs in my own office and perceived no difference between an LG, a SAMSUNG or this product which that customer was selling under the name of Smart View. Giving it a serious thought I felt if China could establish itself as a strong player in the electronic goods market in India then why is it that our country is lagging. Why can’t an Indian brand be a game changer? I realized this lag as electronics had no base in India. The ecosystem was completely lacking. Also, there was no local manufacturing; electronic items were often being imported. Then and there I decided to step in. And this is how the seed of ABAJ WORLD was sown.
It says the market in India is not a brand loyal market but a price sensitive market. Are you feeling the same heat and how do you plan to counter this?
India may be a price sensitive market for LEDs, but the Smart space with technological advancements is still growing. As India develops, and more people get onto the Smart LED bandwagon, this will only continue to grow. The Indian mentality of price sensitivity will always remain, and the majority will choose to stick to affordability. But this is also true that people are keener on buying bigger screens with smart features. We are working on continuous technological and design innovations, launching more consumer-friendly products has been the key to the success of the brand and this would be our primary strategy for growth in future too.
A market is highly competitive with the presence of many big and well-established names. How do you plan to The Indian television competes with these mega brands?
Well as such there are no challenges that we are facing as the market is wide open and very accommodating. We offer superior technology and design at best cheapest price scale. And, If we talk about the industry then bigger television screens have always been much sought after. With a surge in consumers’ disposable incomes, the demand for Smart Televisions has shot up, contributing around 18-20 percent to sales in India’s electronics sector. India’s television industry is expected to expand to $16.8 billion by 2020 from $9.4 billion in 2016. There is humongous demand and Abaj is all set to cover the entire spectrum.
While OEM is the route even old established players are opting for, so does it a good decision to go for own manufacturing?
Yes, we are also starting our first manufacturing plant in India soon. The brand which has started its voyage with imports of LED TVs is geared up to set up its own state of the art manufacturing facility at Ghumasan Village, Taluka: Kadi, Dist. Mehsana (North Gujarat) to manufacture LED TVs. The proposed new plant will come up on SH41 State Highway, 50 KMs from Ahmedabad and equipped to produce 6, 00, 000 units pa of LED Televisions. In addition to LED Televisions, Abaj has also debuted in other consumer durable categories including ACs, Washing Machines and Sound System etc. The company will invest about Rs.54 crores in this plant. The company today boasts of making volumes as high as 7000-8000 units per month. And definitely, this plant will double up the capacity. The manufacturing facility is likely to be operational by July 2018. The investment in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative to produce energy efficient and innovative products for the Indian market. The land has been procured and by the end of first quarter of 2018-19 the first phase of the plant will be ready. In addition to building a state-of-the-art facility, we are committed to creating a world-class manufacturing ecosystem in the region, with a base of globally benchmarked vendors and suppliers, which will together generate over 100 new jobs, thereby accelerating the socio-economic progress in the state.