Teleshopping market sees growth ahead

Teleshopping market sees growth ahead

MUMBAI: Since the inception of television home shopping industry in India in the 90s, it has come a long way as compared to the time when the segment was associated with ‘magical’ products, impractical promises or dubbed English slots.

Players have modified content t better engage channels and introduce products at rates lower than market prices. HomeShop18, Shop CJ, Naaptol and TVC Skyshop account for almost 80 per cent of the market.

In 2015, actor Akshay Kumar and entrepreneur Raj Kundra also launched a home shopping channel, Best Deal TV, but in 2016 the company had temporarily suspended operations after seeing a drastic drop in the business after demonetisation. The cash-on-delivery business was negligible because of which the company was finding it difficult to meet internal expenses. Two big players merged this year – HomeShop18 and Shop CJ – showing how competitive the environment is getting.

While one may think the end of TV home shopping in India is certain, there is Prathem Bazar a TV shopping channel which also has a digital presence. Being bullish about the growth of the segment Prathem Bazar MD Ashutosh Bajpai feels that the market is growing and is expecting to break even within one or two years. An international launch is also on the cards.

Reports predict that teleshopping market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of around 13 per cent by 2023 in India, on account of increasing disposable income along with better discounts and offers in comparison to e-commerce websites. Moreover, expanding television penetration in rural areas and rising number of dedicated channels for teleshopping are further expected to aid the growth.

Besides selling on TV and home websites, some channels are already thinking m-commerce. The new entrant Prathem Bazar also plans to foray into Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam space.

A media professional said in a report that teleshopping has potential to grow even when e-commerce in the country is expanding by leaps and bounds. “Theoretically, one can argue that the rise in broadband penetration will challenge television commerce. But we have observed in mature markets like the US that both home-shopping and e-commerce have found their own space, complementing each other,” he said. 

Zee Group was the first to have launched a home shopping TV channel in India in April 2004. Called Asian Sky Shop, the channel folded up a few years ago after the business ran into losses. According to reports in 2016, the company had announced the acquisition of two companies owned by Living Media India Ltd (also known as India Today Group) -- Today Merchandise Pvt Ltd (TMPL) and Today Retail Network Pvt Ltd (TRNL) and with the acquisition, Zee was to relaunch Asian Sky Shop. The reason why Zee has the advantage over standalone home shopping broadcasters is that it doesn't have to contend with high carriage fee.

According to industry estimates, the size of the home-shopping industry in India is around Rs 5,000-6,000 crore. Prathem Bazar has invested Rs 25-30 crore in building up his own TV channel and online segment. The channel has a tough space to break into with existing players having solidified their bases.  

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