India has a population of 1.17 billion people. Its middle class has been estimated at around 70 million. In contrast, China, with a population of 1.2 billion, has a middle class of over 300 million people. While India has one of the faster growing economies in the world, and has made significant advances in its level of technological development, the market for much of its advanced consumer technology is not as large as it could be. That said, its high-technology sector has proven robust and shows every sign of continuing on its current path. Among its high-technology industrial sectors is the manufacture of television sets targeting its slowly growing middle-class. The Indian market for advanced-technology television is growing consistent with its demographic evolution. One estimate puts the growth of India’s market for advanced-technology television sets from 200 million in 2011 to over ten billion by 2017. [“India Smart TV Market (2012-2017): Market Forecast by Display Size, Technology (2D & 3D) and Insights by Apps & Specifications,” ReportLinker, www.reportlinker.com/p01017498-summary/India-Smart-TV-Market-by-Display-Size-Technology-2D-3D-and-Insights-by-Apps-Specifications.html]
That India’s manufacturing sector will continue to grow and advance technologically is a given. How it meets growing market demand is a product of how well its television manufacturing sector continues to evolve. The “growth stage” in the product life cycle is extremely important for nascent industries hoping to compete with foreign manufacturers. Smart TV exists in many markets, and the information technology and television industries, now firmly merged, are well-established. Breaking into that competition will be difficult, but the growth stage is a vital stage for India’s manufacturing sector and provides its best opportunity to emerge as a market leader. In this respect, India’s main weakness – the enormous size of its lower-classes – provides its greatest advantage: lower prices associated with lower wages for the working classes. In addition, the natural nationalistic tendencies of Indians, as with most countries, provides a tremendous advantage in exploiting its home-grown market.
The growth stage of the product life cycle is the phase when manufacturing plants are matured and stable, and when glitches are minimized. That stability provides for more efficient manufacturing processes, which, in turn, lowers production costs. The combination of lower production costs – helped, as noted, by low wages – and a gradually-growing middle-class market (and one shouldn’t underestimated the purchasing power of 70 million people – makes India’s place in the competition for markets highly enviable. The challenge for India, however, will be in ensuring continued social stability – a major challenge for a country with tremendous built-in fissures, including tensions between its large Hindu and Muslim communities and within its famously-anachronistic caste system.