From OEM to Brand Owner – Thailand’s “Altron” TV to Enter Domestic – International Market

“When you stumble and fall, do not raise with an empty hand but grasp whatever you can and move on” the statement maybe an encouraging epigram for hardships or failures. However, the essential was how every failure became lesson learned. Use it to forge future success, and the same goes for businesses.

From the above statement, we recall a story from Mr. Narindej Taweesangpanich or Mr. Jack, Vice Chairman of Thai Habel Industrial, manufacturer of Altron – Thailand product.  He shared the journey of business turnaround at the “SCB SME SUCCESS Year 6# Strong Growth” seminar, in becoming a leading local TV brand and taking steps to global arena with sustainability.

The Beginning as an OEM

Thai Habel Industrial Co., Ltd was established in 1987 from a family business called “Thanin” which operated as an OEM for many leading TV brands in Thailand. The company offered a full range OEM for retail stores under exclusive brands and the total revenue generated from domestic market.

Without the fire incident that blazed down their manufacturing plants, Thai Habel Industrial might have been an ordinary OEM working behind the curtain of TV industry in Thailand. That was when Altron TV found its beginning.

“Approximately, 2 years ago OEM plant was burned down by a fire, which took more than 9 hours to put out.  The loss was tremendous and made us want to quit everything. After a split second, I contemplated and decided that we must start anew with our own brand and modernize our manufacturing plant.” revealed, Mr. Narindech.

Turning a New Leaf After Great Disaster

After the incident in 2014, Thai Habel Industrial has turned a new leaf and aimed to building its own brand instead of being an OEM. To sustain growth, the company is now in pursuit of building on Thailand’s capability as a highly trusted manufacturer.

“We aimed for sustainability and that was the reason for brand building and a comprehensive marketing plan. I underlined how every brand can be made possible. Another thing the company emphasized was risk diversification because a business can grow in many dimensions.” said, Mr. Narindech.

In addition to building a brand, the company also determined in developing manufacturing standard and quality assurance to be on par with International Standard. The company seek for related third-party quality certification from both private and government sectors such as ISO9001/2008 and “Thailand's Trust Mark” from Ministry of Commerce. The product was manufactured for affordable product with high electrical efficiency which was guaranteed by Energy Saving no. 5 label from Ministry of Energy. The company also received Green Industry Level 2 logo, which represented its dedication and commitment for environment.

Building up a Brand

Currently, Altron TV’s main distribution channels are Tesco Lotus, Power Mall, Big C, Macro, Do Home and Mega Home. The company realized the importance of major superstores distribution channel which contributed to the brand value, including online channel or LAZADA, social media or Facebook and exhibition booth for physical display of product quality.

Originally as an OEM company, it took less than 2 years for Mr. Narindech to successfully build up a brand with variety of sales distribution coverage.

“When developing a product, I focused mainly on consumers. The distinctive features of our brand are designed for upcountry markets and houses with large space that needed a surround audio TV. Most people want to enjoy their viewing experience, especially during football matches, sport games and movies. Our product software offers TV features with high and medium noise tone. Our target markets included coffeeshops, noodle shops, project sites, schools and government sector. We need to maximize sales channel and promotion channel, especially on online media. We received a good feedback from a campaign giveaway of 2 air tickets prize of Korea-Thailand football match. That day alone, we had over 400,000 likes.” explained, Mr. Narindech.

Other than domestic market, Altron is also aiming for export opportunities in global arena to neighboring countries in Indochina region and Central Asian countries where consumer prefers products of Thailand.

Customers, Bottom Line of Success

Customer care is a crucial part of the business.  “Altron” has established care centers in parallel with developing new models to keep up with demands of consumers.

“Our experiences told us about customers and their needs. When we have defective product, we need to accept the problem and try to solve it. Our staffs will approach customers for feedbacks and analyze product problems for further product improvement” added, Mr. Narindech.

Nevertheless, we anticipate consumer behavioral change in the future and how they would watch less TV. Since there would be more alternatives available to them for accessing to information. “Mr. Jack” explained.

“We plan to develop a Smart TV that allows users to record and re-watch programs due to increasing trend of other forms of media and decreasing TV watchers.”

“We might be successful at this stage, yet it did not meet our aspirations. Every SMEs in Thailand can achieve their goals and they might do it better than me. I want to encourage all Thai people to think creatively and they will be accomplished.”