“When you are out of quality, you are out of business” – reads a plaque above an assembly line in the Dixon Technologies factory in Selaqui industrial area outside Dehradun. On a smog filled day in Delhi, I incidentally take the much needed trip to Dehradun (hosted by Flipkart). I find myself in a sprawling 230,000-sq ft manufacturing facility to figure out why Flipkart has tied up with one of the leading homegrown design-focused and solutions company engaged in manufacturing products in the Indian consumer durables, lighting and smartphones space. The partnership, I am told, will enable Flipkart to manufacture TVs under the company’s fifth private label brand, MarQ.
Right from mounting components on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) to testing them, making panels in house, assembling TV components and testing TV sets for sound, picture, and final quality, which interestingly is done by keeping them switched on for full 24 hours at the highest volumes in an enclosed room, I get to see a full MarQ TV made from the scratch and packed off in distinguishable black colour-printed card box boxes. The black boxes are an extra marketing touch to delight the MarQ customer, as pointed out by Flipkart officials!
And the customer does seem to be interested, if not delighted, as is evident from the early sales figures of MarQ. Adarsh Menon, Vice President & Head-Private Label at Flipkart, reveals that since MarQ’s debut on the Flipkart platform last month, the etailer has sold close to 5,000 units of the product. And if this is the response in three weeks post the launch, Menon is confident that sales in the TV category will more than double every year.
So why exactly is Flipkart banking on MarQ to push its private label agenda in white goods and does MarQ have what it takes to delight the customers?
Over the course of this visit, this is what I tried to understand.