Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Sep 15, 2018 04:38 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Consumer durables companies want to master the art of juggling

White goods firms now want to be present across all consumer electronics categories

M Saraswathy @maamitalks

Voltas announced that it is setting up a new company, Voltabek Home Appliances, with Turkey-based Arçelik to launch a range of refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and microwaves. The brand which is known for its air-conditioners is now entering other categories as well to expand its presence. But Voltas is not alone, for it joins a slew of other companies trying to capture customers across product segments.

The white goods industry is estimated at Rs 60,000 crore in India and is seeing an annual growth of almost 15 percent per annum. Considering the growth rate and the country’s demographic dividend, no company wants to miss the bus.

Take Bosch for instance. A leading player in the mass-to-premium segment of washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens, it is entering the mixer-grinder space that is dominated currently by brands like Kenstar and Preethi.

Gunjan Srivastava, MD & CEO, BSH Household Appliances said that they see long-term potential in the Indian consumer durables sector and especially the smaller yet heavily penetrated segment of mixer grinders.

Each brand is known for a niche category. For example, Voltas for ACs, Prestige for its cookers, Sony for its televisions and so on. While the overall market for white goods is expanding, there is a scramble to tap all segments to enable the diversification of revenue.

So, while companies are not making a drastic pivot to another business, they are cashing in on the growing demand for household appliances coming in especially from the smaller corners of the country.

Hence a brand like Syska which was synonymous with LED lighting entered the electric trimmers’ space as well as electronic accessories like Bluetooth speakers and fitness bands. Now, it is also diversifying into the cables and wires segment.

Traditional brands are also cashing in on the technology wave. For instance, Prestige that has been a household kitchen appliances brand now also sells cleaning solutions for homes apart from products like irons and steel ladders.

On one hand, Indian companies are entering newer segments while multinationals like Samsung are riding on the technology wave by launching one product that can make several other smaller devices useless. Their AI-based refrigerator can play music and videos, read our recipes, apart from the cooling function it fulfills.

The message is clear. Companies can no longer afford to be a one-segment or a one-product company. They have to juggle across all products. While not all products would contribute positively to the top-line, the fear of missing out on potential customer segments is what is keeping them on the edge.
First Published on Sep 15, 2018 04:38 pm
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