“THE WI-FI AC IS AN EXAMPLE OF TECHNOLOGY SHIFT IN...” Akshay Dhoot,
Not only wi-fi AC, Videocon is exploring other technology disruptions in the consumer durables space. Is this the harbinger of Internet of Things (IoT)? Akshay Dhoot, head of technology innovation, Videocon discussed the company’s strategy with DQ Channel
head of technology innovation, Videocon discussed the company’s strategy with DQ Channels
First of all, congratulations on your appointment in Videocon. What was your first thought at the time you were joining this organization?
I feel honored to be part of one of India’s leading conglomerates that has provided me with vast knowledge on various sectors. At Videocon, I could explore each and every department such as Finance, M&A, R&D, Legal, Taxation, Sales, Marketing, etc in depth, which helped me overall in understanding all the different teams that make up a company.
I’ve always had a knack for out-of-the-box ideas, and thus, when I was given the opportunity to lead the technology and innovation mandate at Videocon, I was only elated. It is an exciting and challenging role at a time when technology is on the verge of a dramatic change that we believe is as profound as the creation of the internet. Joining Videocon is a step towards positioning the company as one of the advanced technological organizations and I hope to shoulder the responsibility in the best of my abilities.
Tell us about your new role and mandate at Videocon?
Technology has always fascinated me and to lead Videocon as its Technology and Innovations Head is a great responsibility. I am responsible to develop significant technological support and provide practical and effective ways to deal with technology disruptions and tech-related aspect in consumer durable market. I believe that there are infinite possibilities when it comes to technology out there, ready to be explored, and this is what my role at Videocon defines. This is an exciting and challenging phase for Videocon where we are launching many breakthrough products. I want to make each and every product at the business to be armed with advanced technology and set up Videocon as a global brand.
What are your plans and strategies in the consumer durable segment?
Being in a customer driven market, my prime objective is to research into the needs of today’s customers, and to think of ways in which their lives can be made easy, using the powerful tool of technology. Therefore, I feel it is important to bring cutting edge technology at the doorsteps of the customers and be one step ahead of their expectations. A customer today looks for devices that can be easily connected, saving both time and energy, and simplifying lifestyle. With this vision the Videocon team was instrumental in crafting India’s first Wi-Fi enabled AC. The range not only provides ease of use but also keeps a check on the energy consumption. My team and I plan to formulate more such technologically advanced products at Videocon, transforming the consumer electronics segment into a next-gen enterprise.
Tell us something about your Wi-Fi enabled Air Conditioners and Quantum Edge Technology ACs?
Videocon Wi-Fi enabled ACs comes with features never seen before. The Wi-Fi AC utilizes the Wi-Fi network of one’s home to connect effortlessly with a cloud server. This continuous connectivity allows sharing and receiving signals on all 2G, 3G and 4G and Wi-Fi devices. All one needs to do is download the Videocon Wi-Fi AC app on their smartphone and turn to the ease and comfort that it is capable of extending. Thus, one can now return to their chilled room after work, which otherwise would have to wait for cooling down if they didn’t have the Wi-Fi AC. Forgot to turn off the AC before leaving home? No problem...just a couple of clicks on the mobile and lo! Needn’t worry about misuse of the AC while you are out...you’ll always know if it’s on or off!!
On the other hand, Videocon’s revolutionary Quantum Edge AC that works on a powerful T3 compressor, is loaded with distinguished features that make this AC one of the most technologically advanced products. The new AC is compatible even in toughest terrains and engineered to match up diverse Indian weather conditions and take on extreme temperatures as high as 550 C. In order to give our customers the best experience, we have doubled the power efficiency and eliminated noise. Both Wi-Fi AC and Quantum Edge AC ranges are the results of our efforts centered on technology and innovations.
How your strategies differ from other companies who are in the same category of products? How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
Videocon today is one of the oldest, indigenous consumer durable companies in the country. We have expertise in this field for over 28 years and thus understand the pulse of the Indian consumers – their requirements and demands. This is where we find an edge over our competitors. While many products that are present in the market are highly tech savvy, yet many lack viability. Some of the advanced features which sound fancy are in fact not user friendly. This is what we aim at, creating products that are technologically advanced yet viable and relevant for our customers.
What is the importance of technology and innovation in today’s competitive environment?
Technology and innovation is the essence of a modern society. Without harnessing its potential, we will not be able to advance. The pace of innovation and consumer expectation is accelerating. From inspiration to purchase, technology plays an integral role in crafting not only the product but also the consumer experience.
The changing consumer behaviour fuelled by the rising income levels have opened up vast opportunities for major technological shifts in the consumer durable segment to take place. Our Wi-Fi AC is a perfect example for this. The customers today are becoming technologically advanced and look for devices that can be easily connected, saving both time and energy. We launched Videocon Wi-Fi enabled AC range that not only extends comfort and ease of use, but keeps a check on the energy consumption as well. The product is a success in our consumer electronics portfolio.
What are your expectations from this concept in terms of business as well as from partners’ perspective?
Before foraying into the segment of Smart AC, we con- ducted a detailed market and consumer research, and found it to be positive. Being a company that keeps its people before anything else, our expectations were humble. Though we were completely bowled over with how the market accepted the product. We received a tremendous response and within a month of the launch, we were able to sell 10,000 units of our Wi-Fi AC. This we consider a good start for us. Thus, the future of the connected devices segment looks very encouraging and with customers increasingly looking out for such products, we are confident that the category will grow manifolds in the coming years.
What is your future road map in this product line?
With a good start in this segment, we plan to build this category further at Videocon and introduce more technologically advanced products in all of our product categories. There are some exciting launches planned by the company the details of which we will only be able to reveal at a later stage.
We received a tremendous response and within a month of the launch, we were able to sell 10,000 units of our Wi-Fi AC
AKSHAY DHOOT, head of technology and innovation, Videocon