The country's largest cooler company Symphony is now looking to capture the commercial space through the launch of products for office spaces. In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Achal Bakeri, Chairman and Managing Director, Symphony, said they will be rolling out portable air-coolers for commercial spaces.
The company claims to be the first to launch such a product, and pits it against peers who provide centralised AC solutions to offices and other commercial spaces. "We have been a residential cooling company. But since there are no similar coolers in the corporate segment, we decided to enter the space. We will offer large portable coolers in offices. We are betting big on this since it is a unique space," he added.
The company has undertaken a soft launch of the product in Delhi and will be opening up distribution throughout the country over the next few months.
Industry observers say coolers will be useful for companies looking to save costs, since centralised AC installation and manufacturing costs are 30-40 percent higher.Tough summers in 2018
Symphony saw a 44 percent year-on-year drop in consolidated net profit to Rs 37 crore in the December quarter. Bakeri said this was due to a 27.2 percent reduction in topline.
"In 2018, we saw bad summers and there was a lot of spill over inventory with the company and the channels. Due to this the ability to sell more was limited," he added.
White goods companies operating in the cooler and air conditioner space (AC) faced poor sales in 2018 due to unseasonal rains cooling down the temperatures in several parts of north and north-western India. Demand for ACs and coolers also dipped due to the early onset of monsoons.Better demand in 2019
In 2019, Bakeri said that while there is a situation of extended winters in part of north and west India, summers are expected to be intense. "Weather reports predict that even though the arrival of summer has been delayed, it will be stronger than before," he added.
Symphony is also benefiting from the rural electrification efforts of the Centre. Bakeri said parts of eastern India, which are now electrified, are driving some of the demand for its coolers.