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A young entrepreneur, Sagar Gupta of Ekkaa Electronics changing the OEM/ODM, LED TVs & accessories scenario in India

Q1. Tell us about the entrepreneur Sagar Gupta and his journey

Sagar Gupta: I was born and brought up in Delhi and received my letter of excellence in academics from HRD Ministry in 2014. I graduated from the esteemed Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University with a B.COM (H). I have also cleared levels of CA foundation and intermediate with exemptions. I then, started article ship with an Indian firm handling a client base in excess of 150 companies, directly handling their management consultancy and tax compliances. I have cleared several NCFM exams and have also appeared in CFA (USA) exams for in-depth finance and economics knowledge. My father, Mr. C.P Gupta, started the company which used to be in the distribution business of semiconductors and electronic components, around 30 years back. I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2018 when I founded Ekkaa Electronics, a company that has become the No.1 ODM player in India in just three years. My vision is to provide global quality products at aggressive prices, aligning with the “Make in India” initiative.

Q2. A brief overview of your journey and how you envisage yourself 3 years from now

Sagar Gupta: I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2018 when I founded Ekkaa Electronics. Being a young 26-year-old entrepreneur, handling an INR 600 crore company has not been an easy job for me. Like every journey, it had its ups and downs. While the downs became my greatest learning, the ups became something I am proud of. Battling the waves of uncertainties of the global pandemic outbreak of covid, the Russia-Ukraine war and the global cue of recession leading to shortages and a stiff supply chain of semiconductors, Ekkaa has managed to supply the goods and build the trust of our ODM partners and show phenomenal growth in the preceding 3 years. Three years from now, Ekkaa aims to be the highest capacity LED TV plant in India, producing 1M TV per month, expanding into OEM contract manufacturing for major industry players, and diversifying its product portfolio to include washing machines, multimedia speakers, TWS, and smartwatches.

Q3. What is the ODM and OEM manufacturing scenario in India?

Sagar Gupta: According to a recent report, India is on its way to becoming a USD 300 billion electronics industry by 2025-26. Another research report indicate that India will outperform the global market in the ESDM space with an expectation to grow at a CAGR of 32.5% from FY 22 to FY 27

Established in 2018 with headquarters located in Sonipat, Haryana, Ekkaa is an OEM, ODM expert in designing and manufacturing LED TVs. Being the market leader in India for LED TVs manufactured, it has television sizes ranging from 24″ to 43″. Ekkaa specializes in providing effective and efficient delivery of its products to its ODM partners. Having a fully backward integrated plant helps to have full control over design, software, and components, thereby helping to tackle global semiconductor shortage and create differentiation of the products for the brands. Ekkaa has a separate team of specialized software development professionals, providing application integration, branding, and advertisement solutions in smart TVs.

Q4. What is the growth you are expecting in the electronics manufacturing industry this year?

Sagar Gupta: The global manufacturing industry is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, with factors such as global economic growth, technological advancements, government policies, trade agreements, and geopolitical factors influencing the growth rate. As per the Government statistics for the second quarter of fiscal year 2023-2024, the manufacturing sector expanded by 13.9%. Ekkaa, being a major player in the LED TV manufacturing industry, expects substantial growth, driven by innovations in display technology, expansion of product portfolio, and strategic partnerships with global leaders in the electronics industry.

Q5. How much AI plays a role in your industry and how have you incorporated it?

Sagar Gupta: The integration of AI in manufacturing is a pivotal software-driven path. It entails incorporating robotics and AI for precise product and component mapping. AI enables stringent quality and security checks that surpass human capabilities. Modern LED TVs have evolved into software-integrated products, given their connectivity to the internet. This extends to applications supporting AI, allowing seamless integration with devices such as LED TVs, interactive displays, and commercial displays. Ekkaa is at the forefront of this transformation, ensuring that AI is an integral part of its manufacturing and design processes.

Q6. How is QLED better than OLED? What is the market share of each? Have you brought in this technology?

Sagar Gupta: Quantum Dot (QLED) technology is known for providing a wider color gamut and better brightness compared to Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. QLED displays use a layer of quantum dots to enhance color accuracy and brightness. The market share of QLED and OLED can vary, but QLED generally has a larger share due to its widespread adoption in the LED TV industry. Ekkaa, being a leader in LED TV manufacturing, incorporates QLED technology to offer consumers better picture quality and more vibrant colours in its products.

Q7. What are your new range of products?

Sagar Gupta: Ekkaa is planning to diversify its product portfolio to include washing machines, multimedia speakers, TWS, and smartwatches, providing a comprehensive range of consumer electronics. The company aims to reduce overall costs for brands and decrease dependency on imports by expanding its product offerings. This diversification aligns with Ekkaa’s vision to be a one-stop solution for its ODM partners, catering to a broader spectrum of consumer needs.

Q8. Why are you entering the TWS market?

Sagar Gupta: Our entry into the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) market is a strategic move aimed at capitalizing on the booming demand for wireless audio solutions globally. The TWS market has witnessed significant growth in recent years, and we see this as an opportunity to diversify our product portfolio. According to industry reports, the global TWS market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20% from 2022 to 2028.

Our decision is also influenced by changing consumer preferences, where users increasingly prefer the convenience and portability offered by wireless audio devices. The TWS segment aligns with our commitment to innovation and providing cutting-edge technology to our customers. As part of our expansion plan, we foresee TWS products becoming an integral part of our offerings, contributing to the overall growth and success of Ekkaa Electronics.

Q9. How have you seen the Indian electronics market evolve in the last 5 years?

Sagar Gupta: Over the last five years, the Indian electronics market has undergone a remarkable transformation, driven by various factors. According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), the growth rate of the manufacturing industry in 2023 was 4.6% in July, showcasing a positive trend. The government’s initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ have played a pivotal role in encouraging domestic manufacturing.

Technological advancements have been a key driver, with a significant increase in the adoption of advanced technologies like IoT, AI, ML, big data analytics, and cloud computing. The manufacturing sector has become more technology-dependent, contributing to improved efficiency and productivity.

Moreover, India’s shift from electronics import to export has been facilitated by stable politics, clear government vision, and altered duty structures that make importing less attractive. The competitive labour costs and a pool of skilled engineers have given India a distinct advantage in the global manufacturing landscape.

In terms of market dynamics, the LED TV market, where Ekkaa Electronics holds a leadership position, has seen constant evolution. The focus has shifted towards delivering better picture quality, more features, and enhanced user experiences. Developments such as MicroLED and MiniLED, AI-powered upscaling, and sustainability measures like eco-friendly designs have become prevalent.

Looking ahead, the government’s support through schemes like PLI (Production-Linked Incentive) and continued emphasis on technology integration is expected to further drive the growth of the Indian electronics market, making it a competitive player on the global stage.

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