The global television industry is undergoing a rapid digital revolution. Smart technologies have come just a few years after the worldwide shift from analogue to digital TV sets, empowering consumers to watch what they want when they want it.
However, in developing economies, the biggest hurdle to accessing TV content has not been the availability of the TV sets, but rather the affordability of those devices and their durability. With a vision to provide high-quality electronic products at cheaper prices, Maser, an Indian TV company began the journey of boosting access to information in Africa through television programming in 2014.
“The first products we rolled out were LED TVs, distributing them into tier 2 and 3 cities across the Middle East and Africa. Our vision has been to make them so affordable that each home could have a big-screen LED TV and enjoy their favourite channels at home. For example, you can buy a Maser TV of 40 inches for the price of Sony Tv of 32 inches,” said Prateek Suri founder and chief executive of Maser.
Encouraged by overwhelming positive response and feedback, he expanded his start up’s portfolio to include audio systems and air conditioners. He adds that he founded the firm as a dynamic start-up driven by technological innovation and a passion to make high-quality products that can adapt to future technological changes.
“With the ambition to become a global leader in the affordable consumer electronics segment, Maser has a product portfolio that spans LED televisions, display televisions for outdoor use, home theatre systems and sound bars.”
In 2019, it expanded to the UAE to better serve private and public sector entities in the Middle East and Africa from its warehousing hub in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone.
In 2020, MASER received approval for funding from a UK-based private finance company to invest in a state-of-the-art, 100% export facility to boost its manufacturing capacity and meet growing customer demand.
With strong sales and sustained growth, Maser is now poised to enter an ambitious phase of expansion into the East African market, Kenya being the most potential marketplace.
“The response which we got after redistributing from Jebel Ali Area encouraged us to expand to African markets like Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. Kenya was one of the places where customers approached us through email and direct contact and for that reason, we understood the high market potential of Kenya,” he explains.
Later on, he reveals, he came to realise the business potential of e-commerce platform Jumia and now intends to open up an office and various outlets in Kenya.
“This project will in turn create jobs for local people in Kenya.”
For entrepreneurs seeking to start businesses he advises them to devise businesses that are scalable, which can be calculated by Credit Monitoring Arrangement data.
“Before approaching an angel investor, ensure you are well versed with all the financial aspects of the business. Business vision, strategy and the road map should be clearly articulated by the entrepreneur,” he says.
“Investors need confidence in your ability to deliver results. If you don’t identify measurable goals, how can they trust you will execute bigger plans?”
The firm has crossed a significant sales milestone of 200,000 units sold within just a year of starting sales and distribution from the UAE.