Exclusive Manufacturing British affordable tech company sees ‘sky high’ Gulf demand By Megha Merani December 30, 2022 T4tec T4tec has signed a deal with cricketer Andre Russell as part of its brand strategy for the Middle East and Asia region UK’s T4tec sees affordable TV sales soar due to inflationary pressuresDubai’s Yiwu Market and Dragon Mart major in Chinese electronicsT4tec TVs have Web OS software but are half the price of tier 1 brand UK-based consumer technology company T4tec is expanding its operations in the Middle East to tap into “sky high” demand for quality affordable consumer electronics. The company, which has been selling its televisions and other products including wireless Bluetooth sound bars, cordless kettles, and toasters in the region via Amazon, is in talks with two distribution partners to boost its sales in the region. T4tec has also signed a deal with international cricketer Andre Russell as part of its brand strategy for the Middle East and Asia region, the company said in a statement in November. Ashish Panjabi: Stability without the spikes for UAE retailersYoung Saudi workers demand more affordable, smaller flats In particular, television sales in the UK have surged since the coronavirus pandemic when people were locked down at home and affordable TV sales have continued to soar against the backdrop of inflationary pressures. “Demand for affordable TVs has gone sky high,” T4tec CEO Dipesh Majithia told AGBI. “From where we were in 2019 to where we are in 2022, the market for affordable technology has at least quadrupled. In the European sector, we have so many orders which we are struggling to fulfil. “Our demand went up as soon as Covid started, and we became among the top seven brands on Amazon in the UK overnight because people wanted affordable TVs. “And now, since the recession is hitting all over the world, demand is only going to get bigger. Market dynamics are changing and people are looking at the pennies in their pockets.” T4tec CEO Dipesh Majithia sees demand in the Gulf for affordable, premium TVs Majithia said he sees significant demand for reasonably priced electronics in the Middle East, despite the availability of cheaper alternatives from markets like China. The Yiwu Market, a partnership between DP World and the China Commodity City Group, opened in Dubai earlier this year in line with the UAE’s plans to ease supply chain shortages after the coronavirus pandemic. The market features various product sections including electronics and appliances, furniture and lighting, and beauty and accessories. Dubai is also home to the Dragon Mart, a giant 1.2 kilometre-long trading hub and retail complex for Chinese products that is well-known for its affordable shopping options. “There is a huge gap in the market for affordable technology products,” Majithia said. “The icing on the cake will be that we are British designed, so we know the quality and we make sure that the [products] go through rigorous quality processes in our factories. “We are not a brand which has just been created by a Chinese factory and put in the UAE or GCC market. I can go to Dragon Mart and see 50 other brands that are all made in China, but they will never have that brand confidence.” Majithia added that T4Tec TVs are considered credible quality because they are licensed by Web OS, which is owned by LG. “T4Tec TVs come with a Web OS software, and this is a reliable software from a tier 1 brand, but we are taking the badge off,” he explained. “We are half the price of a tier 1 brand.” The CEO said that while the region’s more brand conscious consumers with sizeable disposable income are unlikely to budge from their big name preferences, some may still consider it as an additional purchase. He said that consumers who look beyond the “exaggerated” corporate marketing speak may also choose to make the switch as they become more price sensitive. “Even if we can all afford [branded] headphones or a television in our homes, given a choice for your 10-year-old son or for your kitchen or extra room, if you can get a TV or a technology product which is nearly half the cost and it does exactly what a tier 1 device does, what would you go for?” Majithia said. The global consumer electronics market is expected to reach $964.6bn by 2028 “People who are brand conscious are always going to stay brand conscious. What we want to do is get that [sticker] out of people’s minds and make them understand that it’s not just what the label says. Tier 1 brands have been in the industry for many, many years.” A Vantage Market Research report said the global consumer electronics market was valued at $728.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $964.6 billion by 2028. Precedence Research said in its report that the global consumer electronics market is expected to hit $1.13 trillion by 2030, poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1 percent during the forecast period 2022 to 2030. The growth is attributed to the rising disposable income of consumers, improvement in the standard of living, and growing demand for home improvement products. “They spend billions of pounds on advertising and creating brand awareness and doing what they do, and they have to charge the price they charge because they spend that much. We are not going to be spending billions on advertising because we want to give it back to our consumers,” Majithia said.